Over 300 people gathered at the Holy Shrine in Knock, County Mayo, today where they were told the Virgin Mary would appear at 3pm.

Joe Coleman, the Dublin-based self proclaimed visionary, predicted that the Virgin Mary would appear at Knock after crosses appeared in the sky.

Coleman left the 300-strong crowd after a number of hours. Clutching his side and saying that he felt ill he said he had received another message from the Virgin Mary.

So far there have been no reports of any apparitions.

Coleman was refused permission to pray in the grotto by officials when he approached. He was forced to await the apparition with the other pilgrims in the grounds outside.

The Catholic Church has dismissed any claims or proclamations that he has made.

This year the pilgrims, at least, came prepared. Those starring the sky in wait were, for the most part, wearing sunglasses to protect their eyes for the sun.

Last year there were at least five cases of retina damage following a similar pilgrimage.

In September and October last year thousands of pilgrims travelled with Coleman to the Knock Shrine where he claims he has received various messages from the Virgin Mary.

In December Coleman was joined, in inclement weather, by 700 pilgrims along with BBC Radio 4, Sky News and Irish broadcasters RTE and TV3 as well as various local news stations.

Coleman has claimed that crosses would appear in the sky above Mayo and that the Virgin Mary would appear today at 3pm. He said that these apparitions would be precursors to the Second Coming of Jesus.

Visionary Joe Coleman awaits an apparition at Knock, Co Mayo