Toberkieran, Tobar Ciarán, Mountshannon East
Townland: Mountshannon East, (once Cnoc na Croise or Cúil na Slí), Killofin
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
This holy well stands in a half acre field, in its own dedicated space surrounded by a wall with a gate. A statue of Saint Kieran is in a glass case in the well house. The well is maintained and had been repainted at the time of the research visit.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
Saint Kieran’s feast day is 9th September. The rounding at the well consists of seven circuits of the field barefoot or nine circuits in shoes. The field in which the well stands forms the perimeter of the route followed during rounds. The rosary continues to be the favoured prayer at the site. Mass is celebrated occasionally on the saint’s feast day.
This holy well is a classic example of a well that has ‘moved’ in the past. It originally stood in the townland of Kilkieran about 2 kilometres south, close to the now ruined church of Killkieran.
Saint Kieran or Ciarán of Clonmacnoise is said to have visited Senan on nearby Scattery Island, which may explain the local devotion to him. This holy well is said to hold a cure for sore eyes.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
The well is contained in a largely concrete structure, with no immediate trees or vegetation around.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
The village of Leabasheeda is two kilometres from the holy well site and the Shannon estuary is to the south.
James Frost, ‘The History and Topography of the County of Clare’, 1893:
‘ A little way on the east side of this church is St. Kiaran’s altar, with a cross sculptured on one of the stones. In the townland of Knocknacross, now modernized into Mountshannon East, is a holy well dedicated to the same St. Kiaran, but the festival day of the saint is not 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