The Bone Setter, back pain remedies & Irish weather forecasting

Hollybrook House

… you can’t make this shit up.

When arriving at Dublin Airport last month I had a bit of a fall down the escalator.  I have a bad back to begin with and I wasn’t sure if the fall or the Irish weather made it worse.

… the weather in Ireland … you ask … well, I could do the forecasting here …   at the end of the news each evening I would show a few pictures sent in by viewers around the country, wish happy birthday to several others and then give the forecast … my forecast would go something like this “it’s fucking drizzly and very fucking overcast … only ten fucking minutes ago it was fucking sunny!  I suppose in another ten fucking minutes it’ll be fucking torrential fucking monsoon type fucking rain … followed shortly thereafter by fucking Hurricane fucking Biddy and a fucking asteroid shower!  For fuck sake this is Gawdawful!.. in summary … it’s going to rain all fucking week.”

One of the guys that helped me up when I fell was on the same flight.  We got to talking about bad backs and remedies.  He told me that, a few years ago, he went to this guy in Myshel called the “Bone Setter” and he “straightened” him out.

Well my back has gotten worse and I found out through family that apparently the whole country knows about the “Setter” and his late horse Danoli.


Danoli, was owned by Dan O’Neill and his daughter Olive and was one of the most popular and successful racehorses in Ireland.

Danoli captured hearts and won admiration for the bravery he showed in sealing big-race successes at Cheltenham and Aintree. He was trained by Tom Foley at Aughabeg Stables Bagenalstown and won 17 of his 32 career starts with one outstanding performance being his Sun Alliance Hurdle at Cheltenham in 1994.  Danoli died in April of 2006.

Dan O'Neill

A retired farmer, Dan O’Neill treats animals and humans, without medical qualifications of any kind, out of a side room in Hollybrook House.

“It is a gift from God and it’s been in my family for 400 years,” he later told me.  The renowned bone setter whose farmyard in Myshel, Co Carlow, sees men, women, children, horses, cats, dogs, cows and sheep all lining up to take their turn at healing the old-fashioned way.

“I started in 1960 when a neighbour, who had been treated by my late uncle, insisted I try putting his bone back in place. I did and people have been coming to me ever since. They come from all over Ireland and abroad. I see 20 to 50 people a day and lots of animals and it’s on a first come, first served basis.”

I got there early and and was left waiting with a sheep and two ducks.  I was not aware that one must pull a ticket in order to reserve time with Mr. O’Neill, so the ducks went first.

Then me…

My brother in law told me to ask about Danoli, I did, and for the next 15 minutes Dan talked about his late horse and how much the people of Ireland loved him.  Perhaps this discussion was to set me at ease.

He put me through a few bends and twists and told me to rub hot olive oil on the area for about 15 minutes a night.  Last night was my first.

I can only hope that it works for me and my new best friends … Blackie, Web,  Quackers …

I  made up the part about the sheep and ducks … it was just a pig … and his name was Herman.


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34 Responses to The Bone Setter, back pain remedies & Irish weather forecasting

  1. Elaine Mackey says:

    Well did you find an improvement?

  2. Dan says:

    Any joy? Thinking about visiting him myself.

  3. Terry says:

    Did you get better? Did the visit work? Please let us know. Thanks.


  5. katherinemccormack says:

    I hurted my back over christmas, lifting a heavy item. Now My back is sore ( no pain) in lower back. Sometimes redating to my hip’s.

  6. james o'flaherty says:

    the man is a genius, i dont know how he got his knowledge but he has cured loads of people and animals that conventional medicine couldnt. i am an engineer and not the least bit superstitious but i have seen the results with my own eyes. if you have a problem with bones or discs or back then dan is the man

  7. Sean O'Neill says:

    This is too funny. Great blog post. Dan O’Neill is my Dad’s second cousin ( I think that means he’s my second cousin once removed…)! His side obviously stayed in Ireland, while my branch came to Pittsburgh in 1912. Too cool seeing this about the family. I hope your back is doing better!!!

  8. Carol Hunter says:

    I just want to share my experience if I may. I’m from Scotland, though my partner has Irish connections. Anyway for some time I had been plagued with a really sore knee/hip which restricted my movements and made me rely heavily on 2 sticks for support – I really was in a lot of pain. I was in a pub in kildare when someone I knew said I should try Dan O’Neill of Myshall. To be honest, I had this picture of a “Faith Healer” in my head, so I didn’t really give it much more thought. However, a few days later, we took a drive down to check it out as I’d seen just about every specialist back home and thought nothing ventured, nothing gained. If it wasn’t for the calf, I would have been second in line. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t what I got!
    I came face to face with this huge man with massive hands who proped himself up aginst a radiator. I told him the problem I had and where I felt the most pain. He ran his fingers down my spine – starting at the base of my head and when he got to the third or fourth vertebrae, he suddenly snapped my head around – it wasn’t the least bit sore, but did leave me stunned. Then he continued feeling down my spine and, when he reached my lower back, he grabbed my sore leg, wedged his knee into the small of my back and brought my leg thru 360.c and yanked it straight back. It all happened so fast, it was over in the blink of an eye. If truth be told I was in a bit of a daze, but the best bit of all was I walked out of there under my own steam – no sticks no arm for support
    and to top it all the pain and discomfort that I had lived with for goodness knows how long was completely gone. Of course I had to apply hot olive oil to the small of my back for a few weeks afterwards and I’m still forbidden to have a bath, but that’s fine, I can live with that. It’s totally unbelievable.
    This was a good few years ago, maybe even as much as 10-15 years. I have to admit though, just in the last 2-3 months I’ve started to feel a niggle, so next time I’m inIreland I’m heading straight to him – god willing he’s still with us, just a shame you can’t bottle him up and get him on the NHS! – trust me to live in the wrong postcode!

