Bairre m. Amairgin of Cork

Other names

Finbar, Barra, Barre; Findbarr of Cork

Introduction

A saint called Bairre is associated with Cork from at least 830, when there is a commemoration in Mart. O. His exploits are fully developed in a Life produced in the late 12th century, a work which used the saint to exploit the interests of Cork and which provided the saint with a genealogy which allied him to the then bishop and abbot of Cork, who was of Connacht descent (Ó Riain 1997, 66). A version of the Life was used for an office for the Aberdeen Breviary of 1510, which re-localises Bairre in the area around Dornoch. It is likely that in origin the saint – who is also known as Findbarr and Bairrfind – lies in the cult of the teacher of Columb Cille, variously known as Uinniau, Finnio, Finnian and Bairrfind; this point is put forward by Ó Riain in 1977, and argued more forcefully in 1997 (Ó Riain, Dictionary, 332-334; Ó Riain 1997; Ó Riain 1977). See Clancy 2001 for forms which this and the related name Finnian can take with reference to place-names in Scotland. There are various stories about Bairre of the island of Barra, which, given the feast day of 27th Sept, probably originate in a cult of Bairre of Cork: of Barra: ‘The church in this island is called Kilbarr, ie St Barr’s Church. There is a little chapel by it, in which Macneil and those descended of his family are usually interred. The natives have St Barr’s wooden image standing on the altar, covered with linen in form of a shirt; all their greatest asseverations are by this saint. I came very early in the morning with an intention to see this image, but was disappointed; for the natives prevented me by carrying it away, lest I might take occasion to ridicule their superstition, as some Protestants have done formerly; and when I was gone it was again exposed on the altar. They have several traditions concerning this great saint. There is a chapel (about half a mile on the south side of the hill near St. Barr’s Church) where I had occasion to get an account of a tradition concerning this saint, which was thus: ‘The inhabitants having begun to build the church, which they dedicated to him, they laid this wooden image within it, but it was invisibly transported (as they say) to the place where the church now stands, and found there every morning.’ This miraculous conveyance is the reason they give for desisting to work where they first began. I told my informer that this extraordinary motive was sufficient to determine the case, if true, but asked his pardon to dissent from him, for I had not faith enough to believe this miracle, at which he was surprised, telling me in the meantime that this tradition hath been faithfully conveyed by the priests and natives successively to this day.’ Martin Martin, 158.

Gender

Male

Associated places

Corcach (Cork, Co. Cork, Munster)

Obituary

There is no obit

Genealogies

The genealogy given in his 12th century Life and elsewhere assigns Bairre to the Úi Briúin of Connacht (Rec. Mai. 314; Rec. Min. 484; Rec. Met. 662.79). It is argued that his original genealogy was one which localised Bairre to the vicinity of Cork (CGSH 356. Ó Riain 1997, 66-75).

Territory or Ethnicity (broad)

Gaelic

Territory or Ethnicity (refined)

Mumu

Connachta

Sources for saint

Source

A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland

158, 163-4

Notes

The 1981 reprint is of the second edition of this work, published 1716. K. Ahronson has a date of 1994.

Source

‘St. Finnbarr: A Study in a Cult’

Notes

Pádraig Ó Riain, 1977, ‘St. Finnbarr: A Study in a Cult’, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 63-82.

Source

Beatha Bharra: Saint Finbarr of Cork, the Complete Life

Notes

Ó Riain, P, 1994, Beatha Bharra: Saint Finbarr of Cork, the Complete Life (Irish Texts Society 57, London)

Source

The Making of a Saint: Finbarr of Cork 600-1200

Notes

Ó Riain, P, 1997 The Making of a Saint: Finbarr of Cork 600-1200 (Irish Texts Society, London)

Related Saints

Belongs to the group Findbarr, Bairrfind, Bairre, Uinniau, Finnén etc (ns) (certain)

Same as Bairrfind m. Muiredaig of Meitíne (possible)

