CELT document T201023

The Miracles of Senan

The Miracles of Senan



The Miracles of Senan are here edited from two of the O'Clery MSS. in the Royal Library of Brussels, nos 2324-2340 fo1.241b-248a (text A), and nos 4190-4200 fo1.277a-279b (text B). In A the miracles follow a copy of the Life of Senan similar to that printed by Stokes in Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore1. In B they follow a copy of the 'Amra Senain', which was printed by Stokes in this Zeitschrift III 220 ff., from H. III 17. Of the B text a late 18th century copy exists in RIA 23 L 11 p.241 (Hodges and Smith no 9), but it is a wretched scrawl, and I have not collated it. Of the two texts A is, as a rule, the fuller and clearer, but there are very interesting points in B. 2 A is the text here printed.

The writer himself calls attention to the fact that these Miracles of Senan are modern miracles; that is not miracles wrought by the saint in his lifetime, but contemporary, or nearly so, with the writer, and in many of them there is nothing miraculous apart from the assumption of the writer that the events narrated were brought about by the special intervention of the saint. Some of them have to do with the relations of p.2 the chiefs of Thomond of the O'Brien family 3 to Scattery and its dependent churches in the early 14th century. Hence they furnish some interesting illustrations of contemporary manners, and of the relations between Scattery, the principal foundation of St. Senan, and other churches and communities which ascribed their origin to him. They also enable us to identify the names of two or three places, especially in the neighbourhood of Kilrush, which are either not mentioned or not identified by Father Hogan in his Onomasticon. 4

In A the tract concludes with a poem which gives a list of the saints with whom St. Senan had made alliance in his lifetime, and who are bound, on the performance of certain rites, to come to avenge any wrong done to his churches. I have thought it worth while to print this poem, as it possibly gives an idea of the monasteries with which Scattery had relations of confraternity in the 14th century. The former part of the poem in which the saints are enumerated 5 is fairly clear, but some p.3 stanzas in the latter part are very obscure, and I am very far from being satisfied with my translation of them. The text III A is divided into chapters; I have subdivided these into sections numbered continuously for convenience of reference.

Unknown author

English Translation


Míorbuile Senáin




Here are a few of the stories relating to Senan, the noble eminent high saint, who wrought these great and evident wonders, and excellent miracles, the man who had bare boats without hides, plying backwards and forwards across the sea; who planted his bachall between the cows and the yearlings, so that neither cow nor yearling saw each other; before whom the full tide ebbed, and came to the full again, as he was taking his father's cattle with him. And the ox which the wolves ate that night; the blame of it was laid to him. Afterwards a stag would come from the mountain to the plough and to the ploughtackle, through the grace of this son, and would get into the tackle of itself, and would plough like any ox, .


Good was the grace of this son, Senan; for there were ten, and seven scores of psalm-singing elders, folk of the yoke of ascetism, and of the true family of God, around his table every night, as this verse shows:

  1. 'Seven score psalm — singing elders
    In his household with great courses,
    Without ploughing, without reaping, without drying,
    Without any activity except study'.

That was the number in his reflectory at the time of refection every night, besides the attendants and servants in the island itself; while his noble guest houses at Kilrush were satisfying the needs of poor and naked, hale and sick, by night and day . And a loaf with its kitchen was given into the hand of every man, and protection, if required, for a whole year, and full escort afterwards. And though he (the refugee) went but the length of nine furrows beyond the mound of the termon, and then turned back to the same house, he would receive the same tendance.

Now during Senan's time that house answered for all this great expense, and Senan left this blessing on each succeeding coarb, on condition of his maintaining his hospitality. And this is the last charge that he gave, when he went to heaven, that his congregation and his hospitality should be maintained, as this verse shows:

  1. Maintain my poor and my guests
    After me gloriously, O youth, &c.


Moreover no tongue, unless inspired by God, could relate what Senan did in the way of miracles and mighty works through the grace of the Lord. However, the most select and noblest of them are written in ancient books with reverence and great honour. It is not of the mighty deeds and miracles wrought before our days in the time of Senan that we wish to speak now, but of things clear and recent, the evident wonders, and the stupendous miracles, while he works now, and which he wrought in the time of Tordelbach son of Tadg, son of Conchobar , son of Donnchad Cairbrech, who was the O'Brien for twenty-nine years, and in the time of Donnchad, son of Tordelbach, son of Tadg, and in the time of Diarmait son of Donnchad, son of Brian the Red, and in the time of Muirchertach son of Tordelbach, son of Tadg. For there was no boy in arms,  p.9 nor girl in fosterage, nor youth, nor old man, who was not witness to the mighty works and miracles which Senan did in the days of these chiefs. For though this is a goodly company of chiefs to enumerate, yet I reckon them (i. e. their reigns) as but a short period.


