Weird Achill Island

ghost_bw.JPG Previously on Blather, in *Baaaaah-Humbug*, and *Rocks from Irish Skies* , we mentioned the ongoing debacle at the Achill Island House of Prayer.
Alleged stigmatic Mrs. Christina Gallagher and what appears to be a cult following of sorts have been claiming minor miracles there. Back before Christmas 1997, the Archbishop of Tuam held an inquiry, concluding that there was no evidence that “supernatural phenomena of whatever kind” was taking place at The House of Prayer.
(Irish Times, December 17th 1997)

Surrender to the Bishop
On May 6th, The Connaught Telegraph told of a newly enforced Sunday Mass “ban” at the House of Prayer.
Now, to cap it all, the House, which, according to the Irish Times, attracts 10,000 pilgrims and generates £500,000 locally ever year, is to close. Mrs. Gallagher announced that this is due to the restrictions placed on the centre and the prying involvement of the church, saying that while the Catholic Church dictated, they had refrained from negotiation. The Irish Times quoted Mrs. G as saying that she was “putting the record straight. I don’t want any hassle with the bishop. I surrender to his authority and pray that God will receive all, because God knows all.”
Oddly enough, Father Brendan Kilcoyne, who is secretary to the Archbishop of Tuam, denied that the church had anything to do with the closure. He said that while the House of Prayer was meant as nothing more than a religious retreat centre, ‘”Very quickly it became something different, a kind of de facto shrine. What Archbishop Neary was trying to do was bring it closer to the structures of the church, and inevitably that brought certain restrictions.”‘
(Irish Times July 4th 1998)
Achill (*Acaill*, eagle, from *aquila*) is a veritable pocket of fortean enigma. For those who are unfamiliar with the place, it’s a large bleak yet beautiful island off the West coast of Ireland, and connected to the County Mayo mainland by a narrow bridge. It has an area of some 50 sq. miles (129.5 sq. km), measures 14 miles (22.4km) east to west and 12 miles (19.2km) north to south, with some 80 miles (128km) of coastline (Achill Island Map and Guide, Bob Kingston 1988).
Praeger describes it thus:

‘Achill, wind-swept and bare, heavily peat-covered, with great gaunt brown mountains rising here and there, and a wild coast hammered by the Atlantic waves on all sides but the east, has a strange charm which everyone feels, but none can fully explain.’

(Robert Lloyd Praeger, *The Way That I Went* 1937, republished 1997 by The Collins Press ISBN 1-898-256-357 )
Not only do we have alleged stigmata and other ‘miracles’ at the House of Prayer at Pollagh, but back towards Achill Sound, near the bridge, we have Sraheens Lough, previously mentioned in *Blather on Tour* and *Kanga-Ruse*. The Lough made front pages news in the Evening Herald of June 4th 1968, due to alleged lake monster sightings there.
Oddly enough, Praeger makes a not insignificant mention of a *different* lake to Sraheens:

‘. . .you can visit Bunnafreeva Lough, perched on the edge of the huge cliff with another cliff overhanging it — a place so lonely and sterile and primeval that one might expect to see the *piast* or other Irish water-monster rising from the inky depths of the tarn.’ (*The Way That I Went*)

Achill was in the news recently due to the ongoing battle between two members of the Achill Sound community, downhill through the rhododendrons from Sraheens Lough. Last year, a *High* court case involved the incessant crowing of Mrs. Moira Gallagher’s rooster (another Gallagher!), which was driving Mr. Peter Masterson batty. Now they’re at it again, with Masterson claiming that Gallagher is ‘directing constant loud music at his house and throwing dog droppings on his driveway’. 64 year old Gallagher spent three weeks in jail last year over her refusal to get rid of her cockerel and to build a boundary wall.
The rooster has passed away, the wall was built, and they’re still at it. The local gardai have been keeping surveillance on the Masterson driveway to determine the source of the dog turds, a wonderful job I’m sure. Mrs. G has been fined £200 for harassment, but has been let away with the dog-poo charges, due to lack of. . . evidence. . . (Irish Times July 10th 1998)
A smidgen less recently — according to Peter Alderson Smith in *Fortean Phenomena in the Annals of the Four Masters* (Fortean Times 54:51)– John O’Donovan, who translated the Annals for publication in 1848 and 1851, made mention of a fish-fall near Slievemore, on the north of the island back in 1831. And of course, the famous pirate Grace O’Malley (a.k.a. Granuaile, c.1530-1603) had a castle at Achill Sound. . .
RTE gets weird
On July 9th, Blather’s ears caught the tail end of a rather surprising discussion on the usually sober Irish national radio station RTE Radio 1.
The magazine programme *Short Circuit* interviewed a gentleman, whose name seems to be ‘Laurence John’ (I’m open to correction on this) from Co. Louth who had been ‘abducted by aliens’. This man had a matter of fact way of discussing his experiences, telling the interviewer about the trials and tribulations of dealing with scathing detractors and wags. He seemed sincere, and had obviously had a profound experience of some sort — I like to use the word *epiphany*.
Apparently, at least from from what I could make out, Mr. John (?) had been outside his house — about to leave for an appointment when the ‘abduction’ took place – he was brought off to a ‘UFO’ (no comment), examined given some sort of ‘message’ – something like usual ‘mankind must mend its ways’ lecture, and dumped back home again, an hour later. At least, when he realised he was ‘back’, he was where had begun, and an hour had passed.
Oddly enough, he seems to have had a dog with him, which also got abducted, and chattered away in dog-speak to the alien abductors. The abductee explained that he didn’t understand these conversations, as he didn’t speak the language. Blather will endevour to procure more information about this case.
Interesting though, for an island of just over 5 million people (3,621,035 for the Republic, 1996 census. 1,577,836 for Northern Ireland, 1991 census), we really do seem to be holding our own with regard to UFOs, abductions etc.

