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Ardmore Head ritual is an act of veneration

I was thrilled to read Damien Enright’s article of Monday, June 30, as Ardmore Head is one of my favourite places.

I have memories galore of spending my childhood in this area. I just want to take issue with the comments on the crude crosses carved out on stones. There is a pattern every year on July 24 to celebrate St Declan. There is a week in which the pilgrim visits the well three times. On each visit, the ritual is to walk around the circle of the well three times, while praying the rosary. On the third circle, one is to enter the church wall and then trace out the cross three times, and then kiss the cross.

So, contrary to being un-Christian, as you reported, this was done in veneration and adoration.

So, even if, as in Enright’s opinion, these crosses “are crude”, defacing was certainly never the intention of the many locals and pilgrims who have returned here year after year.

I think the judgement was harsh and lacked an understanding of what is, and has been, a lovely tradition.

It would be a pity that an otherwise lovely article should cause needless offence.

Marie Curran

Mitchell Street


Co Waterford


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