Black Dog Holy Well, Kilmallock, Co Limerick

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.

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Black dog holy well, Kilmallock.

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.

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Small grotto at Black dog, holy well.

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.

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Statue of the Blessed Virgin and Christ child at Black Dog holy 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.

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Votive offering including holy medals and brown scapular.

References

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.

http://www.limerickdioceseheritage.org/Kilmallock/sitesKilmallock.htm