Today in Irish History – 17 April:

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Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

In the Liturgical calendar it is the Feast Day of Saint Donnán of Eigg, also known as Donan, a Gaelic priest, likely from Ireland, who died on this date in 617. He attempted to introduce Christianity to the Picts of northwestern Scotland during the Early Middle Ages. Donnán is the patron saint of Eigg, an island in the Inner Hebrides where he was martyred. The Martyrology of Donegal, compiled by Michael O’Clery in the 17th century, records the manner of his death: “Donnan, of Ega, Abbott. Ega [Eigg] is the name of an island in which he was, after his coming from Erin. And there came robbers of the sea on a certain time to the island when he was celebrating mass. He requested of them not to kill him until he should have the mass said, and they gave him this respite; and he was afterwards beheaded and fifty-two…

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