Why Toberona (Tobar Eonain) River is in the book

Ireland’s Rivers, A hidden treasure…

As children my sisters, cousins and I spent every summer sitting for hours on Toberona Bridge (an ancient Ford), we went fly fishing with our uncle, swimming, snorkelling, canoeing and crossing the waterfall at Toberona river. As soon as we finished school for summer holidays we were packed and ready to cross the border away from the fear and hell of the troubles to the fun of Toberona with miles of fields and rivers to explore. Eight weeks of fun, fun and more fun. We will be forever grateful to my granny, grandfather and uncle’s for your love and teachings and for providing us with a place of refuge during the very dark days.

Toberona Bridge painted by: Mary Byrne

Toberona Bridge painted by: Mary Byrne, my granny’s friend.

Toberona River Fishing

Renowned in the area for trout and salmon, Toberona rivers two main tributaries are the Kilcurry and Falmore rivers, both of which contain stocks of wild brown trout. The Castletown River gets a run of salmon and sea trout and fishing is controlled by the Dundalk Brown Trout Angling Association. Angling Tip: Fish below Toberona bridge after a flood. www.fishinginireland.info 

The Well of inspiration- Tell it in Toberona.

Photograph : John P. Swift Toberona had its well of spring water, named after Saint John.’ I remember visitors stopping to ask where the well was located, they filled bottles and bottles of the spring water. Legend has it that those who drank from the well, if endowed to even the slightest extent with poetic or rhetorical talent, would be inspired to speech worthy of the most gifted orator or author. They had a saying in the Temple Tavern (in Dundalk): Tell it in Toberona.


It is no wonder I was inspired to compile Irish words of wisdom

St. John’s Holy Well Toberona Dundalk

St. John the Baptist or Naomh Eonain is the patron saint of Castletown. Crowds visited the holy well on the 24th of June, his feast day where a patrun or pilgrimage was held. It was reported that “ the well gushed forth suddenly, covering the meadow on which it stands with water several feet deep in a few minutes.”

It was also a festive occasion and competitions were held for poets, musicians and singers. Unfortunately this religious celebration became marred by faction fights. In 1744, a visitor reported that the people “pray, eat, drink and get drunk.. and concludes with broken heads and sore limbs”!

Capt. Picken Tipping, the local landowner, had the patrun banned but this was overturned when the local Dundalk breweries objected! It is believed that at one time the well was much closer to the Castle but Capt.

Tipping had the water piped towards the river to discourage the crowds gathering near his home. Eventually in 1827 the patrun was suppressed by the local priests. (source: http://www.stlouisdundalk.ie/oldcastletownproject/river.html)

Toberona River Photographer

The photographer who took the photograph of Toberona for Irish words of wisdom is Paddy Hoey, a native of Toberona and someone who has himself spent many a day down the river. Paddy’s photograph I believe captures the essence, mystic and magic of Toberona River. He is a gentleman, modest and talented and there are two photographs taken by Paddy in Irish words of wisdom. www.facebook.com/photosiphoto/


Health benefits of Rivers

If you love rivers you will understand the healing benefits derived from sitting near a river. Science has been researching the benefits for many years and has confirmed what river lovers already know, rivers promote healing, people feel calmer as they listen to the flow of water and are immersed in nature. The calming impact manifests in the body by reducing stress levels i.e. people feel the calmness. Toberona River featured in the book has been an important place of healing in my life from a very young age.

Rivers in Ireland

map rivers of irelandIreland’s Rivers https://ipfs.io

We have many beautiful rivers all over Ireland, the map provides a comprehensive list of

the amazing rivers across Ireland, find a river when you visit Ireland and take the time to just sit and quieten the mind for five or ten minutes it will calm the mind and relax the body.