The latest publication, penned by Boherlahan author John G. O’Dwyer, entitled Pilgrim Paths in Ireland, was launched last week before an overflow attendance representing hillwalkers, community organisation and friends of the author from across County Tipperary and further afield.
With standing room only for many of his audience, John G presented a captivating slide show on his recent pilgrim journey showing real passion and a magnificent depth of understanding for Ireland’s wild and beautiful upland terrains. In vivid detail he described his journey from Slemish Mountain in the northeast, where Christianity had its first dawning in Ireland, to Skellig Michael in the southwest, where the known world once ended. Included in his route descriptions was the ancient pilgrim trail from Ballycumber to Clonmacnoise.
Later in his keynote address long time pilgrim walker, Fr Tomas O’Connell, Killenaule who has competed the entire Camino Pilgrim Trail, spoke of the restless search for spirituality that continues right into the modern age and is now expressing itself as increasing numbers return to walking the great medieval pilgrim paths. He also spoke of the wonderful descriptive writing that was such a feature of the book and would make readers immediately anxious to walk the trails described.
Mountaineer and rockclimber, John G. O’Dwyer has spent a quarter century leading, not just large groups through the Irish scenic uplands, but also mountain climbing groups in the UK, Europe and Africa. In 2012, he not only researched, he also walked every step of the ancient pilgrim trails of Ireland and this experience has enabled him to produce a comprehensive, readable and thoroughly entertaining guide to Ireland’s mystical trails, suitable for pilgrims, walkers, history lovers or those merely seeking an informative and most entertaining read.
The book is now available in Cashel Heritage Centre and O’Dwyer’s Shop, Boherlahan, and all good book shops