Pilgrimage in Ireland:

This exhibition is based on the research of Dr Richard Scriven in the Department of Geography, UCC. His PhD examined different forms of pilgrimage in contemporary Ireland. Pilgrimage continues to play an important role in the emotional and spiritual lives of thousands of people and in the social life of communities throughout Ireland. By exploring the routes and rituals of these pilgrimages, he hopes to gain a deeper understanding of these traditions and what they mean to the people who perform them.

As a piece of geographical research, the project investigates the rich relationships that exist between people and place. Geographers examine how people shape the world around them and how environments influence people. This research looks at how through performing pilgrimage people are ‘making’ holy places and how the locations are, also, defining people as pilgrims.

The research is carried out through ‘observer participation’ and interviews with pilgrims. By being present at the pilgrimages, you can get a first-hand appreciation of all that is involved and through discussions with people you can explore their motivations and experiences.

Based on a number of case studies, this exhibition explores different pilgrimage places in Ireland, using text, images and video recordings. Included are posters on the three day pilgirmage at Lough Derg, or St Patrick’s Purgatory, in Donegal, on Croagh Patrick in Co. Mayo and on a selection of holy wells in Cork. All the images and videos were take by Richard during his fieldwork over the past two years.

This exhibition is a component of Richard’s larger commitment to public engagement and general dissemination of his research. As a publicly-funded doctoral student he believes he has a duty to communicate and share his work with the general public, as much as through more standard academic channels, such as conferences and peer-reviewed journals.

If you would like to comment on the exhibition or contribute to my research or make contact with me. Email: r.scriven[at]umail[dot]ucc[dot].ie

Many thanks to my supervisors John Crowley and Ray O’Connor, and the staff and fellow research post-graduates in the Department of Geography. Also, thanks to my family and friends for their support. I would also like to acknowledge all those who participated in and facilitated my fieldwork. My research is funded by the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship and was previously funded by Department of Geography, UCC. Some of my fieldwork was funded by the Geographical Society of Ireland Postgraduate Fieldwork/Travel Award 2013.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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