In recent years, a small group have marked the feast of St Brendan on May 16 by connecting many of the places associated with the Patron of County Kerry. They have done this on foot, by bicycle and by climbing Mount Brandon and celebrating Mass on the mountain on the feast day. The places which were usually included in their pilgrimage were Fenit, Ardfert, St Brendan’s Church Tralee, Castlegregory, Cloghane, Mount Brandon and on to Brendan Creek in the west of Dingle, where St Brendan is said to have left on his voyage to the New Lands.
Due to the current situation of restricted movement, it will not be possible for anybody to undertake the pilgrimage to mark St Brendan’s feast day this year. However, the idea has been put forward of looking at the initiative from a very different perspective; that is, various people linking the different sites connected with St Brendan, while remaining within their five kilometre radius.
It is planned that individuals, or those in the same household, will select a stone from the beach at Fenit, close to St Brendan’s birthplace. They will start the journey and set the stone down at a designated point within five kilometres. The stone will then be taken up by another individual or household and brought a further five kilometres on the way to Brandon Creek. The process will be repeated until the journey from Fenit to Brandon Creek is completed. It is hoped to start on Tuesday May 12 as this will give five days for the full distance to be covered.
From the birthplace of St Brendan, near Fenit, the stone will travel to Brandon Creek, via Kilfeonora, Cathair Airde, Ardfert Cathedral, Termon Eirc, Weather’s Well, the churches in Tralee, Curraheen, Camp, Castlegregory and Cloghane. As restrictions this year will prevent inclusion of Mass on Mount Brandon, the journey will be via Dingle, Carraig and Feoghanagh and ending at Brandon Creek. On the route which has been selected, there are eight churches of different denominations dedicated to St Brendan: Ardfert (Church and Cathedral), Tralee (St Brendan and Our Lady), Curraheen, Kilgobbin, Killiney, Cloghane, and Carraig. Though all buildings will be closed, it is hoped to pass by them.
All physical distancing, hygiene and hard surface disinfection procedures will be in place.
It is hoped that the fine weather will continue and that the event will divert our attention for a moment from the understandable concerns which we all have at this time.
Anybody living on the route as outlined and who would like to be part of the event, is requested to contact Michael Fitzgerald at 087 2523467 or firstname.lastname@example.org As considerable organisation will be required, the earliest possible contact with Michael will be appreciated.