Belfast Telegraph

Children rescued on mountain pilgrimage

By Nicola Anderson

Two children wearing light clothing were among 12 pilgrims who had to be rescued from Croagh Patrick amid the worst weather conditions for the Reek Sunday pilgrimage in living memory.

A 14-year-old girl was stretchered off the mountain with severe hypothermia, while a three-year-old child was also treated for hypothermia amid gale force winds that whipped up at the ancient Co Mayo religious site - even ripping off the glass oratory on the church at the summit.

Despite a decision to cancel summit masses, fewer than half of the pilgrims who had already begun the ascent turned back after becoming aware of the weather warning.

Over the course of 18 hours, mountain rescuers faced an ongoing battle to bring pilgrims to safety amid howling gales.

The first victim was a teenage girl who had to be treated for severe hypothermia after being taken up the mountain by her parents in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rescuers said she was clad in just a pair of half-length leggings and a cotton T-shirt when she was found by rescuers at the summit at 3.30am, right beside the church.

A three-year-old girl who had also become hypothermic after she became cold and wet was taken off the mountain by rescuers at midday. Mountain rescuers said she was also wearing "quite light" clothing.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph