The Holy Well - Tobermacduagh


In the townland of KILLEEN the parish of DRUM.

Extract from - 'Ancient Landmarks' - History of Mayo, J F Quinn

There is in Killeen townland, in Drum Parish, a well called TOBERMACDUACH. The name is ascribed to Colman-Mac-Duac, who lived at the beginning of the 7th century.

Another sister well is located in Kinvara, County Galway and is closely associated with Colman, who gave the name Kilmacduach to the diocese. He was closely related to Guaire, King of Connaught.

Stations of the Cross were performed annually on Good Friday. Pilgrims came and erected tents in this area. (Mr Gavin's handwritten notes.)

Over 100 years ago this tradition ceased and the well fell into disrepair.

In this area was the site of an old Church and burial ground for the unbaptised babies. It was said that little coffins were brought in the night and the only sign that a burial had taken place was a newly made grave. This practice stopped around 1900 and cattle were let graze in the area but it was never tilled. - (Mr. Galvin's handwritten notes).

The phrase "Children's burial ground" refers to an unconsecrated place used primarily, though not exclusively, for the burial of unbaptised children. Those most commonly used in Co. Mayo are cillin/Killeen, lios/Lisheen. The word cill is derived from the Latin cella, and means Church or Graveyard. (History of Mayo).

When the Well was being refurbished it was thought to be appropriate to recognise those who lay here and erect a small memorial to them.

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