Joe Coleman set for Knock visit today
DUBLINER Joe Coleman, who attracted thousands of pilgrims to Knock on his first two visits last September and October, is due to return to the Marian Shrine today (Tuesday, May 11). Mr Coleman claims to have visions of the Our Lady and says he has received various messages from her during his visits to Knock.
His previous visits to the shrine attracted a lot of national and international media attention. Gerry Anderson of BBC Radio 4 did a special documentary on Joe Coleman during his visit in early December, a day of very inclement weather when only around 700 attended the gathering in the Basilica. Sky News, RTE and TV3, as well as numerous radio stations, have covered his previous visits to the Mayo village.
In a recent statement, Mr Coleman said he would be returning to Knock this week where he would once again receive messages in relation to the state of the world today. He claimed that certain signs, such as crosses in the sky, would manifest themselves this week.
On his previous three public visits, he was accompanied by fellow Dubliner, Keith Henderson. The young man died tragically earlier this year after his car crashed near Tarmonbarry in Co Roscommon.
Mr Coleman has been back to Knock on a number of private visits since then. Known to those close to him as the “Knock Seer”, the Dubliner is expected to pray in either the old church or the Basilica shortly after 2pm. Most of the expectations seem to centre around the hour between 3pm and 4pm.
“We have absolutely no idea what kind of a crowd to expect in Knock on Tuesday,” said a local resident. “I would be surprised if we had much more than 1,000 people on an ordinary weekday at this time of the year. No doubt, there will again be a certain element of curiosity but I believe it will be on a far smaller scale that his first two visits.”
MEANWHILE, pilgrims waiting for a apparition at Knock Shrine risk permanent damage to their eyes if they stare directly into the sunlight, eye experts have warned.
Last year, a leading eye consultant revealed five patients had been treated for serious eye damage in the aftermath of the gathering at the Knock Shrine. Leading blindness charities have warned the pilgrims of the dangers of looking at the sun and the sight of unusual phenomena in the sky could be a sign of eye damage.
Bernard Jennings, Chair of Fight for Sight, warned looking directly at the sun caused blindness as it would burn the nervous tissue of the retina.
“This cannot be repaired or replaced,” he said.