Saighir


Category

Description

Saighir, is a monastic site in Clareen, County Offaly, founded by St. Ciaran the Elder. The Irish state has officially recognized Saighir on the List of National Monuments in County Offaly.HistorySt. Ciaran had been born in pagan Ireland but had left for Rome to receive Christian baptism and study the Scriptures. In Rome for twenty or thirty years, he was ordained a bishop, and returned to Ireland. On the way, he is said to have met St. Patrick in Italy and from him received a clapperless bell; whence Patrick told Ciaran to found a church when the bell should miraculously sound, and nearby would be a cold spring. Upon returning to Ireland, he evangelized his paternal kinsmen, the Osraighe, and passed through their territory and over the Slieve Bloom Mountains when he heard the tongueless bell sound, and nearby was a spring of cold water.The church grew in importance and as one of Ireland s oldest Christian sites, was once the seat of the bishops of Osraighe, and the burial ground for the Dál Birn kings of Osraighe. Several times it was sacked by the Vikings, and later it diminished in importance and the see of Osraighe was moved to Aghaboe, and later still, to Kilkenny where it is today. It was refounded as a priory of the Augustinian Canons c. 1170, and dissolved in 1568. This was the former see of the bishops of Ossory until c. 1052 when it was moved to Aghaboe.