Monday, January 31, 2011


The Cycles

The Early days of Erinn are recorded in the Mythology Cycle covering a period before the old Irish and the Ogham were written.
old Irish and the Ogham are the only reference left covering this period of origin and covering such tale as as the 3 Sorrows of Story telling and taking in such figures as Lug son of Cian and Eithne,
the Firbolg people of Nemid and the Dananns all of whom remain a god like presence personified.
Along with the potent goddess' of war and distruction Badh, Macha and Morregan ,the Raven.

The stories of the period of the great heros of the Red Branch-Craob Derg; the Tain of the book of Uidre includes the tales of Deidre and her Red Branch lover Dairmuid maic Uisne and the prechristian tales of kings and their offspring such as the
Echtra do maic Eocahaidh Muighmeadoin [mec Eocai Muimeadoin], a 300 AD High King.

The De Derga Hostel slaughter of Conaire Mor of the Dega in Kerry; the distruction of the DinnRig at Ferns Laigen ,in the 6th century BC[500 BC].
The death of Ferdia in his duel with Cuchulain and the cycle takes us from Old Irish writings ending their script about 900 AD to the Middle Irish text transcriptions from older manuscripts about 1000 AD.

Most of the Church Annals, the Glossarys, geneologys, anthropologies, and catalogues were codified between 800-900 AD at the time of the Norse raids and these contain much history and religion.

They were written in the script of the time, a western alphabet with greek letter borrowings, in a very small and compact print by church scribes, mostly on vellum sheep skin and a berry ink.
It can be said that the great advances of the cousinal Itali peoples over their more northern kin was there access to Egyptian pipyrus and their warmer climate.

AT 900 AD when the Leabar Ceart, Book of Rights, was compiled by the tribal scribes there were 100 tribal groups in Ireland.
All of the tribal chiefs and princes were clearly defined and written.
Corcaguiney or Corcu Guinge in the old spelling,gave 10 cows from this samll tribal state.

The Psalter of Cashel was also compiled at the Norse raiding period defing the geneologys of the Clanna Baoiscne or Baoisgne in the old spelling.

The Norse raids began in Ireland during the reign of Charlemange [arle maney] in the modern Irish after he was crowned king of the Francs in 800 AD.
His son Charles the Bald held a eriu geneology.

These old manuscript MSs held Bardic stories and Geneologys combined with older tales and the origin of the clanns of the island;
the Dannan, Fir Builg, Nemid ,Partalon and Cesair are all captured in weaving tales such as as Na Fintan,Tuan m Cairill, which fantisizes the descendants as one race from earliest times.

From the sea to the evolution of the land and sea to a human order as Tuan changes from various animal forms to a final human King ,child of Etain.
The cycle includes the many invasions of the early bands.

The Red Branch cycle, the golden age of old Ireland; the invasions of the Vikings and the change by 1000 AD from Old Irish writing to Middle Irish words incorporating some Latin, some Norse and Danish words, and a shift in general formation of the symbols used.

Old Irish is written in the western alphabet with additions of Greek formations of s, r, I and other letters.
These ended with Middle Irish as the letters take on a form we use today.

The Greeks were styled King of the World in many documents pertaining to this era and it is possible that the inclusion of the Greek letters such as D and others were in their relations and tribute to the king of the World.
The entrys being discarded when something happened in the east to release the Greek hold on the western region.

The 'H' is introduced sparingly and usually with a C-becoming a Ch.

Red Branch life was pleasant and plentiful and discribe a life lived in great halls with benevolent princes and a well established middle class.
The halls, palaces and homes were built of wood and great tracks of wooded lands still existed in Ireland.
They rode about in chariots which would indicate roads were built.
These drawn by horses and a close family tie was normal often resulting in love realtionships between cousins.

A blending and melding of the population was in progress.

The people were tall ,large boned and handsome where as the Fir Bolgs people were small dark and considered sneaky.
Many of the noble and warrior class were discribed as blondish in hair with grey or blue eyes and red or sandy hair was always noted as charateristic and inherited. Although no one quite knew what produced it.

The Fenian cycle of prechristian era deal with the coming of christian doctrine to the land and the demise and eclipse of the Fenian and Red Branch Brotherhoods.

It deals with the chivalry and disapline of the Irish Army corps and their ability to live on the land. To hunt, fish and be quartered by Provincial kings.

3 Battalions = 12 Regiments were kept as a standing army on ASU,with 4 reserve battalions or 16 Regiments.

Their descent and loves are recorded and recited in poem and song
as the Clanna Baoiscne blood fued with the sons of Morna after the Battle of Cnucha [castleknock] had left Fionn orphaned by the killing of his father Roigneig Ruid [Ruaidri Mor].Rogan.

He was raised on Sleive Bloom in cental Ireland and in the Galtees.

Fion Loga fathered FinnLug after gaining the cheiftainship of the Fianna forces and making peace with Morna he also becomes the father to Oisin and Oisins child was his grandson Oscar.

All these tales of the days of this era related in the Oissin cycle and by Padraig Himself [Feine] in his storys and verification as told him by old Caoilte. Or by Oisin himself wehn he returned to irleand and touched its naofa Soil.

The loves of Graine, the daugher of king Cormac m Airt of 200 AD, for Diarmuid a soldier of the Fiann, shunning the great champion Fionn Himself and leading to Diarmuids death by a great boar there on Mount Gulban which Fionn refuses to impede out of his vengance for the loss of Graine to the young soldier- Himself an old man at this time.

A faery rises from the great western ocean [the Atlantic] and rides of on a horse to the land of youth with Fionns son Oisin from Loch Lein where the old remanants of the battalions, broken and routed at the Battle of Gabra by king Cormac, and the three shouts of the sons of Tuirean are called out by his men on the shore.
Oscar was killed in the battle .
His bride Aiden is buried at Ben Adair.

Oisin longs to return from his faery life and is allowed but warned if he touches the Irish soil he will perish.

He does so at Glenn Smole [glen of the thrush] and turns into a withered old man at this time 250 years after his spirit to tir na og.

St Patrick has care of the old man and Oisin tells the tales and memories which the angels permit the saint to write down for future generations.

The Fian were originally a band of roving warriors, hessian so to speak.
They were honorable and chivalrous as knights.
Malitias of a sort of men taken from their own tuath by some disturbance or a private wrong. A private army as it were.

They were feted by lords ,sung of by bards, storied by filias.
Volunteer soldiers whose tribal oath bound cause lives on today in such bands as the provisional IRA.
They enforced a code of rule for their princes and for themselves as well as supported themselves by hunting, fishing, living from the land and protecting small families and tuat in their territories.

