The Blessed Trouts: A Folktale of Three Wells, Ireland

Three Wells - Ireland
Pinpoint Location: Three Wells, County of Wicklow / Map data ©2016 Google

This folktale from Three Wells explains the broader belief of the Irish people in blessed trouts.

In the parish of Ballykine, County Wicklow, and taking its rise from the southern slope of Macreddin Mountain, a bright and lively stream flows into the Aughrim River. Near its source are the Three Wells, from which the townland takes its name.

In the Three Wells you can find the ever-present Blessed Trouts; two in each well, where they are supposed to have lived a charmed life from time immemorial. The people say that those trouts are destined to remain in those wells until the Day of Judgment.

Most remarkably, the number of trouts seen is never greater and never less. To capture or injure those beautiful creatures is considered a profanity, which the country people would regard with detestation and horror.

The Blessed Trout is not confined to this particular part of Ireland; stories told of the Blessed Trout are very numerous throughout all parts of the island. Wherever there are clear pools of water, from or through which streams flow, the people are ready to swear that immortal fishes are frolicking in the water.

It is unknown if this belief has come down from Pagan times, when it was held that there were tutelary spirits of the hills and streams, or whether in Christian times the pilgrims who resorted to the holy wells had a veneration for the fishes that were seen in them.

If you enjoyed reading this folktale from Three Wells, then please consider keeping it alive by sharing it with your friends. You can find many more Irish folktales by visiting our dedicated collection.

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