Sunday 19 May 2013

Saint Ciarán, Son of Colga, May 19

May 19 sees the commemoration on the Irish calendars of a saint Ciarán, about whom no other details seem to have survived. Canon O'Hanlon is unable to definitively locate him in either time or place, but among the possibilities seems most keen on the Saint Ciarán associated with the church at Layd (Laide), in County Antrim:

At the present date, we find an entry of this saint, in the published Martyrology of Tallagh, as also in the Franciscan copy. However, we can find little to record concerning him. The Bollandists have Kieranus, son of Colgan, at the 19th of May. This day, the Martyrology of Donegal records the veneration of Ciarán, son to Colga. A certain Kieran, son of Tulchan, mentioned in the Life of St. Fintan, Abbot of Clonenagh, was erroneously supposed to be identical with the present saint. The name of his father, however, makes a difference of personality. There is a St. Kieran, assigned as patron of the old ruined church of Layd, in the parish so called, in Antrim County, according to a popular tradition. It stands in the parish churchyard. The length of the church was 61 feet, while the breadth was 24. Attached to this ruin, and at the west end, there is a square building, about 24 and a half feet long, and 24 in breadth. Its under story is arched above, and it has been converted into a burial vault. The chamber over this is of the same dimensions, and it seems to have been formerly a dormitory. The church and cemetery are beautifully situated on a slope, which overhangs the sea, and about one mile northeast from the village of Cushendall, also called Bunandhalla, and near Cushendun Bay. But, we may not state, whether that old church of the St. Kieran of tradition can be identified with the present holy man.

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