Get Comfortable

Check out Andy Robert’s *The Armchair Ufologist*, for some informative dissection of the madness currently taking place within ufology, particularly in Britain…
Dave (daev) Walsh
Friday June 10th, 1998

The disembodied collective editorial voice of the only really nice website in Ireland.


  1. Tbh i think that you have been a bit harsh on Moira as she is my auntie and is very nice woman. so there.

  2. Nothing personal Char – I only repeated what had been reported by the Irish Times.

  3. Achill islands house of prayer is the biggest money makeing scam… My mother has very stong faith in our lady and has got in to going to Achill island to worship THE HOUSE GF PRAYER. I recall i the recent months that she has being comeing home with frightning letters that a lady called Cristine Galleher that claims to be suffering the wounds of crist has been proclaiming that she sees and gets messages from OUR LADY, that the word is going to end and that any one that hasnt visited the house of prayer wil not be saved when the time and hour thats the world is going to end by a this has raised a concerns for my mothers wellbeing. As my mother has gone in to Fasting 6 days a week on water alone and has droped down by 7 stone down t a size 6 for protection for our famaily.And not to mention covering our house with pictures of OUR LADY WEEPING TEARS OF BLOOD.And makeing us all wear Matrix medals that Christine Gallher has said that any one to wear this medal will be saved.Not forgeting to mention that last October that the worshipers that have bein going to the house of prayer were told that our lady had given a a date as to when the word was to end and that the people needed to pray harder and that people nedded to go to achill isladnd twice a week for prayer, now this raises the question that do these people eg. priest and not to forget mention CRISTINE GALLER has not thaken in to account that these elderly people rangeing from ages 50-85+ are leaveing there homes at 4am in the middle of the night to make a journey that takes 6 hours to Achill islands house of prayer to sit in the cold and prayer and make there weekly donations to the up keeping and the new projets that the church has to complete. Do these Priests take in to concideration that these people wont be home in there homes till 11 o clock at night and most with no transport fom the bus stations to there homes? Many elderly peole walk home tru the dangerous town at that time of night…mean wile Cristine Gallher is laping it up in her lavis mantion in the safety of her home.And the priests counting there daily intake of wages donated by the elderly people…. this makes me wonder…. are these peole of god? Cearly not.
    If us people got in to reading the bible and did more what god wanted us to do and listend to the word of god we wouldnt have al these false gods put before us..claimig that they know when the world is going to end? When its cearly stated in the bible that NO ONE WILL KNOW THE TIME AND THE HOUR OF WHEN THE WORLD IS GOING TO END.
    I think these people have a sin to answer for frighig the elderly people in to beliveing that the world is going to end. I wonder would Cristine Gallher travell 600 miles twice a week to go and prayer? When it can all be done fron there own home? maybe because the coffe shop wasnt turning over what was expected or the donations to the House of prayers didnt keep up to the expectations of Cristines lavis lifestyle? For the time being i will have to watch my mother starve her self for these twisted and cruel people. In the meawhile i have found the truth about JESUS CRIST OUR LADY AND THE HOLY SPIRIT which is writen in the holy bible and is the truth about the past present and future Jesus Crist is the way to the truth and the light and no one will get t the father but tru him.So i recomend that all who reads this gets a bible and read it. I it contains nothing but the truth and may the realy god that we were ment to know revele him self to you tru it.

  4. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
    Pray to your idols, fools!! who pay the idol makers!!

  5. Leyla, can you & your family not get your mothers Dr to convince her that her health is at risk. She will kill herself, her body needs nutrition, talk to her Dr. Tell her also that only JC had the ability to survive fasting because of who he was. No normal person can do this. Although Our Lord will reward those whom think they are doing the right thing. Even is Christina is a fake the Lord will reward those who donated as they did it unknowingly in Good will. Also my Dear Our Lord did suffer for Our sins but we must also do some suffering here on earth to help ourselves and other sinners. Padre Pio is a good example. He suffered the stigmata for 50 yrs, prayed 35 rosaries a day, heard millions of confessions etc for sinners. Tell your mother also that even Padre Pio did not fast 6 days a week as JC needed him here for his given work on earth. Ask your mother what Good is she to all of you dead. She can’t pray for you then. Also inform your mother every true visionary,ie lourdes, Fatima etc were always told to respect their clergy. Do what they say, they are Gods minds and hands on this earth. They may be wrong but we are asked to respect their decisions. The Pope is the closest things to God that we have on earth so we have to respect that. So if the Vatican have denied Christina Gallagher so must we..till proven wrong. So therefore your poor mother in believing in her is going against the Church as per say. She can’t help it but point a few things out to her and may God Bless you all…

  6. Hi.Tara thanks for your reply but no my mam wont listen to me she refuses to go to a doctor. She was a sister in our hospital and was over the Female Medical ward for 25 years and worked side by side with the best doctors so she already knows the health risks…i dont know what to do with her!!

