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Holy Wells | St Colman's Stone

Holy Wells

St Kyran's Well
© St Kyran's Well

There is a Holy Well in Clonagh that is about halfway between the road and Clonagh graveyard. St. Kyran's well is a small spring that is enclosed by some rough stone. There was a statue over the well but this has been taken down. The pattern was held on September 9th and is to be revived this year. In his work "Holy Wells in Co. Limerick", Danaher stated that the rounds were still made in 1955. Small offerings were also left at the well but we found no evidence of any offerings when we visited the well. The water is believed to cure eye ailments.

O'Donovan (from 1840) tells us that the poorer members of the district used to do the stations here. Legends about the well are many and varied. The well moved when clothes were washed in it. A woman who was praying at the well was interrupted by a man who later died. There is reputedly an underground passage that leads from the well to the graveyard.

St Colman's Well
© St Colman's Well

In Kilcolman there is a well called Tobercolman or Tubberchullemaun. A slab at the well states "St. Coleman's Well, enclosed 15th August 1868". The well is on the lands of John Lane. The McCoy family put a roof over the well in 1868 when their daughter was cured after been seriously ill. There is also a wall around the well. Rounds are seldom made and consisted of rounds of the well and Kilcolman graveyard, which is about 400 yards south of the well. A pattern used to be held on the 29th of October to mark the end of the harvest season. The water can cure many diseases. Also a woman who was taking water for profane use saw a human hand in the well.

It is said that the well moved when it was cursed. According to folklore, the well has moved three times. The first time the well was in the cemetery besides the old church in Kilcolman. There was a bad winter and it had snowed heavily. Someone died and was buried by mistake near the well. Things started to appear and it moved. The second occasion the well was in a field in Ardagh. Two old ladies used to get water from the well and an argument broke out over the well. One of the women washed clothes in the well and it moved to its present location. No devotions have taken place at the well for about 30 years.

Danaher also mentions a number of other wells that are within the parish boundaries. There was a well at Ballylan called Tobersive but the well has disappeared and no tradition survives.

Another well in the parish is called Toberreendoney or "the well of the king of the Sabbath". This well is in the townland of Gortadroma but there was no pattern or feastday at the well. The well is believed to be near Dunmoylan church.

In the townland of Lissatotan, which was part of the old parish of Kilbradran, there is a well called St. Colman's well. Local people also refer to the well as St Coley's well. The water has a slightly unpleasant taste and stains the stones yellow. The water should be drunk early in the morning and it is claims that it can cure stomach disorders. No devotions take place here now.

St Colman's Stone

St Colman's Stone
© St Colman's Stone

There is a stone in the graveyard at Kilcolman that it is claimed can cure headaches.

Holy Wells | St Colman's Stone

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