Thousands of people scale Croagh Patrick Mountain In Co Mayo every year for the ‘Reek Sunday’ pilgrimage on the last Sunday (28th) of July.

 Amongst those to participate this year are Camlough duo Des Murphy and Pat McGinn. The two well known men will be undertaking the tough walk and climb for a Charity very close to their hearts, Cuan Mhuire (Sr Consilios)

Both men are members of a growing group throughout Ireland known as “The Friends of Cuan Mhuire”

The ‘Friends of Cuan Mhuire’ Groups are gradually  being established in towns across Ireland, for people in recovery and their families. 

 People are helped find their feet in the early, and sometimes difficult, days of recovery and as Sr Consillio explains the groups are “somewhere to go, someone to talk to, friends to rely on and a welcome whenever you call by.”

Chairperson of Newry Mourne & Down Council Charlie Casey with
Chairperson of Newry Mourne & Down Council Charlie Casey with "Sherpas" Pat McGinn & Des Murphy who will be climbing Croagh Patrick on "Reek Sunday" to Raise funds for Cuan Mhuire (Sr Consilios) Addiction Centres

Each unit is independent, rooted in its own community, managed by the ‘friends’ themselves and link in friendship to the nearest Cuan Mhuire centre. 

All monies raised by the “Friends”goes to help Cuan Mhuire deliver it’s life saving and life changing services.

Speaking from the Cuan Mhuire Regional Addiction Support Centre based in Newry, Chairperson Of Newry Mourne & Down Council Chairperson Cllr Charlie Casey who launched the fund raising initiative with Pat and Des, said,
“I am happy to once again be involved in helping launch and support this fundraising effort by Des and Pat.
Cuan Mhuire is Ireland largest voluntary provider of support and treatment for individuals suffering from addiction and other related issues.

Since its formation in 1966 by Sister Consilio, Cuan Mhuire has treated over 75,000 people. Its main objective is the rehabilitation of persons suffering from alcohol, drug and gambling addictions. 

At any one time, Cuan Mhuire has 600 people in treatment through its five centres, one which is based here in here Newry, throughout the country. 

We all deeply appreciate the work Of Sr Consilio and her teams of staff and volunteers”.

Commenting on their latest fund raising challenge, Camlough man Des Murphy whose involvement in Cuan Mhuire stems from his late mother Meave's close friendship with Sr Consilio said,

 "We the local "Friends" will be collecting in Camlough  village on Saturday the 27th Of July, and later that evening we will head to Mayo to participate in the “Reek” Climb . 

I know that Cuan Mhuire couldn't continue their work without the wonderful generosity of families, community and individuals. Sr Consilio and all involved with Cuan Mhuire really appreciate the support".

Des continued, “I’ve been with my good friend Terence “Banjo” Bannon to K2, I’ve climbed Carrauntoohill in Kerry but this is something different, the Croagh Patrick Pilgrimage, Reek Sunday has been taking place for over 1500 years, with over fifteen thousand pilgrims expected on the day. It is a special challenge ”. 

Pat McGinn who has had a lengthy involvement with Cuan Mhuire speaking about the motivation for his fund raising said, “We like most other Charities are constantly fundraising whether through events like this or our Charity Shops in Hill Street Newry and in Coalisland. All monies raised will go to ensuring that our life saving and life changing services continue to remain open and accessible to all. 

"Our Friends of Cuan Mhuire Groups are steadily growing and last year in Belfast we opened a Drop In Hub at St Pauls Pastoral Centre on the Falls Road facing the Royal Victoria Hospital. 

"Locally our Friends of Cuan Mhuire members are involved in our Schools and Community Outreach Programmes, all in their own way helping to carry the message of hope and recovery".

Speaking about the task that lies head Pat, who along with Des have a reputation for enjoying a yarn and a bit of fun said, “We expect a team of Sherpas led by my good friend  Declan McClelland, a regular Reek pilgrim from Ballymacnab to help us out on the day. 

Instead of our usual attendance at high altitude training in Lislea this time, my old sparring partner in Newry & Mourne Council former Cllr Jackie Patterson has arranged  a “boot camp” for me and Des In Ballyholland. However if anyone thinks me and Murphy’s going to Climb the Reek in our bare feet, they’re in for a let down!”

Concluding Pat said, “On a serious note we are looking forward to the challenge and appreciate the generosity of people who constantly are willing to support ours and many others fund raising efforts. 

We will be collecting in Camlough Village on Saturday the 27th July and if anyone wants to stand with us for an hour or so, give us a shout. 

We also have sponsor forms doing the rounds. Support us if you feel you can and if not, no problem. 

For Information about our fundraising or about the services that Cuan Mhuire offer contact 02830849010or

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