The Fianna unlike the stark heros of the Croab Dearg before it were colorful .
Although often involved in a fich bunaid [blood fued] a hereditary vendetta.

Their chief was usually happiest among his men.
Often magnificant, lavish and dignified but underlaid with a crafty selfishness and ruthlessness.

They could also be chivalrous in these fueds where once
Fionn crossed the Sinain [Shannon] at dawn and found his foe asleep alone.
He stood over Goll with his sword but Goll awoke and reaches for his weapons which Fionn had already taken.

But Fion the Fenian chief returns Golls shield , knife and spear and as he does so Golls men appear between Fionn and the river reversing the position.
Goll however with warrior courtesy escorts his foe back to saftey.

This so similar to the challenge between Ferdia of Connacht and Cuchulain of Ulster at the ford of Ardee where they assuage each others dayly wounds till Cuculain finally kills Ferdia and to honor him placed his body on the Ulster side fo the Boyne, victor of his quest.

Captain Sorly mac Donnell related this Fionn tale to his caballeros in Spain and related the old Irish proverb:

'A man lives after his lifetime but he lives not after his Honor.'

The Fenian cycle is still revered today.
Carrying over in text from Old Irish to Middle Irish, events from the first century down to the christain law of 431 AD.

The cycle was cultivated down from the 17 century until the coming of the English rule.
It was given full literary consideration by Jeffery Keating in 1632 when he wrote his 'Fears Forsa' and a late great compilation by Lady Gregory 'Gods and Fighing Men' a compilation of folk tales regarding these men and their romances and adventures published by Herself in 1903.

The Fenian cycle encompasess 1000 years of Irish history.
Oisin relating his tale to Patrick 300 years after the heyday of Fianna about 132 AD.

Its earliest recorded appearance in the literature of 1400 AD going back to 400 BC, 100 years before Uchtgaine Mor, Ard Ri.

The Fenian was decribed as having a

clear heart gloine ar Droide
a strong hand gus nert ar ngeag
a true speech isbeart do reir m briathar

Judi Donnelly
copyright 30 Jan 2011

sourse: Gaelic Literature Surveyed, Aodh de Blacam, Barnes Noble Books, NY

Exposure to language

exposure to language

well there are some privileges to living in a middle american small town after all in that the local parks and Recreation through the peoples university program is bringing us a bit of tehGaelteacht at a nice reasonable price to learn beginning gaelic speach.

Sraid Labhair I call it. Street Talk.

The venacular now being spoken and being taught in the Republic Schools repleate with the pronunciation and the holy [naofa] 'Hs'.

From class taught in the early evening[ trathnona] we learn

IS MISE as the late modern handle for saying our name and where we live


and in our second calss we learnnwed

DIA DUIT God be with you or Hello

and its response


God and mary with you.
And also to say

[le hoil]

[go ray mah agat]

wit the sraid pronuciations where the 'h' applied in the words is eclipsing the letter before it. so
so please become le hoil and thank you becomes go ray ma agat agat being the preposition you for ag at.
to sprint good at.
Is it an attack or a beanachta????

what is being said ,the labraid is not the written form exactly.

For instance,

to say chonia a dwelling ,one would speak
With the sraid pronunciation where the 'h' applied in the word is eclipcing the letter before it,one would speaak honai without teh c .
but to find the meaning of the word in an irish/English dictionary one would look under conai which is a residene.

the word inthe speech of the people, who frequently were not taught to read or write being peasants[tuathanach{tooanna}]or Boachada[shepards],
The proverbial 'Men of ireland; would be said by teh people honai for aplace of living.The c being completely dropped in speech and teh ai being pronounced as ah such as teh gardai [gardah].
Or, with maith [good] mah = mai

mai whicvh is not inteh lttle standard Collins gneraeal irsih dictionAZry published in 1995 which i got from a volunteer at teh local libray book store for $1.00 US.a frustrated student returning.

magh is Ma inteh dictionary where is aplain the Moi or Moy.
The 'h eclipses teh g as it doew inengliosh also ina ll wors usign it sucha s thought [thout]
Huht is probably cocknye.
and tehRain in Spain is ,ainly inthe plain. I think shes got it

This sraid ;labair the caint caled late modern irish seesm tob e offically condoned wsitht eh fallo fteh gaelic order in 1607 when the academic dic tionw as anandoned and teh speech of teh people adop[ted as literary.
the fall of tehGreat O neill and the coming of teh plantation under stuart faints discarded teh entire written adn literary work of centuries in favor of teh kings allznce tot eh peasant population left to contunue speaking ehr venacular tongue.
a politicval mvoe to get tehir vote of approval and tehr cheap labor for teh plantaion system mostly.

this cainte was thus put into writign by teh assencancy calss ov teh 16 and 1700 s adding teh old classiczl canned letter speaking for to identify ing teh world.
where teh people sadi 'Uit' the english added teh correctg spelling Duit placing teh 'h' after teh d the dhuit for you.

Occationally the brits do somthing right.

Otherwise 3 centures later the whole old irish written literature including the latinized church annals would have been completly lost and its because the anglo lords and their soldiers and servitors did not understand the tongue of the irish and have like students today wrote down what they heard and apparently had access to the older more noble gael who were able somehow to give them the right letters and the glossarys and dictionary meanings as are found in Deenens and McCormac going back into the days of the early Chrisatain period.

these lesser irish nobles were frequently members of religious orders priests bishops deacons and in addition to their training in scholastic latin had a basis in spoken and written irish from their early days on their mothers milk, frster or genetic.

Teh otehr element of preservation on teh true word came fromteh children of these anglo conquers and lords who lived in comfort but wer raised by irish annnys and cooks employees of the amanor house and irishg ardnedrs adn grooms employed at teh manor house wehre they absorbed as children growing and playing the native langauge both venacular spoken word and teh eeaning and teh literal world.
the amazing mind of teh 5 eyars old computerized to insntly trasition without a bit of thought oir taranslation.

to such wer we are indebited for teh remanants of old irishm Middle Irish danish irish and French/Norman irish which takes us back toa bout 700 Ad.
there was apurer langauge before taht of gaelic recorded fromteh time of patraig and befroe these old sheepskin texts gone to heavan o rhell and perhaps only reminants now in tehfolk lore of tehsraid labraid.

the irish themselves wer forbiden scholing under teh penal laws of Willaim and marya dn the spoken and knew only the venacular speech of teh folk peasants.

today dialect is taken in preserved in the gaelteach and is what our american teacher is attempting to teach us with conversational irish sort of a pure talk.

