Thousands of people have been travelling to Drangan in County Tipperary to avail of the healing touch of a bonesetter.
A bonesetter is a practitioner of joint manipulation, a skill that is instinctual rather than learned.
You couldn’t train for it, you couldn’t learn manipulation.
Jimmy Heffernan is sometimes called an osteopath or a chiropractor, or even by the less complimentary term quack. However he is not bothered by the terminology.
I wouldn’t mind the Dickens what they call me.
After practising on farm animals and minor breaks in humans, Jimmy left farm work to concentrate on bone setting full-time. Many of his clients would visit him before considering going to a doctor and his success rate proves he is anything but fraudulent. One farmer cured by Jimmy says,
I was crippled walking into him but when I came out I was able to jump about.
Jimmy Heffernan does not advertise his services and charges no more than a pound per session, often providing his care free of charge. He has no problem with doctors and 80% of them are positive about what he can do for patients.
In spite of working by instinct rather than by scientific knowledge, Jimmy is keen to point out he knows exactly what he is doing and his patients are not in any danger.
A ‘Newsbeat’ report by Bill O’Herlihy broadcast on 17 January 1967.
'Newsbeat' was a half-hour feature programme presented by Frank Hall and ran for 7 years from September 1964 to June 1971.
'Newsbeat' was aired at 7pm from Monday to Friday on RTÉ television and reported on current affairs and issues of local interest from around Ireland.The final programme was broadcast on the 11th of June, 1971.