A Pearse Park man says he believes that the effigy of a nun that was discovered by construction workers at the Friary recently could be the same nun that he saw in the form of a ghost in the nineteen seventies.
Eric Cuthbert says he saw the ghost when walking his dog late one night in 1976.
“I was twenty years old and had come back from babysitting for my brother.
“The dog was barking to go for a walk, which he never did, so I took him down the back alley.”
It was after one am in the morning, and what greeted Eric left an indelible impression on him.
“I looked down the alleyway and saw this dark figure standing in St Brigids rushes. I thought it might be someone who had stopped to have a pee after the pub. Curiosity got the better of me. It was not far from the big ceadar wood tree in Ice House Park.
“It was standing with its back to me. It seemed to be a robe and staring towards the railway.
“As I came closer to it it seemed to me to be a wearing a religious habit. I didn’t know what it was but when I was closer, it turned around.”
What he saw left him “weak with the shock”.
“When it turned I could see it was a nun, but it had no face.”
Eric raced back to his home, and spent a sleepness night.
Eric claims that he went on to have three more, albeit less dramatic encounters with the faceless nun.
In 1988 he says he was woken by heavy breathing, which he describes as a soothing sound.
Six years later he woke in the early morning and saw a minature statue of Mary and the baby Jesus ‘glowing in the dark’.
A further 13 years later in 2007 he claims that he heard the unmistakable sound of a woman sobbing with a moanful and sorrowful voice in the bathroom of his house, which he believes may have been the nun.
“I’m a sceptic by nature,” says Eric. “But seeing is believing.”
Now, the discovery of an effigy of a nun in a coffin in Friary has prompted Eric to speculate that it might be linked to the ghost he saw in 1976. Work is currently being carried out at the church. Windows are being replaced thanks to the posthumous donation of €125,000 by an elderly woman.
However construction worker reported seeing what appeared to be a nun’s body in a coffin in a backroom. A construction worker who spoke to the Democrat said they he was not clear about whether it was actually corpse or a very realistic model or effigy.
Father Gus, the head friar, told the Democrat that he was “unaware of such a model”.
“There is a model of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes in Drogheda, but there is no such model here in Dundalk.”
Whether it is connected or not, Eric remains convinced that he saw a ghost that night in 1976.
“I would appeal to people to keep an eye out for the ghost,” concluded Eric.