He is however using the blackboard to put that lovely wirtten word before us repleat with the eclipsing 'Hs'.

so we will learn the B'fh uil said bwill is actually

But i didnt write downt eh english emaning and icant find a buil or a fuil that fits*


Well better luch next ime

C is always k
G is always hard g
on to the se and si

700-800 Ad Old irish nutered words male and female

1000-1350 Ad Middle irish

1350-1650 EaRLY mODERN IRSIH dropped old pronounciatiosn and syntax

1650 -2010 Late modern irish speech of people adopted
as literal language

teh Bearla fiena the text and seach of teh 1600 ad
Composition of teh4 masters taken fro teh old MS by the Cleazry Brotehrs who wer bombbarded out of their doentgal Fransican missionbyt the English.
tehir work was comleted at Eas ruad ballyshannon by these now homelss beggr monks. Judi donnelly
copyrigth 27 January 2011

sourse Gaelic literature Surveyed,Aodh de Blacam, 1974,Barnes and noble books

* B'fuil inthe dictionary = price or worth

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Treck to teh Old Farm

Treck to the Old Farm

I put out the call
And the call must come,
But there was none,
In the spring or the fall;

And the snow drifted down
On the Quarry and grave,
But were they not Brave?
And she came in her gown

Up to the old farm,
Not to ever be seen,
Not to reach out an arm
For a past never been;

And they cover the ear,
And they close up the eye,
And they hold nothing dear
As the world pass them By.

Judi Donnelly
copyright June 22 2009

Mass at the Cathederal

The beam of light doth shine
Upon the Brow of Man,
As mind and soul align
"Neith the encompassing Hand;

O light of Life
Thy spirits kin,
To keep this people free from Sin
For as we are we as we have been.

Judi donnelly
copyright Palm Sunday
April 5 2009

Monday, January 24, 2011



Yesterday the 21st the Moon was in the north western sky at 7.15 Am and I was wondering why it was up at all when the callends had passed on the 15th and the moon should be coming up after the morning sun rise.

But the computer did not seem to have any ready at your fingertips information on this ancient calculation. Neither did the Websters dictionary abridged.
But it got me wondering if the calendar we are using is correct in realtion to the actual time month and so forth.

The New moon was in the sky in the morning before the sun came up here at 8.15AM just about 13 hours ahead of the sunrise when it should have been behind the sunrise.
After the 15 the famous ides of the month.

This amount of time between the 21st when it was seen and the 15th is 6 days or 144 hours behind where it should be.

144 hours=9,048 minutes and the seconds are to much for me.
I need a sailor in my life.

1 degree = 60 minutes [ 1 hour]
1 minute = 60 seconds
1 degree= 3600 minutes
one circle = 360 degrees

But I think the moon revolves around the earth as an elipse not a circle. Our oval egg.

However this deviation or slowness of the moon by 6 days in its revoltion regarding the ancient callends/Ides calculations is probably the major cause of the heavy snow. Unprecidented under earth flooding of fresh waters.
The lack of the usual winds we have been experiencing and the darkness in the mornign rather than some act of our sins in relation to god and the devil.

It is charachteristic of animals to be upset and hysterical when there are planitary or weather changes, hence man is probably no exception and some of the what seems to be, increase in group violence across the world this winter are more or less animal reactions to changes
we are not aware of. Awareness creates control.
Understanding enlightenment .

Last evening about 9.30 when looked out here is this nice full moon in the central eastern sky about 11 hours before the expected sunrise here at around 8.15 on the 22 Jan.

The calendar here says the full moon was to be on the 19th ,but it is on the 21st 4, days after the calendar entry.

I would trust the planitary movements more than the Pope Gregory calendar which probaly needs to be updated by NASA.

The calculations for the 2011 Imbuilg quarter day observations are as follows:

NOV 1-30 2009 30 DAYS
DEC 1-21 21

DEC 21-31 10

FEB 1-28 28 DAYS
MARCH 1-20 20

MARCH 20-31 11 DAYS
APRIL 1-30 30

MAY 1-31 31 DAYS
JUNE 1-21 21

JUNE 21-30 9 DAYS
JULY 1-31 31 DAYS

AUG 1-31 31 DAYS
SEPT 1-23 23 DAYS

SEPT 23-30 7 DAYS
OCT 1-31 31

NOV 1-30 30
DEC 1-21 21

DEC 21-31 10 DAYS
JAN 1-21 2011 21

JAN 21-FEB 1 10 DAYS

These new moons on the calendar are arriving at erratic times

Jan 21 2011 10 days before the quarter of Feb 1

Oct 23 2010 8 days before the Nov 1 quarter

July 26 6 days before quarter of August 1 2010

April 28 2 days befoe May 1 quarter

Jan 30 2010 1 day before the Feb quarter 2010

So the progression of the new moon has been from 6 to 8 to 10 days before the quarter days since July 2010 to January 2011.

I think this indicates the moon is revolving faster than it did at the time of the calculations of the ancient Irish clock.

The 2010 winter solstice was not seen on Dec 21 at Bru na Boine.
It was cloudy but that may well be the solstice did not arrive on December 21 2010 but at later or earlier date.

This tourist date of December 21 is based soly on the written calendar we use not the actual observation of the position of the moon.

The figures presented here are mostly from the calendar for 2010 as listed and none of the 2010 moons were observed either because of cloudiness, the oil spill, or simply trusting the calendar dates.

We need to keep better track or get information from NASA etal as to the activities and motions of our nearest neighbor in space and time, and the basis for all our calculations as to months, days, hours, seconds and degrees.

There are 4 moons with no valuation in the 12 months betwen the cross quarter day calculations made by the ancient Irish.

What are these.
Cad beid iad seo?

If you use the calandar days from this Imbuilg crossing till the spring solstice for March 20 2011 the total is

28 days feb
20 days march
48 days 2 days short ofthe 50 days of the old calculations

If you use the Jan 20 full moon observation that would be

48 days calendar dates
10 days observation of the moon itself
58 days

8 days more than the old time.

This would correlate with the 8 days difference in the callends/ides moon positions.
The moon being visable 6 days after the ides or about a week late making the date of the siting actually a week earlier than the calender January 8 or 9th 2011.

On the the hill of the hags in Meath in March to see if the light shines in the old carn on the right day.

Cad Am ta ar aon chor?

