A team of documentary makers are hoping to find funding to create a film about the town Knock – which is Ireland’s answer to Lourdes.
The story dates back to an incident in 1879, when 15 villagers are said to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary. Knock has had a reputation for the miraculous ever since.
It attracts around 1.6 million pilgrims every year, not just from Ireland but also America and all over the world. More about the Knock Shrine
According to the film makers: “Every pilgrim who comes here – young and old, sick and healthy – comes in the hope of a miracle; a cure, forgiveness, even romance.”
The film makers want to answer the question that why in an increasing cynical country, so many Irish people are still captivated by the miraculous tales of the Mayo town.
Aoife Kelleher, who directed their previous film – the hugely popular ‘One Million Dubliners’ – said: “Knock is an incredibly resonant place within the Irish psyche and for many of us it’s a place we’ve heard about for as long as we can remember.”
The new film will invite viewers into the town, where religious icons are everywhere from Pope calendars in shops to holy water that flows from specially appointed taps.
It will explore what Knock means to people from both Ireland and abroad today.
The film makers’ Indiegogo page says that the pilgrims are: “Middle-aged bachelors searching for the perfect wife at the Knock Marriage Bureau, Travellers who walk barefoot for days to reach the Shrine in memory of friends passed on, curious Muslims from the border town of Ballyhaunis, rosy-cheeked children preparing for their first Holy Communion, staunch Catholic faithful, seeking to protect Catholicism from any and every onslaught and the sick and recovering addicts in search of divine intervention.”
They already have backing from both RTÉ and the Broadcast Authority of Ireland but are looking for an extra €70,000 to help them tell the ‘international story of Knock’ which includes how the town has affected people from outside Ireland and its diaspora.
Kelleher said: “People say their lives have been changed forever because of their experiences of Knock.”
They have 36 days to raise the €70,000. Kelleher said: “We are reaching out to you – the curious, the skeptical, fans of film, believers and non-believers alike – to help us explore this unique world, where religion is everywhere. Together, let’s discover what it’s like to live in the town that was built on a miracle.”
Find out more about the Knock film project