Friday, 10 January 2014

Saint Diman of Inishkeen, January 10


January 10 is the commemoration of Saint Diman (Diomman) of Inishkeen. Canon O'Hanlon's account records what is known of him and of the difficulties in identifying his precise locality. The County Louth Archaeological Journal for 1955 contains an article called 'In Search of St. Diomoc' which might shed some further light, certainly O'Hanlon believed he was a northern saint:

St. Diman or Diomman, of Inishkeen.

The present saint must have flourished at an early period, for his name occurs, at this date, in the Martyrology of Tallagh. There the entry is Diman Innsi-Cain in the published copy; and in the Franciscan manuscript, there is a nearly similar rendering. In the Martyrology of Donegal, we find Diomman, of Inis-Caoin, recorded at the 10th day of January. In the table postfixed to this Martyrology, the compiler has added a comment, at the entry of this saint's name, to see the similar names, and Dioma of Cluain-Caoin. By this observation we are left to infer, that a doubt seems to have arisen regarding the present saint's identity with a St. Diomog of Cluain-Caoin, who was venerated in the county of Limerick, or with some other saint bearing this name. We find the death of a Dimma, who was a bishop, announced at A.D. 662; but we do not know the name of that see with which he was connected. Neither may we identify him with the present or any other saint of the name, for want of further knowledge. The rank or position the present holy man held in the Church has not transpired, and we have to search for his place, which seems to us most likely to be found in the northern province... There are two parochial denominations of Inniskeen or Enniskeen. One of these is that situated partly in the baronies of Louth and Upper Dundalk, in the county of Louth and province of Leinster, but chiefly in the barony of Famey, county of Monaghan and province of Ulster. The other Enniskeen is that situated partly in the barony of Clankee, county of Cavan, and partly in the baronies of Lower Kells and Morgallion, county of Meath. However we cannot be assured, for want of authorities to favour such an opinion, that the present holy man had any ministerial connexion with any of the foregoing places.

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