Sunday 10 July 2016

Deacon Aedh of Cuil-Maine, July 10

On July 10 Canon O'Hanlon brings details of a Saint Aedh, described in the Martyrologies as a 'Deacon'. He identifies the locality associated with this holy man as Clonmany, County Donegal. Pádraig Ó Riain's entry for the saint, however, places him instead in the County Fermanagh parish of Magheraculmoney and suggests that he is identical with Saint Maodhóg of Ferns. Deacon Aedh has a second feast day on August 31, one he shares with a couple of namesakes. So, he is one of the Irish saints who well illustrates the difficulties in trying to work through the evidence from genealogical, martyrological, and place name sources. Ó Riain's account of the saint can be found on page 70 of his  A Dictionary of Irish Saints (Dublin, 2011), below is that of Canon O'Hanlon from Volume VII of his Lives of the Irish Saints:

Deacon Aedh, of Cuil-Maine, now Clonmany, County of Donegal. 

Veneration was given, at the 10th of July, to Aodh Deochain in Crichmaine, according to the Martyrology of Tallagh. Elsewhere this record styles him Mac Maine. Marianus O'Gorman remits his feast to the 31st of August, as the Bollandists, who notice him at the 10th of July, observe. At the the same date, an entry appears in the Martyrology of Donegal, regarding Deacon Aedh, of Cuil-Maine. This was the ancient name of the parish of Clonmany, in the north-western part of the barony of Inishowen, and county of Donegal. This church was served by a vicar, to the close of the fifteenth century. The village here is pleasantly situated on a small rivulet, which rising in the adjoining mountains finds its course to the Atlantic Ocean. Another festival, in honour of the present saint, seems to have been observed, on the 31st of August.

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