As to this Tordelbach son of Tadg —. He succeeded to the kingship of 'the Rough Province' to wit, Thomond; and there was all good in his time; for the earth was fruitful, &c. And so things continued for a while. But afterwards an ordinance and law was set up in the time of Tordelbach, that if any man should slay another in the land, and the full eric was not got from him (the slayer), that it should be exacted from his family, and if it were not obtained from them, it was to be exacted from his tribe, and if it was not got from them, it was to be exacted from the seven tribes most nearly connected with them. Many were harassed and stripped of their property under this ordinance; and though the regular orders of the church rose against it, they could not procure its withdrawal.


It chanced that a man of the (monastic) family of Senan slew a man; and the eric was demanded from the termon lands of Senan; and the coarb, and the prior, and the sacrist, and the convent of Scattery in general, said that they would not pay it; and that it was unjust to demand it from any man except the doer of the deed. But this plea was not accepted, for Tordelbach son of Tadg himself came against them, and reached the p.11 house of Senan with a great company, and remained there that night. And the next day he went on to Kilmacduane, and was there that night. And the same night Senan appeared to the prior in a vision, and greeted him. And the prior asked him what his pleasure was. And he answered: “I am going”, said he, “to avenge my clerks and my termon on Tordelbach O'Brien”. “Why didst thou not take vengance on him for that last night?” said the prior. “I did not like to do so in my own house”, said Senan, “for fear it should be said that I had done so (merely) for a matter of food.” And Senan went on to Kilmacduane, , and he struck Tordelbach on the upper part of the thigh with the butt end of his staff. “What is thy grudge against me? clerk”, said Tordelbach. “For the injustice done to my termon”, said he. After this Tordelbach went to his house, and never lifted his head till he died.



Now on another occasion Murchad mac-an-espoic (son of the bishop) O'Brien came to Scattery, and there were boats there. And Murchad wished to carry off a boat by force. So the company of the place and the community mustered in full force, and they and Murchad had a sharp and rough encounter . However, Murchad got off by dint of force after wounding a clerk of the community. Senan came to him that night, and fear and dread and horror seized him at the sight, and he screamed aloud, and began offering his own land and stock to God and to Senan. And his wife and household p.13 overheard this talk, and asked what this conversation might be. And he said: “I am offering great terms to Senan, and he does not accept them, and he has struck me with the butt end of his staff above the left breast, and it has gone through me into the ground. And let my will be made now, for assuredly I shall die as the result of my expedition to Scattery at this time.”



Another time Richard de Clare came in full force into Corcovaskin, and the land was harried by them, both clergy and laity, and he outraged the church of Senan. After this the Englishman went to his own fort and stronghold. And the company and community were sad and downcast that they should have been outraged within the sanctuary of Senan, and they made their complaint to God and Senan. And they besought God that the author of this design might be cut off, and the folk who had executed it utterly destroyed.


Senan came that night to the sacrist, and the sacrist asked him where he was going. Senan said that he was going to avenge his outraging on de Clare, and he recited this stave:

  1. The King of heaven,
    the King of the host, has granted to me the author of every design,
    (and) the folk who plague my body in respect of my church,
    that their bodies should be plagued without mercy.
But the contest was no equal one, p.15 for a blow from Senan's staff lighted on de Clare, which cut short his life; and he himself related to his household on the morrow that he had seen a clerk in the air coming to him out of the West in great wrath, , and he confused his mind and his memory, and made him all distraught. At the end of the third day following de Clare went on a hosting, and could not move hand or foot so that he was at the mercy of his enemies; and so he died through the miraculous power of Senan, though previously he was a fighter equal to a hundred.



