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Welcome to September on Lough Derg

01 Sep 2015

Lough Derg continues to offer a sacred space during September - an oasis of calm from teh pressures and challenges of daily life. 


September 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 19 & 20

One Day Retreats follow a programme of prayer and reflection.


September 1st 

A self-directed day of reflection on the sacred Island.


Wednesday 23rd September 

A Retreat day for adults who have been affected by suicide, either through personal loss or with suicidal ideation, or those ministering to the suicide bereaved or working in support services.

(fasting or walking barefooted is not required on One Day Retreats or Special Retreat Days)

Booking is essential for all events. For more detailed information on any of the above events please contact Lough Derg on 00353 (0) 71 9861518 or email

Three Day Pilgrimage Season Now Open

29 May 2015

Three Day Pilgrimage season opened on Friday 29th May 2015.

One can begin their Three Day Pilgrimage on any day up until 13th August 2015. 

Come and be part of the story and pass on the treasure!

Lough Derg is a place of welcome where no one is judged and everyone is equal. It is a holy place of deep pastoral care for all those who make the journey - just as they are.

From generation to generation Lough Derg continues to hold its appeal. Coming away from everyday life offers the space to look at the past with understanidng, make sense of the present and look to the shores of new possibilities.

As one pilgrim put it; "To hear the whisper of the Lord, you must turn down the volume of the world. find time to disconnect from everything around you and be still in His presence."

To find out more detail about the Three Day Pilgrimage please go to the home page on and click on Three Day Pilgrimage. Or telephone 00353 71 9861518 or email


Themed Retreat Days Season 2015

20 Apr 2015

In the tranquil sanctuary of Lough Derg tailored Retreat Days offer something a little different to the traditional Three Day Pilgrimage and One Day Retreat. The Season ahead has a number of special days - we invite you to take a detour from your daily routine and experience the peace of Lough Derg.

Hope and Encouragement for a new beginning Day Retreat - Wed 20th May 

A day beneficial to adults who are struggling with any issues that are holding them back or hurting their lives.

Senior's Afternoon - Tues 26th May 

This is an ideal outing for the residents of Nursing Homes and/or Day Care Centres or a day trip for active senior's groups - everyone is welcome from all churches. 

Family Day - Fri 21st August

A day dedicated to families offering the opportunity to renew the family relationship with God.

Living with Suicide - Wed 23rd September

A day for adults who have been affected by suicide, either through personal loss, those who minister to the suicide bereaved or work in support services.

Quiet Day - Wed 13th May & Tues 1st Sept

A self-directed day in the peaceful Island setting.

Admission varies for each of the individual Retreats. To find out more contact Lough Derg on 00353 (0) 71 9861518.


A Day of Friendship and Prayer, Ash Wednesday 18th February 2015

22 Jan 2015

To mark this special week of 'Prayer for Christian Unity', 18th - 25th January 2015, Lough Derg is pleased to announce the forthcoming eleventh ecumenical 'Day of Friendship and Prayer' on Ash Wednesday, 18th February 2015.

 Rev. Dr. Heather Morris, former president of the Methodist Church in Ireland, will give the key note address in a special day of Christian unity on Lough Derg this Ash Wednesday, 18th February 2015.

On accepting the invitation Rev. Morris said; "Jesus promises that he is with us always, but in the everyday things of life it's easy to forget His presence. From time to time it's good therefore to take up Jesus invitation to come to Him, to step aside, and in meeting with Jesus to discover refreshment, fullness of life, and strength for our next steps. At Lough Derg we have an opportunity to be still in an ancient place of pilgrimage, and to pray in company with other Christians across our religious traditions."

Friends and interfaith groups from across the Christian Churches are welcome to come as a pilgrim people and gather in faith as God's family in one of Ireland's oldest living places of pilgrimage - Lough Derg, the Sanctuary of St Patrick.

On Ash Wednesday, 18th February 2015, Lough Derg is open from 10.00am and boats will be available from this time. The short boat journey is approx. 10 minutes. Tea/Coffee & scones on arrival. There is time during the morning and afternoon for quiet reflection and to the explore the Island. The Key Note Address is at 12 noon followed by a Prayer Service in St Patrick's Basilica. A light lunch will be served from 1.15pm and boats depart from 2.30pm. Admission; €25/£22 and includes all hospitality and services. 

Bookings can be made on this website please click on the Ash Wednesday icon on the home page or telephone Lough Derg to reserve your place on +353 (0)71 986 1518.




May One Day Retreat Dates

05 Jan 2015

Lough Derg One Day Retreat season opens on Saturday 2nd May 2015 and continues on the following dates; 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 & 25.

One Day Retreats require advance booking.

To find out more about this year's One Day Retreat or to make a booking contact the Lough Derg office on +353 (0) 71 98 61518.


Annual Draw Tickets to be returned by Friday 17th October

13 Oct 2014

Last day to return tickets for the Lough Derg Annual Draw is Friday 17th October. Draw will take place on Saturday 25th October 2014. Thank you to the many thousands of people who have already returned tickets. 

Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day next week Lough Derg announces a response to support people who are living with suicide in their lives

04 Sep 2014

A minimum of 6 people will suffer intense grief following a suicide, more than 50 people will have strong emotions and a further 13 to 30 will experience moderate grief as a result of death by suicide'
Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day next week Lough Derg announces a response to support people who are living with suicide in their lives:
Living with Suicide Retreat - ‘Seeking Strength, Finding Comfort'
on Wednesday 24th September 2014

Fr Cathal Deery, Spiritual Director of the Living with Suicide Retreat Day on Lough Derg, speaks about the true reality of the numbers of people impacted by suicide: "It is estimated that around 1,000 people die by suicide in the island of Ireland every year - a reality that casts a shadow on the lives of hundreds more; families, extended families, personal and professional networks, whole communities, the extent of which can reach tens of thousands of people."

