Limerick Diocese Home Page Heritage Project Home Page Index of Parishes Search Help

History   Askeaton-Ballysteen   Churches

Local History | The Nursing Madonna

The Nursing Madonna

In the last century, a fifteenth century oakwood carving of Madonna seated while nursing the infant on her left knee was discovered. The statue measures about 3 feet in height and was used as a water trough for cattle for many years without realising what the trough was. The face of the Madonna still remains and it is thought that one of the monks in the Franciscan friary carved the image.

How the carving came to be used as a water trough is unclear. The friars in times of trouble would give religious objects to local families to mind them and when peace would return, the friars would retrieve the objects. The Coomby/Combha family in Tubrid kept the carving and if anyone asked what it was, they were told that a retarded boy carved it with a spoon.

When the last of the Combha family died, it became the possession of Michael Sommers, who owned the land where the Combha's house stood. Around 1940, it was passed onto his nephew, Patrick Casey who loaned it to the National Museum where it is now kept.

Local History | The Nursing Madonna

Heritage Project Home | Askeaton-Ballysteen Home | Back to Top

History      Churches