There was once a temple of Senan's, to wit, Killnagalliach, which of all Senan's churches was his favourite, save Scattery alone. Yet such was the wickedness and infidelity of the people that they left it without rite, or mass, or altar; with wisps of thatch over it, and threshing and parching , and all the most menial offices being done there, as in any common house. The patron saint was highly incensed at this; and this is what he did. One day a woman was parching corn a stone's throw from the East end of the church, and the wind due West, when a sparrow hopped down from the top of the church to where she was, and seized a burning straw in its beak, and hopped on to the church again, and dropped the burning straw on to the thatch, and the church was burnt thatch and stick and stone; . After this the inhabitants of the place proposed to rebuild the church, and the next day they began to make a lime kiln.


However, that very night Senan came to a man of the place named Gilla-Senain O'Hettroman, and said to him: “Go tomorrow to the corner of the house of Ni Bruacháin and dig three feet out from the corner, and thou shalt find plenty of p.17 lime there.” Gilla-Senain arose the next morning, and took spade and shovel, and dug at the corner of the house, and found the lime there, as Senan had said; and the lime was not diminished by what was taken out. And they carried away as much as they wanted, and built the church worthily, so that thenceforth it was held in due honour.

As to the subsequent history of the lime-kiln: — every kind of disease in man or beast, if only (the patient) were rubbed with the lime, would be healed at once, or if a stone taken thence were heated and put in their drink, it would cure everyone, &c.


A woman in the place had a little lame kid, which had broken two of its legs and its back. She took it to the lime-kiln, and said: “Upon my word”, said she, “thou shalt not come out, till Senan displays his miracles on thee”. She left it in the kiln that night, and the next day she went to look at it, and found it standing quite healed with a great udder of milk, and the milk healed every illness and every plague in man and cattle, and was carried thenceforth to kings and bishops. Moreover everyone who fasts to God and to Senan on the site of this lime-kiln, and makes his confession afterwards, and receives the Body of Christ, shall obtain any boon he pleases, if it be not contrary to nature.



Once upon a time Donnchad son of Domnall son of Brian Roe (the red) assumed the chiefship of Corcovaskin, and he quartered his bands and bonaghts in on the land, and so many were his kernes and attendants that the bonaghts would find out (lit. reach) three cows that existed in the land. And as if that was not enough for them, Donnchad O'Brien himself went to outrage the churches of Senan, and to carry off their cattle from them whether they p.19 would or no. And he came to Kilnagalliach, and to Kilcredaun, and to Ros an Airceil, and plundered them. When the coarb of Senan heard this, he sent for the other coarb, and all the clerks who were in the land and in that place of Senan. And they brought their bells and hand-bells and bachalls, and all their other treasures, and they proceeded to the place where Donnchad was; and they said that unless he gave back all that he had taken from them, they would set God and Senan after him. And he said that he would not make restitution. Then they raised a great noise, clerks, and bells, and hand-bells, and bachalls, so that they perturbed his mind, and confused his brain in his head. He said to them: “Receive (my) bonaghts”, said he. “We will do so” said the clerks, “and we will set Senan at thee afterwards”. Ten men were quartered on the community of Senan, and as many as they claimed on the coarb, and bonaghts on Mac Sida (steward) of the bell, and on the clerks of Ros na nArc, and on those of Kilnagalliach and Kilcredaun. They remained thus from the festival of Senan to the first festival of Mary. And then Donnchad sent for the bonaghts to ravage in another quarter. And there Donnchad was killed, and ten of his kinsmen who took part with him in the ravaging of Senan, and all the bonaghts. And as for Brian, who did not outrage Senan, he came off safe and sound.



On another occasion Mathgamhan son of Domnall, son of Muirchertach, went to carry off forcibly some cattle that were at Carnaun under the protection of Senan's coarb. And proceeded through the booley of the community. And a hue and cry was raised; and the coarb came at the top of his speed in pursuit of the protected cattle (lit. protection)--> and the community also, and a sharp struggle took place between them in the midst of the community's booley. And Mathgamain p.21 himself discharged two arrows at the coarb, and they hit him, but did not pierce even his clothing. And when Mathgamain saw the coarb escaping, he himself attacked the cattle and killed a heifer. But the clerks got off with the rest of the cattle. Mathgamain remained in the place that night; and was attacked by a severe illness, so that he died . And a quarter of the heifer which he killed, and its skin remained, and remains there from that time forth as a memorial.



