Next to the outer pool there is a tap that you can pump to dispense Well Water. You can take this home with you to sick relatives and apply a few drops to the skin – or drink some with an accompanying prayer…
Another Irish family arrives, mum, dad and six kids. These kids are more restrained – they sit on the edge and dangle their feet, Dad stoops low and washes his head and face from the pool – then crosses himself. They throw coins into the pool – healing-pool cum wishing-well! Is there much of a difference between the two ideas?
While they do this, mum has come prepared – she has six four-pint milk cartons and a 2 litre coke bottle. She proceeds to rinse them all out at the pump and then crank them all fullof well water – stashing them in a bag she has brought for the purpose.
I sit and watch all this activity and wonder what on earth these huge stocks of spring water are to be used for… I really have no idea what might be intended for sucha large volume of the stuff.
People are still drawn to these places, they won’t follow rules about how you are supposed to treat them or use them – they will invest them with their own rules and ideas of spirituality.
When she has filled her bottles, the woman produces a paper bag. In the bag is a necklace or medallion – presumably of a saint, bought from the gift shop. She instructs one of the children to go and dip it in the pool and bring it back. She replaces the now damp medallion in the bag, and they are on their way.