Over 200 walkers from around Ireland trekked the hills of Kilcommon to mark the inaugural National Kilcommon Pilgrim Paths Day.
National Pilgrim Paths Day is a new initiative which sets out to promote the knowledge and usage of the pigrim trails and Mass paths of Ireland with a nationwide annual programme of walks over each Easter Week. The walkers convened at the new WindWalker Hub in Kilcommon where they registered to participate in the 8klm walk of the Kilcommon Pilgrim Loop Walk. The group were formally welcomed by Fr. Dan Woods, Parish Priest of Kilcommon Parish. Fr. Woods outlined the history of the Prayer Garden and Mass Rock and the local landscape.
The walk was stewarded by members of the local Rural Social Scheme team and led by walking guide Donal Mackey who gave a detailed history of the families and old shops of Kilcommon village before departing for the journey across Ryan field at Churchquarter, over the Bilboa River and onto the old road at Laghile and on to the forestry of Laghile. John Gerard O’Dwyer, Chairman of the National Pilgrim Paths Committee, John Egan, Rural Recreation Officer with South Tipperary Development Company and Jimmy Kennedy, member of the local Rural Social Scheme team travelled with the group providing information and support. The group travelled through the Coillte forestry and onto the forest road travelling beside the layers of the ancient blanket bog on one side, convening at 4pm at the Mass Rock of Lahile for a special Reflection and selected reading led by Fr. Anthony Keane, OSB, Glenstal Abbey. Fr. Anthony spoke on the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Fr. Keane outlined the great history of Kilcommon and its association with European monasticism including Kilcommon’s association with Schottenstift Abbey in Vienna founded by Duke Heinrich II Jasomirgott in 1155 which is still active to this day. The walk concluded with a great gathering at the newly refurbished Kilcommon Community Hall where food was provided by Farrell Catering of Templederry, teas and fresh baking by Margaret Moynihan and great music was provided by musicians Gerry Byrnes (fiddle & song), Eileen Byrnes, (voice & guitar) and Tommy Mc Grath (singer & guitarist). Young singers invited to contribute included Aoibheann de Burca Quinlivan and Alicia Quinlan. The National Pilgrim Paths project website is currently being developed at www.pilgrimpath.ie. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org