Another time thieves came to the booley of the community, , and they took a single heifer belonging to a noble elder of the place ; and they carried it off to a remote spot, and killed it, and hid the hide, and the calf that was in its womb, in a hole in a bog, . The (loss of the) heifer was cried after this, but no one confessed to the theft. And the senior, that is the priest O'Huiginn, besought God and Senan to make known to him about his cow. At the end of a month the aforesaid thieves came to the hole in the bog where they had left the hide and calf of the cow, and took them out of the hole. And when they unwrapped the hide, the calf stood up, and bellowed three times. And great was the astonishment and horror of the thieves at this, and they prostrated themselves before God and Senan, and came to the priest, and offered him his own terms. And they promised not to do anything displeasing to Senan till doom.



Another time the clerks of the place held a chapter ; and they resolved to build a chapel to the Virgin, p.23 and it was a difficulty to them that they had no stones from which to make lime, nor any dressed stones for the work itself; and they retired to rest that night. And a clerk of them arose on the following morning, and found as much stone as he could desire. And no stones in the world were better than they.



A dreadful vision appeared to the elder, O'Cairill, a priest of Scattery, one night at mattins; and thus it came to him as a tanned jet-black form. “Christ's cross (be) between me and thee”, said the priest, “and who art thou?” “Macbeth, son of Niall, son of Murchad”, said he. “What has blackened thee like that?” said the elder. “That is soon told” (said he) “the enormity of my torment and my sins; for thus I am, with a great horde of demons hovering about me, with many iron flails which they ply upon my head. And though this be grievous to me, more grievous is it to me that my father is settled on the boundary (lit. wall) of a saint, and woe to him who is there. And woe to me beyond anything that my father should be near the church, for whoever shall trespass on the boundary (lit. wall) of any saint, and especially Scattery, the three thousand saints who made alliance and union with Senan will avenge it on the doer, and on his seed after him. And when wrong or trespass is done to this sacred island these saints come from every quarter to avenge it on the perpetrators.” And he recited this lay.