This is argued by Ó Riain on the basis of Bairrfind's genealogy, which would comforably fit with an early manifestation of the cult of Bairre of Cork (Ó Riain, Dictionary, 84)

Same as Finnian m. Cairpre of Moville

Related Personal Names

Name

Bairre (certain)

Name

Findbarr (certain)

Source

Martyrology of Tallaght

21 May,

Entry on 21 May is Finnbarri Corcaigi

Feast days

Day of Year

Sept 26

Calendar

Martyrology of Tallaght

Source code

Mart.T

Source title

Martyrology of Tallaght

Editors

Best, R. I. and Lawlor, H. J.

Year

1931

Notes

From the Book of Lesinter and MS 5100-4 in the Royal Library, Brussels.

Quote from source

uel hic Barrind Corcaige 'or here, Bairre of Cork'

Day of Year

July 25

Calendar

Martyrology of Tallaght

Source code

Mart.T

Source title

Martyrology of Tallaght

Editors

Best, R. I. and Lawlor, H. J.

Year

1931

Notes

From the Book of Lesinter and MS 5100-4 in the Royal Library, Brussels.

Quote from source

Finnbairr sac.

Notes

The Vision of Mac Conglinne (early 12th c) records a feast of Bairre and Nessan together; such a coincidence occurs only on July 25. The implication is that the Findbarr on 25 July is Bairre of Cork. Ó Riain 1997, 18.

Day of Year

July 25

Calendar

Martyrology of Gorman

Source code

Mart. G

Source title

Martyrology of Gorman

Editors

Stokes, Whitley

Year

1895

Notes

Full title is Félire Húi Gormáin, The Martyrology of Gorman edited from a manuscript in the Royal library, Brussels, with a preface, translation, notes and indices. It is published by the Henry Bradshaw Society.

Quote from source

Finnbharr Gloss: saccart

Day of Year

July 25

Calendar

The Martyrology of Donegal

Source code

Mart. Do.

Source title

The Martyrology of Donegal

Editors

Todd, J. H.

Year

1864

Notes

Other author to be specified.

Quote from source

Fiondbharr, saccart

Day of Year

Sept 25

Calendar

Calendar of Adam King

Source code

Adam King

Author

Adam King

Source title

Calendar of Adam King

Editors

A.P.Forbes

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

141-171

Year

1872

Quote from source

S. Barre first bischop of Cathenesse and cōfess. vnder king Malcolme ye 3. 1074

Day of Year

Sept 25

Calendar

Kalendarium Breviarii Aberdonensis

Source code

K. Brev. Ab.

Source title

Kalendarium Breviarii Aberdonensis

Editors

Forbes, A. P.

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

111-124

Year

1872

Notes

Kal. Brev. Ab. Kalendarium Breviarii Aberdonensis, in Forbes 1872, 111-124

Quote from source

Fymberri epi cf

Day of Year

Sept 25

Calendar

Scottish Entries in the Martyrology of Aberdeen

Source code

Mart. Ab.

Source title

Scottish Entries in the Martyrology of Aberdeen

Editors

Forbes, A. P.

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

125-137

Year

1872

Notes

Mart. Ab. Scottish Entries in the Martyrology of Aberdeen, in Forbes 1872, 125-137

Quote from source

vij. Kl. Octobris. – Sancti Fimbarri episcopi Cathinensis qui diem ibidem clausit extremum cuius vite temporancia ferocem illam gentem celestis vite pabulo refertam Deo reddidit acceptabilem. . . . In Ybernia Sancti Barri episcopi et confessoris.

Notes

This account envisages the the Irish saint (presumably Bairre of Cork) and the saint of K. Ab. Brev. are distict.

