Thursday, 23 October 2014

Saint Dalbach of Cúil Collainge, October 23

October 23 is the feastday of a County Cork saint associated with the asceticism of the Céile-Dé movement, Dalbach of Cúil Collainge. This saint features in a poem, the Oentú Maelruain, listing the particular disciples of the Céile-Dé leader Maelruain of Tallaght. The locality, Cúil Collainge, is identified by Father Peter O'Dwyer in his commentary on the poem as being close to Castlelyons, County Cork. Father O'Dwyer also estimates that Saint Dalbach would have reposed around the year 800. Below is the entry for the saint's feast from The Martyrology of Donegal plus the notes which state that Cúil Collainge was founded by Saint Abban:

23. B. DECIMO KAL. NOVEMBRIS. 23.

DALBHACH, of Cuil Collainge. He was of the race of Oilioll Flannbeg, son of Fiacha Muilleathan, son of Eoghan Mór, son of Oilioll Olum. Cuimin, of Coindeire, states, in the poem which begins, "Patrick of the fort of Macha loves," that this saint was a great performer of penance, and that he never touched his hand to his side as long as he lived. Thus he says :

"The fair Dalbhach, of Cúil, loves
To practise intense penance;
He never touched his hand to his side
As long as he retained his soul."

Abán was he who blessed at Cúil Collainge first. Life of Abán, chap. 11.

Who blessed. That is, who in founding a church gave his blessing to the place. The Life of S. Abban, as published by Colgan, says, at chap. 20, "Deinde sanctus Dei venit ad terram Huath Liathain, et ibi cellam, quae dicitur Ceallcruimthir, prope civitatem Culcollingi, vel Cillculen, aedificavit : et alios ex discipulis suis ibi dimisit." Actt. SS. p. 615 b.

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