  1.  17Glorious the beauteous city to night,
    Scattery, fair its array.
    Blessed the corpse that goes under its soil;
    many a quiring angel is in its harbour.
  2. Woe to him who provokes the emaciated noble one,
    farfamed Senan of the melodious sages.
    This is the punishment which will be to him therefor,
    deprivation of heaven and earth.
  3. The avengers of the saint's wrath,
    promptly they come at the call;
    three thousand saints
    come nobly across the brine.
  4.  18
  5. Goodly the company of the saints
    of Derry which comes from the north at the cry;
    the company of Mochuda from afar,
    and Barry himself to meet them.
  6. There comes from Clonard afar
    a lean troop of clerics
    and the noble company of Ciaran of Clonmacnois,
    westwards to the meeting of Magh Mail.
  7. There comes Coemgen from Glendalough,
    there comes Berach the prince in sooth;
    Subach comes, noble the sage,
    comes goodly Beoog from the great wave.
  8.  19
  9. Moinend and Mac Sol aim in the West,
    promptly they come at the cry,
    fair noble Fergus the bishop, with eager
    fervid strength to meet them.
  10. Thither comes Maelcorgais
    to Iarlaithe on the bright path,
    from the East comes Follan,
    and Coman with a hundred monks.
  11.  p.27
  12. Fair Brendan of the hosts comes,
    come a hundred from Cell wic Ronain;
    great Nessan comes across the brine
    — profitably come the Cronans.
  13.  20
  14. Cairell will come, venerable the champion,
    across the brine from Aran without fail;
    Feichin the fair of Fore
    comes across the water to help the churches.
  15. Lughna the warlike of Nenagh comes,
    and the host of Mughna comes willingly,
    reverently come the Colmans;
    Ah God, wondrous is the help.
  16. Eralt comes thither with (good) augury,
    and a host of the saints of Luigne,
    Manchan comes by dear God's will,
    and Berchan with his companies.
  17.  21
  18. Glorious Tigernan of Errew comes,
    Mocúa of Balla comes at last,
    reverently comes the devout foreigner;
    not gentle is the help at hand.
  19. Grellan of Creeve, hardy in battles,
    a favourite who attained every grace in his course;
    Fursa will come, generous the prince,
    though far off, quickly will he come.
  20. Cellach comes, the venerable son of Conmac,
    and the fierce generous Flannan,
    Úa Suanaigh comes here
    at the call with the fair hosts of Cannan.
  21.  22
  22. Colum son of Crimthan with grace,
    his voice was a stream which never dried,
    Caimin of Inishcaltra in battle came
    from his island at the sound.
  23. Ailbe, who surpassed the sun,
    comes hither at his will,
    and Mac Luighne and Macduach
    swiftly, and Mochuille.
  24.  p.29
  25. Luchtigern comes quickly at our summons,
    Scenmán bears his shield into the contest;
    gracious their speech in this world,
    Blathmac with the host comes to our profit.
  26.  23
  27. Mac Leinin of the keen bright spear,
    Molaga at last, like a hero,
    Finnchu of Brigown of the garden;
    he will not stay till he comes to the contest (lit. trouble).
  28. Comgall, Cainnech, Lachtin with him,
    Mochua of Balla, venerable his conflict,
    Ruadhan of Lorrha comes with the host
    swiftly to the fort to aid us.
  29. Flann, son of glorious Airchellach comes,
    and the fierce generous Findan;
    Carthach comes who is a match (?) for three,
    and great Mainech son of Lairin.
  30.  24
  31. From the West comes the company of Aran
    across the brine of the rough crested sea;
    the saints of the venerable covenant come
    to the abbot who is glorious indeed.
  32. To Senan the venerable in his church,
    to the station of the slender noble ships,
    though his time was poor in his life,
    he has power with God's bosom Son.
  33. Great the company of the saint in sooth
    from Carn ui Neit to the Fews,
    three thousand is the sum
    of those who come to the onset.
  34.  25
  35. Woe to him who rouses up this host
    by outraging the city (monastery),
    short and scant will be his grace;
    long and lasting will be his ruth.
  36.  p.31
  37. Woe to him who brings this host hither
    from the distant bounds of Cime;
    'tis no peace-making that will result from it,
    from outraging the church.
  38. I say a word which is not boastful of the venerable church,
    the most beauteous ever heard of;
    a company of angels is there unweariedly...
    A line missing; space left blank in the MS.
  39.  26
  40. A son of a son of life not lasting
    among the ranks of hosts not free,
    a firebrand for evermore were I,
    but for Senan of the noble hosts.
  41. Woe to him who steals the land of the saint,
    ill is it to have to meet them (i. e. the saints);
    woe to each man who contrived
    to be oppressively in his (Senan's) venerable store.
  42. Alas! my saint has stripped me bare,
    on me has fallen his headlong wrath;
    this it is which evilly separates me from him,
    my being oppressively in his sacred harbour.
  43.  27
  44. Woe to him who is near churches,
    woe to him who frequents not mass;
    better to be in the shelter of stone churches,
    than with evil men of the spear.
  45. A man who is under the wrath of the saint,
    I well know will not profit by it;
    his children and cattle perish,
    and himself will be in evil case in the other world.
  46. Though every road were thronged with my seed,
    I would not rely on them;
    I would not take his land from him,
    however numerous my mighty hosts.
  47.  p.33
  48. Though it (the land) were called my field in clear possession,
    and though it were my father that occupied it,
    I will not enter on it save under security,
    if it be near the church.
  49.  28
  50. To take a sod of the land of the saints
    is displeasing to the Holy Spirit;
    woe to him who appropriates even a little of it,
    on his own 'sod of death' it will be avenged.
  51. Woe to him who makes a house on the wall (boundary) of a saint;
    woe to the sept which supports him (in doing so);
    woe to his sons and his men,
    he shall receive heavy pains for it.
  52. There is danger for a king who attacks a church,
    he shall fall by blade or point,
    without property, without security he goes forth;
    the Lord places him with Judas.
  53.  29
  54. Of all the ill I did in my body of clay,
    of all the rebellion,
    that which has ruined me most,
    is taking land from Senan.
  55. I bid every layman after me,
    though he obtain no land but (mere) heath,
    not to attack church lands,
    lest he go with his deed to hell.
  56. If I were to return to the meagre world,
    I would fight on behalf of study;
    I would not be cheek by jowl with his church
    for all the gold of Erin.
  57. This is my covering (lit. plumage) and my mantle,
    his soil thus under the side of my head;
    it is true that the church is a portion, even Leighlin (?)
    is a protection of the soul
  58.  p.35 30
  59. It is good for every unhappy soul
    that the sound of the bell's voice be not evoked (lit. struck),
    though it be carried (lit. though it go) over it round its grave
    on a winter's night clear and cold.
  60. Good for every strong bright body its grave about it,
    though it be but short;
    I give thanks to the God of the stars
    for not being far from mass.
  61. Woe to the man who is neighbour (?) of the saint,
    of the fair pilgrim of the hosts;
    he will not be powerful (?) in his land,
    unless he be generous of his tribute.
  62. Not better is the man who owes rent or tribute
    to his (Senan's) own monk,
    than the cunning bright foreigner
    who comes with kine to consume pasture.
  63.  31
  64. The stone of the covenant in every contest
    is with the venerable and righteous band;
    a pool in the venerable monastery
    does service to the holy abbot.
  65. The field of the monastery is good in its site,
    abundant its increase since the beginning;
    the Angels' Height is there near it,
    a fortress which was never assailed by violence.
  66. The support of his fair generous ploughmen
    is the acre of the field of the glorious angels;
    the doe's milk is their fair portion,
    on the edge of the cemetery of the glorious saints.

