Beautiful shrine, poor infrastructure

Dear Editor, The National Eucharistic Congress begins at 10am on a Saturday and ends about 5pm Sunday. That leaves a lot of things for visitors to do. But is Knock the wrong location? Knock is basically a place for day visits only, since it has only one hotel, and that of 21 bedrooms, i.e. catering for 42 visitors. [Where did the recent American group of pilgrims stay while on their visit?]

That’s fine if one resides within say, 100 miles of Knock and you drive your own car the two hours or so-and back. But if one lives in the extremities of this island, it can take five or six hours (including breaks) each way, leaving little time to spend in Knock itself.

It will never become a big-time attraction like Lourdes and Fatima unless it gets more hotels and aims at longer 3-, 4- and 5-day breaks exploiting the beautiful parts of Counties Mayo and Galway, etc. 

That said, Knock is a huge tourist attraction and revenue spinner and it’s amazing that, after more than a century, the nearest railway station is at Claremorris – 10 miles away – and that a spur to Knock was never provided. 

Indeed the advent of Ireland West Airport means that this 10-mile spur should extend another 15 miles and thereby enhance these two large tourist attractions – generating much incoming revenue and facilitating visitors to these beautiful places. Ah well!

Msgr Denis O’Callaghan, 


Co. Cork.