Professor Pádraig Ó Riain, in his 2011 Dictionary of Irish Saints reveals that the saint is associated with the County Kildare locality of Killelan, probably originally Ceall Ghialláin. The Giallán of this place is described in a scribal note found in the Martyrology of Tallaght at October 2 which refers to a Leinster prince called Oinmhe, a hostage with Saint Brigid of Kildare. He is then renamed Giallán, from the Irish word for a hostage giall. October 2 seems to be the main commemoration of Saint Giallán, but his name is recorded on September 6 in the Martyrology of Tallaght, although this is the only Irish calendar where it appears on this day.The scribal note records how the prince was given as a hostage, first to another ruler and then subsequently to Saint Brigid, in order to secure the submission of his father:
Onme (i.e. simul) or Omne son of the king of Leinster. And he was given as a hostage to the king of Leth Cuind, and he gave him into Brigit's hand that she might on his account obtain submission a patre suo, et aliquo die dixerunt discipulae Brigitae ei: ' 'tis lovely the little hostage (giallán) is to-day,' said they. 'Giallán will be his name for ever,' said Brigit. And that is the one who is in Cell Giallain in Ui Muiridaig.
It seems that the little hostage made quite an impression on Saint Brigid and her household!
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I really enjoy reading about the Irish Saints - thanks for posting the information about them. Very fascinating.
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