An estimated 30,000 pilgrims take part in the annual Croagh Patrick climb.

They came through the swirling dawn mist with a prayer and a spritely step keeping alive a 1500 year old tradition.

Many of the pilgrims make the 2,500 feet trek up Croagh Patrick in their bare feet. The torrential rain of the past few days made the climb more hazardous than usual. The pilgrims came from all ages and backgrounds, with the Archbishop of Tuam Dr Joseph Cassidy saying that climbing the reek was not confined to an ageing and shrinking constituency.

Its cheerfulness made a nonsense of the accusation that Irish Catholicism was unbelievably grim and jansenistic.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 28 July 1991. The reporter is Jim Fahy.