Tuesday, 10 July 2018



We travelled to Abbeyfeale Hill at the weekend on a mission of discovery. The present drought was causing a great scarcity of water in the locality and we wondered how people were coping.

We have written here before about a famous well on The Hill that never ran dry. We were determined to try and locate this well and see if it was still pumping out its clear spring water.

The well had been abandoned for well over fifty years as electric pumps and group water schemes now pumped water straight in to peoples houses. The days of walking to the well and drawing water with bucket and gallon were well and truly over.

The well was situated in the middle of a mountain. It had been sunk and stone-lined by our ancestors, over two hundred years earlier and surrounded with an earthen bank of green grass and brown heather.

The excess water (and there was plenty of it) ran along an open drain to a large dyke by the ditch and continued all the way down to Cahir, being joined by other small streams along the way.

It crossed the Cahir Road just beyond the end of the Grogeen Road, under the bridge at the twisty bend where Mick Shea once had a little house. From there it joined The Feale and continued on out in to the broad Atlantic. As children, we figured that if you floated a twig in the well it could one day end up in New York.

We had attempted to locate the well on previous occasions but without success. It had become overgrown with the passage of time and was probably filled in to avoid any cattle falling in to it. The ground around it was always wet and marshy and difficult to navigate, but we hoped that the dry spell might finally reveal its original location.

We were not disappointed. The path down to the well had long since disappeared but we followed our instincts and were soon rewarded!

There before us was a pool of the precious liquid oozing out of the ground as it had done for thousands and possibly millions of years. It was like discovering the source of the Nile.

We dipped a finger in the water and blessed ourselves in memory of all those who had gone before. We paused a while in silent reflection and then slowly headed back up towards the road.

It seemed as if we had reached back momentarily and touched a page of history - albeit a wet one. It was a good feeling.

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