The Moving Statue of Ballinspittle

There could be nothing more Ireland in the eighties than the incident at Ballinspittle, County Cork, where a statue of the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, was said to have moved of its own accord. Nobody had multi-channel in those days, so there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. My parents bundled up the five kids and we drove for more than an hour. We all sat on a hill waiting to see a holy vision, like hundreds of other pilgrims replete with hang sangwidges, bockles of orange and picnic blankets.

Let me tell you, if you’re five years old and you stare at anything for a whole minute (let alone several hours) you will think it’s waving at you. You will hallucinate out of sheer boredom and suggestibility. The Wikipedia page says Many visitors claimed to have observed the spontaneous movements. The Catholic Clergy in Ireland maintained a neutral stance in regard to the authenticity of the claims. I don’t know anything about the original claims, but I think when I was there the only witnesses were young children (myself included). The statue was a cheap babysitter and a cheap day out. The rumour was probably started by a local shopkeeper to sell more bockles of orange and rosary beads. It was like something from an episode of Father Ted.

It’s amazing I turned out so well adjusted, when you consider I believed such silly nonsense. You see, I was raised in a country where a fanatical cult run by hypocritical monsters shielded and facilitated paedophilia and other abuse for decades. That kind of dawned on me (and everyone) in the nineties. That was the last real decade of the rosary bead (though the old folks still carry on the old ways). I’m not nostalgic for a time when Catholicism had such a hold on people’s minds in Ireland. But I could murder a bockle of orange.

HolyMaryGIF

Any Joy – Cycles

Cycles is the debut album by Any Joy. If you read the About page on this website, you know I’m playing synth in this band, so I can’t claim this is an unbiased recommendation. But Oisin recorded the album before putting the band together, and I joined the band after I had already seen them play live at the album launch. I objectively liked this before I was involved in any way. You should listen to the album right now. But if you get a chance to see us playing live, that’s what I really want to recommend.

If you’re a vinyl person, you can order that on Bandcamp (limited edish). And here’s a music video for ‘Avert Yer Eyes’, the first song on the album. The video was made by Mac Premo Inc., I’m blown away by the way it’s turned out. Amazing work.

Look at them there, a great bunch of lads.

Any Joy Facebook / Any Joy Bandcamp