Monastery of Clonmacnoise, County Offaly, Ireland
Posted by: Modestia
N 53° 19.260 W 007° 59.280
29U E 567409 N 5908457
Quick Description: he monastery of Clonmacnoise (Cluain Mhic Nóis in Irish, meaning "Meadow of the Sons of Nós") is situated in County Offaly, Ireland on the River Shannon south of Athlone.
Date Posted: 7/17/2008 11:49:47 AM
Waymark Code: WM474A
Clonmacnoise was built in 545 by Saint Ciarán at the point where the major east-west land route through the bogs of central Ireland along the Eiscir Riada, an esker or moraine left by the receding glaciers of the last ice age crossed the River Shannon. Saint Ciarán had been educated by Saint Diarmuid of Clonard and Saint Finian.
Shortly after his arrival, Ciarán met Diarmait mac Cerbaill who helped him build the first church — a small wooden structure and the first of many small churches to be clustered on the site. Diarmuid was to claim the title of the first Christian High King of Ireland.
Ciaran died about one year later of the yellow plague; he was in his early thirties.
The Annals give the history of Ireland and the areas surrounding Clonmacnois from the creation of man to the year 1408. The translator points out that several parts of the original work are missing as from 1182 to 1199 and again from 1290 to 1299. He states that the originals were destroyed not merely by the books being burnt by marauding Vikings but also by tailors cutting the leaves of the books and slicing them off in long pieces to make their measures.
These Annals have usually gone by the name of the Annals of Clonmacnoise. In the book itself there is nothing to show why it should be called by this name. They do however give special prominence to the history of the parts of the country on both sides of the River Shannon at Clonmacnois and to the families inhabiting the areas of Ui Maine (Hy Many) surrounding them, namely O'Kellys, O'Rourkes, O'Molloys, O'Connors and McDermotts. The principal value of these Annals arises from the historical details given of these districts and families which are not found to the same extent elsewhere.
There is no clue to the original author's name throughout the work other than that he was a great Latin scholar. He was more than likely Irish if we judge from the sympathies that are shown by the reproachful words which he layeth down in the ould books and which he declared of an evil will he did beareth towards William Burke.
The original work was in Irish Gaelic. The translator more than once refers "to the ould Irish book out of which he wrote, to the old Irish book which he translates, out of which many leaves were lost or stolen.."
The translator of the original work was Connell McGeoghegan of County Westmeath. He dedicated this translation to his brother Terence whose family was among the last to uphold and practice the old Irish Gaelic Tribal Customs. The translation was completed on April 20th 1627 in the Castle of Lemanaghan in County Offaly. The original manuscript of McGeoghegan's translation is lost but there are several copies of it in both the Library of Trinity College and in the English Museum.
The translation was written in the quaint style of the Elizabethan period. Mc Geoghegan seems to have preserved the value of the original Gaelic phraseology and rendered it every justice as far as we can determine in the absence of the original manuscript.
And even the whole of the book is not given by the translator, as he states that ?the old Irish book by lying shutt and unused to, I could hardly read it, and left places that I could not read because they were altogether grown illegible and put out?
The translation of the Annals was first published in Dublin in 1896 and again reprinted by Llanerch Publishers in 1993.
Full name of the abbey/monastery/convent: Monastery of Clonmacnoise
Athlone, Offaly Ireland
Religious affiliation: christian
Date founded/constructed: 548
Web Site: [Web Link]
Status of Use: Restored Ruin
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