Tuesday 9 August 2022

The Three Daughters of Ailill, August 9

The Martyrology of Tallaght, one of the earliest of the Irish calendars, lists at August 9 the feast of Tri ingena Ailella - the three daughters of Ailill. Such groupings of saintly siblings are a feature of the Irish calendars, indeed these holy ladies share their day with Cethri meic Ercain - the four sons of Ercan and Ceithre meic Dimmain - the four sons of Dioman. We are unable to learn any more about the identities of the individuals who comprise the group of Ailill's daughters, nor when or where they flourished. In Volume VIII of his Lives of the Irish Saints Canon O'Hanlon gives this brief account, noting that the Tallaght calendar is the sole source for the feast of Ailell's daughters as they are not listed on the Martyrology of Donegal, compiled by Michael O'Clery and his associates in the seventeenth century: 

Article III. Tri h. Inghena Ailalla. 

Written in this manner, we have a festival entered in the Martyrology of Tallagh, as edited by the Rev. Dr. Kelly; although we find no corresponding entry, at this day, in the Martyrology of Donegal, edited by Drs. Todd and Reeves.

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