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Holy Hills of Ireland

40 41 weLLs springing up within Countless wells were blessed by Patrick, including Altadaven, Tyrone, Struel Wells, Down, St Patricks, Sligo and Tobar Phdraig, Galway, while at Eithnes Well, Donegal, supplicants walk round ancient cairns and standing stones before washing their feet. Similar rites occur at many others, each a cure to particular troubles, from jealousy to arthritis, and weak eyes to tooth ache. Gleann na nGealts well in Kerry cures insanity, thanks to its waters high levels of lithium, even calming the Mad Sweeney, and swallowing one of Cranfield, Antrims amber pebbles prevented drowning on the voyage to America. As many of Saint Brghids wells first belonged to the fertility goddess they are visited by women wanting babies or safe deliveries. Her well at Faughart, Louth, was beside her fathers farm, where she produced vast quantities of food, while one at Liscannor, Clare, aids conception, as does Brideswell, Westmeath, over which an Irish earl built a chapel as a thankyou for his many children. Opposite left St. Declans Well, Ardmore in 1830. Opposite right St. Molaises Well, Island of Inishmurray. This page, left Well and Altars at Tubbernalt, nr Sligo. Below St. Senans Well, County Clare. Many holy wells have trees growing beside them, to which supplicants tie pieces of clothing or messages. Often they are dedicated to local saints who are unknown outside their home territories, like St. Moling of Carlow or St. Mogue in Leitrim. Often too fishes live in the wells, and keep their water pure.
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