Brénainn m. Nemainn of Birr

Other names

Brendan of Birr

Introduction

He appears twice in VC. At an assemby called to censure Columb Cille, Brendan sees a 'very bright column of fiery light going in front of the man of God'. Brendan therefore salutes Columb Cille, thus assuring the others of the latter's innocence (VC iii.3). When Brendan dies, Columb Cille, from Iona, sees angels coming to collect his soul, and calls for his feast day to be celebrated (VC iii.11). Mart. Do. claims that he is buried at Tamlacht of Mael Ruain ie in Co. Dublin. Sharpe 1995 n 354 p 352-3 quotes from a lost life quoted by Ussher: Colum Cille asks Brendan where he should establish his monastery. B finds a stone which says iiíÍ (go (i) into (i) the island (í) of Iona (Í). The material known to Ussher may be 'the product of a revival of interest in native saints, which appears to date from the late 12th or early 14th century' (Sharpe 1991 p 378).

Associated places

Birra (Mart. O., Mart. T., etc): Birr tl. and par., bar. of Ballybritt, co. Offaly

Obituary

AU 565.2 Quies Brendain Biror ut alii dicunt. Also in Clon. group. AU 572.6 Quies Bhrenuinn Bhirra, ut alii dicunt (add. H2)

Genealogies

Síl Fergusa (Rec. Mai, CGSH 124 etc). Shares ancestry with Comgall of Bennchor (CGSH 97) and Cainnech m. Luigthig (CGSH 123.1)

Related Saints

Belongs to the group Brénainn (ns) (certain)

Same as Brénainn m. Findloga of Cluain Ferta (possible)

Ó Riain argues that the two were 'originally identical' (Ó Riain, Dictionary, 114)

Related Personal Names

Name

Brénainn (certain)

Feast days

Day of Year

Nov 29

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

Rígféil Brénainn Biroir, fris mbruchta leir lébenn 'The royal feast of Brénann of Birr, against whom bursts the surface of the sea.'

Day of Year

May 9

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

Brenaind Biror

Notes

Nov 29, Brendan's usual fd, is missing in MT. Brendan does NOT appear on May 9 in Mart. G.

Day of Year

Nov 29

Quote from source

Brenainn Birra gloss: abb

Day of Year

Nov 29

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

Brenainn, abb Biorra, AD 571. Do sliocht [Cuirb mic] Ferghasa, mic Rosa, mic Righraighe do, acus Mannsena ainm a mathar, acus a tTamlachta Maoilruain atad araon. ‘…and at Tamlachta Maoilruain both are buried.’

Notes

The entry also notes that Brendan is compared to Bartholomew in ‘a very ancient old-vellum-book, which contains the Martyrology of Maelruain of Tamhlacht’. A quatrain alleged to have been written for Colum Cille by Brendan is given.