Tuam Sept. 19 1838.

Dear Sir,

Since I wrote last I have been travelling through the barony of Clare. O'Conor is doing the barony of Tiaquin which, I expect, he will finish to-morrow if the rain does not prevent him. May I therefore expect the name books of the southern baronies as soon as possible.


This parish, which lies in the north west of the Barony of Clare, is called by the aborigines Domhnach Pádhruig, which signifies the Dominica, Kuplakn, Kirk, or Church of St. Patrick.

The present old church does not present a single feature characteristic of the primitive age and has been evidently remodelled at various


periods. It is 30 feet broad and 60 feet long not including the thickness of the walls. The east gable is level with the ground, the west gable contains a small Belfry evidently built in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. All its windows and doorways are certainly modern, but it is (appears) very likely (from the size of the stones) that the north and south side walls contain a part of the original work.

St. Patrick erected this church in the plain of Magh Siuil or Magh Seola, the Country of the Hy-Briuin-Seola in Connaught. This plain of Magh Siuil extends from the foot of Cnoc Meádha Siuil at Castlehackett to Lough Corrib, and is coextensive with the Barony of Clare. Colgan gives the following account of the erection of this church in his life of St. Fulartus:


[Hand of Patrick O'Keeffe:]

Barony of Clare


identified by Archdall {Monasticon p. 283} with Dunmore in the Barony of the same name; but more probably Donaghpatrick a P. in the Barony of Clare Co. Galway near Annaghdown.


XXIX. MartiiAA. SS. p. 788 col: a:

About the middle of the fifth (1) century there flourished in Connaught a holy man by name Fulartus the disciple of S. Patrick, and his strenuous helper in the work of the Gospel. ***

The (old) Author of the life of S. Benignus to be given at the 9th of November writes concerning these things thus. At a certain time S. Patrick proceeded into the western district of Connaught; that is, into the Plain of Siuil; and he went to the house of Echinus the son of Brian, the son of Eochy, King of the Connacians. And Patrick asked entertainment from him. And Echinus denied it, and was unwilling to salute him, or to be converted to the faith. And then S. Patrick returned to that place, in which Domnach-mor Muige Siuil, or Domnach-Patruic (2) is now, and he founded a Church, in which he left Felartus Bishop.


S. Evin in the Tripartite life of S. Patrick part. 2. Chap. 39. more definitely observes the place in which that Church lies. Having built, says he, the Church of Elphin, Patrick left many of his disciples in it. For he placed there Assycus & Biteus the son of Assycus, & Cipia the mother of Biteus (Bishop). Assycus the Holy Bishop was Patrick's brazier (faber aeris). But these made for S. Patrick altars, and quadrangular sacred books, and quadrangular patenae. One of these dishes (scutellis) was preserved at Armagh, another at Elphin, a third in the Church of S. Felartus Bishop, namely in Domnach-mor Campi Seola in the territory of Hi-Bruin-Seola, which is not far distant from Elphin to the west.

And afterwards in the same place Chap. 52. he relates how S. Fulartus and many other Bishops assisted S. Patrick in the Conversion of the people of these districts; where he also relates that S. Fulartus had two sisters devoted to God and saints.


Having disposed, he says, the affairs of the Church there Patrick betook himself to a place which, as we read, is called both Magh-selga, and (col. b) Dumha-selga; where he met the sons of Prince Brian, {namely} Bogna surnamed the Red, Derthractus, Echenus, Cremthannus, Coelchanus, & Eochadius. There in a pleasant place, where the surrounding country is seen to a wide extent, the man of God with some accompanying Bishops made a delay between two colossi or lofty stones (rocks), which paganism placed there in memory of some {famous} actions, or pagan rites. But in (on) these stones, he caused the three names of the corner stone, who made one both ways, i.e. Christ the Lord, to be cut, expressed in three languages; on one we read that the name Jesus was impressed, on another Soter, & on the third Salvator.


