A collection of beautiful and evocative photographs documenting the last traces of a tradition which predates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. The photographs, which capture the spirit and individuality of each well, are enhanced by accounts of legends, saints' lives and local lore surrounding the wells.
Holy Wells are places of popular religious devotion where people come to pray and leave simple offerings so that their prayers may be answered. At many of them the waters are believed to have healing powers, some are even supposed to have power over the weather. There are hundreds of Holy Wells all over Ireland, many of them still in use. They vary greatly in appearance, some are very simple, decorated only with rounded river pebbles, others are highly ornate and adorned with holy statues, medals, pictures, rosary beads, flowers and candles.
Fish Stone Water: Holy Wells of Ireland captures the unique spirit of these sites through stunning photography and illuminating text, exploring the individuality of each well, their many forms and settings and the assorted personal offerings that decorate them. The authors visited the wells on their special days of devotion, 'pattern days', to record the activities at those shrines.
Anna Rackard has worked as Art Director for many films including The Butcher Boy. Liam O'Callaghan works as an artist in both social documentary and fine art photography.