Tuesday 14 January 2014

Saint Flann Fionn Cuillin, January 14

The saints commemorated on the Irish calendars for January 14 are all somewhat obscure. Last year I looked at the life of Saint Baetan of Inisbofin, who appears to have been a successor to Saint Colman at the island monastery founded in the wake of the Paschal dating controversy. O'Hanlon lists another saint for this day, whose feast, like that of Saint Baetan, is well attested in the sources, but about whom we also have few other details, save that he seems to have flourished in the Cork area:
St. Flann Fionn Cuillinn, of a place near Cork.
Hereafter it may be possible for local investigators to discover the sites of holy places, the names alone being on record. The Irish MS. Calendar of the O'Clerys, which is kept in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy, mentions a saint, named Flann Fionn Cuillinn, at this day. He is said to have been from or of a place near Cork. We may suppose the place, called Cuillen or Cullen, must have been convenient to this southern city. A festival in honour of Flann fion i Cuillin i Fail Corcaighe, occurs in the Martyrology of Tallagh, on the 14th of January. Besides the foregoing entries, we find set down in the Martyrology of Donegal, on this day, Flann Finn of Cuillinn, in the vicinity of Corcach. This holy man must have flourished during or before the eighth century, since his festival, at this date, has been inscribed by St. Oengus the Culdee, in his Irish Metrical Calendar.

Pádraig Ó Riain's 2011 Dictionary of Irish Saints wonders if he might be the same person as Saint Flann of Derrynaflan, the site where the wonderful chalice and altar vessels were found in County Tipperary. 

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