St. Finian's Blessing....
There is always a story to be told....
A very happy new year to you all (can you still say that?) and welcome to the first blog of 2021! I hope it was a safe and happy festive season for you, wherever in the world you were celebrating….I am slowly getting back into the swing of things here in the office. Ireland has now returned to the highest level of restrictions, so the Dingle Peninsula is once again a very quiet place at the moment. But unfortunately, that is just the way it has to be for the foreseeable future until the spread of the virus is under control again. Anyway, at the very least I can still continue to bring you all a story from the Dingle Peninsula each week to keep you connected to us here in some way until we can begin to welcome you all back!
Today’s story comes from the village of Lispole on the Dingle Peninsula, and would you believe, is actually pandemic-themed! But don’t stop reading at the mention of the ‘P-word’ as I promise you it is a positive story – yes there can, in fact be positive stories in relation to the pandemic! Believe me, I know there is enough negativity out there already these days, I have absolutely no desire to add to it! As you may know, Lispole is my lovely corner of the Dingle Peninsula, and at the very beginning of the first lockdown, way back in March 2020, I heard the story I am going to tell you today….The townland of Kinard in Lispole, offers some of the most spectacular views the Dingle Peninsula has to offer. But nestled on a high spot at the very end of the townland, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is a well. But it is no ordinary well. It has its very own story to tell….
The legend associated with the well goes that two holy men, St. Finian and St. Michael were travelling by sea from Sceilig Mhichíl and got lost in heavy fog along the way. They landed at Béal, by Kinard Strand and had no idea where they were. Parched, in search of water, they trekked up the hill from the sea praying to God and Mary as they went. At the foot of the hill, they found a stream of glistening water and their thirst was quenched. Relieved and elated by the discovery, St. Finian declared that from then on, the surrounding area, from the hill to the sea and everything in between, would be a safe haven from enemies and from plague. The story goes that as thousands of people were stricken with the Flu Pandemic of 1918, no one who drank the water from within St. Finian’s sanctuary was stricken down with the flu. And so, armed with this knowledge, my family and I walked up to the hill on which the well sits in one of the very first weeks of lockdown last March and drank the water from the area. Whether the legend is true or not remains to be seen, however we are extremely lucky that none of us have crossed paths with the virus up to this point. Perhaps we have St. Finian to thank for that!
A short and sweet story today, but an interesting one nonetheless! As I myself continue to discover, there are lots of hidden treasures with their own very special stories dotted around the Dingle Peninsula, and I will make it my mission to keep discovering them and bring them to you, until you can come and visit these spots for yourself!
To finish off, this photo here is the view that can be seen from the well in Kinard. It is absolutely spectacular - no wonder those in the area didn't get sick during the flu of 1918! Simply looking at that view would do you good....
Wishing everyone a wonderful week. Stay safe, and I’ll be back soon to bring you another piece of the Dingle Peninsula!