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St. Suairleach, Abbot of Magheralin, County of Down.
According to one account, this holy man is said to have belonged to the northern province, and to the parish of Magheralin. This lies, partly in the barony of Oneilland East, county of Armagh, but chiefly in that of Lower Iveagh, county of Down. However, the entry in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 23rd of April, for the saint of this day, is Soardlech ind Edhnen. There he seems to be associated in locality, with the holy man, of whom a notice succeeds. One townland in the parish of Magheralin is yet called Linn Huachuille, where the old monastery stood. It was so called, from St. Colman, or Mocholmoc, the founder, who died in 699. On this day, the Martyrology of Donegal, registers a festival in honour of Suairleach, Abbot of Linn Duachaille. According to some accounts, this holy abbot died, A.D. 770; while A.D. 774 is set down for that event, in the Annals of Ulster. Subsequently to this date, that place was frequently ravaged by the Danish invaders, as recorded in our chronicles.
Rev John O'Hanlon, Lives of the Irish Saints , Volume IV, (Dublin, 1875), 465.
Monastery of Linn Duachaill.—It is in the townland of Linns, close to the village of Annagassan, that we find the first trace of an ecclesiastical establishment in the Parish of Gernonstown. St. Colman MacLuachan is said to have founded a church or monastery here in the seventh century. It was known by the name of Linn Duachaill (i.e.. Duachaill's pool), or Linn Uachaill from a demon named Duachaill, who is said to have infested the place and terrified the neighbourhood until destroyed by St. Colman. Duachaill's pool is still pointed out at the junction of the Clyde and Dee before they enter the sea at Annagassan. Dr. O'Donovan once thought that Linn Duachaill was Magheralin. Co. Down, and at first Bishop Reeves seems to have had the same opinion. But both those antiquaries found it necessary to correct their opinion on becoming acquainted with the topography and traditions of Annagassan. For Linn Duachaill was on the banks of the river called Casan Linne (Martyr. Doneg., Mar. 30, p. 91, cp Colgan Acta SS., pp. 792-703), and this river is mentioned in the "Circuit of Ireland " as lying between the Vale of Newry, or Glen Righe, and Ath Gabhla on the Boyne. The name " Casan''="paths" survives in Annagassan. According to Joyce (Names of Places, p. 373) "Casan " was originally joined with "Linne Duachaill" and became shortened to " Casan linne," which is preserved in Annagassan=Ath-na-gcasan, "the ford of the paths." Dr. Todd, who has an important note on the subject in " Wars of the Gaedhil with the Gall," p. lxii., says, Annagassan=Aonach g Casain, i.e., the " Fair of Casan." Joyce's interpretation is, I think, to be preferred, as the people still speak of the "Pass of Linns " and this pass, as pointed out, lay further up the River Glyde, about a quarter of a mile from Duachaill's pool, and near the spot where the monastery founded by St. Colman is believed to have stood.
The Four Masters and Annals of Ulster do not tell very much about the Monastery of Linn Duachaill. The following entries in the former refer to it : —
699. — Colman of Linn Duachaill died on 30 March.
752. — Siadhail, Abbot of Linn Duachaill, died.
758.— Anfadan, Abbot of Linn Duachaill, died.
770. — Suairlech, Abbot of Linn Duachaill, died.
803. — Thomas, Bishop, Scribe, and Abbot of Linn Duachaill, died.
826. — Clemens, Abbot of Linn Duachaill, died.
Rev. J. B. Leslie, History of Kilsaran Union of Parishes in the County of Louth, (Dundalk, 1908), 89-91.
The Sons of Erc, of Darmagh, said to have been Durrow, King's County.
The Martyrology of Tallagh enters as a festival, MacErcca of Dermaigh, at this same date [i.e. April 19]. This place, which is Anglicised 'the plain of the Oaks' is said to have been identical with the present Durrow, a parish, partly in the barony of Moycashel, county of Westmeath, but principally in that of Ballycowan, King's County. This monastery was founded by St. Columkille, about the year 550; and on a site, granted by Bredan, a chief of Teffia. Other accounts have the foundation of Durrow, at A.D. 546. It was subsequently governed by St. Lasren; but, St, Columba retired here, and drew up certain rules and instructions, for the future good government of this celebrated house. We have a long list of annalistic entries, referring to it, and reaching down to the time of its suppression, by Queen Elizabeth.
The saints here commemorated appear to have had a second festival, at November the 12th. Marianus O'Gorman, at this day, has an entry of those holy men; and, at this date also, quoting his authority, and that of the Tallagh Martyrology, the Bollandists enter Filii Ercae de Dermagia. The festival in honour of the sons of Erc, of Dermagh, was celebrated, on this day, as we read in the Martyrology of Donegal.
St. Moninnsen, of Mainistir
From the appendix to this proper name, we may assume, probably, that he was a monk, and belonging to some particular monastery. At this date, a festival is recorded, in the Martyrology of Tallagh in honour of a St. Moninnsen, of Manister. There are so many localities, in different parts of Ireland, compounded with the word Mainistir, signifying "a monastery' that in the absence of further accounts regarding this saint, it will be difficult to identify him, or his place of retreat. Quoting the Martyrology of Tallagh, as their authority, the Bollandists enter Monindus senex de monasterio; and if this be correct, we should probably infer, that the present holy recluse lived to an old age.
April 16 is the commemoration of Bishop Failbe of Killower in County Galway. The 17th-century hagiologist, Father John Colgan, sought to identify him with a bishop Fáilbe, for whom Saint Patrick had founded a church. Canon O'Hanlon can only bring these few details:
Saint Failbe or Falbe, Bishop.
The name of Failbe appears, in the Martyrology of Tallagh at the 16th day of April. By Colgan, as St. Falbe is called Bishop of Kill-Fore, or Fobhuir, while his festival is assigned to the 11th of January, or to the 16th of April. He is classed among the disciples of St. Patrick. The name of Failbhe is set down in the Martyrology of Donegal as having been venerated, on this day; but, it is not at all certain, when he flourished, or when he lived.
St. Conall, Bishop of Clonallan, County or Down.[Sixth Century.]In the Martyrology of Tallagh, the name of Conall, son of Aedha, is found, entered at the 2nd of April. The Bollandists', while deferring an opinion on the subject, until the Acts of the Irish Saints should receive further illustration, remark, that the saint, venerated on this day at Cluain-dallain, is thought, by Colgan, to have been Connall, Abbot of Killchonail, in the territory, known as Maine, or Hy-Maine. The O'Clerys state, that the saint, venerated on the 2nd of April, belonged to the race of Irial, son to Conall Cearnach. At first, St Conall was president over Clonallan church, county of Down, at an early period. He afterwards succeeded St. Carbreus, as Bishop of Coleraine, about the year 570. His parish was evidently near Carlingford Lough, which becomes contracted at Caol, "narrow," in the same sense, as that used by the Scotch, in the word Kyles, now the Narrow Water. The name of this church is said, however, to have been derived from St Dalian, who flourished in the sixth century. The O'Clerys' Calendar states, that his place was near Snamh Each, i.e. the harbour near unto the Cael, in Ui Eathach, of Uladh. We read, in the Martyrology of Donegal, that veneration was paid, on this day, to Conall, son of Aedh, of Cluain, i.e. of Cluain Dallain, now Clonallan parish.