Hundreds of people are flocking to a rural shrine in west Donegal this week amidst reports of a weeping statue, and crosses in the night sky.
The event which occurred on Tuesday night had been predicted by a Dublin based faith healer and clairvoyant, who claims to have regular visions and messages. Fourteen people gathered on Tuesday night at the Kerrytown shrine outside Dungloe, and shortly after 8 o'clock, they reported seeing crosses flash in the sky.
Those gathered say that they were stunned by apparition, which went on for a reported hour. One local man from Ardara, John Boyle, said:
“It was amazing. I am still on an emotional high. All but one person seemed to see the same thing."
Ballyfermot based clairvoyant, Joe Coleman, had said that the Virgin Mary had told him during a channelled message that she would appear on September 29, at 8pm. He added that he had seen the Blessed Virgin many times and that she had told him that he did not have to be in attendance on Tuesday last.
The alleged apparition began with crosses in the sky, and then those in attendance gazed at the white statue of our Lady, which began to change form.
“She appeared to have a human a head and she turned and she looked at people. She looked at the children who were at the front,” John recalled.
Other people described the statue turning blue and crying.
The history of the area dates back to 1939, when a member of the Ward family described seeing scene as a vision of the Virgin Mary holding the infant baby Jesus. Members of the Ward family described seeing a shining light at the bottom of their garden.
The Church has never officially described the shrine as a place of prayer, despite the fact that hundreds of people from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland travel to the picturesque area every year to carry out all night vigils. The white statue of the Virgin Mary stands majestically on a rock in an area of breathtaking ruggid beauty.
In a letter addressed to the trustees of Kerrytown shrine at the time, Bishop Boyce warned that liturgical functions were not to take place around the area, but rather at the local church in neighbouring Annagry with that approval of the Parish Priest.
A prominent investigation carried out by eminent theologians had not arrived at any conclusion in relation to the area.
John Gallagher from Gaoth Dobhair, who visitied the shrine following the reports said: “I would believe that there is something here. It takes a long time for the church to recognize these things.”
Another man, John McGrinder, who had travelled with his family from Strabane said that it was curiosity who drove him to visit the shrine. He said: “I just wanted to see where it was. I am not extremely religious.”
Meanwhile, many other people who visited the shrine were furious to see Anti-Lisbon literature scattered on the pyres beside the shrine and in the house of prayer alongside it. One woman who wished not to be named said: “This is a place of prayer. If something had appeared here there will be an air of cynicism attached to it now. Which is not right.”
Anti-Lisbon literature lay along the edges of some of the beautiful statues at two o'clock yesterday. One angry woman lifted some of the papers saying that “this is not the place for this,” and marched out the door with a batch.
Patrick McGeehan, who was home on holidays from Northampton, said that his biggest regret was not being present on Tuesday night. He said: “It is my biggest regret that I was not here on Tuesday night. My faith brought me here today.”