  67. Glorious.

Oxford. C. Plummer.

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Title statement

Title (uniform): The Miracles of Senan

Title (supplementary): English Translation

Responsibility statement

translated by: Charles Plummer

Electronic edition compiled by: Benjamin Hazard

Funded by: University College, Cork and Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project

Edition statement

2. Second draft.

Extent: 7075 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland — http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2004

Date: 2008

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T201023

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Manuscript Sources

  1. Brussles, Bibliothèque Royale, O'Clery MSS 2324–2340 fo 241b–248a [text A]. [This MS is used in Plummer's edition.]
  2. Brussles, Bibliothèque Royale, O'Clery MSS 4190–4200 fo 277a–279b [text B]. Also see J. van den Gheyn (ed.), Catalogue des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique (Brussels 1905-1907).
  3. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy MS 23 L 1, p. 241 (Hodges and Smith no. 9). [Plummer calls this late 18th century copy of text B a 'wretched scrawl' and has not collated it.]

Secondary literature

  1. Whitley Stokes, Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore, edited with a translation, notes, and indices, Oxford 1890. Reprinted Felinfach, Dyfed: Llanerch 1995.
  2. Whitley Stokes, Amra Senain [from H 3 17], Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 2 (1899) 220ff.
  3. Daniel Mescal, The Story of Inis Cathaigh, Dublin 1902.
  4. Charles Plummer (ed.) Bethada Naem n-Erenn/Lives of Irish saints, edited from the original MSS. with introduction, translations, notes, glossary and indexes. Oxford/New York 1922.
  5. G. H. S. Doble, Senan, bishop, abbot and confessor, patron of the parish of Sennen, Cornwall, and of the parishes of Plou-zané and Camors, Brittany. (Cornish Saints series 15). Long Compton 1928.
  6. Paul Grosjean, Trois pièces sur S. Senan, Analecta Bollandiana 66 (1948) 199-230.
  7. Dermot F. Gleeson, A History of the Diocese of Killaloe, Dublin 1962.
  8. Senan Hedderman, Life of St. Senan: Bishop, patron saint of West Clare. Ennis 1974.
  9. Gearoid Ó hAllmhuráin, The cult and lives of Senan of Inis Cathaigh, unpublished M.A. Thesis, NUI Cork, Department of Irish History, 1981.
  10. Cian O'Carroll, Iniscathaigh/Scattery island: myth, miracle and legend. The Other Clare 12 (1988) 18-20.
  11. Richard Sharpe, Medieval Irish Saints' lives: an introduction to Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae. Oxford 1991.
  12. Jeremiah Newman, Scattery: an unknown part of the diocese of Limerick. North Munster Antiquarian Journal 34 (1992) 13-29.
  13. Jean-Michel Picard (tr.), 'Albert Le Grand (1629) La vie de S. Sané: a seventeenth-century life of Saint Senan'. North Munster Antiquarian Journal 35 (1993-94) 45-51.
  14. Freddie Burke, 'Saint Senan's well at Doonass'. Sliabh Aughty: Journal of the East Clare Heritage Group 5 (1994) 17-18.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘The Miracles of Senan’ (1914). In: Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie‍ 10. Ed. by Charles Plummer, pp. 1–35.

