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St. Joseph's Well

The Holy Well referred to in this poem is situated in the townland of Annagh in the parish of Kilmurry Ibrickane but very close to the stream which divides us from Miltown Malbay. It has, for many years become known as St. Joseph’s Well.

Mass is said there every year by the priests of Kilmurry Ibrickane parish on the feast of St Joseph the 19th of March.. People come there from far and near. Some come for nine days previously and chiefly on that day to pray for the grace of a happy death and other favours. Going to the well and performing the " rounds" while praying the rosary is part of the devotions at the well. This holy well is on the steep bank of the Annagh River. The water emerges from a rock in a small cavity on the bank which is adorned with holy images, pictures and various offerings. It is a noted place of pilgrimage.

Tobar Laichtin

Oh!  Let me spend one quiet hour,                 

The Annagh’s stream beside,

Where beneath the ivy-mantled bridge,

Its noiseless waters glide,

And let me dream when silence falls,

Beneath the drooping thorns that shade,

The well of Saint Lachtin.


The pagans there held mystic rites,

Long after Patrick came,

But Lachteen, with mission torch,

Enkindled bright a flame,

That showed them to the Christian path –

The water dripping down,

A likeness to Gods mercy hath,

Beside the Annagh brown..


And so, for thirteen hundred years,

Have people come, to pray,

And where the fountains crystal flow,

Goes on by night and day,

In Summer’s heat or Winter’s cold,

Within the moss grown grot’,

We peace and solace ever find,

Within that hallowed spot.


I like to go there when the sun

Is sinking in the west,

And sombre shadows gather round

That sanctuary blest

Where I can hear the fountains drip

Within the grotto green,

That washes solid thoughts away

When praying to Laichtin.


And when the moon with glamorous beam

Shines on the grotto fair

Where every tree and moss-grown stone

Is sacrificed by prayer,

I love to linger by the shrine

Where heaven-born wishes dwell,

And pray for friends alive or dead

At Lachtin’s Holy Well.


‘Tis pleasant there at eventide,

To hear the cuckoo’s call

Or, resting at the nooning hour

Fond memories to recall

Of faith through all the ages long

The fervent thousands seen,

That came their votive “rounds” to do

And pray to Saint Laictín…


Bareheaded and bare footed too,

They trod the circling path,

And kept alive through blood and tears,

The burning light of faith,

And where the Annagh’s bog brown stream

Flows deep beneath the arch,

We keep St. Laichtin’s festival

The 19th day of March.







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