TOBAR NAOIMHÉID HOLY WELL

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The Tobar Naoimhéid Holy Well is a hidden gem near the village of Mountbellew in County Galway. Tobar Naoimhéid, which means “well of the saintly maiden” in Irish, is one of the many holy wells in Ireland that are associated with saints, legends and healing properties.

Tobar Naoimhéid well was situated nearby to the church yard of Killoscobe, of which there are no remains. There are still remains of this well, however it is at present dried up and near covered by shrub and thorn bushes. Pilgrims came to Tobar Naoimhéid well and performed Stations annually on Good Friday. The well was also visited by people who sought cures for various ailments, especially eye problems. The water from the well was believed to have healing powers, and people would leave offerings such as coins, pins, rags or rosary beads at the site as a sign of gratitude or devotion.

The origin and history of Tobar Naoimhéid well are shrouded in mystery. It is not clear which saintly maiden the well is named after, or when it was first established as a place of worship. Some sources suggest that the well may be connected to St. Naomhéid, a female saint who lived in the 6th century and founded a monastery in Killoscobe. However, there is no definitive evidence to support this claim. Another possibility is that the well is dedicated to St. Brigid, one of the most revered saints in Ireland, who is also associated with many other holy wells in the country. St. Brigid is known as the patroness of healers, poets, smiths and farmers, and her feast day is celebrated on February 1st.

Whatever the origin of Tobar Naoimhéid well, it is undeniable that it is a valuable part of Galway’s heritage and culture. It is a testament to the rich tradition of holy wells in Ireland, which date back to pre-Christian times and reflect the fusion of pagan and Christian beliefs. It is also a reminder of the faith and devotion of the people who visited the well over the centuries, seeking spiritual or physical healing.

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53.443053, -8.563551

Tobar Naoimhéid Holy Well

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