Judi Donnelly
copyright 22 January 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011



From cruach and his sub-god twelve',
Said cormac,' are but carven treene;
The axe that made them, haft or helve,
Had worthier of our worship been.

'But He who made the tree to grow,
And hid in earth the iron-stone,
And made the man with mind to know
The axe's use, is God alone.'

Anon to prirsts of Crom was brought--
Where, girded in their service dread,
The minister'd on red Moy Slaught--
Word of the words King Cormac said.

They loosed their curse against the king;
They cursed him in his fleash and bones;
And daily in their mystic ring
They turn'd the maladictive stones,

Till , where at meat the monarch sate,
Amid the revel and the wine,
He choked upon the food he ate,
At Sletty, southward of the Boyne.

High vaulted than the preistly throng,
And far and wide they noised abroad
with trump and loud liturgic song
The praise of their avenging God.

But ere the voice was wholy spent
That priest and prince should still obey.
To awed attendants o'er him bent
Great Cormac gather'd breath to say--

'Spread not the beds of Brugh for me
When restless death-bed's use is done:
But bury me at Rossnaree
And face me to the rising sun.

'For all the kings who lie in Brugh
Put trust in gods of wood and stone;
And twas at Ross that first I knew
One, Unseen , who is God alone.

'His glory lightens from the east;
His message soon shall reach our shore;
And idol-god,and cursing priest
Shall plague us from Moy Slaght no more.'

Dead Cormac on his beir they laid;-
'He reign'd a king for 40 years,
And shame it were, ' his captains said,
'He lay not with his royal peers.

His grandsire Hundred-Battle ,sleeps
Serene in Brugh: and all around,
Dead kings in stone sepulchral keeps
Protect the sacred burial ground.

'What though a dying man should rave
Of changes o'er the eastern sea?
In Brugh of Boyne shall be his grave,
And not in noteless Rossnaree.'

Than northward forth they bore the beir,
And down from Sletty side they drew,
With horsemen and with charioteer,
To cross the fords of Boyne to Brugh.

There came a breath of finer air
That touch'd the Boyne with ruffling wings,
It stirr,d him in his sedgy lair
And in his mossy moorland springs.

And as the burial train came down
With dirge and savage dolorous shows,
Across their pathway, broad and brown
The deep, full hearted river rose;

From bank to bank through all his fords,
'Neith blackened squalls he swell'd and boil'd;
And thrice the wondering gentile lords
Eassy'd to cross,and thice recoil'd.

Then forth stepp'd gray-hair'd warriors four:
They said 'Through angrier floods than these,
On link'd shields once our king we bore
From Dread Spear and his hosts of Deece.

'And long as loyal will hold good,
And limbs respond with helpful threws,
Nor flood, nor fiend within the flood,
shall bar him of his burial dues.'

With slanted necks they stoop'd to lift;
They heaved him up to neck and chin;
And,pair and pair, with footsteps swift,
Lock'd arm to shoulder, bore him in.

'Twas brave to see them leave the shore;
To mark the deep'ning surges rise,
And fall subdued in foam before
the tension of the striding thighs.

'Twas brave , when now a spear-cast out,
Breast high and battling surges ran;
For weight was great,and limbs were stout,
And loyal man put trust in man.

But ere they reach'd the middle deep,
Nor steadying weight of clay they bore,
Nor strain of sinewy limbs could keep
Their feet beneith the swerving four.

And now they slide, and now they swim,
And now, amid the blackening squall,
Grey locks afloat, with cluching grim,
They plunge around the floating pall.

While as a youth with practiced spear
Through justling crowds bears off the ring,
Boyne from their shoulders caught the bear
and proudly boer away the king.

At morning , on the grassy marge
Of Rossnaree, the corpse was found,
And shepards at their early charge
Entomb'd it in the peaceful ground.

The tranquil spot: a hopefu sound
Comes from the ever youthful stream,
And still on daisied mead and mound
The dawn delays with tenderer beam.

Round Cormac Spring renews her buds:
In march perpetual by his side,
Down comes the earth-fresh April floods,
And up the sea-fresh salmon glide;

And life and time rejoicing run
From age to age their wonted way;
But still he waits the risen Sun,
For still 'tis only dawning Day.

Cormac son of Art, son of Concead-cath enjoyed the sovereingty of Ireland through the prolonged period of forty years, commencing from 213 AD.
During the later part of his reign, he resided at Sletty on the Boyne, being it is said disqualified from the occupation of Tara by the personal blemish he had sustained in the loss of an eye, by the hand of Angus 'Dread Spear', chief of the Desi, a tribe whose original seats were in the barony of Deece, in the county of Meath.
It was in the time of Cormac and his son Cairbre, if we are to credit the Irish Annals, that Finn the son of Comhall and the Fenian heroes celebrated by Ossian, flouished.
Cormac has obtained the reputation of wisdom and learning,and appears justly entitled to the honour of having provoked the enmity of the pagan priesthood, by declaring his faith in a God not made by hands of men.

Note 21

The principal cemetary of the pagan irish kings was at Brugh, which seems to have been situated on the northern bank of the Boyne.
A series of tumuli and sepulchral cairns extends from the neighborhood of Slane toward Drogeda, beginning according to the ancient tract preserved in the Book of Ballymote [Petrie R.T., vol xx pg 102] with the [imdae in Dagda] or 'bed of the Dagda,'
a king of the Tuath de Danann, supposed with apparently good reason to be the well known tumulus now called New Grange.
This and the neighboring cairn of Dowth appears to be the only megalitihc sepulchres in the west of Europe distinctly referable to persons whose names are historically preserved.*
The carvings which cover the stones of their chambers and gallaries correspond very closely with those of the Gavrinis tomb near Locmariaker, In Brittany.

The tumuli in Carrowkeel [Ceatcaoil] cemetary in Sligo where the mythological Ceasair is buried and also refelcts the summer solsice has yet to be explored for a megalithic date.

presented by:

Judi Donnelly
copyright Jan 19 2011

from LAYS OF THE WESTERN GAEL,Samuel Ferguson, 1865, Woodstock Books, Washington DC, 2001

Monday, January 17, 2011



In the Irish quartersection of 120 acres = 1 saisreach [sash real estate],a plowland.

12 Sesreach = 1 ballybetach of 1,440 acres

30 ballybetach = 43,200 acres making
1 tricha ced . A tuath.

tricha ced = 30 100s or 3000, acres.

This should be able to sustain 4 herds of cows of 75 per herd or 300 cows or 10 acres per cow.

