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Virgin Mary statue appears at site where goldmine firm refused a Catholic service

A statue of the Virgin Mary has been put up close to a Mass rock in Co Tyrone
Connla Young

A LARGE statue of the Virgin Mary has been placed close to a Mass rock on land in Co Tyrone where a Canadian goldmine firm refused to allow a Catholic service to be held last year.

The 8ft high statue and plinth appeared at the isolated Mass rock near Greencastle yesterday.

The appearance of the statue comes as the Molly Maguire Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) division prepares to launch a Rosary crusade at the rock throughout May.

It is not known who put the statue, which is lit up at night, at the site.

Dalradian Gold wants to mine for gold in the area and plans to build a processing plant which will use cyanide to extract the precious metal from ore mined locally.

Some residents have objected to the plan on health and environmental grounds and are fearful that if the plan goes ahead the ancient Mass rock could end up submerged in a pond.

Last month the AOH announced plans to mark the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions of with a parade to the Mass rock.

AOH president in Co Tyrone Gerry McGeough said it was “fortuitous” that the statue has appeared at the start of the Rosary crusade.

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