Thursday, 13 February 2014

Saint Fionan of Druim-Neoid, February 13

Among the many Irish saints whose life and location are shrouded in anonymity is Saint Fionan of Druim-Neoid, commemorated on February 13. Canon O'Hanlon does his best to cover all the bases but perhaps only loses us in the detail. Put simply, the earliest Martyrology, that of Tallaght written in the early 9th century, records the name of a Saint Fionan at this date but without any further identifying details. The 17th-century Martyrology of Donegal records Fionan, of Druim-neoid, but, as Canon O'Hanlon's geographical gazetteer reveals, this could be anywhere in the country. The 17th-century hagiologist Colgan introduces a member of Saint Brigid's family, a Finan associated with a place called Dromhabrad, who may also have a second feast day on October 4. Overall it seems that this saint's Christian name is too common and the placename associated with him too vague to be definitive about exactly who he was and when and where he flourished.

St. Fionan, said to have been of Druim-Neoid, or Dromhabrad.

The Martyrology of Tallagh has the single name of S. Finan entered, at the 13th of February. Among the saints related by family to the great St. Brigid, we find a St. Finan, son of Fergna, son to Cobthach, son of Muredach, son to Laisre, son of Daire, son to Denius, son of Conla, son of Arturus Corb, &c. We are told that he was either venerated on this day, or on the 4th of October. So it seems difficult to identify him. It is mentioned, in the Martyrology of Donegal, that veneration was paid to Fionan, of Druim-neoid, on this day. The writers state, that he descended from the race of Brian, son of Eoachaid Muighmhedhoin. However, the Finan of Drumneods is called the son of Aldus, son to Ectach, son of Aengus, son to Muredach, surnamed the Bald, son of Eogan Sreibh. The place to which allusion is made cannot be ascertained, with certainty; however, it may be well to state, that it seems to be derived from the Irish words, Drum, Drom, Drim, or Druim, which means "a ridge," and Neod—probably the same as Nead—which signifies "a nest." The latter is traceable under the forms of Net, Nad, Neth, Nid, or Ned. Thus, Drumnid, also Drimna, a townland near Mohill, in the parish and barony of this name, county of Leitrim, and Drumneth, in the parish of Magherally or Magheravally, barony of Lower Iveagh, county of Down, means " the ridge of the nests ;" while, Derrynaned, in Mayo, has the signification of the" oak-wood of the birds' nests." There is a Drumnigh, in the parish of Kinsaley, and barony of Coolock, as also a Drimnagh, townland and parish, in the barony of Uppercross—these are to be found in the county of Dublin. We find a Drimnagh, in the parish of Ogulla, in the barony and county of Roscommon. There is a Drimna Beg and a Drimna More, in the parish of Kilcrohane, barony of Dunkerron South, county of Kerry. We also find a Drimna East and a Drimna West, in the parish of Tynagh, barony of Leitrim, and county of Galway. Likewise, there is a Drimna, in the parish of Kilrush, barony of Moyarta, and county of Clare. There is a Drumna, in the parish of Cloon, barony of Mohill, and county of Leitrim. There is a Drumnee, in the parish of Cashel, barony of Rathcline, and county of Longford. Besides the foregoing, we find a Drumny in the parish of Donaghmoyne, barony of Farney, and county of Monaghan. There is a saint of this same name, Finanus, who is stated to have been connected with a place, called Dromhabrad. Yet, this denomination of Dromhabrad does not appear to be recognisable under any existing form of name, shown on the Ordnance Survey Maps of Ireland. He is called the son of Garuan, son to Amalgad, son of Endeus, son to Olild, son of Nadfraich. His feast has been assigned by Colgan to this day.

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