Lough Derg began, probably in the sixth century, as a monastic retreat, a place of prayer and contemplation away from social and commercial life. In today's noisy and turbulent world, pilgrims appreciate a haven of peace, a remote corner where the discom fort of physical discipline is more than compensated for by getting away from the stress of modern-day living. The traditional three day pilgrimage season runs from 1st June-August 13th. This involves three days of fasting, praying and keeping vigil. One day retreats during May and September are structured days of prayer, particularly suited to those who are unable to make the three day pilgrimage.