This trio of stories about holy wells, faith, and illness traces the evolution–or perhaps the devolution–of folk belief and the power ascribed to sacred waters and places. Our guest Elizabeth Stack begins with two stories from Tipperary: a teenaged boy cured at St. Patrick’s Well in Clonmel and a weeping statue of Mother Mary in Templemore during the Irish War of Independence. Elizabeth closes with a story of her grandmother’s family, when a young child died of a mysterious illness in Limerick in 1920.
Elizabeth Stack is the Executive Director of the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany, NY. Previously, she taught Irish and Irish American History and was an Associate Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Fordham. She completed her PhD at Fordham, writing about Irish and German immigrants in New York at the turn of the twentieth century. She has a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish Relations in the 20th Century from University College Dublin. A native of Listowel, in Co. Kerry, Elizabeth sees a clear connection between her own experience as an immigrant - she moved to the US in 2009 - and with the important mission of the museum to preserve and share Irish heritage and culture.
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Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves." billyandbeth.com
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