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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Oughtmama (c)

About a quarter of a mile to the northeast of the Churches on the slope of the Maum is St. Colman Mac Duach’s Well, from which it can be with some safety inferred that these Churches were dedicated to him. This Well has migrated from its original position and broke out a short distance lower on the slope of the hill, where it is now known by the new name of Sruthan na Naomh, the Rivulet of the Saints; but its original locality which is still called Tobar Cholmain has a square enclosure of stones, in the centre of which grows a small, stunted, white thorn bush, exhibiting votive rags of various colours. This well is indued with extraordinary naturally medicinal, or supernaturally miraculous virtues, for people have often washed their eyes in it, which were veiled with thick pearls, and ere they had completed the third washing these pearls (films) fell off leaving the eyes perfectly bright and clear-sighted.

“Patterns” are held here annually on the 15th November in honor of St. Colman. The stream flowing from this well was once conducted through an artificial channel in the direction of the Churches, and at a short distance to the west of them it turned a mill which belonged to the Clergy of Oghtmama, the site of which is still pointed out.

I have found no historical reference to this place unless it be the place called Beagh in Archdall’s Monasticon, in which it is described as a Monastery of the Third Order of St. Francis, but the place called the Hill of Beagh or Behagh is too far from this to have given name to it at any period, and old Churches in this valley were erected before the establishment of any Order of St. Francis, yea, before St. Francis was born.

 

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