Blessing of the Marian Grotto in Knockaderry 1963

 

Holy Wells and Shrines have been renowned places of worship in Ireland from the earliest times, all dedicated to some particular saint.  The Knockaderry Marian Shrine was built in 1963 on a natural base of rock, on an elevated site beside Saint Munchin’s Church in the village.  The beautiful Carrara marble statue of Our Lady was purchased from a firm in Rome.

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception the shrine was blessed and unveiled by the Parish Priest of Knockaderry, Very Rev. Fr. T. Costello, assisted by Rev. J. Sheehy, CC, Knockaderry, and Rev. T. Greene, CC,  Feoghanagh.  To mark the occasion a special sermon was preached by the Very Rev. Archdeacon Carroll, PP, VF, Rathkeale, and a very large number of parishioners were present at the ceremony.

All the work on the Shrine was done voluntarily under the guidance of the local guild of Muintir na Tire.  The railings and wrought iron canopy was the work of local craftsman, Denis O’Sullivan.

In 1978 the Shrine underwent a facelift.  the large granite stones were removed and replaced by Liscannor flags.  The existing railing was removed and replaced by a brick frontage.  Flower beds were introduced on both sides of the path.  Kerbing was also laid.

Further restoration was carried out in 2013 under the guidance of Pat Quilty and a beautiful stone backing and canopy was constructed to protect the statue. On November 22nd 2013 the Shrine was again blessed and reconsecrated  by Bishop Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick, assisted by  Rev. Fr. Edwin Irwin, PP, Knockaderry and by Mons. Liam Boyle.

The work of construction and the dedication and blessing of the shrine was filmed and captured for posterity by John Joe Harrold on his own cine camera.

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