Recently the feast day of St. Bridget on 1st of February was marked but there is another female saint whose feast day occurred just two days later, on 3rd of February, for whom there is a Malahide connection.St. Werburgh was an early English royal abbess and was revered for ensuring healthy pregnancies. She was the daughter of King Wulfhere of Mercia. Born in AD 650, she renounced the world on the death of her father, retreated to a convent in Ely, England and founded monastic houses over which she presided. On her death she was buried in Hanbury, Staffordshire, but her body was later moved to Chester to place it beyond the reach of marauding Danes and St. Werburgh over time became the patroness of Chester and guardian saint of Chester cathedral. Her memory lives on in the cathedral and in representations in stained glass. Chester had, from pre-Norse times, extensive trading connections with Ireland for corn, hides and fish. In 1176 a charter by King Henry II empowered the Chester City Burgesses to continue to trade with Ireland. Henry II had reserved Malahide for himself and granted Richard Talbot tenancy of Malahide provided he pledged to hold Malahide for the English Crown which the family did for 800 years until the last Lord Talbot, Milo died in 1973. Perhaps it was the traders from Chester who were responsible for the devotion to St. Werburgh in Dublin and the Malahide district or perhaps it was the early Normans.. we don’t know. A street and a church named after St. Werburgh are to be found in Dublin city near Christchurch cathedral but here near Malahide, her name is honoured by a holy well on the Gay Brook stream. Local tradition held that the natural spring well had a cure for sore eyes. A tale associated with St. Werburgh says that she brought five wild geese back to life that had been killed by a servant and as a result the emblem of a goose is associated with her and in the windows of Chester cathedral. In old Gaelic the word for goose is Gé, hence Goose Brook or Gay Brook. We have St. Werburgh’s miracle of the five geese to thank for the name. Our thanks to Malahide Historical Society.