Day 99: Safety First

Still in County Mayo, Laetitia met her group in Ballintubber. In pre-Christian Ireland, Ballintubber was on a pilgrimage route to Croagh Patrick, an important Druidic site for solstice ceremonies. According to tradition, Saint Patrick fasted on top of Croagh Patrick for 40 days during the fifth century. At the end of the fast, he knocked the she-demon Corra from the sky with a silver bell and banished snakes from Ireland. Laetitia and her group started the day’s tour by climbing to Croagh Patrick’s 2,500 summit. Every July, thousands of barefoot pilgrims climb what the locals call “the Reek” hoping for the reward of less time in Purgatory. Laetitia and her group climbed for the more secular intent of admiring the stunning views of County Mayo and County Connemara that can be seen from the top.

Back in Ballintubber, Laetitia and her group visited Ballintubber Abbey, founded by King Cathal in the thirteenth century. Then they stopped at a local pub in late afternoon. Pre-dinner pub stops like this one often provided inspiration for the limerick of the day, and this sojourn was no exception. At a nearby table were a group of men joking about one of their fishing friends, whom they called “the landlubber.” He always showed up at the boat in foul-weather gear when they went fishing on Lough Garra, even in nice weather. It provided the limerick of the day.

A man from the town Ballintubber
To be safe always put on a rubber
Hat and rubber coat
When he went in a boat
Which is why they call him “the landlubber.”