PEOPLE are flocking to a County Kilkenny golf course after a ‘revelation’ – a clear image of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus in her arms – was suddenly discovered, despite being there for years.
Situated just two kilometres outside Graignamanagh near St Mullin’s, rising high above the picturesque Carrigleade golf course are the Blackstairs Mountains. A bizarre formation in the rock, gravel and the heather, with a scale in the hundreds of metres, is striking at a glance – and even more so when gazed upon for longer. It appears to depict the Madonna and Child.
“A couple of gentlemen playing golf pointed it out, and we instantly we saw what they were talking about,” Bridie Galavan said, who with her husband Dan runs the course.
“Then another golfer here yesterday looked up at it and said he just couldn’t believe it. It looks like Our Lady, and she’s holding another figure, a head, and the way he sits it looks like a child.”
Already, many local people and those from further afield are making the ‘pilgrimage’ to see for themselves what the fuss is all about. Dubbed ‘Our Lady of Carrigleade’, it is fast becoming the talk of the town, and indeed, the rest of the county.
What is most baffling is the fact that, until this week, the bizarre geological phenomenon was never spotted by anyone. It’s almost as though it suddenly appeared overnight.
“We have never noticed it until now,” Bridie said. Her mother and sister have both made the journey up to see the image.
“And we’d have always been here. It’s very strange.”
Some cynics have argued that the likeness is more akin to Mount Rushmore in the US, which depicts the heads of four American presidents, but for most who see it there is no mistaking the resemblance to Our Lady – or ‘a lady’ at the very least. The majority of supposed ‘Marian Apparitions’ are fleeting or vision-like, and ‘sightings’ of this nature, not least in terms of its size and location, are rare.
The stunning vista of the mountains, with the Blackstairs on one side and Brandon Hill on the other, already makes Carrigleade an aesthetically pleasing spot for golfers. Now many will be wondering if having Our Lady watching over them will have any bearing on their fortune over the 18 holes.