Joe Coleman, the controversial Irish visionary who claims he's in direct contact with the Virgin Mary had a major systems failure this week.

The self proclaimed visionary yesterday told his band of devoted followers that he couldn't give them a message from the Virgin Mary because she'd given him 'so much information' he couldn't remember any of it.

Coleman said he had been so deluged with portents during his celestial audience that he would have to reflect on it all before putting details on his website.

The eccentric Dubliner, who has now amassed a large and enthusiastic group of local supporters, held up his bus pass to illustrate to the crowd he was a 'poor man' who lived off a meagre invalidity pension.

More than 1,000 of his most ardent followers turned out at the Melleray Grotto in Cappoquin, County Waterford yesterday to see Coleman have a vision.

Traditionally, when the economy falters or a recession has ground on too long, many Irish people turn to self-styled visionaries for a sign that the future will bring something more than more uncertainty.

Coleman, who has been ridiculed and scorned for his claims that the Virgin Mary talks to him, told the crowd that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him with red roses at her feet.

Coleman said she had given him what he called a 'fantastic' message but, tantalizingly, he refused to say what it was. Instead he urged everyone to pray. Coleman added he was unable to pass on the message at this time as it was too extensive.

Visionary Joe Coleman awaits an apparition at Knock, Co Mayo