A full quarter of the 120 acres section would be 480 acres.
To that add 40x4 160
640 a full quarter

A full quarter of a triCha Ced would be 43,200 acres
172,800 acres

In 1250 AD there were:

18 Tricha Ceds in Meath
31 in Leinster
35 in Ulster
30 in Connacht
70 in Munster
184 tuaths in all since the christain era.

These tuath lands averaged about 16x11 each and there should be 184 names of chiefs- chief of the name- and the name on the land.

4 divided by 184 would approximte 46 chiefs per Province and one over chief ,a Provincial King from these chiefs.

Of the 640 acres of the Canted with the 40 acres set aside for the ruler and the Barony/county system, 100 villages should be allocated within the 640 acres, each having use of the 100 acres.

In the Irish saisreach plowland of 120 acres
1,440 townland acres- a baile betach

and a final tricha ced of 30 bailebetachs which would be 43,200 acres.

where ULSTER HAD 35 X 43,200 = 1,512,000 acres of plow lands.

30 being the average except for Munster which was eventually split in two and each of these contained 43,200 acres of ground to split between the septs, clanns and fines, cows and crops, the luch tige.

30 100s = 3000 acres
Where the designated trica Ced do not add up to 1440 acres in a bally betagh,but rather express a 100 acre figure for a sesreach which amounts to 36,000 acres for Trica Ced not 43,200.a difference of some 7000 acres.

The Irish injection of Sesreachs and Bally be Tags and tricha Ceds do not add up.

There appears to be no combination of words to get the meaning for a bally be tach but Baile means a homestead ,a townland indicting the meaning of a beitach to be 12 homesteads or townlands making up some 1,440 acres of land between them and 30 of these townlands ,a baile made up of 30 of these townlands or bailes making up a tricha ced or a tuath area.

All I can figure that creates a quarter correlation to these 120 acres figures would be a reservation of 40 acres from the saisreach.
The sash real estate and what would with be a mensal land for their chief, a common land for the use of all the families in the townland, the back 40 as it were ,or a lake or a bog land claimed with in the sash surroundign it.

This addition of the 40 acres would increase the land to 160 quarter sections of the 640 quarter of land associated with time, space, degrees, and universe and the usual revolving of the planets and moon around the central 'li'. the sun ,the solar, giver of light, a giver of life ,the Ba al ,the heat the great expanse of sea, land ,earth ,space and time.

Judi Donnelly
copyright 15 Jan 2011
the ides

Friday, January 14, 2011



The Irish tribes fell so easily into the 1600-1700 AD explotation of the plantation system and during these centures lost track of the old gaelic distribution of land understanding even though they practiced it among themselves till the Famine totaly displaced the law, the land, and the language.

Under the old tuat system each tribe had a definate district of territory and these tribes were divided into septs, clanns ,and fine [family].
Each of these divisions were settled in a particular place-a stead or homestead-or, as the early Americans liked to discribe it, the homeplace.

These tribes all had a tribal leader or chief called the Taoi [taea] and this chief of the tribe was given mensal lands for life as long as he was chief.

He was usually of a princely house ,a derbfine [dearb feine{himself affirms}], and a flait or prince, who could also own private lands or inherit private lands from his family, [the curam, clann, muinter] or could receive lands as payment for his professional services which he could distribute to his decendants.

These privately owned lands were rented out to tenants who paid rent in kind not cash held a 7 year term lease and these tenants could sub lease these holdings.

Frequently land was held by a feine [himself], the family of one man for several generations paying out as rent 1 animal out of every 7 to the Taoi do tuat[Taea do tot], or 1 part of every 7 plants on tillage.

A Feine [Fane] was a client or rent payer.

A Ceile [cale] a tenant farmer meaning together or a spouse or helper.

A Saor Ceile was a free farmer meaning free ,easy ,cheap and a craftsman;
sort of cheap craftsman about the place. A sidekick.
The Saor was a free farmer and needed no security to occupy a land holding but owed days of service to the chief.

A Daer Ceile was bound tenant and needed security to hold land .
This is cattel or livestock which was obtained from his tribal chief and rental paid to the taoi either in service or some return.

These cattle rental from the tuath were often obtained by the chief and his clients, septs, clanns, and fines, on Prey of a neighbor Tuath to obtain confiscated herds to rent to the Daer Ceile to obtain land use territory within the tribe.
The cattle were hence scattered about the territory and had to be found by the raided party who came with his men to recover the lost herd.

A system often used in the old wild west of the US by cattle rustlers who dispersed the herd as quicklly as possible and the system of branding cattle was the only means of identifing a stolden cow to which the north American Cattle rustlers quickly adopted the changed branding techniques whereby a whole herd of say 'Circle C' branded cattle were quickly rebranded 'Circle O' and a nice wooden plaque hung over the drive way to the ranch as the 'Cirle O Ranch'*.

These cattle being put out to the open range provided by the US government and mingled with herds of 'Circle O' cattle.
The preyed herd thus being lost to the benefit of the orignal owners entirely.
Cattle rusTlers were subsequently hung if caught and the only way to catch them was 'hot pursuit' before they could secret the stolden herds.
This required the entier bunk house of ranch hands, the US Marshall or elected territorial sheriff, and sworne to uphold the law Posse.

In Ireland the preyed party immediatly went in' hot persuit' of his cattle with his clanns and septs and clients to return his cows or sheep before they were dispersed in the new onwners teritory.

All the septs,clanns, clients. and fine, all the Ceiles and
Feines owed military service to the tribe and when the Chief called for any of his purposes they were bound to respond.
A military draft as it were.,

The entire tribe was bound as well, to care for all children and the old of the tribe.
Therfore ,there were no child protective services or nursing homes.

Each individual, helpless or abused within the tribe ,was taken care of by his fine , his clann, his sept or his chief.

The Daer Ceile were required to render War service and work service when required.
They were the oglach and the laborer and were additionally required to pay rent twice a year as well as provide accomidation for the chief or king and his household for a month.

All the land belonged to the tuat, the tribe,the people;
folklands [volk in german] and were used freely by members of a sept.

Waste lands and bog lands, rivers and lakes, were held in common and these were the free tribes of Ireland.

Foreign people were often allowed to stay on tribal lands. These being from other countres or other tribal areas of the island.

These were serfs who had come to the tribal chief and given protection or succor and were allowed to remain as tenants at will on tribal lands.
This usually from infighting in family of other tribes,
Fratracide and Patricide, Famine or other disasters in their own territories.
Or perhaps Phoneican traders or British princes who had been ostrasized from their own lands.

Tribal lands were frequently redistributed within a sept or clann by gavelkind and only males were allowed a stead.

