Manchán Magan explores the stories associated with Ireland's Holy Wells in new TV series

Manchán Magan explores the stories associated with Ireland's Holy Wells in new TV series

Thursdays @ 08.00pm on TG4 from 14th March (Please note that this series WILL be viewable worldwide on the TG4 player here: )

Ag Triall ar an Tobar” is a new 6-part documentary series that dives into the myths and legends associated with Ireland’s Holy wells and asks what is it about these therapeutic landscapes that retain a presence in today’s world? In each episode Presenter Manchán Magan uncovers holy wells that have been sites of worship and prayer for centuries and are still visited today for those seeking comfort and peace. Where have these rituals come from and who are the people that keep these traditions alive? 

Manchán Magan to host new TV programme about Ireland's holy wells

Presenter Manchán Magan will explore Ireland's sacred wells.

Have you ever come across a holy well and wondered who else has walked on this path? Ordnance Survey Ireland claimed there were as many as 3,000 holy wells in Ireland - more than in any other country in the world. This 6-part series is a new format which fuses the exploration of Christianity and Pagan customs with historical record and local knowledge to take us on a journey through some of Ireland’s undiscovered sacred places.

Manchán Magan at a holy well

Presenter Manchán Magan treads through history to discover hidden secrets behind these rippled waters. He speaks of some of the customs that visitors to the well would enact, from tying ribbons to nearby trees to circling the well clockwise three times. He also lists all the potential ailments that might find relief and treatment from the waters of the holy well. These ailments can be a cure for a herd of cattle or a cure for dementia or bi-polar. Each ailment is as relevant today as they were back then. 

TV presenter Manchán Magan at an Irish holy well

Manchán Magan at a holy well.

Each episode in the series delves into a theme, unveiling unique stories, rituals and beliefs associated with a local holy well. From tales of saints and fairies to ancient healing practices and modern day pilgrimages, viewers will be transported into a world where spirituality, folklore and nature intertwine. Manchán takes a deeper look at the enduring relevance of these sacred sites in today’s society. He examines the reason why these places hold a special place in the hearts of the Irish people.

Manchán Magan, TG4

Manchán Magan will present the series on TG4.

Holy wells in Ireland hold a unique role as symbols of Irish culture and a connection with the natural environment. These sacred wells pre-date the Christian era, usually dedicated to Saint names that still echo like Bríd, Pádraig and Colmcille, there is clear evidence that they were originally pagan sites. Where once a pagan sacrifice may have taken place, today a bride might look into the waters for good luck, or someone may come in a desperate search for a cure of an illness. Each attached to their own saints, legends and healing properties, these holy wells have been secret sites of worship and prayers for centuries and are still visited today by those who seek the miraculous cures offered by the waters.
Each sacred well visited acts as a passage into the earth and the Otherworld. 

“In this series, we have only visited 1% of the holy wells in Ireland. And without the efforts of the community, there’s a chance these places would be gone. It’s amazing the work that goes on, collecting and preserving our culture. It’s vital that we record every detail about these wells so we have it to pass onto the next generation. It’s not a small amount of work at all…it’s a challenge. “ Manchán Magan

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I love coming across Holy Wells such as St Bridgets well in Liscannor Co.Clare.
Is there a way to get subtitles for this programme as with my limited Irish I’m only understanding one word in every sentence, however the imagery tells a story too!

Stephanie Gahan

Ojalá pueda verse en Argentina también. ¿La emitirán en alguna página web?


Fascinating, would love to see this. Agree, it would be wonderful to be able to view this via iPlayer in the UK.

Berni Vincent

Fascinating. Wonder if I can see series in London


Is TG4 available on catchup in England? Really want to see this

Janet Smith

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