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St Mary Magdalene's Well
© St Mary Magdalene's Well

The only Holy Well in the parish is in the townland of Kilbane. According to Gerard Healy's The Hidden Excitement of Monaleen & Milford St Mary Magdalene's well is in a grove of whitethorn that has a statue of the saint over the well. Flowers, rags and candles were left at the well as offerings. Despite making several attempts to locate this well, we were unable to find a well with a statue over it. We did, however, find out that the well is on the lands of Liam Hickey in Kilbane. The accompanying photo is what we believe to be the site of the well in July 2001.

Healy also states that the feastday on July 22nd was usually a big day for rounds at the well until the 1960s when devotions started to wane. The well is now rarely visited and has become neglected. The statue of St Mary Magdalene is now overgrown by weeds.

According to Healy local farmers were making hay in the field using crude forks made of ash. The farmers stuck them in the field before they went home to eat. On returning to the field, one fork had become an ash tree, with a well at its base.

The well dried up during the Newcastle Races due to the events that took place at this event and to replenish the well, people would sprinkle holy water on the well and the water would return.

It is claimed that the water in the well cures stomach complaints. Locals believe that there were burials near the well but there is no visible trace of any graves.

Ballysimon Well
© Ballysimon Well

There is a well in Ballysimon Dickson that is locally called St. Simon's Well and All Saints Well. This well was located 40 yards north of Ballysimon graveyard. Danaher described the well as being 'lined with dry stone with a small whitethorn bush'. It was believed to cure sore eyes and bad stomach.

The well must be visited in silence and left in silence. The well is known for curing eye ailments. The well was trampled by cattle and no traditions or devotions take place at the well nowadays.

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