But between these stones there is a middle place, which from the circumstance that there S. Patrick with his attendant Bishops, about to deliberate upon the conversion of that people (nation), made a sitting there, is called Sessio Patricii. But the Prelates, who then assisted S. Patrick, were Bronus; S. Biteus of Cassel irro, S. Sacellus of Bais-Leac-mor in the territory of Kierragia; S. Brochadius of Imleacheach the brother of S. Loman of Trim; S. Bronach Priest, S. Rodanus, S. Cassanus; S. Benignus the successor of S. Patrick, and another Benignus the brother of S. Cethechus; and S. Felartus. But there were also present then two Virgins dedicated to God, the sisters of S. Felartus, the one Called Callecha, the other Crocha, who is in Cuil-chonmaicne in a certain island of the arm (freti) of the sea, which is called Muirchonmaicne. In the above mentioned tract of Dumha-Selga on the brink of a lake which is commonly called Loch-Sealga, he built a Church, which is called Dominica magna; and in it he instructed in the mysteries of the faith, having washed (them) in the laver of regeneration enlisted in the family of Christ, and fortified with his sacred benediction the sons of Brian, and the tribe of Hua-Briun. Thus S. Evinus; nor does more occur which I can bring forward concerning this Saint.


[1] Circa saeculi quinti medium. Because about this time S. Patrick laboured in the conversion of these parts, or a little before.

[2.] Domnach mor Muige Siul Domnach-Patruic. At present it is commonly called Domnach Patruic, and is only a Parish Church of the Diocese of Tuam in the Deanery of Enach duin and County of Galway, although formerly it was an Episcopal see. But on what day this Saint, the first Bishop of the place, is venerated there, is unknown to me. But why I made mention of him on this day, I have told in the preceding life of the other S. Fulartus; and its notes in the end.


Immediately preceding this life Colgan gives the Life of S. Fulartachus or (1) Fulartus of Disert-Fulartaich in Hy-Failghe.

(AA.SS. p. 787. col. b.) *** Also that his two festivals were formerly wont to be celebrated, not only the Martyrologists of later times, but even (also) S. Aengus & S. Malruan, who lived in the same age with him, hand down in their very ancient Martyrology, which we call {that} of Tallaght, and {which} that it was written before the year 787 {in which S. Malruan died} we have shewn above in the life of S. Aengus given above at the 11th day of this month. The first festival they say is celebrated on this 29th of March (6) the second (7) on the 21st of December; although in our judgement in either (alterutro) day is celebrated rather the Nativity of S. Fulartus [(1)] of Domnach in Connaught, of whom below.

NOTES (p. 787. col. b)

1. Fulartachi sive Fularti C. 1. In Irish every where Fulartach but in Latin sometimes Fulartus, sometimes Felaertus, as also another {saint} of the same name of whom afterwards. *** 2. 3 &c ***


(AA.SS. 788 Col. a.) 6. Primum festum hac 29 Martii. Thus the Martyrology of Tallaght Fulartachus filius Breci. Maguire in the same words; Marian Gorman with his Scholia; S. Fulartachus auro appretiandus, filius Breci, Episcopus de (Col. b) Cluain eraird; & de Disert Fulartaich in Hi falgio. The Martyrology of Donegal, S. Fulartus filius Breci, Episcopus de Cluain-eraird; colitur etiam in Deserto-Fulartach in Hi-falgia, obit anno 774.

7. Secunclum 21. Decembris. Thus the cited Martyrologies at the same day; at which each distinctly (notanter) calls him Fulartachus the son of Brecus, But I doubt not but that S. Fulartachus or Fulartus Bishop of Domnach in Connaught, and the disciple of S. Patrick is venerated on either day, since he was {a man} of celebrated Sanctity, and I see his Birth-day observed by Martyrologists on no other day. Whence I shall here subjoin what occurs to be observed concerning him.

{Ejus vita sequitur ut supra)

In Tr: Th. p. 178, col. a. Colgan has the following notes on the above passage in the Tripartite life which speaks of S. Fulartach's sisters. {vide retrò}

111.112. Vna Callecha, altera Crocha Cap. 52. I find nothing concerning these under such names; if for Ceocha's Corcach or Curcach ought to be read, Marian Gorman, the Martyr. of Tallaght, & Maguire at the 8th of March, 21 July, 8 August, & 16th of December, treat of many such virgins. There is also in the territory of Tir-maine a Church of the Diocese of Clonfert, which is called Tempull Cailliche; but whether from this Callecha, or from some other saint, I know not.

Sylva Fochladensio
Vita Tripartita S. Patricii par: I. Cap. XXX
Tr Th p. 121

Tune Patricius reversus est ad patriam & amicos; qui regaverunt cum, ut apud cos ae caetero remaneret, dicentes; multos labores, adversitates, & arumnes haetenus passus es; jam requiesee, & apud nos commorare, & noli amplius de terrâ in terram peregrinari. Verum non acquievit montis eorum, proptes multas quibus continuò visitabatur, visiones. Quoties cumque enim somni quietem capere Cupiebat, videbatur sibi ante oculos continuò prospicere Hibernorum insulam, ita quod perciperet sermonem & clamorees puerorum in Aylva Foehladensi dicentium; Veni sauete puer Patrici, & inter nos ambula.

