Many people are unaware of how prevalent still, especially in country areas, is the faith in those who ‘have the cure’ for many ailments. There are documented cases where conventional medicine failed but the faith healer succeeded. One woman had been suffering for a few years from a very bad rash on her neck and had received the best of treatment from doctors and consultants. She went to the man with the charm for skin ailments. He duly administered the cure by walking around her, spitting lightly and touching her neck with spittle while quietly reciting prayers. He asked the lady not to wash her neck for nine days, with which request she duly complied. After this time the rash was gone.
Another woman had a severely arthritic arm which she was unable to raise above shoulder level. The curer she visited touched her arm and prayed. Twenty minutes the lady was able to lift her arm freely and has continued to have this freedom of movement ever since. There is scarcely a person – certainly in rural Ireland – who cannot tell a similar tale.
THE CURE FOR THRUSH
A person born after his/her father has died, has the cure for thrush. This person would blow into the affected baby’s mouth. This would be done three times before the baby would be cured.
THE CURE FOR WHOOPING COUGH
A woman married to a man of the same surname had this cure. A child with whooping cough is given three things to eat by this woman, for example, a piece of bread, an apple and a biscuit. After the child had eaten these it would get better.
THE CURE FOR LUMBAGO OR BACKACHE
A person born feet first has the cure for backache. He/she would cure your backache by walking on your back – a solution guaranteed to ‘kill or cure’! A person born feet first was destined also to travel a lot.
THE CURE FOR WARTS
If you wash your hands with rainwater that has been sitting in a hallowed stone, the warts will soon disappear. Indeed some such stones (e.g. that near Kilnasaggart Standing Stone) became famous as Wart Stones. Another cure for warts is to pick as many rushes as you have warts. You touch each wart with a separate rush and then bury the rushes. Tell no one where you have buried them and, as the rushes rot, the warts will disappear. This can also be done using potatoes.