National Pilgrimage Day at Ireland's holy mountain, Croagh Patrick in Mayo.

National Pilgrimage Day, Garland Sunday or Reek Sunday takes place on the last Sunday of July every year.

15,000 pilgrims arrive at Croagh Patrick to climb 2,510 feet high, following in Saint Patrick's penitential path, a treacherous climb on a dirty night. According to folklore, Saint Patrick climbed the mountain and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.

A reminder of the rigours of The Reek. There's a strange mood of reverence and revelry, penance and profit here.

Pilgrims young and old climb the mountain booted or barefoot in wet, cold and blustery conditions.

Traditionally, it rains for The Reek but this according to most is the worst night for years.

Men and women have been climbing Croagh Patrick for eleven hundred years.

This episode of Seven Days was broadcast on 31 July 1970. The reporter is Bill O'Herlihy.

Croagh Patrick (1970)
Croagh Patrick (1970)