Ligitimacy or illigitimacy played no roll in this distribution and illigitimate children would be given the same land consideration as the household children of the feine Himself.

This system was activated every 3 or 4 years and thus homelessness was never a problme in the tribal system.
Every person of a tuath, feine or clann, or spet got a plot of tribal land for his stead.,
This system was outlawed by James Stuart I in 1603-4 when James abolished gavelkind and imposed English law making tribal lands decend to the oldest male heir of a ligitimate family ,leaving the rest of the family out in the cold, or restricted to common waste and bogland, or removed to the western congested Lands to Hell or Connacht.

The tuath taoi was entilted to a meansail[ middle dirt] land useage during his life time and this was taken fmor a 1/5 part of tribal lands.
When Tuathal Teamair returned from Scotland in 79AD to claim his rightful heritage he was accepted by the Irish tribes as the rightful ruler and given 1/5th from each of the 4 provinces as his Menasal estate, this being Mide or Meath.
Tuathal requred that this provision be extended to his decendants as long as they retained the Ri chiftanship and they did so for 600 years this being the O Neill Clann

679 AD 679AD
432 AD Patrick came
147 years

Approximately the reign of Aod Ua Iruednach and Maoil Duin 147 years after the conversion to christain faith made by St Patrick, were the last high kings of the Ua Neill after them of Teamrach.

These men being the decendants of Tuathal, the Reachmair, Con Ced Cat of 100 battles, Art and his son Corbmac mac Airt, Cairbre Liffecair, Straibane, Muiredac Tirec ,and Muig Meadoin, his son ,father of 5 sons, Niall Noigialach his youngest, taking the Ard Ri ship in 379AD.

His death in France in 405AD 26 years king of Ireland.
A warrior and a ruler bringing us to the era of christianity and modern medieval Ireland.

The land system of tribal control lasted with Ri's and upsets and internicene feuds for power between the princes of the fuedal era and the distruction of the monastery system, till it was finally driven out of existance- much to the demise of the islands independence- not so much by English system as by the English injustice and haughtiness, of its penal laws, religeous affilation ,degredation of the language and native culture as to their past ;
Of famine,death and the usurpation on the island of the old client system into the new foreign lordships where con acre, the potato, the cabin and the client still held sway in the folklands and was only disbanded by death at the workhouse and emmigration to the new world and the coffin ships and the great promise of americay;
and from the quarter lands, the cantred , the barony, and the ranch and the homestead of 160 acres.

*the land system of the tuath was based on the quarter.
A quarter is 1/4 of a total and a quarter of land is 640 acres.

A quarter is a Welsh cantred of 100 villages and a cantred of the normans is a barony and a barony is a parish and the parish is a county.

100 villages divided into 640 acres gives us 600 acres with 40 acres and and mule left over.
The castle and the monastery lands = the 40 acres.
The rest being 100 acres for each village with its ruler castle
lands= 640 acres, a Cantred.

This system also applied to the monastery lands, termin lands of the monasterys.

Thus the Barony applied by the English to the Norman holdings, and the crown of Henry 2 giving out title to the barony lands in Ireland which would be the norman castle surrounded by 40 acres for the lord and the 600 acres of outlands occupied by the villages.

This already in place by the monastery ,parish lands established by Patricks divisons,and previously in place by the tuath system of the whole quarters in Ireland.

The Province 1/4 of the whole, being subdivided into tuath or tribal lands, sept lands, clann lands, and family land holdings.

The average land holding in Ireland for a fine was 120 acres
[ a sesread{sash real estate}], where as in America it is 160 acres, a stead or homested .

160 acres is 1/4 of 640 acres, a quartersection; and the difference is again 40 acres and the mule ,or the back 40.
The quartersection of the whole.

The word Ranch* is the same setup as a plantation that being a section of land used for a single purpose either one crop or one animal.
Cattle ranch or plantation ,or cotton ranch or plantation.
It usually consists of several quarters.

4 quarters of land at 640 acres per quarter would equal 2,560 acres of land, the usual size of a working ranch or plantation or in todays world, an agra business holding growing corn or soy beans.
4 of these holdings would equal 10,240 acres.

Ireland holds some 2 million acres of land all divided by quarters and quarter sections.
2,500,00 of them further split into quarter sections of 120 acre homesteads.

This was the land division held sacred and very workable until the new modern fee simple grant with mortgage came into being with the modern states.

The old land titles being discarded for speculators, land grabbers, plots consolidated into estates and demesnes and still rented out and resold to the natives with bank loans they cannot afford to repay and the new system of individual sales also jeprodises the ownership of the island to outside investors and developers who can split up the cohesive communities and the fines and septs and clanns and resale this acquired land on a tiny ocean island for their own profit and purposes.

Can Ireland survive as a race or as a nation in this system?
I think not.

Judi Donnelly

copyright 12 Jan 2011

sourse: notes and thoughts

Monday, January 10, 2011



Lies a man and his love
cover'd by a rock
Defaced by the living lime
'Neith the wind swept grasses of Ireland;

An old man and his a young wife
Together at night in the home,
Violence intruded
Shot them dead,
Left the dear baby screaming
'Neith the Wind swept grasses of Ireland;

32 bullets were fired
Leavign holes in the stove and walls,
An old man lying in his undercloths,
A young wife dead close by
'Neith the wind swept grasses of Ireland;

'Not a more innocnet could be found!'
A man left alone on an isolated farm,
Cemetary Sunday it was
Night, 11 Pm or more
'Neith the wind swept grasses of Ireland;

The youngest boy remaining,Francis
On the old farm were all were born,
He almost lost it but his brother bailed him out
'Neith the wind swept grasses of Ireland;

A son found them all at 17
Death and Blood his legacy,
1000 came to lay he and his love
'Neith the wind swept grasses of Ireland;

The black stone rests
Disfigured by white lime,
A graceful dark panel
Shimmers their life and death
'Neith the wind swept grasses of Ireland;

An old man and his love
Two sons left behind,
The black stone encased
'Neith the wind swept grasses of Ireland.

Judi Donnelly
copyright 1 November 2004

Monday, January 3, 2011



In 1669 Hugh [Aod] mcMahon was born in Caveny, Monahan county.
His father was Colla Dub Mc Mahon of Darty and his mother Eileen O Reilly of Cavan.

Early in life he became interested in the priesthood and his family was not poor and therefore able to send him to the Irish College of Rome in 1684 when he was 24 years old.

