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Holy Wells

St Bernard's Well
© St Bernard's Well

In the parish of Rathkeale lies St Beinid's well. This well is sometimes called St Benedict's well, and according to Danaher it may be one and the same well as St Bernard's.

St Bernard's well is a large clear pool of water that is surrounded by ash trees. There are many different springs in the well that bubble up visibly into the pool, and locals say that the well has never dried up 'even in the warmest of summers'. The well is on the land of the Keating family and John Keating donated the altar that stands in the church ruin of St Beinid. Large crowds still visit the well on August 20th, the feast day of St Bernard, and on Good Friday.

It is claimed that water from the well can cure rheumatism, lameness and sore eyes. Rags can still be seen tied to the trees behind the well. Danaher also tells us that sometimes nails were driven into the trees as an offering. As with a large majority of wells in Limerick, legend says that the well moved when clothes were washed in it.

In the townland of Cloghanarold, there was a Holy Well called Tobernawatha. This well used to be in the parish of Doondonnell. It was situated about 400 yards from the ruins of Doondonnell church. Begley believed that the well was dedicated to St Molua. The location of the well is now unknown.


Shrine in Rathkeale
© Shrine in Rathkeale

As you leave the town of Rathkeale, there is a shrine to the Virgin Mary that was erected in the Marian year of 1954.

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