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Lough Derg Ireland EWTN Ireland

St Patrick's Purgatory, Lough Derg. Image credit:

The Ironman of Pilgrimages – Lough Derg

Lough Derg has been a place of Christian Pilgrimage since the 5th Century and still retains its popularity with pilgrims from Ireland and farther afield.

The Three day pilgrimage season at Lough Derg continues for another fortnight until 13 August. Stories about Lough Derg and the legendary pilgrimage have spanned the centuries and as far back as records go, have been associated with St Patrick. The spirituality of St Patrick is remembered and renewed every year by pilgrims and Lough Derg is a shrine dedicated to St Patrick.

The attraction of Lough Derg varies for each individual pilgrim. Some people come to reflect on life changing decisions, or to come to terms with where they are at, to give thanks to God for joy in their lives, to overcome loss, to pray for themselves or a loved one. Whatever the reason the Island welcomes them and their thoughts and prayers.

Three Day Pilgrimage

The Three Day Pilgrimage is a deeply powerful experience that requires endurance and an openness to enter deeply into the spirit of the pilgrimage – surrendering to the tried and tested.

This year the three Day Pilgrimage Season began on 31st May 2019. It ends on Friday 13 August. Typically pilgrims arrive around mid-day on day one of their pilgrimage, with boats starting at 11.00am and they depart at 10.00am on the third day.

The Three Day Pilgrimage follows the tradition of St Patrick. To come on pilgrimage to Lough Derg one walks in the spiritual footsteps of St Patrick. Today, pilgrims young and old walk side by side in this place apart in a contemplative tradition that links them with St Patrick.

The Three Day Pilgrimage is a programme of prayer, fasting (one simple Lough Derg meal each day) walking bare-footed and 24hr Vigil. Without shoes and sleep and little food in our stomachs we are confronted with the essential aspects of life, everything else is stripped away and we can often discover our hidden strengths and rediscover what really matters in life.

The Pilgrimage is all about letting go! From the moment you reach the car park at Lough Derg you begin the process of letting go and slowing down. The Island is a mobile free zone and this immediately removes us from our fast paced modern lives.

Lough Derg is a place of welcome so come as you are, friend or stranger, young or old, searching or a peace, in joy or in sadness; come to the sanctuary of St Patrick a shrine of prayer and deep awakening to the presence of God.

Pre booking is not required, however a booking and pre-payment for individuals can be made in advance at

One Day Retreat

One Day Retreats enable a much wider audience to enjoy the sanctity of this island made holy through the centuries of Pilgrim prayer.

One Day Retreat Dates in August & September 2019 

Weekend Dates in August

Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th August

Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th August 

Saturday 31st August 

Week Days in August 

Monday 19th, Tuesday 20th, Monday 26th, Tuesday 27th 

September 2019

Weekend Dates in September 

Sunday 1st September 

Saturday 7th September

Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th September 

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd September 

Sunday 29th September 

Week Days in September 

Wednesday 4th, Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th