Tobercruhnorindowan, Tobar Chruthnóir an Domhain, The Well of the Creator of the World
Townland: Killard Townland, Killard Parish
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
The well lies in a grazing field to the west of the ruined Killard church and graveyard.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
The well is known as Tobar Chruthnóir an Domhain, meaning ‘The Well of the Creator of the World’. The well colours are white and red, which have long been associated with Christ. Unlike most saint’s wells, there is seldom a fixed day in the year to visit a holy well dedicated to Christ. Sundays, being the sabbath, were popular, and to a lesser extent here, Thursdays. Good Friday always saw large crowds at the well as a result of its dedication to Christ.
A local man who lived close to the well used to do the rounds of the well in the past, most especially on Good Friday. His would recite three rosaries while walking three circles outside the well wall. He would then kiss the small figure carved on the wall beside the east window of the nearby graveyard church. He finished his pilgrimage by approaching the east window and making the sign of the cross by directing his head to the four cardinal points.
Ordnance Surveyors Eugene O’ Curry and John O’ Donovan wrote in 1839:
‘This well is still much frequented by persons afflicted with soreness of the eyes’.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
There are no trees, bushes or foliage around the well. The well lies on an exposed hill above Doonbeg Bay, where weather and sea winds curtail natural growth.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
Doonbeg beach, harbour and village are close by, as are Doonbeg Hotel and Golf-course.
Prayers associated with the well have been recorded:
‘Go mbeannuighidh Dia dhuit a Shlánuightheoir Naomhtha,
Go mbeannuighidh an Maighdin Mhuire agus na h-aingil le chéile
Is chughatsa a tháinig mé a’ gearán mo scéil leat,
Is ag iarraidh do cabhrach in onóir Dé ort.’
A slightly different English version:
Hail to thee O Divine Creator
Hail to thee O Blessed Virgin Mary
It is to you I come to reveal my secrets
Begging thy assistance in honour of Jesus.
(Source: Maura Egan)
James Frost, ‘The History and Topography of the County of Clare’, 1893:
‘Unless the entry in Martyrology of Donegal at the 14th of March refers to the patron of this parish, we have no other means of knowing who he was. It is in these words—“Flannan of Cill-ard.” The name of the church signifies the church on the hill, and a holy well adjoining has the name of Tobar-Cruithnoir-an-domhain, i.e., the well of the Creator of the world. No patron saint of the parish is remembered.’
Frost, J 1893, ‘The History and Topography of the County of Clare: From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the 18th Century’, Sealy, Bryers & Walker, Dublin
Record of Monuments and Places Number
Surveyed by Michael Houlihan