Ok. So MB wished you all a happy St Patrick’s Day in an earlier post of today. So what the hell what?! No harm wishing you all again, on the day the chosen people celebrate their big day. Ok?!
In the HX locality there is a townland called Patrickswell. It is so called on account of the fact that there is a holy well there called after St Patrick. When Patrick was spreading the good news (about the one true faith) way back in the day, he happened to stop one night to sleep on a small hill just behind the well. Presumably on following morning, he sipped water from the well, wolfed down a ‘full Irish’ breakfast and was on his way again, renewed and reinvigorated to preach the parables from the good book to all the heathens in the barren lands beyond HX-land.
Today, the church that lies a few hundred metres west of the well is called…..yes you guessed it……. St Patrick’s Church, or Patrickswell Church as the locals more commonly refer to it.
On every St Patrick’s Day, when mass is finished, members of the congregation walk the short journey to the holy well, say some prayers for those living and those passed, and to hear some member of the community recite the story St Patrick’s stay in the locality, some 1,600 years back. They may sing a verse or two of a hymn of a Gaelic language hymn that begins:
Dóchas linn Naomh Pádraig, aspal mór na hÉireann
Which translates to English as:
St Patrick is our hope, the totally awesome apostle of Ireland
We have been singing that hymn for all those 1,600 years, despite the fact that Patrick was Welsh or possibly (God protect us) English.
A few years back, a local lady who lives beside the well, Mrs Dinneen, revealed an old Gaelic word that was used in her childhood by local people to refer to the well water – dineacht – meaning protection.
Anyway, MB was home last June for the Summer Solstice festival and he attended one of the festival events with camera in hand to record the goings-on, namely a 5k & 10k road race. The event was taking place primarily in the townland of Patrickswell, so MB took some extra shots to capture the St Patrick (totally awesome apostle on Ireland) angle to the whole thing.
The following are some of MB’s shots from that day, which will give followers a feel for Patrickswell & the church of St Patrick & Patrick’s Well:
The bell tower of St Patrick’s Church
A grave in the church grounds
Roadside grass you will see on the walk to the well, with the blurred out farmhouse owned by ‘Mike The Pipe’ in the background (he smokes a pipe – what else would we call him?!)
You have arrived at the holy grail – St Patrick’s Well
Niece of MB, called MC, scoops some of the dineacht holy water, to gain everlasting protection, with the alter of St Patrick in background
The legend himself – mini Patrick with a bunch of local flowers
Runners. The holy well is located amongst the trees a few hundred metres behind them.
Runners rehydrate after their efforts in front on the local Honey Fitz theatre, which adjoins the St Patrick’s Church. Google Honey Fitz, former mayor of Boston, and local JFK connection.
A couple of hardy Irish runners
Some lady runners. Don’t you just know she’s talking to her boyfriend!
“Wildflowers don’t care where they grow” (Dolly Parton)