New Year in Doon Well

Hundreds of people turned out in Termon to see in the New Year at the annual Doon Well Vigil.

Hundreds of people turned out in Termon to see in the New Year at the annual Doon Well Vigil.

The long running tradition drew a very large crowd as worshippers gathered throughout the evening to celebrate the religious festival.

Events began with a celebration Holy Hour in nearby St Columba’s Chapel in Termon at 8pm.

This was then followed by a vigil Mass at 9pm.

At approximately 10.30pm pilgrims joined a procession from the church that made its way to the site of religious significance in Doon.

On arrival they were met by many who made their way directly to Doon Well.

The event draws worshippers from all across the North West and cars lined all access roads leading to the shrine.

The mixed showery weather did not deter a strong turn out from marking the start of 2012.

At midnight, as part of the long running custom, pilgrims took part in the Rosary and as always many of those in attendance opted to carry out the prayers barefooted.

A television crew was on hand to film the proceedings throughout the evening for a forthcoming BBC TV series.

An important religious site since Penal Times, Doon Well or Tobar an duin, was established by Lector O’Friel in the 1670s although the well’s existence is thought to be pre-Christian.

Stations of the Cross and Rosary take place from St. Columba’s chapel to Doon Well twice a year including New Year and on May’s Eve.