Ogygia. par. Ill. Cap. LXXIX. p. 374.

Briano {mc Eathach muighmheadhain} viginti quatuor filii fuisse traduntur; quorum sex Bognam Rubrum, Derthractum, Echenum, Crimthannum, Coelcharnum, & Achaium a S. Patricio lavacro regenerationis solemniter intinctos scribit Author vita tripartitae (par. 2, C. 52) apud Moy-Seola campum, in quo Domnach-mor (hodie Domhnach-Patruig in Clare Baronia & Districtu Galviensi) basilicam erexit ad marginem Loch-sealga lacus (hodie Lough Hacket), & sacrum Christi nomen tribus Colossis, seu editis lapidibus, quos gentilitas ibi in memoriam aliquorum facinorum, vel gentilitiorum rituum posuit, incidi curavit tribus linguis, quas crucis titulo consecravit, expressum; in uno Jesus, in altero Soter, in tertio Salvator legebatur.



Vol: II. p. 293.

We are told Brian had twenty-four sons; six of whom, Bogna the Red, Derthract, Echen, Crimthann, Coelcharn, and Achy, were solemnly regenerated in the laver of baptism by St. Patrick, as we read in the tripartite life (par. 2, C. 52) in the plains of Moy-Seola, where he erected Domnach-mor (at this day Domnach Patruig in the Barony of Clare and District of Galway) cathedral, on the banks of Loch-Sealga (at present Lough Hacket), and had the sacred name of Christ inscribed in three languages on three pillars, which had been raised there in the ages of idolatry, in commemoration of some transaction or Pagan rites; on one of which was cut Jesus, on the second Soter, and on the third Salvator, with a cross over each.


[Hand of John O'Donovan resumed:] I made every search for these Colossi on the banks of Lough Hackett which O'Flaherty states Ogygia part III. c. 79 to be the modern name for Loch Sealga, but in vain. The only remarkable pillar stones in the vicinity of this Lough are cloch breac, in the townland of Baile an bhothair and another in the townland of Largan, but neither of them is (nor ever was) inscribed.

It was in my power here to impose upon future investigators of antiquities by borrowing a chisel from a stone cutter at Tuam, and inscribing SOTER on Cloch breac in the Roman characters of the time of Patrick! Such things have been done and the Corcagians are now collecting them as monuments of history!


[Hand of Patrick O'Keeffe:]

(See Life of S. larlaith, Bishop of Tuam, Note 13.) [Six lines of the page left blank here]
{Tr. Th. p. 624. col. a}
*** The Temple of S. Brigid, which is a Chapel of the Diocese of Tuam in the Parish of Domnach-Padruig. [Remainder of page is blank]

[Hand of John O'Donovan resumed:] Here it is to be remarked that there seems to be some confusion in the Tripartite about Magh Siuil and Dumha Sealga. St. Evin places it a short distance from Elphin to the west, and O'Flaherty in one place states that Loch Sealga (Ogygia part III, ch 79 & ch. 17) is the present Lough Hackett, but forgetting himself in another place, he makes Loch Cime (Ogygia part III, ch 79 & ch. 17), the ancient name of Loch Hackett!

There is some mistake in the translation of the original Irish of the Tripartite, and it will be yet discovered that Loch Sealga and Loch Cime are two distinct loughs and that the Colossi inscribed by St. Patrick were not at the pre-


sent Lough Hackett.

In the townland of Abbeytown about a mile to the north of this small lough ([In pencil:] Lough Hackett) are the ruins of a small abbey of which I have no record, nor does tradition afford any clue to its history.

I wish Mr. Curry would consult the live[s] of Patrick as given in the Leabhar Breac and the Book of Lismore, for the erection of Domhnach mor Muighe Seola, Siuil or Sealga. Perhaps the Colossi are called Cairthi or Liagain in Irish? I wish also to have all the references to the Hy-Briuin Seóla. It is generally but very (perhaps) [In left-hand margin: Cave!] erroneously supposed that they were located near Elphin. Mageoghegan's map of Connaught is ridiculous; Lewis's topographical Dictionary is scandalously incorrect about ancient territories. An English Bookseller sent a number of young Amadawns over here to write a history of hireland!

Your obt. Servt.
J. ODonovan.