In 1929, Judy Coyne visited Knock with some Dublin friends and the great passion of her life began. She wondered why Knock got so little recognition compared to Lourdes when apparitions had appeared in both places.
Judy and her husband, Liam, worked hard to promote the shrine through the Knock Shrine Society, which they founded in 1935. The growth of the society was remarkable: in 1935, it had 6 handmaidens (volunteers who helped with the running of a place of pilgrimage) while today there are 500 handmaidens and 500 stewards.
Judy Coyne and her Knock Shrine Society colleagues, courageous men and women, made a huge contribution to the Church in Ireland, to the extent that in 1997, her work was recognised by the Pope.
Ethna Kennedy is a graduate of UCG, with post-graduate studies in UCD and London. She has written scripts for radio and television and has contributed articles to various publications. Currently, she is artistic director to Irish Heritage in London, an organisation founded in 1947 to enhance the image of Ireland in the UK