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  editor 	 = {Charles Plummer},
  title 	 = {The Miracles of Senan},
  journal 	 = {Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie},
  number 	 = {10},
  address 	 = {Halle/Saale},
  publisher 	 = {Max Niemeyer},
  date 	 = {1914},
  pages 	 = {1–35}


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Creation: Translation by Charles Plummer.

Date: 1913

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Keywords: religious; prose; medieval; Saint's Life; translation

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G201023: The Miracles of Senan (in Irish)

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  1. cited as LS 🢀

  2. Perhaps the most interesting is the mention of Culdees at Scattery, paragraph 5 B. Reeves, Culdees, part II paragraph 10, says that they came to an end 'about thee close of the 12th century'; yet here we have clear evidence of their continuance into the 14th century. 🢀

  3. The members of this family whom I have identified from the Annals are the following: Brian Roe, Lord of Thomond, d. 1277, paragraphs 3, 12; Brian son of Domnall, do. d. 1350, paragraph 12; Conchobar na Siudaine, s. Donnchad Cairbrech, do. d. 1268, paragraph 3; Diarmait s. Donnchad, 'the cleric', d. 1311, paragraph 3; Donnchad Cairbrech, Lord of Dal Cais, d. 1242, paragraph 3; Donnchad s. Brian Roe, Lord of Thomond, d. 1284, paragraph 3; *Donnchad s. Domnall, King of Munster, d. 1317, paragraph 12; Donnchad s. Toirdelbach, Lord of Thomond, d. 1311, paragraph 3; * Mathgamain s. Domnall, tanist of Munster, d. 1320, paragraph 13; Muircertach s. Toirdelbach, do. d. 1343, paragraph S; Tadg 'Caeluisce', son of Conchobar, rigdamna of Munster, t 1259, paragraphs 3, 4 (A); *Toirdelbach, s. Tadg, Lord of Thomond, d 1306, paragraphs 3-5, the hero of 'Cathreim Toirdelbaigh'. Those marked with an asterisk are actors in the narrative, the others occur only in genealogical contexts. Murchad 'the son of the bishop' the actor in paragraph 6, I have not identified, unless he is the Murchad son of Mathgamain, the murderer of Donnchad O'Brien, king of Munster, in 1311. Richard de Clare the hero of paragraphs 7, 8 died in 1318. 🢀

  4. Carnain, paragraph 13, Carnaun, parish of Kilrush; Cell Cuiridain paragraph 12 (A), Kilcredaun, parish and barony of Moyarta, v. Antiquarian Handbook Series, VI 106; Cell na gCaillech, 'the Nuns' Church', Kilnagalliach, parish Kilfearagh, barony Moyarta, paragraphs 9 -12, v. ib. p. 108. Places which I have not identified are: Cell mic Ronain, paragraph 19, Forbor, 4 (B), and Ros an Airceil, paragraph 12, probably the same as Ros na nArc, ib. 🢀

