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The Life And Writings Of Saint Patrick -Saint Patrick

FROM royal Ailech Patrick set out with his usual familia to preach the Gospel in Eoghan’s Island. Inishowen deserves the name, for it is almost entirely surrounded by the sea, except at the narrow neck from Derry to Inch, on Lough Swilly, which connects it with the mainland of Donegal. As Patrick set out from Ailech, he probably went by Burnfoot to Buncranagh, and then travelled along the western slopes of Slieve Snaght to the fertile valley beyond its snowy summit, that is, says the Tripartite, into the territory of Fergus, son of Eoghan, who ruled the north-west of the peninsula. Patrick came to the place called Aghadh Drumman, which is, in all probability, the district now known as Maghera Drumman, in the parish of Donagh. He was anxious to found a religious house in that place; but Coelbad, son of Fergus, expelled the Saint from the district; whereupon Patrick said, as he always said in similar cases, that none of his race would ever enjoy it in future. Which thing, adds the writer, has been lately verified, when Comman, son of Algasach, of the race of this Coelbad, who dwelt at Eas Mic nEirc, sought to set up in this very place. He built himself a house there, but ‘he had not put a rush of thatch on it’ before it was entirely demolished by a student from the neighbouring monastery of Domnach Mor Maige Tochair. Eas Mic nEirc is a ledge of rock in a mountain stream that comes down from Slieve Snaght, over which the water leaps into a deep pool below. The wild mountain stream rushes down its rocky bed as of yore, seeking the sea at Trawbreaga; and it is on its bank at a point a little lower down that the famous church of Domnach Mor once stood. When Patrick was repulsed by the rude Coelbad, he advanced further through the glen, and was met by Aed, brother of Coelbad, who received him with joy, and gave him the place of his church. “Thou shalt have welcome with me,” said Aed; and so Patrick built his church in the beautiful glen, and he dwelt there for forty days, and he left a bishop in it, even Cairthenn’s son, of whom more presently.






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