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The well might be dry but the faith runs deep

A GREAT August 15 tradition that dates back over 700 years was maintained in Killarney this afternoon when the Rosary was recited by pilgrims at an historic town centre holy well.

Dozens of people gathered for the annual service at St Mary’s Well, located at the rear of the town hall, with Killarney Parish Administrator, Fr Kieran O’Brien, spearheading proceedings to mark the Feast of the Assumption.

The shirt-sleeved crowd stood around the railed well entrance or sat on a surrounding wall to pray during the brief service which has been part of summertime in Killarney since 1302.

Fr Kieran O’Brien: Parish Administrator

Cures for a variety of ailments have been associated with the well and it was previously a popular pilgrimage site with the faithful frequently travelling great distances to bless themselves with the well water.

It was originally part of an ancient religious complex, extending to where St Mary’s Church of Ireland now stands.

The well was closed to the public several years ago when health and safety concerns were raised with the then Killarney Town Council and it is now out of commission.

Visitors can still peer through the gate towards the water located at the bottom of internal steps and, although the well is well maintained by the local authority, there have been calls for it to be reopened or further enhanced as a place of prayer.

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