House of Prayer paid €100k for copies of latest book from controversial founder who claimed to have visions of the Virgin Mary
HOUSE of Prayer founder Christina Gallagher sold 5,000 copies of her latest book to the organisation for €100,000.
The controversial House of Prayer in Achill, Co Mayo – which is part of a wider unofficial Catholic group – was established in 1993 after Ms Gallagher claimed to have had visions of the Virgin.
New accounts filed by the company that operates the House of Prayer show it paid Ms Gallagher €100,000 last year after buying 5,000 copies of her book, The Cross Uncovered.
The book includes details concerning the various apparitions Ms Gallagher has witnessed and messages she claims to have received from Christ and the Virgin.
The six-figure sum received by Ms Gallagher from Our Lady Queen of Peace House of Prayer (Achill) Ltd helped plunge the House of Prayer company into the red to record losses of €118,267 for 2016.
This followed the company recording a modest profit of €8,403 in 2015.
In the accounts, the directors justified the bulk purchase of Ms Gallagher’s book by stating that it was important that sufficient copies were acquired in order to ensure they would be available for pilgrims to buy.
The directors state that Ms Gallagher is a member of the company and that the move to buy the books “was made in light of the fact that it would not be possible to obtain further copies of the book and taking into consideration the importance of the book to the followers of the House of Prayer”.
The €100,000 spent by the company is reflected in the amount it spent on buying soaring from €18,260 to €151,198 last year.
The €100,000 – or €20 per book – deal was a good one for Ms Gallagher: yesterday, the House of Prayer was selling the book for €23 to the public.
In their report, the directors state that it is not the objective of the company to generate profits every year and they prefer to seek fewer donations in years where they have sufficient resources available to run the company.
Revenues at the company last year slumped by 30pc from €459,570 to €322,400.
A breakdown of the revenues show that donations to the House of Prayer more than halved, going from €378,745 to €162,480.
The drop in donations was offset by increased revenues from the sale of religious objects going up from €80,825 to €159,920.
Ms Gallagher and the House of Prayer have long been controversial – in 2008, the Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary distanced the archdiocese from the House of Prayer, stating that its work “is entirely of a private nature and carries no ecclesiastical approval whatever”.