Saturday 19 October 2019


From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Inniscathy county Duleek which gives name to the barony is four miles south west of Drogheda Duleek Damhliagh a house of stone recorded as the first structure of stone for a monastery in Ireland In the calendar of Cashell St Kienan of Duleek is stated to have written a life of St Patrick This eminent saint died according to the Four Masters AD 480 St Kienan was it seems a native of Meath and was baptized by St Patrick when an infant His birth is stated to have occurred about the year 442 His episcopacy then at Duleek could not be earlier than 472 His family was an illustrious one The Kienan of Duleek is not to be confounded with another Kienan who was a native of Connaught and who went to Gaul became a monk in the monastery of St Martin at Tours and who is said to have erected a church in the territory of the Eugenian sept To the saint of Duleek St Patrick gave a copy of the gospels which was then an inestimable gift In the poem of Flann of the monastery preserved in the book of Leacan the following passage occurs which shows us that the household of the national apostle consisted of persons who were skilled in different arts Elsewhere is mention of his silversmith bell founder &c His three masons good was their intelligence Caeman Cruithneach Luchraid strong They made Damhhliags first In Erin Eminent their history AD 749 died Caerban of Duleek AD 778 died Fergus bishop of Duleek AD 870 in his eighty seventh year Gnia abbot bishop anchorite and scribe died AD 878 plundered by the Danes Their leader it is related came to an untimely end AD 1147 the steeple was injured by lightning AD 1149 the abbey of Duleek was pillaged by the Danes AD 1170 the abbot was empowered by parliament to erect a weir on the river Boyne AD 1171 the forces of Miles de Cogan committed frightful destruction within this sanctuary But the Danes of Dublin at this time Christians whom Providence had now raised up as a scourge against the invaders fell suddenly upon de Cogan and his troops and took ample satisfaction for the sacrilegious outrage which he had committed After the lapse of eleven years this monastery was rebuilt at the expense of Hugh de Lacie at which time the canons regular of St Augustine were introduced and it became moreover subject to the priory of Lanthony near Gloucester Its priors continued until the period of the general suppression when its possessions consisting of eighty three townlands became a sacrifice to the rapacity of English heretics Those immense possessions were granted to Sir Gerald Moore Priory of the Virgin Mary In the twenty ninth year of King Edward III it was found that a priory for canons regular was founded here by the family of O Kelley long before the English invasion AD 1200 Gilbert was prior AD 1380 it was enacted that no Irishman should be permitted to profess himself in this priory At the confiscation the value of the possessions of this priory may be estimated by the amount of rent 66 1s 8d annually payable by Henry Draycot and his heirs to whom they were assigned The fortunate adventurer Sir Gerald Moore obtained of its other possessions a grant at the annual rent of 9 11s 7d being obliged to maintain an archer on said lands for ever Fidelity to England treason to God and religion perfidy and treachery to parents aided by the rack and by the torture by the sword as well as by the cannon have been the instruments by which that nation has striven to implant the heresies of her bastard queen on the soil of Ireland Having failed to establish them by sanguinary means England tries the seductive charms of her treasury which the spoils of nations have more than replenished by giving to the middle classes of Ireland a system of godless education with which she would soon undermine the ancient faith of Catholic Ireland

Thursday 10 October 2019


From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Lismullen in the barony of Skrine about two miles north of Tarah Alicia sister to Richard de la Corner bishop of Meath founded the nunnery of Lismullen for canonesses of St Augustine in the year 1240 under the invocation of the Holy Trinity


From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Killmainham beg in the barony of Kells In the reign of king Richard L Walter de Lacie lord of Meath founded this monastery for knights of the order of St John of Jerusalem AD 1292 friar John of St Bottulph was preceptor AD 1326 friar Roger Utlaugh was preceptor AD 1588 an inquisition found this commandery in a ruinous state owing to the devastations committed by Sir Thomas Barnewall knight his son Alexander and Sir Thomas Cusack In the thirty third of queen Elizabeth it was granted to Sir Patrick Barnewall knight for the term of sixty one years at the annual rent of fifty marcs for the first twenty one years and 63 12s 2 d Irish money for the remainder of the said term Killmainham wood in the barony of Kells The family of Preston founded this commandery for knights Hospitallers in the 13th century AD 1587 September 23d a lease of the said commandery was made for the term of twenty one years to Henry Duke at the yearly rent of 4 10s

Domhnach More

From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Domnach mor in campo Ethnach near Navan The original church of Domnaghmore was built by St Patrick who placed there his disciple St Cassanus whose relics were preserved in this church and held in the highest veneration for ages after his death AD 843 died the abbot Robertagh the son of Flinn The round tower of Domnachmor has a doorway with a figure of the Saviour crucified sculptured in relievo on its keystone and the stone immediately placed over it the head of the figure reached the joint of this upper stone while nearly approaching the curve of the keystone On each side of the door is a human head carved the one partly on the band and the other outside it This doorway placed at an elevation of twelve feet from the base of the tower measures five feet two inches in height and its inclined jambs are two feet three inches asunder and two feet at the spring of the arch This tower is considered to belong to the 10th century That the round towers are of Christian origin is undeniable Nowhere are they as yet discovered unless in connexion with the ancient ecclesiastical establishments of the country If they had been used for other purposes than Christian belfries or for the worship of fire as some pretended in ignorance of the early history of the Irish church how is it that at Tarah the stronghold of that form of paganism there is no vestige of any such tower or building nor at Downpatrick in Tyrawley another place in which the fire worship was observed nor in the islands of Aran to which the obstinate votaries or priests of the old superstition had fled sooner than embrace the saving truths of the Gospel When St Patrick founded Armagh there is no record of the existence of a round tower there while the building of St Patrick's cathedral is so accurately described as well as the office of his campanarius or bellman and if a tower of this description had been converted into a belfry how is it that such a fact would be unrecorded When the converted princes gave up their fortresses as at Fenagh and Killbannon mention is made of those grants of the yew tree which the apostle planted at Newry memory is kept in the Irish annals and if the apostle had consecrated the Pagan places of worship to that of the true God such an act of triumph over the errors of Paganism would be faithfully recorded At Kildare which took its name from the oak tree growing there at the time that St Brigid founded her church there was no round tower until a subsequent period The worship of fire was carried on in many places over the country and those places still retain the names which designate the fact such as Greany Tomgreany &c and in which no traces of the round tower exist The annals of Ireland point out the era of the erection of some towers as at Clonmacnoise and Annadown In the former establishment is Temple Finghen and its round tower which is entered by a door way from the church and level with the floor thereof If some towers remain without vestiges of an ecclesiastical building attached be it remembered that many of those churches were built of wood and consigned to the flames by the plundering Danes who devastated in particular everything sacred These towers were used it appears from the Irish annals not alone as belfries but also as places of security for the valuables of the altars in cases of sudden attack being by their construction and solidity capable of resisting every kind of military machine then known and also fire They were also in many places as at Killala peculiarly adapted for the purpose of signal towers as well as beacons to guide the wearied traveller towards the sacred buildings where they found religion as well as hospitality practised towards them