A PERFORMANCE by a well known psychic medium at Coalisland’s Craic Theatre has been met with controversy among certain sections of the local community.
Charity worker, Bosco McShane, claims artists like Claire Ziritt - who says she has experienced spiritual feelings since she was a child - are “playing on the vulnerabilities” of the bereaved and those with mental health issues.
Ms Ziritt, who is based in Belfast and hosts workshops and “demonstrations of mediumship”, will be appearing at the Craic Theatre on December 6.
Coalisland man, Bosco McShane, who is involved with the iYouth faith group in the area, told the TIMES he and others in the community were concerned about the potential impact psychic mediums like Claire Ziritt would have on people in emotional distress or those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
“First of all I would like to emphasise that I am not having a knock at the Craic Theatre, because they do great work in the community and always have done”, explained Bosco.
“I am also not denying that people have psychic abilities as we all do to an extent, but I just think the timing of this event, before Christmas, when people who are bereaved are most vulnerable and lonely, has to be called into question.
“What happens to those who go and don’t get anything back from their dead loved ones? Despite giving messages of peace and light, these messages that psychics give are not from God so can be from the Devil.
“What about people with mental health issues who are already vulnerable and this could be the trigger to an episode if they don’t hear what they expect to hear?
-”People are paying to go into a forum with no guarantee of the outcome which could leave to massive disappointment and further grief reactions.”
Speaking to the TIMES, Claire Ziritt said everyone was entitled to their own opinions on the matter, including those who had raised concerns about the nature of what she does.
“The thing to remember here is that no one is being made to go to my show”, said Ms Ziritt.
“Everybody is entitled to their own opinions. I always tell people that there is no guarantee that they are going to get anything by coming to a show but if I do manage to give a person something, that can be a comfort to them.
“I believe in God and I believe in being a good person. My opinion is to ‘live and let live’ and we all have a right to practice what we do and believe what we do.”
A spokesperson for the Craic Theatre told the TIMES: “It is not up to us as a theatre to decide what people want to go and see or indeed what they want to believe.
“This show is a form of entertainment and people should be free to decide where they want to go and the type of event that they wish to pay their money to go and see. This event will go ahead and it is up to people who buy tickets to decide what they want to believe, in the same way as others are entitled to say they are opposed to it.”