Kerry County Council has been slammed for undertaking work at a holy well, a recorded monument, which some locals believe may be the site of the original crystal fountain associated with the Rose of Tralee.

The council said it began work at Sundays Well at Lisloose, Tralee, on Monday “to improve public safety at the well”, but will now replace the stones it removed.

The arrival of the JCB and the destruction of a stone arch — without the proper archaeological authorities being informed — has sparked outrage, according to one councillor.

Many believe the well at Lisloose is the original crystal fountain where William Mulchinock, a landed gentleman, and his rose, Mary O’Connor, ‘strayed’ in the 1840s in the historical story behind the Rose of Tralee festival.

The “partial destruction” of the well at Lisloose, in a green area alongside a housing estate, was highlighted on social media by the Historical Tralee Society.

Cllr Pa Daly (SF) raised the matter at a meeting of the council this week, saying the destruction of the monument was difficult to understand.

He has called for its reinstatement and said the well is the only one of its kind in Tralee.

“What is needed is a full explanation on how this was allowed happen... I will be looking for the management of Kerry County Council to give the people of Tralee an assurance that the well will be returned to its previous condition and also that something like this is never allowed happen again.”

A council spokesman said the work was undertaken to improve public safety at the week.

“ During the works, a number of large stones which formed a vaulted arch, which are not original parts of the monument, were removed and are being replaced using lime mortar.”


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