SAINT BRENDAN

Coolock's first church is said to have been founded by St.Brendan, or more probably, his followers. There is no primary documentary evidence of this foundation but because it is traditionally dedicated to St.Brendan, it is fairly safe to assume that there was an early Celtic church on the site. St.Brendan was born about the year 484.He was a native of Kerry. He entered the monastic life. Much discussion has occured about his narrative of his voyage to America, and all the wonderful events which took place on this journey. A man named Tim Severin crossed the Atlantic in a curragh similar to Brendan's, to prove that the journey was possible.Yet nobody has come up with a definite answer as to whether St. Brendan reached America. St. Brendan founded the famous monastery at Clonfert, which at one time had 1000 people attached to it. At quite an old age, he visited St.Columcille at Iona. He returned to Ireland and died in 577 aged 93. He died at a sister monastery in Annadown but was buried at his own monastery of Clonfert. His festival is celebrated on May 16 each year. In all the details of the life of this great saint, there is no reference to his having ever visited Coolock.

ST. BRENDANS WELL

 

 

Across the road from Coolock Church a lone tree

marks the site of St.Brendans Well. A small trickle of water coming out of the hole in the cement wall of the stream is all that is left to remind us of this well.

"A small well, about four feet in diameter, covered in a small clump of whitethorn, with a large poplar tree. No evidence of devotion. The water is piped away for domestic use "A description of St. Brendans Well by Kevin Danaher.

There was an outbreak of fever in the area around the year 1914. It was thought that the well was not helping matters, so it was duly filled in. But water came up in the kitchen of a nearby house. The well was opened again and its water was piped to the house, which gave the house a constant supply of water. In 1934, the well had a low stone arch to protect it. The wells name "Brendan Parkees" and the original dedication of the Church are the only known links St.Brendan has with Coolock.

 

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