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The Turas (Journey)

The Turas at Disert. Turas literally means a journey. The Turas was a widespread and ancient practice all over Ireland while doing a circuit of stations, holy well or other place associated with a saint. Many of these began or ended at a well. Wells were sacred to the pagan Celts and in doing stations the early Christians were following in the footsteps of their pagan ancestors. As well as prayers being said at the well the Rosary was recited and Palters and Aves were said. As the pilgrim made his or her way round the heaps or cairns walking on the right hand or deiseal and placing a pebble on top of the cairn as the prayers were said.

The Turas at Disert was noted for its cures. East of the megalith is a large slab or concave stone. The penitents lay on this flag and pressed their back into the cavity. This was a noted cure for backache. The well water was said to cure toothache. The water in the bullaun stone was said to cure warts. It was also used to cure eye complaints. In those days people came to the Turas at Dysert on June 9th - the Feast of Colmcille - from far and wide.