It was while visiting houses in the locality and finding the traditional holy water fonts dry in many cases that Connie Gallagher came up with an initiative that has already resulted in interest and sales in this county and beyond.
After undertaking some research on the subject, the Derrybeg man started work on a dispenser fitted with a unique metal tip that’s attached to a container which doesn’t require refilling for months.
“I would be going into a lot of houses and when you’re leaving you get into the habit of blessing yourself but half of the holy water fonts would be empty. And people would be saying ‘I filled that yesterday or the day before and it’s already gone dry’.
“That’s when I began thinking there must be some way of overcoming this problem.”
And at the end of June, the Sleeghan based father of two commenced development of the holy water dispenser that won’t run dry anytime soon. Not a dry font in the house, it might be said.
“It’s simple but not that simple to get it right. The brains of it are in the dispenser cap,” Connie points out.
The dispenser - it’s patent pending at present - comes complete with a support structure that can be hung on any wall and includes a special design. “There’s a choice of fifteen different designs including saints such as St. Bernadette and St. Anthony, the Sacred Heart and Our Lady.”
There’s also a choice of three different colours - mahogany, pine and white/cream.
Only the very tip of the actual dispenser is visible when it is attached to a wall surface. “It lasts for months before it has to be refilled,” he insists.
Connie has carefully hand crafted each one of the dispensers he has already produced - and demand has already exceeded expectation.
“I’ve been very pleased with the reaction to it so far and what with it coming up to Christmas, I’m hoping it will make an attractive and practical present.”
He has brought his initiative to the far reaches of the county and it’s also on sale in Derry. “Eventually I hope to hit the whole country with it.”
The Derrybeg man was previously involved in the manufacturing of patio slabs but the economic downturn largely put paid to that in recent years.
But his unique dispenser is set to pave the way for a future of holy water fonts that will never run dry.