Two Irish hermit nuns have received public donations of over €77,000 ($93,300) to develop a new home compound after a court ordered them to leave West Cork for attending an exorcism of the Dail that breached coronavirus guidelines.
Mother Irene Gibson, who belongs to the Carmelite Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus group, and her colleague, Sister Anne Marie, from New Zealand, were ordered to leave their compound after they attended the religious event in Dublin last December. The Dail, based in the Irish capital, is the Irish lower house of the Oireachtas, which also includes the President of Ireland and Seanad Éireann, the upper house of the Irish legislature. The Dail consists of 160 members.
A video online showed the exorcism and a mass in the capital’s Herbert Park that followed after. The event was held on December 8, a time where travel was banned in Ireland unless deemed essential – e.g. for medical care or to buy groceries. Although the government at the time had limited outdoor gatherings to 15 people, around 70 turned up for the exorcism, the Irish Examiner reported.
After Mother Irene and Sister Anne Marie were spotted at the event that pledged to remove evil spirits from Dublin’s Leister House, they were told to leave their compound at Corran South near the village of Leap by June 2021. The former garden centre was purchased in 2016 and, without planning permission, Mother Gibson developed a two-story oratory and seven wooden pods or sheds there for the two nuns to live in. In 2019, she was convicted for breaching planning regulations. After their hermitage was demolished by Cork County Council, the two women are now living in two garden sheds, 10ft by 8ft long, according to their GoFundMe page.
The “Carmelite Nuns need urgent help!” GoFundMe page was launched late last year and looks to raise €85,000 for the women’s re-location to a new compound – as of Monday morning, it had raised €77,830.
The page features a video appeal from the two women, first shared in January 2021. In it, Mother Irene says “We know God brings good out of evil and he is always with us.
“And we are greatly encouraged by the fact that you are also with us to support us spiritually, morally, and financially.”
Sister Anne Marie adds: “Jesus has great things in store for us.”
“We are in urgent need of funds to purchase suitable property so we may be able to continue our Contemplative Life of prayer in the silence of solitude and in Community for you, your family, and all peoples. Please send us what you can. God bless and reward you,” the nuns added on their GoFundMe page.
Mother Irene has been contacted by Newsweek for comment.
Nuns Break COVID Rules to Attend Exorcism – Newsweek