INVINCIBLE SPIRIT with Michael ‘Daffer’ Kelly meets himself in stone in the grounds of the National Stud. Photo: Bronwen Healy

Saints, stars and horses in Kildare

WHAT better county to visit on Lá Fhéile Bhríde than Kildare? February 1 was a lovely day for a trip to St Brigid’s Well, the place where our matron saint milked her cow and made butter. For centuries it has been a site of pilgrimage.

The well, like many other holy wells around the country, is deemed to have curative powers. If you tie a rag to the bush beside it, so the story goes, your ailment will fade away or your wishes will be granted as the material rots.

There are quite a few rags and ribbons fluttering on it, along with an assortment of medals and other items. But most of them seem to be of synthetic materials, so any cure depending on them will be a long time coming.

I spoke to a mother and her two daughters who had great devotion to St Brigid, and had also made the trip to another of her wells, near Dundalk. They didn’t disclose their wishes, though.

Read the full feature in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald, on sale in shops or buy our digital edition here.