Black dog well is situated on the side of the Tipperary/ Kilmallock road just on the outskirts of Kilmallock town. It consist of a small spring well enclosed by a rough stone wall. The well is tear shaped and a series of stone steps provide access at the narrow end.
A small grotto with a statue of the Blessed Virgin and Child is located beside the well. Votive offerings in the form of immaculate medals, rosary beads and brown scapula are found on top of the grotto and draped around the statue. According to the Limerick Diocesan web site, the travelling community maintained the well. The area surrounding the well was landscaped last year but luckily there has been little change to the well structure.
The old name for the well was Tubberidinee, which derived from Tobar Rí and Domhnaigh (The King of Sunday’s well) which must have been an older name for the well. Today the well is known as ‘Black Dog’ holy well, this names comes from a folk tradition that at night a black dog comes out of the well. According to Ó Danachair, the well was associated with eye cures and people who were cured reported seeing eye a trout in the well.
Interestingly all the statues at the well suggest an association with the Blessed Virgin but a local man who I met at the well tells me that well is associated with St Brigit.
Ó Danachair, C. 1955. ‘The holy wells of Co Limerick’ JRSAI, Vol. LXXV, 193-217.
Seoighe, M. 2012. The Story of Kilmallock. Kilmalock Historical Society.