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HomeFarming NewsThe gift of faith healing traditions
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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The gift of faith healing traditions

TG4 is set to explore the gift of faith healing traditions in a new TV documentary series entitled Cneasaithe.

The programme – which Máirtín Tom Sheáinín presents and Tua Films has produced – will air on TG4 next Wednesday, September 28th, 2022, at 9:30 pm.

It is said that there are many reasons why the gift of healing can be bestowed on someone in the Irish faith healing tradition.

The seventh son of a seventh son, a person whose father died before they were born, and a woman whose parents had the same surname before they were married are but a few of the reasons given to explain the gift of healing.

Faith healing 

As part of his mission to find out where faith healing is practices in Ireland, the presenter discusses the concept and tries to ascertain how active healers are in today’s Ireland.

He hears stories of healing from holy wells – those who have been cured of bleeding, corns, warts, and burns. He meets people with the gift of healing and bone setters and others, including sceptics, who see this healing as “nothing more than an elaborate placebo effect”.

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In this travelogue, Máirtín brings us on a mystical journey that explores how the healer was both revered and feared in times gone past.

He journeys the highways and byways of Ireland in a new documentary in search of this most hidden phenomenon and wonders how active they are in today’s Ireland.

During his tour of the country, he encounters the famous bonesetter Dan O’Neill. Dan’s horse Danoli was a household name in the 90s and was kept fit for the track by Dan’s instinctive bone-setting.  

Moreover, he visits holy wells known for cures, including Tobar Naomh Ciarán in Donegal, which cures warts, and Sonny Daly in the midlands, which has the cure of the burn from a lizard.

He then meets two other healers, Mary Boyle (cure of ringworm) and Jane Adair (cure of the sprain).

Having explored stories of chancers and miracle workers, after meeting with skeptics, historians, and bonesetters, Máirtín muses over his encounters and draws his own conclusions as to the power and indeed, veracity of these faith healers.

He believes “there are more things in heaven and earth”.

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