Historic Aer Lingus flight to New York departs from Ireland West Airport

The group get ready to board

The group get ready to board

A group of men and women from the west of Ireland, led by Fr Richard Gibbons, Rector of the Knock shrine, have set out to re-inter the remains of John Curry, the youngest person to witness the Knock apparition of 1879.

John Curry was just five years old when he, along with 14 others, witnessed a miraculous phenomenon at the gable wall of the parish church.

Little did he know, at that time, what life had in store for him. However, he, like many others, left Ireland for New York where he remained until his death in 1943.

His remains currently reside at Pine Lawn Cemetery, Long Island, but the group will move them to St Patrick’s old Cathedral in his adopted home of New York.

For the last two years, Knock Shrine and Ireland West Airport has welcomed pilgrimages from New York and Boston and are now taking the chance to launch a pilgrimage of their own across the waters for a special and historically unique six day trip.

On Saturday 13 May, a special requiem Mass will be celebrated. Knock shrine and John Curry’s family are very thankful to the Archbishop of New York for having his remains transferred to the historic centre of the Irish.

Fr Gibbons said, “I am delighted to be leading this historic trip to New York today. The significance of the visit is two-fold, in that it will recognise John Curry’s place as a witness and native of Knock and also pay tribute to others like him, the ‘forgotten Irish’, who faced the desolation of leaving home never to return.”

This unique trip provides an opportunity to take part in a special, once in a lifetime trip flying out from Ireland West Airport to New York and take in the various sights and places of significance and to be part of something very unique and special.

Joe Kennedy, the chairman of Ireland West Airport, who was part of the travelling party, said, “I am delighted to be part of yet another historic service with Aer Lingus to New York today, which is another milestone in the relationship between the airport and Aer Lingus.

“This follows on from the hugely successful charter programmes from New York in 2015 and Boston in 2016 and further highlights the possibilities of pilgrimage growth and the strategic importance of Ireland West Airport to the future of Ireland’s National Marian Shrine.”

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