Toberinneenboy, Toberinnboy or Tobar Iníon Baoith, Anneville, Killinaboy Parish
Townland: Anneville, Killinaboy parish.
The townland name of Anneville is from the Irish ‘Eanach an Bhile’, meaning ‘The Marshy Gap of the Sacred Tree’. The ‘an Bhile’ in this place name indicates the presence of an important sacred companion tree.
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
This holy well is located at the side of R-476, beside marshy ground and close to Inchiquin Lake. The well is contained in a house-like structure made from large flagstones with an opening at the front. It lies in a hollow surrounded by a wall.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
Toberinneenboy, sometimes Toberinnboy, In Irish Tobar Iníon Baoith or Inghine Baoith, translated as ‘The Daughter of Baoith’. Baoith was likely the chieftain of the Cinéal Baoith clan from Mid-Clare.
Writing as part of their work with the Ordnance Survey, John O’ Donovan and Eugene O’Curry recorded ‘Inneen’s’ feast day as 29th December. In 1839 the feast day was already fading from memory, though Inneenboy was still a popular first name for girls in Mid-Clare.
Iníon Bhaoith’s name was Fionnmhaith according to Professor Pádraig Ó Riain, author of ‘A Dictionary of Irish Saints’.
There were originally seventeen wells dedicated to Iníon Baoith, but most have been reassociated with better known saints. Where the wells are still dedicated to Iníon Baoith, visitations have mostly ceased. This well receives many visitors but not all are pilgrims. Other than a few individuals, there is no formal engagement by the local community.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
The well is contained in a low rustic well house with a flagstone roof. A companion tree stands the left of the well and there is a little grotto nailed to the tree. In summer the tree branches create a canopy over the site. There is marshy ground at the well site where irises grow.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
The village of Corofin is 2 kilometres from the well site. Killinaboy, known as the home territory of Inneenboy is 5 kilometers further north. The edge of the Burren is a 10 minute drive from the well site.
John O’ Donovan, Ordnance Survey Letters, 1839:
‘Inghean Bhaoith is best known as the ancient patron saint of the parish of Killinaboy (Ceall Inghine Baoith) and devotion to her is evident in the many wells named after her in this area and where her cult was widespread. There are at least seventeen holy wells dedicated to Inghean Bhaoith located mainly in the central parts of Clare, including two in the parish of Doora/Barefield, at Dulick and Doora. Despite the widespread devotion to this saint she remains an obscure figure and even the etymological derivation of the name Inghean Bhaoith is far from certain. The name is usually translated as “Daughter of Baoith”. It may also have been a word referring to her vocation as groups of holy women or nuns were designated “Ingena” and figured prominently in the early centuries of the church in Ireland.’
Ordnance Survey Letters, Royal Irish Academy
Ordnance Survey Letters, Ask About Ireland
O’Donovan J and Curry, E 1997, The Antiquities of County Clare,Ordnance Survey Letters, 1839, CLASP Press, Ennis.
Ó Riain, P 2011 A Dictionary of Irish Saints, Four Courts Press Ltd, Dublin, Ireland
Record of Monuments and Places Number
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