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Kilmacduagh Monastery is found 5 km from the town of Gort in County Galway, Ireland. It was the birthplace of the Diocese of Kilmacduagh, whose name means "church of Duagh's son". The 7th century Saint Colman, son of Duagh, established a monastery on land given him by his cousin King Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin (died 663 in Ireland) of Connacht.
The monastery contains a round tower, notable as both fine example of this particularly Irish feature but also because of its noticeable lean, over half a metre from the vertical. The tower is over 30 metres tall, with the only doorway some 7 metres above ground level.
This site was of such importance that it became the centre of a new diocese, the Diocese of Kilmacduagh, in the 12th century; it is now incorporated into the Diocese of Galway. The monastery, because of its wealth and importance, was plundered several times in the 13th century.
Bishops of Diocese of Kilmacduagh
- Innreachtach, ? - 814
- Colman mac Donncothaigh, 846
- Donnchadh mac Cathlan, 967
- ?Ua Cléirig, ?-1137
- Ímar Ua Ruaidín, ? - 1176
- Mac Gilla Cellaig Ua Ruaidín, a.1179-1204]]
- I. Ua Cellaig, a.Feb. 1206 - 1215
- Máel Muire Ó Connmaig, ? - 1224
- Áed of Kilmacduagh, elected a. 12 May 1227 - ?
- Conchobar Ó Muiredaig, ? - 1247
- Gilla Cellaig Ó Ruaidín, elected a. 5 May 1248 - a. 9 November 1253
- Mauricius Ó Leaáin, elected 15 may 1254 - c. 10 November 1283
- David Ó Sétacháin, elected p. 27 March 1284 - a. 13 June 1290.
- Lúirint Ó Lachtnáin, elected a. 10 August 1290 - a. 1 March 1307
- Lucas of Kilmacduagh, elected c. 1307 - 1325
- Johannes of Kilmacduagh, eledted a. May 1326 - c. 1357
- Nicol Ó Leaáin, prov. 16 November 1358 - a. October 1393
- Gregorious Ó Leaáin, prov. 13 October 1393 - 1397
- Énrí Ó Connmhaigh, transferred 11 March 1405 - ?
- Dionysius of Kilmacduagh, ? - a. May 1410
- Eugenius Ó Faoláin, prov. 21 September 1409 - translated to Killaloe 6 July 1418
- Diarmaid Ó Donnchada, prov. c. July 1418 - a. October 1419
- Nicol Ó Duibhghiolla, elected October 1419 - did not take effect
- Seaán Ó Connmhaigh, prov. 23 October 1419 - a. May 1441
- Dionysius Ó Donnchada
- Cornelius Ó Maoldomhnaigh
- Matthaeus Ó Briain
- Malachias Ó Maoldomhnaigh
- Christopher Bodkin, prov. 3 September 1533 - opp. to Tuam 15 February 1537; died 1572
According to legend, Saint Colman MacDuagh was walking through the woods of the Burren when his girdle fell to the ground. Taking this as a sign, he built his monastery on that spot. The girdle was said to be studded with gems and was held by the O'Shaughnessys centuries later, along with St. Colman's crozier, or staff. The girdle was later lost, but the crozier came to be held by the O'Heynes and may now be seen in the National Museum of Ireland.
It is said that, in the Diocese of Kilmacduagh, no man will ever die from lightning. This legend was put to the test when one unlucky soul was struck, but the force of the bolt made him fly through the air into neighbouring County Clare, where he died.
- O’Donovan, John (ed. and tr.). Annála Rioghachta Éireann. Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616. Edited from MSS in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy and of Trinity College Dublin with a translation and copious notes. 7 vols. Royal Irish Academy. Dublin, 1848–51. Vol. 1 available from the Internet Archive. Available from CELT:
- A New History of Ireland, volume 9, pp. 330-331.