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The Green Eye of the Emerald Isle?
by Ray Fuller

Ballinspittle is a village SW of Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland. In July of 1985, two teenage girls and their mother reported seeing movement of a statue of the Virgin Mary in a grotto. Within days of the first reports, thousands of pilgrims visited Ballinspittle every night, some traveling hundreds of miles. Many people claimed that they saw the statue move in some way. The Catholic Clergy maintained a neutral stance with regard to the authenticity of the claims. 


There’s a village south of Cork on the road from Kinsale town, 
Ballinspittle is its name, ‘mongst pastures green, 
It was once a quiet place but is now of great renown 
Such a lot of tourist interest to be seen. 
And the sight you must regard, even though it prove quite hard, 
Even if you have to trudge a hundred miles, 
Is a thing in Ballinspittle, and I know for sure that it’ll 
Make the grimmest visage break out all in smiles. 
There beneath a giant rock, in a plain white linen smock, 
With a halo of bright lights strung all around, 
Stands a statue of Our Lady, in a grotto ever shady, 
With a carpet of cut flowers spread on the ground. 
Now in nineteen-eighty-four, or was it one year less or more, 
The weirdest thing did happen by that rock: 
Several pilgrims had come there, for to spend some time in prayer, 
When strange magic they did witness with great shock. 
To the throng that has assembled, it appeared the lady trembled, 
And a moving sight it was for all to see. 
For a moment they were shaken, then from trance they did awaken 
And with one mind thought a miracle it must be. 
The news it was not slow in spreading out to every port, 
‘Twas a godsend to the media of the day, 
In a superstitious folk, this thing certain was no joke 
And they flocked there in vast numbers, sans delay. 
In their thousands they came thither, for to view the lady quiver, 
Young, old, wise and not so wise took up their station, 
E’en on crutches they did hobble, just to see the statue wobble, 
For our Mary was the latest great sensation. 
Then in many another town, so as not to be outdone, 
And in sympathy no doubt if truth were told, 
More statues began hopping – could there be to this no stopping? 
What more of Mary’s antics would unfold? 
Well I’m told that for the present, if you go to her abode, 
She’s as steadfast as the rock above her head, 
That her body is so stable, see it move you’re just not able, 
And as for life in her, it’s no more than the dead. 
There’s a point at which a statue has to say I’ve had enough, 
When energy has surely all been spent, 
It seems they aren’t that tough, just not made of sterner stuff, 
So the moving statues they just - came and went.