Shrines and Holy Wells abound in Ireland,
particularly in the West of Ireland.
Whilst the roots of these shrines and wells
are in the pre-Christian era, pilgrimages
to many of these holy sites
continued as an important
aspect of the religious
life of Christian Ireland, especially in
the Marian month of May.
St Brigid's Holy Well, County ClareLocated outside of Liscannor
this spectacular well and shrine is
full of devotional offerings left by
pilgrims. Because of the damp conditions
they very quickly develop a weathered and ancient
appearance. Rags, called "clooties." are
left to degrade, representing
an illness to be cured. While St. Brigid is
most likely the Christian
version of the Celtic goddess Brid, she is also thought
to have been an historical figure....the daughter of a Druid priest and the
founder of a monastery. She is associated with water,
poetry, and healing and is second only to St
Patrick in Irish Christianity.