Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/241

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important subject somewhat bald. The pagan Irish, of course, reverenced wells, and the famous "King of the Waters" in Mayo was connected with St. Patrick by early biographers.[1] With the usual wise tactfulness of the ancient Irish missionaries all that was harmless was adopted into the new religion, and the wells lost none of their old observances and honour. The dedications of the Clare wells form a most valuable record, for, even when the founder of the church was forgotten, or a new patron invoked, the well usually kept the name of the ancient local saint. Unfortunately since about 1850 names of wells have been locally forgotten, and a re-dedication, often to St. Joseph, is common. Strange to say, the noteworthy saints Enda and Luchtighern are forgotten at the wells at their churches. The early mediæval life of St. Senan, (Colgan, Vita S.S., March), says that, when that saint was born at Magh Lacha, Moylough, there was no water at hand to baptize him,—a rare thing in County Clare,—so he told his mother to pull up three rushes, and a spring welled out. The tale was still told in 1816.[2] The life of St. Mochulleus (Mochuille or Mochulla), about 1141 tells us how that early seventh-century saint struck a rock near a lake to the north of Tulla and three streams broke out. The well dedicated to him to the east of Loch Graney is evidently intended, and two streams still flow from it down the hillside. Some have supposed the wells of Tobereendowny, ("well of the King of the Sabbath," or, as suggested by Prof. Macalister and others, "of the world"),—were dedicated to a pre-Christian deity. Tobereevul is dedicated to Aibhill.[3] The flooded dolmen, Tobergrania, is named from Finn's fugitive spouse, "Granny's bed" occurring also as a dolmen name in Clare. Among Christian dedications we have Tobercruhnorindowan (of "the creator of the world") at Killard, Tober Isa (of "Jesus"), and Tobernacrohynaeve (i.e. Tobar-na-croiche-naoimh, of "the Holy Cross"). To the Virgin are dedicated wells at Drimelihy-Westby, Kilmacduan, and Killadysert. Of non-local saints,—usually, it is probable, late dedications,—we find St. John has

  1. E.g., in the Tripartite Life, ed. W. Stokes, among the early "annotations" of Tirechan.
  2. Mason's Parochial Survey, vol. ii., under Kilrush Parish.
  3. Cf. vol. xxi., p. 186.