A Dublin walk
• Recently my wife and I went to Dublin to witness the Olympic torch being carried through the capital's streets. We also decided to take the opportunity to avail of the Pilgrim Walk to visit seven of Dublin's oldest churches organised in tandem with the Eucharistic Congress. Having watched the torch ceremony we headed off with our Pilgrim Walk Passport and became tourists in our own city. Our odyssey took us from Whitefriar Street, founded in 1279, to St Mary's Pro-Cathedral whose historic roots are Cistercian Abbey of St Mary's off Capel Street in the 12th century.
Next on our itinerary were the churches of St Michan's, Halston Street, (the oldest parish in Dublin) and, close by, St Mary of the Angels, Church Street. We discovered that James Pearse, father of Padraig and Willie, was not only the designer and builder of the high altar in Church Street but he was also the sculptor of the statues around the tower of the Augustinian Church in Thomas Street described by the 19th century art critic John Ruskin as a "poem in stone".
The links between the Camino de Santiago de Compostelo and the Church of St James beside the Guinness brewery goes back to the 12th century.