  7. For some time now the Sunday papers have publicised articles on Christine Gallaghers luxurious lifestyle.Would it not be appropriate for her to defend herself publically.By staying silent she is only fuelling the fire.

  8. Leyla, I am so sorry to hear about your mother but from my knowledge of Christina and the House of Prayer that kind of fasting would definitely not be encouraged. I believe the fast requested at the House of Prayer was for ONE day a week on bread and tea. This was not demanded – the main request I believe is for more prayer, rosaries etc. Also I dont think Christina ever said the world was going to end soon – the messages I understand are about an imminent warning and purification for the world but this is also predicted at Garabandal, Fatima and other shrines of our Lady. Whether or not you believe the messages you should not distort them. My family go to the House of Prayer regulary and get great peace there. I have a large young family but I have been a few times and find it very prayerful and in no way in conflict with any Catholic church teaching. I have met Fr Mc Ginnity in London and have no doubt that he is an extremely holy priest. In obedience to the bishop he does not say masses or hear confessions there and I think this must be a great suffering to him as a true priest. I dont know if its true what the media say about it being a scam or money racket. All I know is that I was never asked for money when I went there. Even if you are in doubt about the messages go there with an open mind and judge it by its fruits. All those thousands of people saying all those rosaries etc for hours and hours every week for Ireland and the world since 1993 cant be a bad thing!

  9. Leyla, you are so right to be worried about your mother, This lady is scamming weak willed women who are easy prey for her madness. Jesus said,
    He who has the son has life, he who does not have the son does NOT have life but the wrath of God abides on Him..
    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    And God spoke all these words, saying,
    I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
    Thou shall have no other gods before me.
    Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
    Thou shall NOT bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
    And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
    And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
    Jacinta has obviously been taken in by it also, My firm warning is that this is what happens when people listen to people rather than the word of God.
    Gods warning..For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book ( The Holy Bible), If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    And about the is coming very soon..very soon.
    “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”
    About worshipping anyone, dead or alive the bible says.
    “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”
    Let Gods word be the measuring stick. God alone knows Himself and he has disclosed His requirements in the Bible.
    Why did God say..
    “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.
    Because he wants all men everywhere to come to a knowlege of the TRUTH.
    Well done for speaking out Leyla, God Bless you, and I pray your mother will be released from the snare of the devil and His lies…and Christine Gallaghers greedy ploys towards the vunerable in the name of religion.
    God says to her and her sort, Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
    I think he has done that already, she is exposed. May God have mercy on her.
    The devil was a liar and a thief from the beginning…God said that to warn us..
    Run from the House of Prayer, Christine Gallagher and all lies, run to the scriptures so you can know the truth, and the truth shall make you free!
    All quotes above are from the Bible, much more is written, google the above quotes to read them for yourself..
    God Bless you Leyla.

  10. Christine Gallagher made people try to believe that she was someone with ‘special gifts’ from as far back as 25yrs ago when she became obsessed with Padre Pio, now Saint Pio. Unfortunately she sounded mentally ill then and I find it sad that she speaks these lies in the name of the Catholic Church. She needs prayer or exorcised. The Catholic Church have turned their back on her and so therefore should we. No where in the bible does it say that the Pope is the ‘closest thing to God’ and it is so sad that Catholics do not even realise that during mass the old and new testaments are quoted and reflected upon. We MUST pray for this woman who is starving herself and going against what Saint Pio would have wanted for her. Like Jesus He also spoke of our sufferings for the truth, however, not in this way. This is self abuse,which is NOT of God! Christine Gallagher will be held responsible by God, her maker, for her influence on this poor soul. May God have mercy on this women who is obviously mentally ill. Pray too for all those who are so blind as to sit around the house praying repetitive prayers with their minds drifting to foolish thoughts, because the Rosary is no easy prayer. One must respect the meaning of the ‘mantra’ of the ‘hail Mary’ which is all scriptural words except the last line. This calms the soul , while the person reflects on each stage of the life of JESUS. So , NO, it is not good that all these people are sitting around saying the Rosary if they are there out of fear from false predictions and oh how Mary would cry if she saw so many turn to her instead of the person she asks us to turn to, ie her son, JESUS. She was a humble servant. She is now a saint. She is NOT God. However, some of us forget that she was born for the purpose of carrying our Saviour. ‘Blessed are you amongst women.’ So, in the name of all that is Holy, ie in the name of JESUS, I command you leave this woman satan. Jesus is Lord of her life. We pray in agreement here for her recovery and the safety of her soul into the hands of JESUS!

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