June 16th 1839.
We went yesterday to Ard-Oilean or High Island, but found it impossible to get finished there in one day, and it being a desolate island we were obliged to return to Clifden the same day. Mr. Wakeman goes there (thither) tomorrow again, and I direct my course to Bunowen.
Colgan gives the names of several hermits who lived on this island which he calls Inis iarthair or (i.e.) west island. I want a copy of all that Colgan says about it and its inhabitants. There is a well on this island called after Brian Boru: Can any account of Brian's visit to this island be found in the Irish Annals? Tradition says that St. Gormgall opposed Brian here. Is there any account of this Gormgall of Inis Iarthair in Colgan or any of the Irish Hagiologists?
Does the life of St. Fechin as published by Colgan mention the island of Immaith in Conmhaicne mara? Where does it state the great St. Fechin was buried?
This day I visited Damh-ros point and the old church of Ballynakill, which is a very old Church modernized in some parts. Near it is a holy well called after the great St. Kennanach (Ceann-fionnach i.e., Crinitus), of whom I know nothing, but that, according to tradition his feast was celebrated on the 12th of March. Does Colgan give any life of him? Is he mentioned in the various Calendars?
The original church of Ballynakill is said to have been that of Ath dearg of which the graveyard only now remains. Is it mentioned by any of our Hagiologists or Calendar writers?
O'Flaherty's account of West Connaught is well known to the gentry of Connamara, which surprises me much. I suppose there is a copy of it in the British Museum. The copy which I have
is most villainously transcribed, almost every second word being wrong, (and) the names of places are so horribly written that I can scarcely make any use of them. Is the copy of this account of Connamara, which is in the MS. Library of Trinity College, in the handwriting of Roderic O'Flaherty? Mr. Dalton, who now has access to the MSS. in Trinity College, will, in all probability, publish it, in his intended history of the County of Galway, but he will never be able to decypher it!
Please to have the Co. of Kilkenny name Books ready by the 1st of July