Toberyrowarta, Tobar Rabhartaí, Tullycrine/ Tullycreen Lower
Townland: Tullycrine/ Tullycreen Lower, Kilmurry (Clonderlaw).
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
The well is at the centre of a gated space, with surrounding walls and concrete floor. The well house has a recess containing a statue of the Virgin Mary, with the spring in front. A similar grotto is found in the south-west corner of the enclosure. Immediately behind the holy well to the south is a ring fort that contains a cillín, or unconsecrated burial ground.
To the right of the well there are two plaques with dedications to those buried in the cillín. In between these is another plaque inscribed with a prayer. These plaques were dedicated in 2008. The well is signposted from the road. It lies about 100 metres up an incline.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
The well holds its old name of Tobar Rabharta or Rabhartaí, which indicates a plentiful or bountiful flow of water. There is no saint’s name linked with the well, but the statues placed at the site would indicate that it is most strongly associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Records in the Folklore Schools Collection describe the well as being dedicated to Saint Gregory.
Another reference to the well links it to Saint Ruth, but this may be due to confusion with Saint Ruth’s Holy Well in Furoor.
15th August, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a day of visitation to the holy well, usually in small family groups.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
There is no immediate foliage close to the well. There are some alder and furze bushes in the ringfort.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
The parish of Kilmurry, where the well is located, skirts the river Shannon. Kilrush is to the west and Ennis Town is to the east.
The following prayer in Irish and English is on the Celtic cross in front of the cillín:
‘Remember all those who are known to God alone and are buried in this Sacred spot, awaiting the resurrection. May they rest in Peace’.
There is a reference to Toberyrowarta Holy Well in the National Folklore Schools Collection:
‘There is a blessed well in Tullycrine called St Gregory’s well, which would cure sore eyes. At the break of day people used go there and do rounds. They used to have to go around a fort doing the rounds, usually everybody would see a supernatural vision. When they used to see it they used to get nervous. They told the priest about it. The priest told them not to go there any more at break of day. They never saw the vision any more’.
National Folklore Collection, Schools Collection, 1930s
National Folklore Collection, Schools Collection, 1930s (2)
Record of Monuments and Places Number
Surveyed by Michael Houlihan
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