Fr Cathal, also a member of the Lough Derg team, continued: "During this year's pilgrimage season we continued to encounter many pilgrims who shared their witness to the heartache of living with suicide in their lives. We wanted to do something once again to support those people who have been affected by suicide, either through personal loss or with suicidal ideation, or for those ministering to the suicide bereaved or working in support services. The Living with Suicide Day Retreat is not a conference in the secular sense of the word but rather an invitation to people to come to a safe place where they might find some sense of healing and peace in the midst of pain and struggle."

Lough Derg is a sacred place known over the years for offering a welcome and an opportunity for healing and hope to thousands of pilgrims. Christy Kenneally is a guest speaker and comments ahead of the Living with Suicide Retreat on 24th September: "I came to Lough Derg in 2013 for the first time and found it an oasis of calm and safety - no one is judged and everyone is welcome. Coming away for a few hours to Lough Derg from the everyday living with suicide gives us the distance to establish perspective and focus on what really matters. The retreat offers a degree of silence unlike any other where one can listen - listen to the interior voice. To unburden ourselves from the expectations of others and the expectations we burden ourselves with. We can come to be grounded in our reality, resilience and in our relationship with God. We can come to allow our spirits some breathing space and to gain sanctuary from ‘have to', ‘must do' constraints.

The Retreat on Lough Derg helps one to know that moving beyond coping is possible. Coping gives us a framework for existence but existence is not life. It takes a different kind of strength to transform our reality rather than just endure it. The essential strength to move on is within us. A day in a ‘quite place - a place apart' gives us a chance to evaluate what or who will sustain us."

Christy concludes: "Coming to the Island sanctuary for the first time last year touched and stilled me. The stillness and peacefulness to be found on Lough Derg can help us listen. Listening to the internal voice requires conscious effort. Listening to the voices of those who have gone before us requires courage; courage to listen without argument or judgement. Time on the Island allows one the space to experience the unseen dimension of what is happening inside."

The Living with Suicide Day Retreat offers time for Reflection through the talks as well as time to spend on the holy Island. Everyone is welcome. There will be a closing session of prayerful reflection embracing the love of God. Refreshments throughout the day and a light lunch. Admission €40/£35. Timings: 10.00am - 4.00pm; Wednesday 24th September.

For further information on this retreat please contact Sharon or Maureen in the Lough Derg office on 071 9861518 (from Northern Ireland 028 68632391)


New documentary on Lough Derg to be broadcast on Ireland's first international channel Irish TV.

15 Jul 2014

Lough Derg's extraordinary spiritual attraction as one of Ireland's oldest places of pilgrimage is revealed in an insightful new documentary to be broadcast on Ireland's first international channel Irish TV.

Ireland's Pilgrim People will air at 9pm on Thursday, July 17 and can be seen across Ireland, the UK, and Europe on Sky Channel 191, Freesat 400, Eircom's boxes and online at and in the United States on the PBS network.

Presenter Malachi Cush joins pilgrims as they land at the Sanctuary of St Patrick on Donegal's Lough Derg and the hour-long programme records their experiences of three days of prayer, penance and fasting. 

Malachi said, "We show viewers what brings pilgrims to Lough Derg and explore the deep sense of peace, calm and fulfilment that is to be enjoyed on this Island which St Patrick himself was called to."



"Lough Derg was an important part of our prayerful preparation for Lourdes."

03 Jul 2014

Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry, made this statement before departing to Lourdes on Tuesday 1st July with a group of 365 pilgrims, the group included 70 young people. 

Bishop McKeown said, "I, along with many from our group, have just completed a three day pilgrimage to Lough Derg. This was an important part of our prayerful preparation for Lourdes. Our annual pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine is an important element in helping us rediscover the joy of both conversion and mission."

Bishop McKeown led the Three Day Pilgrimage to Lough Derg for the youth of the Derry Diocese on Saturday 28th July 2014

2014 Three Day Pilgrimage Season Opens

29 May 2014

“A well-spring of living water”

The words of new Prior Fr Owen McEneaney to describe Lough Derg’s

continued appeal ahead of the opening of thecenturies-old

Three Day Pilgrimage on Friday 30th May

New Prior extends a warm invitation to young and old alike to come on pilgrimage to Lough Derg a place apart and take rest.

At the beginning of his first Pilgrimage Season as Prior, Fr McEneaney says; “Lough Derg, ‘a well-spring of living water, is like a ‘detox’ helping to bring heart, mind and soul into balance. Lough Derg’s new season message ‘Come as you are… a quiet place and rest a while’ echoes the invitation of Jesus to his disciples when he called them away for a while as so many were coming and going that they didn’t even have time to eat.” (Mark 6:31)

Fr Owen continued; “In today’s fast paced/pressured life style, where people are continually connected to smart phones and tablet devices - time for oneself – time to come to the table of life, to be present to the deeper meaning of life and to sip the joy of life – is getting lost.

In today’s technology driven world doing the Lough Derg pilgrimage may be counter cultural but it survives through the generations because, as a pilgrim put it, ‘it is a place of pilgrimage with a powerful magnetism that is difficult to explain.’ I believe in this magnetism - our fore-fathers and mothers journeyed to pray for their families and we are their families today and our children will be Lough Derg’s families of tomorrow.

People continue to come for a myriad of reasons - to give thanks, to find themselves, to make sense of something or everything, to draw closer to God, to offer the pilgrimage for someone and for others it is the challenge to just do it.”

This unique place of pilgrimage welcomes people on Three Day Pilgrimage from Friday 30th May until Wednesday 13th August.