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The Life And Writings Of Saint Patrick -Saint Patrick

But all the natives were not equally courteous or generous. A rude tribe called the Grecraide, whose principal home was at Lough Gara, in the County Sligo, had, it seems, a colony near the Moy, at this place; and those savages received the Apostle and his followers just as they were emerging from the water, after crossing the bar, with a shower of stones. ‘They flung stones at Patrick and his household there at the stream.’ Patrick was not the man to allow this to pass with impunity. “By my troth,” he said, “in every contest in which ye shall be ye shall be routed, and ye shall abide under spittle and wisps and mockery in every assembly at which ye shall be present.” We find that both the Grecraide and the Calraige of the County Sligo were kindred tribes, and both opposed the preaching of St. Patrick. They were, probably, of the Firbolgic race, although the Grecraide are said to have been descended from Ængus Finn, son of Fergus Mac Roy. We find the Calraige around Lough Gill, and also in Murrisk (of Tireragh) and Coolcarney, that is in the mountains of North Sligo. The Grecraide we find in Coolavin, Leyney, and Gallen, but they were driven out of the plains of Corran by the Luigne, and forced to take refuge in the mountains east of the Moy and along the eastern shore of that river. In St. Patrick’s time these tribes still held those territories, but the sons of Amalgaid had already crossed the Moy, and were driving them into the great wild range of the Ox Mountains, extending in a semicircle from Foxford to Collooney, where their descendants are to be found to this day. Both opposed the progress of the Gospel, and Patrick declared that they would be utterly routed and despised. So it came to pass. O’Donovan declares “we hear no more about the Grecraide, afterwards they were consigned very properly by Patrick to deserved infamy and oblivion.”






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