Friday, 1 January 2016

Saint Colman Muilinn of Derrykeighan, January 1

January 1 is the commemoration of a County Antrim saint with Patrician associations, Colman Muilinn of Derrykeighan. Irish genealogical sources link the mother of our saint to Milchú, the man who first kept Saint Patrick in slavery. Canon O'Hanlon brings us the following account of 'Colman of the Mill' in the first volume of his Lives of the Irish Saints:

St. Colman Muilinn, of Derrykeighan, County of Antrim.

[Fifth or Sixth Century.]

From various accounts, it would appear, the Church of Derrykeighan must have been one of the oldest foundations in Ireland. Its first administrator is stated to have been brother to St. Mochay, who died towards the close of the fifth century. The name of this place seems to have been derived from doire, "an oak wood," and from Chaochain, a proper name, and also meaning, "purblind." Foundations of the original church remain in the old churchyard. Upon them stand the roofless walls of an old building.

Colman Muilinn is simply entered in the "Martyrology of Tallagh," on this day. He belonged to a place known as Derrykeighan, in the county of Antrim, and within the diocese of Connor. Further particulars concerning him we read in the "Martyrology of Donegal." There it is stated that Colman Muilinn, of Doire-Chaechain, belonged to Dal-Riada, in Ulster. Bronach, daughter of Milchu, son to Buan, is said to have been his mother. We are informed, likewise, that it was in a mill St. Colman used to make obeisance to the brethren. No clue to the date of his death can be found in our Annals.

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