The St Patrick’s St Barry’s Way Pilgrimage




Conscious of recent adverse publicity for the area, ‘Is this Rooskey’s response?’ asks
Sean Browne, who says he has been working
 on a major new agri-tourism initiative in the
general Rooskey area for a number of years…


A Rooskey-based man who says he has been working on a potential major new agri-tourism project for that area has organised a Pageant which will take place on St. Patrick’s Day. It is a forerunner, he says, to a major new agri-tourism initiative for the area.

  Mr. Sean Browne, whose forebears were from Derrymoylan, says he has been working on this project for a number of years, carrying out preliminary research and mapping in the Rooskey, Kilbarry, Tarmonbarry area. A few years ago he submitted the project and a proposal for financing it to Roscommon LEADER. He subsequently withdrew it temporarily for “personal reasons”. Mr. Browne says that LEADER expressed enthusiasm for his project at the time – and regret at his withdrawing of the plan.

  Speaking this week, Mr. Browne said: “It is interesting that just in the last month or so, LEADER is embarked on conducting a major Feasibility Study on a ‘mega’ tourism project, based on the same ideas. A guru is always understood in his own home patch!”

  Mr. Browne is now proceeding to launch the Rooskey/Kilbarry element of this project on, as he puts it, “entirely the right day, at entirely the right time, at entirely the right place – St. Patrick’s Day, at 8 am, at the point of entry to the Ancient St. Patrick’s Way at CLOONAWFUIL (Clun an Phoill), Rooskey”.

  In a press statement, he outlined: “The launch will take the form of a marvellously rumbustious pageant, to commutate and honour the conversion of the great St. Barry to the New Christian Faith. The pageant features dancing, traditional music and songs, performed by local and ‘imported’ musicians on a range of instruments, in the old pagan style, with very comic pagan rituals…and then in the more gentle style of the Christians.

  “The Great Barry, a Prince of the Ui Bruin in Leitrim (The Greatest of Our Own) enters in the person of an arrogant Druid mounted on a white steed (Each bán), and preaches to the assembled throng his Pagan Message.

  “Meanwhile the humble handmaiden of Patrick approaches him timidly and timorously and proffers to him the vellum book of the Christian Scripture. The poor damn Druid, of course, cannot read, but listens nevertheless to Patrick’s handmaiden, for she is beautiful. The Great Man doffs his pagan Raiment, dismounts his steed and becomes prostrate on the damp grass of New Rooskey. The handmaiden forthwith baptises him with Barntown spring water.  

  “The humble Barry will then proceed with symbolic passion on the ancient Patrick’s Way. The music and dancing and the Ritual will change perceptibly to the softer and more beautiful melodies of the New Religion and of Traditional Gaelic Ireland and its famous Monasteries.

  “The Troop and the ‘Plain Folk’ will proceed in solemn procession to the Sacred site of the Ancient Monastery in Kilbarry Cemetery, where Prayers and Thoughts of a Universal Nature, inspired by Religion and Faith, will be recited”.

  The proceedings will end with a traditional reciting of a Decade of the Holy Rosary, followed by a rendering of hymns of the Gaelic Christian Tradition and reflecting the theme of the morning’s proceedings.