• Tóchar | Walking Ireland’s Ancient Pilgrim Paths


Walking Ireland’s Ancient Pilgrim Paths

Tóchar (‘Causeway’) is a walking-pace travelogue through the country that was dubbed ‘the Island of Saints and Scholars’ long before the Celtic Tiger took up residence. Set against the backdrop of spectacular scenery in every corner of Ireland, the book recounts the trials and tribulations of a modern-day pilgrim, who follows in the footsteps of the ancients along prescribed paths, ranging from hikes of a few hours’ duration to day-long treks and the three-day ordeal in St Patrick’s Purgatory.

This is an exploration of the magical soul of Celtic Christianity, written from the perspective of a struggling, ‘á la carte’ Irish Catholic, ‘who could best be described as a healthy sceptic in matters of belief’. The result is a narrative that is at times uplifting and at times uncomfortable, but which is always engaging and honest. While there are pilgrimage prayers along the Tóchar, as well as historical background on the places once revered throughout Christendom, there are also pints in pleasant pubs, a rich diversity of literary references, anecdotes and personal reflections on faith, morality and religious practice, which are offered in a spontaneous and unselfconscious spirit.

Ancient Pilgrim Paths

Foreword by Fr Brian D'Arcy, CP
Introduction: Walk the Walk
Pulled to Purgatory | St Patricks Purgatory, Lough Derg, Donegal
Visions of Paradise | Gleann Cholm Cille
Path of the Righteous | Tóchar Phádraig
Don't Knock It 'til You've Tried It | Knock
On the Great Road to the Sacred Heart | An tSlí Mhór to Clonmacnoise
Searching for the Light | St Brigid's Shrine
A Walk in the Garden | To Glendalough
In the Footsteps of Patrick | The Slemish pilgrimage
First Steps in the Name of Jesus | St Declan's Way
Wells along the Way to Barra's Bower | To Gougane Barra
Between a Cnoc and a Hard Place | Cosán na Naomh
Conclusion: Salvation in Sight

Book Details
Title Tóchar
Subtitle Walking Ireland’s ancient pilgrim paths
Author Darach MacDonald
Publisher New Island
Release Date 2013
Cover Paperback
Printed Pages 288 Pages

Tóchar | Walking Ireland’s Ancient Pilgrim Paths

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