Day of Year

Sept 27

Notes

‘All the inhabitants [of Barra] observe the anniversary of St. Barr, being the 27th September; it is performed riding on horseback, and the solemnity is concluded by three turns round St. Barr’s church.’ Martin tells a story of how a ‘foreign’ priest landed on the island on Sept 27th and was asked to preach ‘a commemoration sermon to the honour of their patron St. Barr, according to the ancient custom of the place.’ But the priest had not heard of St Barr to the displeasure of the islands who said that he could not be a true priest ‘for the Pope himself had heard of him’. And so the priest and islanders ‘parted much dissatisfied with one another’. 163-164

Day of Year

Sept 25

Calendar

The Calendar of Fearn: text and additions, 1471-1667

Source code

Calendar of Fearn

Author

Adam, R. J.

Source title

The Calendar of Fearn: text and additions, 1471-1667

Series

Scottish Historical Society

Year

1991

Quote from source

Barri episcopi

Day of Year

Sept 25

Calendar

Martyrology of Tallaght

Source code

Mart.T

Source title

Martyrology of Tallaght

Editors

Best, R. I. and Lawlor, H. J.

Year

1931

Notes

From the Book of Lesinter and MS 5100-4 in the Royal Library, Brussels.

Quote from source

Barrind Corcaige

Day of Year

Sept 25

Calendar

Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee

Source code

Mart. O

Source title

Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee

Editors

Stokes, Whitley

Year

1905

Notes

Full title is Félire Óengusso Céli Dé, The Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee, critically edited from Ten Manuscripts, with a Preface, Translation, Notes and Indices.

Quote from source

féil Barri ó Chorcaig

Notes

Notes in F: Bairre .i. co chlannaib Briain maic Echach Muidmedóin do Bairr[i] Corcaighi, ‘of the children of Brian, son of Eochaid Muigmedon, was Barre of Cork.’

Day of Year

Sept 25

Calendar

Martyrology of Gorman

Source code

Mart. G

Source title

Martyrology of Gorman

Editors

Stokes, Whitley

Year

1895

Notes

Full title is Félire Húi Gormáin, The Martyrology of Gorman edited from a manuscript in the Royal library, Brussels, with a preface, translation, notes and indices. It is published by the Henry Bradshaw Society.

Quote from source

Bairre cáid o Corcaig, ‘Chaste Bairre from Cork’

Day of Year

May 21

Calendar

Martyrology of Tallaght

Source code

Mart.T

Source title

Martyrology of Tallaght

Editors

Best, R. I. and Lawlor, H. J.

Year

1931

Notes

From the Book of Lesinter and MS 5100-4 in the Royal Library, Brussels.

Quote from source

Finnbarri Corcaigi

Day of Year

May 21

Calendar

Martyrology of Gorman

Source code

Mart. G

Source title

Martyrology of Gorman

Editors

Stokes, Whitley

Year

1895

Notes

Full title is Félire Húi Gormáin, The Martyrology of Gorman edited from a manuscript in the Royal library, Brussels, with a preface, translation, notes and indices. It is published by the Henry Bradshaw Society.

Quote from source

Findbarr

Day of Year

Sept 25

Calendar

The Martyrology of Donegal

Source code

Mart. Do.

Source title

The Martyrology of Donegal

Editors

Todd, J. H.

Year

1864

Notes

Other author to be specified.

Quote from source

Bairre, epscop acus confessor, ó Chorcaig Muman. ‘Bishop and Confessor, of Corcach, in Munster’ [This is just the beginning of a long entry on the saint. It includes the notion, from ‘a very old book which contains the Martyrology of Tamhlacht, and the History of the Female Saints…that Bairre, bishop of Munster and of Connacht, had a likeness in habits and life to Augustin, bishop of the Saxons.’ NB Bairre’s other main commemoration, 21 May, is close to the fd. of Augustine of England, 24 May in FO etc]

Day of Year

May 21

Calendar

The Martyrology of Donegal

Source code

Mart. Do.

Source title

The Martyrology of Donegal

Editors

Todd, J. H.

Year

1864

Notes

Other author to be specified.

Quote from source

Fionnbharr