But the Willimite wars of 1689 were disabling, altering Ireland politically and religiously and he remained on the continent for 6 years studing humanities at Brussels.

He was cannonized to the collegiate church of St Peter at Cassel, Ypres in Flanders where he reamined for 11 years.

At 45 years he was appointed Vicar general of Clogher dioceses in Ireland which he administered from his position in Flanders as provost for 5 years.

In April of 1706 he decided to leave his comfort and proceed to Clogher where it remained illegal for any catholic priest or bishop to be in Ireland.

In 1703 under Willaim Mary and Anne* only 3 bishops were than living in Ireland illegally;
avoiding capture and death by the mighty monarchy/parliament hand, one of these being Patrick O Donnelly bishop of Dromore known as the Bard of Armagh as he disquised his status as a prelate and a priest as a bard playing and singing with his harp at local fairs, villages prtotected throughout Ulster, where he was the only bishop, by the peasants and locals where he was.

He managed to mininster to them in return.

He was finally taken in September 1706 by the prodestant establishment and I belive drawn, quartered and hung.
This left one old archbishop in all of Ireland at large but still a archbishop of Cashel.
These losses led Dr Mahon to return to Ireland.

In 1703 the Registration Act had been passed by parliament and given the royal assent by Queen Anne.

The Act required all religious clerics to register with the court at the local quarter session.
Most of those registered now were 55 years of so .
The Act allowed only one priest per parish.

Ordination of a new priest was forbidden with the Williamite reign and the intent was to allow the catholic religion to expire when these old registered priests died leaving the Church of Ireland prodestant and Calvinist doctrine the only church in the land.

The Act also required 2 surieties in witness usually putting up a sum of money -50 pounds -to assure the registered priest would be on good behaviour.

The Irish Assendancy parliament at Dublin had enacted a law to rid the country of catholic prelates in 1697 called the Banishment Act to banish all bishops priests an ecclesiastic who were ordered to leave Ireland by May 1698.
400 priest were deported leaving only 3 illegal bishops.

By 1704 an Act to Prevent the Growth of Popery was made by the Irish Assendancy parliament.

During this period of penal persecution where no native was allowed to own any property, or hold any paid job or have any church affiliation, build a church or a chapel, Mass was frequently held on some local rock that was then called the Mass Rock ,Mass Altars field.

These were covered only by a lean-to shelter of straw,.

A building a chapel or any other building for religious would result in either death or deportation.

These little protected field altars or rock alters had such little protection from wind or rain and snow and the priest along with the congregation before him in open fields were drenched and frozen.
The parishioners brought with them to kneel on ,a truss of hay or straw , a sort of prayer rug, on which to kneel.
These trusses of hay were left on the ground.

These altars of the field were numerous about the countryside.
A diocese usually having about 50 of them and there were no chapels orchurches .
Neither were Mass houses to be found.

By 1850 innicially following the famine, there were in place in a diocese 150 years after the Penal Code ,some 30 to 50 churches and chapels about the land.

With the death of Anne in 1714 and the assention to the English throne in August 1714 by George I of Hanover the worse abuse of the penal law drew to a close and were unenforced by such priest hunters as Edward Tyrell and sheriff Mervyn Archdale and the Justices of Peace whose established authority prevailed over registered priests, clerics and school teachers in Fermanagh County who had not abjured, contrary to law.

By 1731 there were 892 Mass Houses in all Erin and only 48 Mass Rocks Priests were tolerated.

Where most of the land had been confiscated by the Scots colonists, the penal laws had left the natives with no ownership of property ,no civil post, no military office, no soldering post or guard positions, forbidden to have arms and were given no restitution for their loss.

The priests were than usually homeless, starving, barefoot , on the run, if not registered and had not taken the Abduration Act required to deny the jacobite claims of James 2 to the throne of England.

Dr mcMahon has recieved an estate of his uncle Arthur mcMahon, the provost of Cassel St Peters College in Ypres, Flanders who had bequethed Hugh his estate when he died in 1710.

With this the Dr was able to establish bursaries of 120 French livers per year for students from his diocese of Clogher and Killmore.

Preferance to the old aristocratic families related to the founder McMahan family, Maguire, O Neill and Reilly.

The Clogher Diocese incorporating County Louth, Monahan, Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

These selected students were than sent to the Irish Colleges at Antwerp, Paris, Louve and Rome.

* Queen Anne was the last of the Stuart line of monarchists.
She was the sister of Mary who married William of Orange and the girls were both daughters of James 2, the Jacobite who lost his bid to hold the English throne at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland.
Anne was prodestant and quite cruel in her admininstration of the catholic church and the native people now subjects to her will .
She was an autocrat like her later more germanic princess Victoria. Ireland has suffered dearly under all the English Queens.

Some writings of Bishop Dr Mc Mahon 1704


'great delight among both clergy and laity, so much so that the Scottish Calvinists, with whom the province is swarming, put very serious difficluties in my way, in fact a law passed by parliament forbade anyone, under pain of confiscation of all property and imprisonment, to harbor or entertain a bishop or any church dignitary, there was moreover, a reward of 100 pounds for anyone who reported such a prelate to the authorities.
The Calvinists, spurred on by this enticement, are scrutinizing everything.
Sometimes too , there is danger from Catholics, especally servants and maids who live in Prodistant houses- the result ,not indeed of malice, but rather the incautious talk.
For these reasons I had to go elsewhere till such time as the excitment had abaited somewhat and there was less danger in visiing the district commited to me.


'Although all Ireland is suffering, this province is worse off than the rest of the country because of the fact that from the neighboring country of Scotland ,Calvininsts are coming here daily in large groups of families, occupying the towns and villages, seizing the farms in the richer parts of the country and expelling the natives.
They are in a position to do this because they enjoy the favor of the government and they have the support of the prodistant residents,
-men who, under the title of confication, had in the time of Cromwell taken over the farms and property of the natives.
The result is that the Catholic natives are forced to build their huts in mountainous or marshy country.
Hence the faithful, who in times past contributed so generously to the support of their clergy, are now themselves in dire poverty and quite unable to help.
To make things worse Catholics are forbidden to own real property, to hold the office of magistrate or any civil or military office, they cannot serve even as guards or common soldiers, they are not allowed to carry arms or to keep arms in their homes.
Moreover, if any thing is stolen from a house or if any of the cattle in the country happen to meet with an injury, the Catholics are bound to make good the damage, provided that the man who suffers the damage- or pretends that he suffered-swore that he believes it was the work of Papists.
No cooberation is require,and till full compensation be made the parish priests is put in prison.
Indeed,Calvinists who have suffered no injury have been know to take this oath and exacted compensation; and when later the fraud was discovered no restition was made.'

