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Holy Wells | Mass Rock

Holy Wells

St Ita's Well
© St Ita's Well

St Ita's Well is in the graveyard in Killeedy. The well is 18 inches in diameter and 3 feet in depth. When we visited it, the well was dry, but there is water in the well at different times of the year. The rounds are made on January 15th and the well is believed to cure smallpox. Flowers often surround the well. Legend has it that St Ita asked for a drink here and was given lukewarm water. She threw this water on the ground and a well sprung up. It is said that you cannot boil the water.

Danaher mentions a well in the townland of Ballyshane called Banavaun well. Banbhán was a man's name but there is no tradition of this name in the area. Danaher was known to be a saint but his feastday is forgotten. The water from the well was believed to cure lameness and blindness.

Mass Rock

Killeedy Mass Rock
© Killeedy Mass Rock

There is a mass rock overlooking the village of Ashford. A spectacular view of the surrounding countryside can be seen from the Mass Rock, and to the north, the Shannon is visible. This mass rock served the people of the area during the restriction of the penal laws. In the 1960s Muintir na Tire cleaned up the area and a shrine was erected at the mass rock. In 1979, to commemorate the Pope's visit, a cross was erected on the roadside, just above the entrance to the mass rock.

The entrance to the mass rock is down a steep decline from the road. A plaque was erected to commemorate the memory of the "priests and people who at the risk of their lives offered Holy Mass here". A priest who had a price on his head, Fr Tadhg O'Sullivan was captured here in 1716. It is unclear whether he was killed or escaped.

In the early 1840s, a man by the name of Johnny "Gabharainn Reo" was on his way home late one night when he saw a glow of light. He saw a lady with golden hair sitting on a rock with her back to him. She looked at Johnny with a piercing stare. In his panic, Johnny ran home fearing for his life from his encounter with the "White Lady of the Rock".

At one side of the altar there is believed to be a special tree that retains its leaves. It is also claimed that anyone who tampers with the tree will regret it. Recently the tree had to be partially cut down due to safety reasons.
There was also a Mass Path in the area called Cobbs Road that was used in the past for people to walk to mass. It is now part of the walk that winds through the Mullaghareirk Mountains, which travels from Glenquin to Broadford.

Across the road from the mass Rock there is a monument, which bears the inscription 'In commemoration of the visit of Pope John Paul II, September 29th to October 1st 1979'.

Monument commemorating Pope's visit
© Monument commemorating Pope's visit

Holy Wells | Mass Rock

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