The Blessed Well or Toberinneenboy, Caherlooskaun

The Blessed Well or Toberinneenboy, Caherlooskaun
Tony Kirby

Townland: Caherlooskaun, Kilshanny

Caherlooskaun comes from the Irish ‘Cathar Luascáin’, which translates as ‘The Wavering/Unsteady Fort’.
Ordnance Survey Letters, 1839: ‘There are three Cahirs in this Parish, but not deserving of any particular notice’.

Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting

This holy well is a pool of water located at the base of a short cliff about 10 metres from the side of the road. The pool of water has been measured as a little less that 60 x 60 cm. There are two concrete troughs at the side of the road into which the waters of the well are directed. Mature native trees overhang the the well and troughs.

Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well

Toberinneenboy is considered to be the official name of this monument. Toberinneenboy comes from the Irish ‘Tobar Iníon Baoith’, which translates as Saint Iníon Baoith’s Well. The well is locally known however, as ‘The Blessed Well’. Eddie Lenihan, writing about the well in 1997, noted: ‘No one I spoke to in the course of my enquiries used the name “Tobar Ineen” or any variant of it’.

There is no use of the waters of this holy well for spiritual purposes today. Instead, the site is well known for its hydrology, in other words, the fact that the water of the well never dries up. The two troughs at the site show that the water is used for secular purposes, mainly agricultural use and occasional domestic use.
The well was described in the Ordnance Survey Letters in the 1830s as being ‘seldom frequented
There is no knowledge of well ever having been visited for religious purposes among the older people in the community. There is no mention of this holy well in the National Folklore Collection, Schools Collection. The Ordnance Survey Letters record that the well was known to hold a cure for sore eyes.

Natural Heritage around the Holy Well

Mature native trees surround site and the well area is home to aquatic plants. The land around the holy well is mainly intensively-managed agricultural grasslands.

Heritage Attractions Nearby

Kilshanny village is 150 metres south-west of the holy well site.
The ruins of the 12th Augustinian Abbey of the Virgin Mary and Augustine are less than 2 kilometres south-east of holy well, at Porsoon.

Discover More…

Clare County Library

Ordnance Survey Letters, Royal Irish Academy

Ordnance Survey Letters, Ask About Ireland

Lenihan, E 1997,  ‘The Holy Wells of Kilshanny Parish’, The Other Clare, vol.21

Record of Monuments and Places Number

RMP CL 015 – 021


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