They were founded in 1958 as the Irish Divining Research Association. Due to the deaths of three of the leading members in 1965, the Society became dormant for a period, reviving again in May 1976 due to the efforts of Mrs. B Dawson and Mr. J.A. McIvor. It was at this point that the name was changed to The Irish Society of Diviners.
Membership is open to all those seriously interested in dowsing/divining and related fields.
Where poverty bites, deep losses can be grevious. For us in Carlow in the forties, strays and losses were grievous indeed. As often as not the first resort was 'send him to Wilson', and Wilson at the Old Gasworks in Montgomery Street would pass the rod over a large sheet of the town to spot the location - as of then - of the missing money, straying ducks, or whatever.
Wilson's reputation was widespread - he was even invoked later, they told us, in Vatican archaeology where, despite having defective architects plans, he pinpointed the spot where human bones were located as a result, in the search for St. Peter's tomb or remains.
But one real basis of respect for him was the IQ or personality test he evolved. This apparently involved asking a guest to think of someone they knew, after which Wilson would let the rod describe it's clockwise or anti-clockwise circuits at whatever speed it chose. From these motions Wilson would then make a fair stab or a very close reading of the character etc. of the subject being thought of. A good party game grew up round the level at which this discovery of Wilson's was accepted, that, and a residual doubt because of the acuity of so many of his observations on the 'unknown' subject of dowsing.
His old friend, Dr. Thomas Keogh, then Roman Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, who lived in Braganza, a couple of hundred yards upwater along the Barrow track from Montgomery Street, decided to test this new skill.
He asked Wilson to display this power and pattern. As uaual, Wilson asked him to think of someone he knew. On this occasion, however, the rod went decidedly anti-clockwise. Wilson, thinking the Bishop had selected - as most do - a close friend or relative, became quite upset and reluctant to make his comments known. Dr. Keogh continued to press him, however, until eventually and rather belatedly, Wilson realized that far from being distressed, as he himself was, the bishop was quietly enjoying the dowser's discomfort.
Wilson in turn then pressed the bishop to tell him who the subject was, saying that depending on the identity he would or would not make his observations known. Both broke into laughter when the bishop frankly admitted he had been thinking of a very ill patient in the nearby hospital. This condition, of course, was what the anti-clockwise circuit of the rod hsad already indicated to the dowser.
By Padraigh O'Snodaighthe then President of Conradh na Gaeilge, who wrote this story for 'The Irish Diviner' newsletter.