A protest is due to take place at Croagh Patrick this afternoon.
The so-called ‘Rally by the Reek’ has been promoted online by well-known campaigner Gemma O’Doherty who has encouraged her 59,000 followers on Twitter to attend the event, which is due to commence at 12 noon.
Mayo gardaí have encouraged the public to stay away from Croagh Patrick this weekend following the cancellation of Reek Sunday, which was due to be held today.
The annual pilgrimage was cancelled in May as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Traditionally, tens of thousands make the climb each year with an estimated 25,000 scaling the famous mountain on the last Sunday in July 2019.
Last weekend, the Croagh Patrick car park was full and vehicles lined the road close to the holy mountain, which was packed as large numbers made the ascent. The car park is closed today and parking restrictions will be in place in Murrisk.
Gardaí have said any cars found to be parking illegally will be towed. There will be a heavy garda presence on the day.
“We are asking people to abide by the Covid-19 regulations and stay away,” said Supt Joe Doherty.
The organisers of the ‘Rally By The Reek’ claim they are “protecting our Christian heritage” and say they are organising a “Patriot Pilgrimage to Ireland’s holiest mountain”. Supporters have been urged to bring Tricolours.
This will be Ms O’Doherty’s second visit to Mayo in a matter of days as she was in Castlebar last Tuesday for a court case involving a Knock man charged with not wearing a face mask on public transport.