Thousands of people have taken part in the annual pilgrimage on Croagh Patrick on Co Mayo. 

Numbers were down on previous years, with rescue teams assisting just over 20 people for mostly minor injuries. 

Misty weather at the summit early in the day gave way to clear conditions as the afternoon progressed. 

Among the participants was Luc Abel, from Flanders in Belgium. His ascent today was the culmination of a three-month walk he undertook from his home to the west coast of Ireland. Mr Abel used ferry transport to make his way across the seas and took a route from Roslare, via Dublin and Co Down, to arrive at the foot of the mountain earlier this weekend. 

A number of younger pilgrims were making their first climb. Gabriel McBean from Co Tipperary said he enjoyed the views as the route progressed but was looking forward to relaxing later.

The Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary celebrated mass on the summit this morning. Afterwards he spoke of the appeal of the climb for generations of people. Dr Neary said there was something of a parable in the manner in which people approached the day, assisting others and ensuring that those in difficulty were given support on their journey. 

A range of agencies spent the day on standby to assist with the treatment of those with injuries.

The Irish Air Corps airlifted a small number of people from the mountain, while Order of Malta, Mountain Rescue and Civil Defence teams patrolled the route to cater for all incidents that arose. 

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