Discovery of ancient well in County Limerick town is like rain from heaven

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

Email:

aine.fitzgerald@limerickleader.ie

The ancient well and below, Richard O'Donoghue  spreading some water from the well over Fitzgerald Park, Kilmallock this week

The ancient well and below, Richard O'Donoghue spreading some water from the well over Fitzgerald Park, Kilmallock this week

IT’S not exactly rain from the heavens but the weather gods are smiling on one County Limerick town which is enjoying respite from the drought thanks to the discovery of an ancient well.

Workers carrying out refurbishment works on the old post office building on Lord Edward Street in Kilmallock made the unusual find this week.

And since then, the most coveted thing in the country right now – water – has been shared around to benefit not only the flowers and green areas in the town but also the local GAA pitch.

“It’s 44 foot deep, a metre round and it’s stoned all the way to the bottom,” explained Richard O’Donoghue who is the contractor working on the old post office site which is to reopen as Kilmallock Credit Union.

“We were pumping the well yesterday. With the shortage of water we decided to give it out. It’s not for human consumption and it hasn’t been tested yet. We contacted various bodies including FAS and they said they would take some for the watering of the flowers - it would roughly take 1,000 litres to water flowers.  

“The GAA contacted us to know if there was any chance they could have some water to water the field because they have Community Games on the whole time,” he explained.

Mr O’Donoghue, who is also a local councillor, said the well was covered over with a steel cover in the sort room of the old post office “and people didn’t realise it was there”.

“What we have done is we have been pumping the water into 1,000 litre tanks. I’m using a submersible pump and we are pumping it straight up into 1,000 litre pumps on the back of my truck and then we are driving the truck up to the GAA field.

“We open the valve on the back and put a splash tray on it and it sprays out the back of the truck and we drive it up and down the field. At least it’s not going down the drain,” he said.