9. DHS - Kerrytown's visitation
Location: 54.993551, -8.35788
Speaker: Jimmy Duffy
Theme: gathering to pay homage to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
For a considerable time in 1939, numerous people, including the parish priest, saw visions of the Virgin Mary at this very spot. Note the mementos that people leave behind of loved ones. The shrine has long been a place of prayer and contemplation. It began in January 1939 when a young girl and her sisters from Kerrytown in the Templecronas (church of St. Crones) parish were sent at night to secure outhouses for arriving guests. The young girl set about tidying up but stopped and looked at a massive wall of rock close by. The rock rose to 15 feet high. Atop the rock stood a beautiful lady dressed in white. The young girl called out to her sisters who ran over and also saw the apparition.
Soon, others heard them and gathered round to witness the beautiful lady in white. Some ran for the parish priest, Father McAteer, but he dismissed them saying it was "just another ghost story." Several days later, the apparition of the lady in white appeared at the rock again. And once again, the locals ran for the priest. He declined at first but changed his mind after a while and decided to travel to the farm to end the nonsense once and for all. He stayed at the farm for several hours but saw nothing. Convinced that his parishioners were daft, he gathered his things to leave, amidst the pleas of the young girl and her sisters and many of the locals. As he climbed onto his buggy, he looked up one more time at the massive rock.
There, standing on the top of the rock was a beautiful lady dressed in white. He says in his personal account: "Suddenly, I saw a mass of rock turn marble white. Over the Rock came a fiery golden cloud, and in front of the cloud stood a majestic lady, clothed in white...her hair hanging down on her shoulders. She looked at me with a severe look and said, "Now, will you believe!" I stretched out my arms, opened my palms, and asked for forgiveness." Unfortunately for Fr. McAteer, the Vatican was equally doubtful, but without the benefit of seeing what he saw.
The place has never quite achieved the recognition of County Mayo's Knock, but as recently as October 2009, people have witnessed seeing crosses above the grotto and of seeing the sun dancing from this location. Even to the non-believer, it is a place of immense serenity and peace - if you can manage to find it. Kerrytown, near Kincasslagh, Look out for small road signs leading you to the place.
Lower Rosses/Gweedore History group on Facebook.
Jimmy Duffy's website.
Audio taken from Donegal's Hallowed Sites on the Racontour Archive.
Spotify URL: Donegal's Hallowed Sites playlist on Spotify