Monday 15 December 2014

Saint Mughain of Cluain-Boirenn, December 15


On December 9 we commemorated two of the daughters of Oilill, Feidhealm and Mughain. I mentioned then that Mughain has a second commemoration on December 15, at least in the locality of Cluain-Boirenn, which Pádraig Ó Riain identifies as possibly being modern Cloonburren, County Roscommon. It is only one of a number of localities associated with this holy lady, Ó Riain's Dictionary of Irish Saints lists various others, including Kilmoon in County Clare where traditional devotion continued at the holy well up until the early nineteenth century, even though a feast day was no longer remembered for the saint. The Martyrology of Donegal records:

MUGHAIN, Virgin, of Cluain-Boirenn.

whilst the earlier Martyrology of Gorman notes:
15. F. 
Mogain [1] against every great battle. 
[1] a virgin, from Cluain Bairenn.

Reading Professor Ó Riain's research leaves the impression that this holy woman was once an important saintly figure, even if today her reputation is much more obscure.

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