Camino de Glendalough

The annual diocesan pilgrimage, the Glendalough Camino, will take place on Saturday September 14. The Camino has been growing from strength to strength and over 100 people joined the full pilgrimage from Hollywood to Glendalough along St Kevin’s Way last year.

As usual pilgrims have two options. They can either undertake the full Camino route from Hollywood to Glendalough, a distance of 30 kilometres, or they can join shorter routes from the Wicklow Gap down to Glendalough, or around the monastic city itself. All participants on all the routes are invited to attend the short closing service which takes place at the stone ring fort on the shores of the Upper Lake in Glendalough at 5pm. Those undertaking the full pilgrimage should allow six hours to complete the route. A pilgrim’s blessing will be given in the ancient St Kevin’s Church in Hollywood at 9am on Saturday morning after which they will set out. A bus will be provided to bring people back to Hollywood. Those wishing to avail of this bus service must register and provide contact details before departing.

Pilgrims planning to walk from the Wicklow Gap or around Glendalough may depart from St John’s Church in Laragh which acts as a hub for the Camino throughout the day. Parking will be available locally and there will be a bus to bring people to the Wicklow Gap or the Monastic City at regular intervals throughout the day. A full timetable will be available on the diocesan website at nearer the time. Updates will also be available on Facebook at

Eco Tips — Beef Conundrum

Recently, many have called for a 50% reduction in the Irish beef herd, to reduce our national CO2 output. People are being asked to reduce their meat consumption, to reap both health and environmental benefits. However, beef farmers would need time to change to growing crops (although not all land is suitable for this). Consumers would need to embrace the consumption of more beans and lentils, nuts etc., especially so for vegans. While many types of beans grow well in our climate, many of the current “trendy” superfoods (that our modern more sophisticated palates enjoy) most certainly do not. Some are imported from Europe, but many come from countries that now earn so much from exporting to “rich” western regions that local indigenous people are deprived of their once traditional foods on which they relied. Two particularly problematic foods include quinoa and avocados, where social and environmental havoc is playing out in some areas of S America as a result of mass growing and exporting. Beef farmers may be an easy target, but the alternatives are not so simplistic or environmentally sustainable. Flying food around the world creates its own carbon footprint. A more sustainable approach is to buy as much locally grown food as possible.

Wicklow Parish BBQ

A BBQ in aid of Wicklow Parish & Friends of St Luke’s Hospital, Rathgar will be held on Sunday, September 15th at Brian O’Rorke’s home, Killmullen House Moneystown, near Roundwood starting at 1 pm. Steak, hog roast and a vegetarian option will be served, accompanied by homemade salads and desserts. Kids of all sizes will be entertained by a selection of carnival style games, activities and a treasure hunt through the grounds. Adults can enjoy refreshments including wine. Children and family tickets (€8/€55) will be available on the day at the gate or in advance through Brian O’Rorke 086 342 8226.

Eco Tips Viewpoint — The Proposed Murrough Greenway

A proposed greenway would link Greystones to Wicklow, along a tarmac track between the railway line and sea, facilitating easy access to buggies, wheelchairs, bicycles as well as walkers. One aim is to encourage more visitors to Kilcoole and Newcastle, though both lie some distance inland, in addition to the towns at each end. (Other greenways have been successful in this regard.) Sounds idyllic. BUT. The plan shows tarmac tracks surrounded by short mown grass. Currently, one can already walk from Greystones to Wicklow along a track that winds between sandy hills, covered with a profusion of summer wild flowers, including Pyramidal Orchid, Sea Bindweed, Sea Holly, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, which all provide habitat and food for butterflies and moths such as Clouded Yellow, Common Blue,
Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Six Spot Burnet Moth and birds such as Meadow Pipits and the declining Skylark. The route passes the nationally important Little Tern colony and the East Coast Nature Reserve. In winter, walkers continue to enjoy the Murrough and a plethora of wildfowl attracts birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts to the area. If the proposed plan goes ahead, this oasis of biodiversity will be lost. Gone. Forever. Replaced by a flattened, suburban scape, of which there are already so many. The idea is good, the proposed route is not. Then there is the issue of coastal erosion….

Benches In Ashford

Ashford Country Fair has funded the erection by Ashford Tidy Towns of two benches on the bridge over the weir. An ecumenical dedication ceremony is planned for Saturday 3rd August at 7pm.

150th Anniversary Mass

Rev Ken and Lesley Rue were pleased to represent the parish at the St Joseph’s Glenealy 150th Anniversary Mass on Friday 28th June. The principal celebrant was Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who later planted a tree in the grounds. Refreshments were then served in the village hall.