In 1985 reports of sightings of moving statues from Kerry to Sligo to Dublin hit the headlines. Ballinspittle, county Cork was one of the places where it was claimed a religious statue had moved.
The first claims of statues moving in Ballinspittle were made on 22 July 1985. In the following weeks and months Ballinspittle became a place of pilgrimage for many believers hoping to catch a glimpse of the statue of the Virgin Mary moving, as well as sceptics planning to prove them wrong.
Reporter David Hanly speaks to people who have visited Ballinspittle to see the statue and describe what they have witnessed. One woman from Ardfert county Kerry says,
"We didn't believe it until we came here and see... seeing is believing"
Agnostic Dr. Conor Cruise O'Brien also makes a visit to the grotto and gives his view on the experience.
For two minutes he stared silently up at a lighted statue and comments,
"As far as I can see it's a perfectly genuine statue and is motionless as you would expect a statue to be."
Cruise O'Brien also remarks on his surprise at how middle class a phenomenon this seems to be.
This report was broadcast on the programme 'This Week' on 22 September 1985.