Thursday 31 January 2013


Kilviceeda, the Church of St.Mac a Deaghaidh translates to the Church of the son of St.Ita.  This is said to denote St. Erc  whose mother was St. Ita or ├Źde.

The mention of St. Erc places Kilviceeda at the Birth of Monastic Ireland as St.Erc was the mentor of The Patron Saint of Kerry...St Brendan. Folklore recorded in School Manuscripts of the 1930 say that St. Brendan was baptized by St.  Erc at the well of Keel which was said to be known as St. Erc's or St. Ida's although it is probably better known today as St. Brigid's  well. It is however accepted that St. Brendan was baptized in Ardfert in st. Wether's well.

 Today Keel in The Townland of Glenderry has the old ruins surrounded by a small graveyard. The small enclosed burial ground is reserved exclusively for the local Corridan Family. Tradition has it when a member of The Corridan Family dies, a light shines across the Bay from Mount Brandon.

 Perhaps the most interestingTradition associated with The Corridan Family is that of the " Bully Stone". This is a stone (Bullan) with healing powers that was kept on a small sculptured pillar near The Ancient Church at Keel. The real stone is now taken away and kept safely in a nearby Corridan House. It is said to be moist always and was used in conjunction with water from St. Brigid's Well as a cure for sick animals and humans.

 The uniqueness of this stone and it's veneration by  The Corridon Family attracted the attention of many Historians over the years.

Smith's History of 1786 quoted the following

 "The stone would be taken from it's place in the house and the Family would walk around the well in a clockwise direction whilst praying. Only The Corridans had the privelige of paying rounds at this well and it was not used by the general public. When the stone was put in the well , the power of the stone was activated and this could only be done by a blood Corridan. No one who married into the Family could use the stone effectively. Still further, the healing power of the well worked only on Blood Corridans."

 Ms Hickson one hundred years later in 1890 in her Publication on The Holy Wells of North Kerry wrote

 "This cupped pillar stone had the cross on its eastern face the day that I visited Kilmacida in 1883. The ball was absent in charge of one of The Corridan Tribe, who have charge of it, and the sole right of burial in the little churchyard in which the cross stands on a kind of low carn or mound. My Guide was the wife of one of the name, but she told me that she could not be buried with her husband as she was not of the blood or the tribe, but her children would rest there,  should they die at Kilmacida or near it."

 Another tradition is that when a blue light is seen surrounding The Graveyard, it heralds the imminent death of one of the extended family.  Also, when one of the Family dies overseas, The Caoineadh or Wail of lament can be heard at The Graveyard.