Apparition reported in Mayo


RESIDENTS OF a north Mayo housing estate who say they have witnessed an apparition there over the past week have rejected local criticism of their claims.

"Nothing like this has ever happened here before - maybe we need a bit of luck as the whole world needs a bit of luck right now," said Donna Delaney of St Patrick's Estate in Ballina.

Her sister, Cheryl Muldoon (23), and her mother have been credited with first sight of the reported apparition in the estate last Sunday.

"My sister lives opposite a derelict house, and the sun was setting when she looked out her window and saw an image on the gable wall," Ms Delaney told The Irish Times yesterday. "She asked our mam to look without telling her what she had seen, and did the same with my father. They all saw what seems to be an image of Our Lord with a cross to the right hand side.

"I didn't see it the first time I was told about it, but then did after," Ms Delaney said. Since then, hundreds of visitors have visited the estate, she added.

The residents association chairwoman Jean Brown said she was aware that "people are thinking we are all mad". She said: "We don't know why it happened on that house, but all I know is that it did, and it isn't a bad omen."

Ms Brown said that she was "aware of certain theories", but believed they were not connected to the event. A child is reported to have died some years ago in the same house. Several church representatives contacted yesterday were loath to comment. Mayo's best known pilgrimage location - the Marian shrine at Knock - was founded after a report that an apparition appeared on the parish church wall in 1879.