'since the people of Ulster are living in dire poverty, the remuneration of their pastors is necessarily small and altogether insufficient.
At the moment they are in such dire poverty that they havent a penny to give a beggar; and in fact they themselves are in greater need than any beggar.
Indeed the sight of them would move one to compassion as the go around unkempt, ill-clad without companions, with no fixed abode, spending the night here and there in huts by the wayside and if any money comes their way they must use it to bribe the captain and his quards that by ingratiating themsleves thus they may exercise their ministy more freely ....the priests here have told me thay are in very low cicumstances.
Some have not eaten meat for four or five months on end.
It has happened too that the priests have gone late at night or in the early morning to attend sick calls at a distance and have returned towards nightfall without having had anything to eat.'


Prelates and regualar clergy have, for some years, been proscribed by act of parliament, but the ordinary secular clergy are allowed to exercise their ministry, provided they present themselves before a magistrate, sign a register and procure bailmen to guarantee that they will appear when summoned and that they will stir up no trouble for the authorities.
If they do this they are allowed to exercise their ministy within the confines of a particular parish.
It is understood of course that they are not to employ an assistant or a substitute and that when they die no one is to be appointed to succeed them- a difficult situation but not unbearable, at least for the time.
In this way the priests have been able to provide to some extent, for the spiritual needs of their flock.
However at the first rumor of rebellion or trouble, the parish priest is thrown into prison.
The sacraments of a matrimony and baptism cannot be administered unless the banns are first proclaimed in the Prodestant church and the ministers fee paid.
The stipend is exacted even from the very poor who , in consequence, have nothing left for their own pastor.
In spite of all this religion was being practiced, although without public ceremony.'


'From that time the open practice of religion either ceased entirely or was considerably curtailed according as the persecution varied in intensity.
During these years a person was afraid to trust his neighbor least, being compelled to swear, he might divulge the names of those present at Mass.
Moreover, spies were continually moving around posing as Catholics.
In fact during the viceregency of Warton, a number of these spies, supported by publc funds, went around the country.

Greater danger, of course threatened the priests, as the government persecuted them unceasingly and bitterly, with the result that priests have celebrated Mass with their faces veiled least they should be rcognized by those present.
At other times Mass was celebrated in a closed room with only a server present, the window being left open so that those outside might hear the voice of the priest witout knowing who it was, or at least without seeing him.
And here the great goodness of God, was made manifest, for the greater the serverity of the persecution, the greater the fevour of the people.
Over the countryside, people might be seen , on meeting, signalling to each other on their fingers the hour Mass was due to begin, in order that people might mentally follow the Mass which was celebrated at a distance.
I myself , have often celebrated Mass at night with only the man of the house and his wife present.
They were afraid to admit even thier children so fearful were they.
The penalty for anyone allowing Mass to be celbrated in his house is a fine of 30 pounds and imprisonment for a year.

These laws are in force and are enforced with varying degrees of severity according to the type of viceroy.
Where the is even a slight breathing space the exercise of religion is carried on, mostly at night and hurridly.
So that there is no time for teaching catechism or preaching.The proclimation of banns before marraige is omitted entirely least the magistrte might hear of it, with consequent danger to the priest concered.
Under the previous law the Abjuration Act of 1709, the magistrate had power to prosecute at will, which meant that one might escape by bribary.
But under the present regime [in 1714] magistrates are to be compelled under penalty of forfeiture of office and a fine, to force all papists to take the oath.
The royal assent has not yet been given to this bill and parliament has progrogued till August 10th and so we are twixt the hammer and the anvil, our only hope being that Divine Providence will bring about the dissolution of the parmliament.
Otherwise no escape is possible; enevitable extripation awaits all.'


'In the northern part of this diocese there is a very famous place known locally as St Patricks Purgatory.

It is situated in a small island in a lake. Every year thousands of men and women of all ages come from even the most distant parts of the countyry to this hill and to make a novena.
For the nine days they live on one meal per day; the meal consists of oaten bread and water.
They go bearefooted and sleep on the ground. Thrice in the day they go around the stations walking all the time on rough sharp stones and sometimes wading through water.
On the ninth day, after a general confessional and after recieiving holy communion before dawn, they decend into a cave where they remain without food or drink for 24 hours.
The time is spent in prayer. They come out on the same hour the following day and bathe three times in cold water.
Such is the proceedure for the pilgrimage.
Stories of ghoasts and spectres are frequently told in connection with the island, but these stories have no foundation.
During the three months of the plilgrimage season Masses are being celebrated continously from dawn till mid-day.
Confessions are heard and there is a sermon twice or three times a day. Such is the fervour of the pilgrims that the preacher is frequently interupted by sobs and outburst of weeping among the congreation.
Almighty God seems to bestow great graces on those who make the pilgrimage, even people hardened in sin have changed their way of life after making it.
Moreover, people come back again and again and I have found people who had made the pilgrimage fourteen times. the Plenary Indulgence ganted by Pope Clement to those visiing the island has been a great help.

An extrordinary feature of the pilgrimage is that none of the Prodestants in the locality ever interfere with the pilgrms, although people are forbidden by law of parliament to make it.
when I viited there disguised as a Dublin merchant- for prelates and non-registered pritsts usally find it necessay to adopt some disguise- The Church of Ireland minister of the district recieved me hopitably. The result is that while in the rest of the country practice of religion has practically ceased here the religion is practised freely and openly.
This people attribute this to the mercy of God and the prayers of St Patrick.
While I was there an English prodestant moved by curiosity and the fame of the place was so moved by the example of the penitents that he abjured heresy.
Many priests help on the island but the Franscisan fathers bear the brunt of the work.
There is one custom on the island of which I do not appove.
On the ninth day of pilgrimage, the pilgrims about to enter the cave hear Mass.
This Mass is always a requim Mass offered for the pilgrims now dead to the world and about to descend to burial.

I have tried to alter this, especially on Sunday and Holy Days to the Mass of the day; but I am told the custom is an immemorial one coming down from St Patrick himself.
Even the experts suport this view, but still I am not content. Accordingly I would like a ruling on the matter from Your Eminence and the Sacred Congregation.'

Judi Donnelly
copyright Dec 29 2010

source: History of the Diocese of Clogher, Henry Jefferies,Four Courts Press Ltd, 2005
chapter 7 ,the Early Penal Days: Clogher under the admininstration of Hugh Mac Mahon[1701-1715]