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    Holy Wells & Abbey

    Holy Wells & Abbey

    Doon Well, Donegal’s most celebrated Holy Well, has been a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of thousands of people in the past century. But its origin and the traditions associated with it go back much further still. From all parts of the county they have come; devout, humble, prayerful and hopeful, lifting and using the blessed water as a means to spiritual and bodily betterment.

    Doon Well is credited with having been blessed by the saintly Lector O’Friel. A travelling friar, he is reputed to have worked in this part of Donegal in the 17th century. It is said that he had wonderful powers as a healer, he promised that his powers would live after him and that he would ‘bless this Well at Doon’ and that ‘those who drank or applied its waters’ would have the benefit of his prayers of intercession.

    Down through the years, many stories have been told of miraculous cures for all sorts of ailments and of how disabled or crippled pilgrims were able to leave behind them their sticks, crutches, bandages etc.  Traditionally, visitors usually leave behind them little souvenirs of their visit, deposited on the bushes beside the well.

    Two main vigils are held at Doon Well, one on New Year’s Eve and the other on May Eve. Large crowds attend both of these ceremonies.

    Gartan Abbey and Well

    Colmcille was born in this area in Gartan. There is a Well, the site of a small rectangular church and a graveyard that encloses the low remains of an abbey as well as two weathered stone crosses. 

    A pilgrimage or Turas is made here involving seven Stations.

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