Michael O’Farrell Investigations Editor.
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A CONTROVERSIAL website broadcasting the doomsday messages of an Irish visionary has shut down weeks after the Irish Mail on Sunday revealed the identity of those linked to it. The Maria Divine Mercy MDM website, on which a then-anonymous woman posted messages she claimed came directly from God, attracted more than half a million registered followers and was growing, with millions of new hits annually. Since it first emerged in 2010, the identity of those behind the MDM project remained shrouded in mystery – as did the amount they might be earning from donations and selling books and medals. But last month an MoS investigation revealed the voice of Maria Divine Mercy, recorded during a 2011 US Christian radio station interview, was almost certainly that of Dublin PR executive Mary Carberry. In the 2011 interview, MDM told how she had been a ‘lapsed Catholic’ before she had an epiphany. Voice analysis compiled for the MoS by a US expert confirmed the comparison to a greater than 90%……
Site posted messages
‘directly from God’
…..degree of scientific certainty. We told Ms Carberry of the results and invited her comment but she declined to respond. However, when we published the voice analysis results Ms Carberry sought to censor the story in her local area of Malahide by trying to buy up all copies of the MoS in several nearby towns. Now, without any explanation or warning, the MDM website and its associated Facebook pages appear to have shut down. A note saying, ‘This site is no longer in operation’ greets visitors.
When first approached in February Ms Carberry responded briefly to confirm she had worked for MDM. She argued that she was being unfairly targeted by bloggers because of a job she had done. ‘I’m sorry. I am not going to get involved with internet trolls who are trying to destroy my life because of a job I did for somebody. That’s all I have to say,’ she said. Ms Carberry did not specify what job she was referring to or for whom she had done it. She did, though, indicate that she was aware of the allegation that she was involved with Maria Divine Mercy. ‘I can’t deal with this crap. I’m sorry. But if you honestly believe that s***, you can. It is what’s called incitement to hatred crime, internet trolls talking a pack of lies, and I’m not going to get involved with it because, once I do that, I give credibility to it,’ she said. The identity of those involved with the MDM website had remained unclear for years until a group of Catholic bloggers based in different countries took it upon themselves to investigate. They unearthed a document that linked Ms Carberry, known in PR circles as Mary McGovern, her daughter Sarah and millionaire dentist Breffni Cully, to the MDM enterprise. All three of their names appear in company records linked to businesses that profit from the Second Coming website. None of the three individuals responded when the bloggers repeatedly sought to contact them. Bishops worldwide have condemned the messages and the Archdiocese of Dublin issued a clarification last year that it had not given any approval to MDM.
When the Irish Mail on Sunday published our exposé of those linked to the MDM site, and the voice analysis results, Mary Carberry sought to cover the story up.
In a remarkable act for a public relations guru, she sought to censor the story in her local area of Malahide by trying to buy up all copies of the MoS in several nearby towns early that Sunday morning. In one shop, she was caught on CCTV carrying bundles upon bundles to her car, the back seat and boot of which were already crammed with copies of the paper. In response, we circulated extra copies of the newspaper and published stills from CCTV footage of Mrs Carberry buying up the hundreds of copies.