WALKING TALL: Members of Glenbeigh Handball Club and St Finian’s Holy Well committee at the launch of the Christmas Walk, which takes place in Glenbeigh tomorrow (Saturday) from the Red Fox Inn. Front l-r: Maggie and Clodagh Quirke. Back l-r: Owen Riordan, Sean Roche, Christy Moriarty, Pat Donovan and Chris Burke. Photo: Con Dennehy.


By Con Dennehy


The haunting and spine chilling sound of bagpipes will drift across the picturesque River Caragh in Glenbeigh this festive season as a lone piper leads a walk from the Red Fox Inn to the famed Comane Holy Well during one of the Christmas highlights in Mid Kerry.


More than 100 people are expected to put their best foot forward in the 8km fun event tomorrow (Saturday), with all funds raised from the walk assisting the continued development of the Glenbeigh Handball Club.


St Finian’s Holy Well has been part of the local community in Glenbeigh for generations and was widely acknowledged for its spirituality and healing power.


“Over the years the area around the well became overgrown and virtually inaccessible. I decided it was time to honour and show respect to our ancestors and revamp the area,” said Pat Donovan, the founder member of the St Finian’s Well committee.


With the invaluable assistance of the South Kerry Development Partnership and local volunteers, an extensive restoration programme commenced in 2013.


“More than 80 tonnes of stone, gravel and other materials were brought to the site in wheelbarrows. Weeds, shrubbery, briars and other unsightly material were removed and replaced with paths, walls and a grotto. The entire area was also landscaped. Today, this location on the Kerry Way is a tourist attraction and a place that people can come and remember their ancestors in a dignified and peaceful setting.”


Following the renovation an annual Easter Walk was held from the Red Fox Inn to the Holy Well with over €60,000 raised for locally based charities and community projects.


Registration for this year’s walk takes place at the Red Fox Inn from 12 noon with the walk commencing at 1pm and is suitable for all age groups.


The entry fee is a modest €10 with refreshments and music in the Red Fox Inn after the walk.