Ogulla Spring and Shrine, Tulsk

The Ogulla Well is believed by many to be the Cliabach Well, site of the famous baptism of Eithne and Fidelma, daughters of King Laoghaire of Tara. They were attending the great school of Cashelmanannáin at Rathcroghan. St. Patrick christened the two princesses, together with Mael and Coplait, druids with whom the royal sisters had been fostered. This is a good example of how Christianity adopted a ritual centre, and smoothly replaced the ancient order of things.

Be that as it may, possible pre-Christian practices continue, as they do at many holy wells, with a rag tree behind the statue of St. Patrick, and a variety of curious "offerings".



general view of the shrine area


Springs & the local geology

There are quite a number of risings and small streams on the east flank of the Rathcroghan uplands. Little is known of geological conditions which give rise to this concentration. The predominant rock type is oolitic limestone, which occurs in very thick beds or layers, and is free from impurities, and thus prone to karstification. Dark grey limestone with beds of shale is also present. It was once briefly seen west of Rathcroghan cross roads while foundations for a cattle shed were being excavated. This lithology, impervious to water, may extend eastwards below the oolite, and cause groundwater to emerge at springs where the two lithologies meet.

The spring at Ogulla, further away from the hillslopes, may have a different origin.