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Public in aid of nuns who were ordered to leave illegal compound in West Cork

The public came to the aid of nuns who had been ordered to leave an illegal compound in West Cork for violating the planning rules in relation with the property they had set up as a religious retreat.

In 2016, a Carmelite Nun of the Holy Face of Jesus, Mother Irene Gibson, and New Zealander Sr. Anne Marie violated planning rules in relation to the premises. Mother Irene and Ann Marie were given time last September to bring the site back to its old state and find somewhere else to live.

But when the case came to court last month, Judge James McNulty heard that the two of them were still living there. However, Mr. McNulty admitted before the court that the nuns had taken essential measures to dismantle the structures. With this in mind, they were later given more time to find another home and ordered to leave the compound in Corran South near the village of Leap in West Cork by next June.  

Following this, Mother Irene Gibson and Sr. Anne Marie appealed to the public for help. “We have not yet gathered sufficient funds to rebuild our lives so we are greatly in need of your support,” Mother Irene said.

An appeal was made under the title, “Carmelite Nuns need urgent help!” to raise funds. The appeal on the Gofundme.com page has been given a target of €85,000. In addition, a video of the two nuns requesting help is provided on the fundraising page.

The request of the nuns was very well received by the public. People have already raised over €50,000. Donations are still coming into the account.

The highest amount ever was €4,575 donated by someone six months ago. Significant numbers of individual donations range from €200 to €1,000.

“Cork County Council is depriving us of our home and interfering greatly in our religious lives of prayer and penance,” Sr. Anne Marie said while she was addressing the video.

“We are greatly encouraged by the fact that you are also with us to support us spiritually morally and financially,” Mother Irene said.

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