Stephen Fernane talks to Knocknagoshel’s Michelle Keane about her new book – The Discovery of Kingdom Water – and the journey from spiritualism to a potential multi-million investment opportunity in North Kerry
Knocknagoshel woman Michelle Keane, who has seven springs on her land with water containing higher than average levels of natural minerals. The discovery is the subject of a new book by Michelle. Photo by Domnick Walsh
It is an
yone’s guess what restorative properties lie deep beneath the windy and desolate slopes around Knight’s Mountain in Tullagubbe
en. But for Knocknagoshel woman Michelle Keane, the answer is clearer than water.
In 2019 the interior designer and entrepreneur discovered seven springs on her land containing over 66 different minerals, including higher-than-average levels of lithium (used in some anti-depressants to reduce anxiety).
Michelle believes the water has therapeutic powers after it helped her overcome breast cancer, and that it is ‘a healthy substitute’ to the ‘chlorine-infused’ water consumed across the county.
But there is also a Texan-like vibe to Michelle’s story. She was offered €34 million to sell the springs but declined believing it to be a multi-million asset. Water rather than oil is the finite resource at play here that could, potentially, yield a new and vibrant economic outcome for Knocknagoshel and north Kerry.
Michelle’s fascinating story is the focus of her new book – The Discovery of Kingdom Water – that charts the journey of Kingdom Water from its humble spiritual origins in August 2018, and a chance decision to bottle some holy water from St Michael’s Well in Ballinskelligs, to multi-million possibilities.
One of Irish Catholicism’s chief characteristics has long been its sporadic interplay with pre-Christian devotion to earth, nature, and healing. Michelle’s story is a case in point. She felt compelled to dig the wells after a clairvoyant told her that her ancestors approved. Michelle even compared her water with a sample of holy water from Lourdes and found it contained many similar minerals.
“When I opened my first well, I also opened a portal of water spirits where angels started appearing to me in my visions. Then I started channelling the angels myself and they started guiding me on my journey with Kingdom Water,” she says.
Michelle’s religious visions and spiritual experiences will likely cause as many eyes to roll skywards in disbelief, as they will to close in veneration. Whether we like it or not, spiritualism and religious devotion is a cornerstone of many people’s lives. Michelle is a true believer and has ‘huge faith’ in Our Lady.
“Our Lady has helped me through some of the darkest moments in my life,” she says.
“When my clairvoyant [named Tahnee] first started discovering the power of this water she started channelling my ancestors and the archangel Michael. Tahnee said to me, ‘do you release you are sitting on a valuable piece of ground with seven springs with healing properties and minerals in the water?'” she explains.
Michelle claims many of her sceptics are, gradually, now becoming firm believers in her project. But no one at the outset was prepared to take a financial punt on Michelle’s spiritual hunch and open the wells, all except for one local contractor. The veracity of the wells’ minerals has since been confirmed by two laboratories – one in Prague and one in Kerry.
“I know I’m sitting on a gold mine, but it is not about the money with me. It is about the people of Kerry, Ireland and the world drinking this water,” she says.
“This is a natural and healthy source of water. I am not out to brainwash anyone. I am just a simple Kerry woman telling a story. I am not asking anyone to believe my story. The facts are quite simple that my water has been scientifically proven to have over 66 minerals in it. Few natural waters found in the world contain that amount of minerals.”
Spiritual links between mystical India and Knocknagoshel will not necessarily jump out at you on first reflection. But a trickle from Kingdom Water’s tributary flows through India after Michelle was put in contact with Indian spiritualist, guru and astrologer, Shashi Dubey, in 2019. Prior to this, a friend of Michelle’s had brought a sample of Kingdom Water to Shashi. Michelle takes up the story.
“When Shashi saw the water, he started channelling me and my energy. He said that I needed to come to India. I went to India last year and walked the Himalayas as part of my journey. I also visited Kainchi Dham (spiritual retreat) where Steve Jobs got his vision for Apple.
“Sashi gave me great guidance and told me how everything would pan out. He has been spot on in all his predictions. He told me I would write a book and instructed me to sample the ten top waters in the world and compare them against Kingdom Water. I even attended the Indian Literary Festival as a guest in 2019. He [Shashi] introduced me to an Indian biochemist, Dr Praful. He came on board with me and told me I was on the verge of pulling off a multi-million major deal,” Michelle says.
So, what of the future? Where does Michelle hope to navigate Kingdom Water next?
“The future is about setting up a bottling plant in Knocknagoshel. This is going to be huge for Kerry. The North Kerry economy needs this. The reaction from the people in my own community has flabbergasted me, it has been incredibly positive. I am super excited about it,'” she says.
To conclude on a lighter note – but no less important around these parts – I ask Michelle if she would be interested in supplying the water to help with the fortunes of Kerry’s footballers in their quest to win back Sam in the future.
“They could have definitely done with a dose of it in Cork! I will be piping it down through a hose to them on the pitch,” she laughs.