    • atchie says:

      I had exactly the same story . I fell at work a few weeks ago and pain is on my rhside now so I’m think of going back to him . he’s a great man .

    • Fiona Traynor says:

      He’s alive and well and I’m due to see him on Monday. I’m not originally from the area and live there the passed 10 years. I’ve been suffering on and off with back pain and sciatica which acted up recently and someone recommended him. When I got directions I realised he’s only 5 minutes from me and I’ve been living the past 3 months with sciatica and not sleeping. Looking forward to my first visit and a proper nights sleep Fiona

  9. tommy o'neill says:

    went to see this guy after busting my back snowboarding a few years back,had doctors saying I had nothing wrong with me !..which didn’t explain the pain that was so bad I had to sleep sitting up on the bed or sometines on the couch!!..went to this guy(who is no relation)and after arriving from a trek from tipp I was sure I had waisted my time.

    cut a long story short this healer said I had 2 discs out of place,after one more night of pain which he predicted the pain went away and never returned…guy is a good one check him out.

  10. Marion Gordon says:

    Would like an appointment while I am in Ireland this week if possible

  11. Derek says:

    I have seen Dan on more than one occasion each time I have been in terrible
    pain.within a cpl. of days the pain disappears .unfortunately my work is the reason
    I have to return.Only for this man my life would be very miserable.
    There’s no doubt in my mind this man is blessed.


  12. liz king says:

    hi my huspand has beening to dan and my daughter and the both believe he is the best with back pain .they both fune never look back.

  13. Alan kennedy says:

    Our dog has a sore back we are just wondering is Dan open on a bank holiday Mon

  14. mo says:

    i have been with dan three weeks ago . i wasn’t able to walk . he did some things very simple . he told me to comeback after four weeks if i still have pain . but i feel so good . i had joint out . and disc in my lower spine . all what i can say i was thinking to go for an operation but dan did something much better , thanks dan . thanks million.

  15. William murphy says:

    I’ve been to see dan 3 times he does what it says on the tin
    You feel abit sore leaving cos he clicked all your bits back in
    Dan rocks he is great. Any1 with back or neck pain go to him first
    Doctors and X-rays are a pure waste of time money and energy
    Dan d man will fix you up on the spot.

  16. Darren says:

    Had surgery before wasn’t successful doctors recommend second one didn’t go for it almost 3 years out of work,but about two weeks ago I seen Dan with my lower back problem
    And I think he helped me no pain anymore,feeling great
    Thank you so much

  17. barry says:

    Went to see hime last week. Fixed my back (a dislocated joint). Man is a legand

  18. Dawn greenwood says:

    has anyone got Dan o Neil’s number. I want to make a visit to his place for my partner shoulder killing him wit pain. thank you.

  19. Paddy McCabe says:

    Just been in to see Dan with a sore neck, after a few rubs and twists in various positions he explained I had 2 discs out, should be ok in a couple of days! I’ve been to Dan twice before with lower back trouble which he duly obliged in fixing. A great man

  20. Sarah Leigh says:

    Went to see Dan today everything you guys say is true ..I’m still a bit sore but the siatca is gone I’ll no within the next to days if its worked I’ll keep you posted

  21. Anne says:

    Hi Daniel got pain in back and down left leg I live in London can you help my name is Anne

  22. Debbie Murphy says:

    Anyone had cold backed horse go to him?

  23. Nicholas duffy says:

    Great reading about peoples joy of being rid of pain, i was one of these people who lost 2 years of my life through pain and one day while on a floor on my knees with pain my good friend joe carney told my about dan o neill carlow / myshel so low and behold i made my way through pain and guess what there was a horse before me i didnt mind as i had a great conversation with him i was amazed that he even took his own ticket haha only joking but not about the horse then me i walked out straight the pain was gone it was a hot poker just been pulled out of my back. God bless this my Dan o neill the legend

  24. Ursula says:

    My dog was knocked down by a car and was walking around on three paws and miserable. I brought him to Dan O’NEILL and after he manipulated the affected leg the dog walked out of there on four paws with not a bother on him. Such a pity I didn’t video a before and after visit scene. The man is truly gifted.

  25. Júlíus Júlíusson says:

    Hi i like to know if Dan O’Neill is still working in bone setting? I have L5 vertebrae in wrong position and need to get well again.
    Best regards

    • Daniel Carney says:

      I am not the bone setter ..I don’t know how to reach him but try to find him in Myshall Ireland via google

  26. margaret says:

    my mother is due to have a hip replacement just wondering would you be able to do something for her. she also has artritis

  27. Phil Rogers says:

    Over the past 33 years, about 30 of my clients’ horses with hind limb lameness due to severe sacroiliac displacement were directed to Dan O’Neill for manipulation of the displaced sacroiliac joint.

    About 90% of the horses were realigned after one manipulation. Unrealigned horses need to be manipulated 1-2 times more. Manipulated horses needed a few acupuncture treatments for 1-2 weeks afterwards to relieve residual pain in the rump / sacroiliac area.

    Under guidelines of the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI), it is unethical for a vet to refer an animal to an “unqualified person” for treatment. Dan would be “unqualified” according to the VCI.

    However, without giving a direct referral, vets who know the value of spinal / joint manipulation (but who have not the skill to do it themselves), find ways to direct a client’s animal to an expert, like Dan. As far as I am concerned, Dan can work wonders that are beyond my vet skills.

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