Holy water from a tiny well in Clare was transported across the Atlantic Ocean in the cockpit of an Aer Lingus flight on Sunday, to help a sick child in America.
The water, which was taken from the holy well at St Brigid’s Well in the Burren, made the Atlantic crossing after a group of strangers came together online to help an Irish-American family in Philadelphia.
It is currently illegal to send liquids through the post and no courier company would take on the unusual order.
The delivery was made possible by Lahinch hotelier, Michael Vaughan, who put out a call on social media for assistance in transporting the holy water.
Mr Vaughan, the former president of the Irish Hotel Federation, was contacted by an Irish woman, Nora Kennedy, who offered the services of her nephew to deliver the water.
Her nephew, an airline pilot based in Britain, was not in a position to deliver the water personally but did arrange for an Aer Lingus flight crew to transport the liquid to America.
“I drove to Dublin at six in the morning on Sunday and dropped off the water at a particular point at the airport for the Aer Lingus flight crew to collect,” said Mr Vaughan.
“The crew had it in the cockpit of the plane. They dropped off the water to Tom Ward in Philadelphia, who I know from Ireland 626 Tours, and his wife brought it to the family who had requested it. So it has made its full journey.”
Located a short walk from the Cliffs of Moher, water from St Brigid’s Well is thought to have healing powers.
“One of Tom Ward’s clients made the request to me through Tom, because her grandson was in hospital,” said Michael.
“There are so many decent people out there who are willing to help others. I got about five or six credible offers from people about how to get this to America before Christmas.
“None of these people were people who I knew personally. They saw the request on social media and came up with the solution.
“When you are in the full of your health, it is nice to be able to do something for somebody else.
“It shows you that there are lots of decent people out there, willing to help if they are asked.”
In 1840, Protestant local landowner and developer of the Cliffs of Moher, Cornelious O’Brien, famously sent for water from the Catholic well at St Brigid’s Well when he was sick in London.
The water is blessed in a ceremony which attracts hundreds of people on February 1 each year.