Tobar Iníon Baoith, Toberinneenboy, Ballard

Tobar Iníon Baoith, Toberinneenboy, Ballard
Tony Kirby

Townland: Ballard, Killinaboy

Ballard, from the Irish ‘An Baile Ard’ meaning ‘High Town’.

Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting

This holy well is located roughly 500 metres behind a private house on the main Corofin-Gort road, R460. It is mostly hidden by vegetation and scrub. The water of the well is about 1 metre below ground level and there is stepped access down to the water. The well house is a drystone construction. It is part underground and part overground.

Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well

This well is known locally as Tobar Iníon Baoith, anglicised to Toberinneenboy in documentation. Iníon Baoith is an obscure early medieval saint whose cult was strong in Mid-Clare. There are 17 holy wells dedicated to Iníon Baoith according to the Ordnance Survey Parish Name Books of the 1830s. Her cult was especially strong in Killinaboy. McMahon notes: ‘Of the eight holy wells known in Killinaboy parish, three were dedicated to St Innawee
The pattern date at this holy well is not known, though Iníon Baoith’s feast date was 29th December.

The well was renowned as a cure for eye ailments. Records in the Ordnance Survey Parish Name Books, 1830s indicate that stations were still being performed at the well in the 1830s: ‘Tobarinawee, Ballard – a holy well where stations are performed’

Natural Heritage around the Holy Well

The holy well is located in an area that was once formerly farmland. Scrub and vegetation now dominate the landscape.

Heritage Attractions Nearby

The Burren National Park (Gortlecka) is 3.5 kilometres north-west of well. Corofin Village is 6 kilometres south-west of the well.

Discover More…

Clare County Library

McMahon, M 2000, ‘The Cult of Inghin Bhaoith and the church of Killinaboy’, The Other Clare, vol. 24

Record of Monuments and Places Number

RMP CL 017-047

 

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