ST. BRIGID’S WELL IN CLONDALKIN , DUBLIN –
Whilst doing a wee bit of research for a piece we hope to publish here this coming Wednesday – concerning three young lads from the Northside of Dublin who were viciously dealth with by Free State forces in 1922 – our ‘Junior’ got diverted (as young lads do!) when he came across mention of a local landmark which he and his friends know well – a supposed ‘magic well’ that is situated within walking distance of ‘1169 Towers (!)’ and is sometimes used as a meeting-up place , as it’s only a stones throw from a better-known landmark – Newlands Cross.
The ‘Well’ in question – St. Brigid’s – was, at one time, situated on what was known as ‘Brideswell Common’ , an abandoned piece of land which travellers passed on their way to Kildare. The ‘Well’ and surrounding land was ‘owned’ by William Caldbeck Esq., who rented it a Mr. Ormsby. The ‘Commons’ area at that time consisted of just two fields with a rough lane dividing them , and a natural spring which the locals named ‘St.Brigid’s Well’ , in honour of St.Brigid who, according to folklore, would baptise so-called ‘pagans’ in the waters of the Well – and, in return, the locals payed particular homage to her on the 1st February each year : ‘the Feast Day of St. Brigid’.
Infants that died before they could be baptised were said to be buried in this immediate area as a lease signed by Caldbeck Esq., allowed for burials in a ‘ground [area] of 4 Perches…’ and this and the fact that St. Brigid made regular ‘pit stops’ there soon ensured that the Well became a ‘special place’ , the waters of which were said to improve the eyesight of young girls , once their eyes were washed with a wet cloth which was then hung on the nearest tree to dry – as the cloth dried , the eyesight of the girl who had been washed with it improved.
Anyway :enough diversion – a forty minute walk from St. Brigid’s Well , heading towards the Inchicore area, would take you to a spot where, on October 7th 1922, the bodies of three teenage boys were found : each had been shot in the head…
(MORE ON WEDNESDAY , 18TH JULY 2012…)