Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Brigid's Way Celtic Pilgrimage formally launched

Dolores Whelan, Anthony Murphy and Karen Ward step over a Brigid's
girdle to formally launch the new Brigid's Way pilgrimage in Kildare Heritage Centre.
The new Brigid's Way Celtic Pilgrimage was formally launched in Kildare town, the place most famously associated with her, in an interesting and moving ceremony. The launch was held in the Kildare Heritage Centre.

I spoke about how the alignment was originally discovered, not long after Richard Moore and I began our researches in 1999, and added how its span was later extended when I was working on the second edition of Island of the Setting Sun in 2008. The alignment stretches from St. Brigid's Well in Faughart, the place of her birth, and passes through monuments on Mount Oriel, the Hill of Slane, Realtoge Hill, Hill of Tara and several other prominent sites, before reaching The Curragh in Kildare, another place strongly associated with Brigid.

Dolores Whelan, author of 'Ever Ancient,
Ever New' speaking at the Kildare launch.
Dolores Whelan spoke about how herself and Karen Ward had hooked up and decided to investigate this alignment to see if it could be walked as a pilgrimage route. While on Sally Cox's land in Dundalk, she told them that the original Slí Bhríde, an old pilgrim route from Faughart to Kildare, had passed through her land. They were astonished, because they did not know there had been an original Slí Bhríde.

Karen Ward spoke of some of the synchronicities that had taken place during their investigation of the route, including a link that all three (Dolores, Anthony and Karen) have with shoe shops or shoe factories in Dundalk.

To formally launch the new pilgrim route, all three stepped over a Brigid's crois and ceremonially took the first steps along the new route (photo above).

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