Volunteers scale highest peak to reinstate cross of Carrauntoohil

After the dismaying news I read in an excellent article about Ireland’s rampant anti-Catholicism  [yes, I know, unbelievable and very sad for any of us who knew the ‘old Ireland’] and that included the news of the felling of the Carrauntoohil cross that I also mentioned on this post last week, I thought that some good news for a change would be welcome! A new cross has now been reinstated on the mountain peak, thanks to the help of many volunteers fulfilling the desire of the overwhelming majority of the Irish population. Could this be a sign that many are starting to realise that without adherence to the True Faith and the Cross of Christ, Ireland (and indeed, the rest of the Europe too), is doomed to a future of nihilism and despair?

Rising slowly...Mike O'Shea, Irish Rope Access, watching progress as the Landmark Cross on Carrauntoohil, MacGillycuddy's Reeks, Killarney is re-instated. Photo:Valerie O'Sullivan/i

Rising slowly…Mike O’Shea, Irish Rope Access, watching progress as the Landmark Cross on Carrauntoohil, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Killarney is re-instated. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan/i

By: Majella O’Sullivan

IT WAS done without fuss and quietly but a group of dedicated local people have reinstated the steel cross at the summit of Carrauntoohil.

A total of 34 volunteers started their ascent at 5.30am, climbing the 1,039 metres to the summit of the country’s tallest mountain lugging with them a generator that weighed 70kg to power the welders and other equipment they brought with them to complete the feat.

Among them was Piaras Kelly of Kerry Climbing, one of the first people to have come across the damaged cross last weekend.

Local people had vowed it would be replaced sooner rather than later and decided in the end that it had to be done before Christmas.

Mr Kelly said they deliberately kept it quiet to do the job without any fuss.

“It wasn’t too difficult. There was plenty of help and we got it done quietly.”

Overseeing the operation was Mike O’Shea, whose great-grandfather James Cahill had put up the original wooden cross in 1951 ahead of the 1954 Marian Year.

The landmark cross was cut from its base, possibly with an angle grinder, some time between Friday and Saturday morning last.

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3 Responses to Volunteers scale highest peak to reinstate cross of Carrauntoohil

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    Yes, Kathleen, it was about time for a ‘feel good’ story. There’s something quite special: looking up at a mountain in the wilderness and seeing a cross. For centuries, a little French-Canadian community in northern Ontario has had a scene from Calvary looking down on them from a high mountaintop. The 3 crosses are lit up at night. I was going to say it’s very dramatic, but a better description would be: very comforting. I’d love to climb to the top of your Carrauntoohil sometime before my knees refuse the exercise. And that other mountain range that Golden shared photos of, with the series of Celtic crosses advancing to the top.


  2. kathleen says:

    I agree JH; there’s something grandiose and thrilling about lifting one’s eyes heavenwards at vast and towering mountains. To see a cross on the summit of a lofty peak reminds us struggling pilgrims in the valley below of the sovereignty and majesty of God and the chosen instrument through which He has redeemed His sinful but beloved children. Many mountains in Spain are also crowned with iron crosses.

    I’m sure you’ll make your dream come true one day to climb Carrauntoohil, make the Via Crucis at Dingle… (and didn’t you also wish to walk the ‘Camino de Santiago in Spain?) before your “knees refuse the exercise”! Anyway, you’re not really that old – early sixties I believe! 😉 We have pilgrims that take part in the challenging Chartres pilgrimage who are in their seventies…. though admittedly, the great majority are energetic youngsters who appear to fly along, putting us older pilgrims to shame. 🙂

    Lovely Calvary scene in you link, BTW. Is it part of a pilgrimage route?


  3. johnhenrycn says:

    “Is it part of a pilgrimage route?”

    No, Kathleen, because it’s in a part of the province where dwellings, let alone settlements, can be 20 or so miles apart, and on a road that leads to nowhere until our capital city(hardly a religious destination) is reached 180 miles away.


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