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Musical strikes the right chord

I ENJOYED Ken Sweeney's piece on the "Foggy Boggy Musical" (Irish Independent, October 1) very much. He has hit the right note and while everyone will acknowledge the Herculean work of Monsignor James Horan, the real facts must be clarified.

When Judge Liam Coyne and his wife, Dame Judy Coyne, founded the "Society for Promoting the Cause of Knock Shrine" in 1935, their plans included improving road and rail approaches to the shrine, as well as the gable and in due course, a new larger church.

At the same time, they submitted plans for an airport.

These plans were put aside by Mayo County Council as "too exotic".

In 1963 Dame Judy read of the visit of Pope Paul VI to Bethlehem and his statement that he intended to visit a number of Marian shrines.

From that moment she decided that the Pope must be invited to Knock for the centenary of the apparition, and that motion topped the agenda of every council meeting of the Knock Shrine Society.

Finally, Monsignor Horan decided that she was right and made a case to the "powers that be" to have the Pope invited. And so the invitation was sent.

Following this, Monsignor Horan set about building the airport and the world knows how he fought to have it completed.

It was a huge task which has proved a great blessing to the entire west.

The musical should be splendid, a very worthy cause and I hope it will be a huge success.

Ethna Kennedy