  5. Of the saints contained in the list, I have identified more or less certainly the following, who will be found in the Irish Calendars and Martyrologies at the dates given after their names: Ailbe of Emly, September 12, paragraph 22; Bairre of Cork, September 25, paragraph 18; Beoog, perhaps Mart. Don. October 25, paragraph 18; Berach of Termonbarry, February 15 ,ib.; Berchan of Clonsast, December 4, paragraph 20; Blathmacc of Iona, July 24, paragraph 22; Brendan, probably of Clonfert, May 16, paragraph 19; Caimin of Inishcaltra, March 24, paragraph 22; Camnech of Aghaboe, October 11, paragraph 23; Candan: perhaps November 1st or November 4, paragraph 21; Carthach, perhaps of Druim Fertam, March 5, paragraph 23 (Carthach alias Mochuda of Lismore has been previously mentioned); Cellach s. Conmac, v. Mart. Don. April 1st, paragraph 21; Ciaran of Clonmacnois, September 9, paragraph 18; Coemgen of Glendalough, June 3, paragraph 18; Colum mac Crimthain of Terryglass, December 13, paragraph 22; Coman, probably of Roscommon, December 26, paragraph 19; Comgall, of Bangor, May 10, paragraph 23; Fechin of Fore, January 20, paragraph 20; Fergus, a bishop, probably March 30, paragraph 19; Findan, either Finnian of Clonard, December 12, or Finnian of Movilla, September 10, paragraph 23; Finnchú, of Brigown, November 25, ib.; Flannan of Killaloe, December 18, paragraph 21; Flann s. Airchellach, of Derrynavlan, December 21, paragraph 23; Fursa of Peronne, January 16, paragraph 21; Gall craibdech (an) 'The devout foreigner', of Inchagoill in Lough Corrib, which takes its name from him, paragraph 21; Grellan of Creeve, November 10, paragraph 21; Iarlaithe of Tuam, December 26, paragraph 19; Lachtin of Freshford, March 19, paragraph 23; Luchtigern, probably of Isel Ciarain, brother of Ciaran of Clonmacnois, VSH I 209 note; Macduach (Colman) of Kilmacduagh, February 3, paragraph 22; Mac Leinin (Colman) of Cloyne, November 24, paragraph 23; Maelcorgais, cf. Mart. Don., March 12, LL 368f., paragraph 19; Manchan, of Lemanaghan, January 24, paragraph 20; Mochúa of Balla, March 30, paragraphs 21, 23; Mochuda of Lismore, May 14, paragraph 18; Mochuille of Innsnat, June 12, paragraph 22; Molaga, of Tulach min Molaga, January 20, paragraph 23; Mughna, perhaps Mosenog Mughna, of Ballaghmoon, December 11, paragraph 20; Muinend, perhaps Moinend of Cloncurry, September 16, paragraph 19; Nessan, of Cork, December 1st, paragraph 19; Ruadhan of Lorrha, April 15, paragraph 23; Senan of Scattery, March 1st and March 8 passim; Subach of Corann, August 1st and November 21 (latinised Hilarius, Mart. Don. p. 472), paragraph 18; Ua Suanaigh, there were three brothers of this name the one intended is probably Fidmuine of Rahen, May 16, paragraph 21; the Eralt of paragraph 20, probably represents an English Harold, or a Scandinavian Haraldr but I cannot trace him. In A this poem is followed by nine other poems relating to Senan of which the incipits are as follows: 1. Aontaidh doronsat, nar ghann, Senan, Laichtin, is Comgall (fo1. 248 a);/ 2. Cána doradsatt na naoimh Do Senan, do cniocht na ngniomh (fo1. 248 b);/ 3. Inné so do dubh dioghlach sa Dar marbhais Dal cCais (fo1. 249 a);/ 4. Do bhadhus is Brenainn go rath Secht mbliadna ag Comhgall ghegach (fo1. 249b); 5. Is mé Senán fuasnadach (fo1. 251 b);/ 6. Nessan dixit: Abair friom a Senain seing (fo1. 254a);/ 7. Bennach dúinn a naoimh Brenainn (fo1. 255a);/ 1–10 see opposite p.5. (Continuation of the note on p. 3:)/ 8. Fionmaith inghen Báedain bil Mathair Senáin caoim-craibhtig (fol. 255b);/ 9. A macain, tainic mo trath (fol. 256 a). No 8 exists also in Rawlinson B. 486 (fol. 4430). Of the rest I know no other copies. At the end of these poems O'Clery adds the following colophon: Ar slicht Conaire óig meic Conaire, meic Muiris í Maolconaire do sgriobus míorbuile Senain, ⁊ gach a ffuil ina ndiaigh anúas in ceidfeacht i lLuimniuch, 'arna sgriobadh dó sein as sein-leabhar dorcha meamruim, ⁊ do sgriobhus annso andara fecht i cconueint na mbrathar ag Drobhaois, 1. December, 1629; i. e. From the copy of Conaire O'Mulconry the younger &c., which he had made from an old obscure vellum book, I wrote these miracles of Senan and all that follows them to this point the first time at Limerick; and I re-wrote them here in the convent of the friars on the Drowse (i. e. Donegal), December 1st, 1629. 🢀


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