Sunday, 6 October 2013

Saint Lughaidh of Rattoo, October 6


Among the Irish saints commemorated in the Martyrology of Oengus on October 6, is epscop Lugdach ligach, the gentle bishop Lugdach. The scholiasts' notes suggest a number of possible localities with which our gentle bishop may have been associated. They range from Counties Leix and Offally through to the northern shores of Lough Erne, County Fermanagh and all the way back to County Kerry:

6. of Lugaid, i.e. from Cell Aitgin in Leix, or from Cell Chuair in Hui Failge. Lugach, i.e. bishop Lugaid in Cill Aithgen in Leix, or in Cill Bennchoir in Offaly. Or bishop Lugach in Cuil Bennchoir in Lurc on the shore of Lough Erne. Or in Daire Mochua in Ciarraige Luachra.

The later Martyrology of Donegal supplies a genealogy for the Bishop:

6. F. PRIDIE NONAS OCTOBRIS. 6.

LUGHAIDH, son of Lucht, son of Anrodhan, son of Maeltuile, son of Aithcleach, son of Ferb ; and Medhbh, daughter of Garbhan, son of Brocan, son of Garbhan, son of Dubhchertan, of the Ui- Saithghil of Ciarraighe Luachra, was his mother. He was bishop of Cuil-Beannchair, on the brink of Loch Erne, and of Rath Muighe-tuaiscirt in Ciarraighe Luachra; or of Cuil-Beannchair in Ui-Failghe, and of Tuaim-fobhair in Luighne.

He is also commemorated in the twelfth-century Martyrology of Marianus O'Gorman as 'bishop Lugach (Lugaid ?) the bright-coloured.'

In his annotated edition of the classic 18th-century work on Irish monasteries by Mervyn Archdall, P.F. Moran, Bishop of Ossory, was able to supply some further detail on the County Kerry locality of Rath Muighe-tuaiscirt, anglicized as Rattoo or Rathtoy:

O'Donovan, in the Ordnance Survey Papers, informs us that the Rattoo was sometimes called by the Irish writers Rath-muighe-tuaiscirt, "the fort of the northern plain." This enables us to identify St Lughaidh, as one of the early bishops of this see. His feast is on the 6th of October. The Martyrology of Donegal speaks in a somewhat doubtful manner, and calls him "Bishop of Cuil-Beannchair, on the brink of Loch Erne, and of Rath-muighe-tuaiscirt, in Ciarraighe Luachra; or of Cuil-Beaunchair, in Hy-Failghe, and of Tuaim-fobhair, in Luighne." However, the Felire of St. Oengus removes all doubt on this head. In the text of the Felire the saint is commemorated as "the gentle Bishop Lughdhach;" and then the note is added, "This is Bishop Lughdhach from Daire-na-FIann, in the Eoghanact of Caisel, viz., Lughdhach, bishop in Cuil Bendchair, in Uibh-Failghe. The same Bishop Lughdhach is in Cuil-Bendchair in Lurg, on the brink of Loch Erne; and he is in Rath-muighe-tuaiscirt, in Ciarraighe Luachra, viz., at Daire Mochua on the banks of the Feile."

Rt. Rev. P.F. Moran, ed.,M.Archdall, Monasticon Hibernicum, Volume II, (Dublin, 1876), 245.

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