Ireland's Pilgrim Paths: Walking the Ancient Trails; Darach MacDonald

Ireland's Pilgrim Paths: Walking the Ancient Trails; Darach MacDonald

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Each of Ireland’s pilgrim paths is an ancient tóchar (‘camino’ or causeway) into the world of Celtic spirituality. In this walking-pace travelogue, set against a backdrop of spectacular scenery in every corner of Ireland, Darach MacDonald, a modern-day pilgrim, recounts his trials and tribulations following in the footsteps of the ancients along prescribed paths, ranging from hikes of a few hours’ duration to day-long treks and the three-day ordeal in St Patrick’s Purgatory.

This is an exploration of the magical soul of Celtic Christianity, written from the perspective of a struggling, ‘à la carte’ Irish Catholic, ‘who could be best described as a healthy sceptic in matters of belief ’. The result is a narrative that is at times uplifting and at times uncomfortable, but always engaging and honest. While there are pilgrimage prayers along the tóchar, as well as historical background on the places once revered throughout Christendom, there are also pints in pleasant pubs and a diverse range of literary references, anecdotes and personal reflections on faith, morality and religious practice, offered in a spontaneous and unselfconscious spirit.

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