Finnerty O'Finnerty Clans of Eire

Finnerty, O'Finnerty Clans of Ireland

Finnerty Saints, Bishops, Archdeacons & Abbots



Viking Attacks on the Island of the Saints

From the Book of Saints of Iona

 SAINT INDREACHTACH O'FINNACHTA. He was the 21st Abbot of Iona in the mid 9th century. He carried the relics of Saint Columcille to Ireland when threatened by the Norsemen.  He was murdered by the Norsemen in 852 when travelling to Rome.  Feast day March 12th.

Note 1:  The island of Hy or Iona was known as the Isle of the Saints, and was located just off the southwest coast of Scotland.

 Note 2:  Connacht King Finnachta abdicated circa 848 to enter a religious life.  He was a descendant of Innreachtach a King of Connacht.  Innreachtach was the ancestor of several Finnerty septs in Connacht.  See Fionnachta Luibne.

It has not been proven that this Indreachtach was the son of King Fionnachta Luibhne. In fact Indreachtach and King Finachta may be one and the same.

During the Dark Ages when Rome fell under attack, Ireland became the power in the church. After the pagans were driven away or had mixed with the Celts, Franks and Teutons on the continent, Ireland furnished many missionarys to the continent to baptise pagans and ordain new priests. During the time that Ireland was in power many Irish Erenaghs married. The medieval Irish office of Erenagh (also old Gaeilge Érenach) was responsible for receiving parish revenue from tithes and rents, building and maintaining church property. Most were put in place by powerful families who gave the use of land to the church, but elected a member of there family to manage and control as they did not want to fully transfer land to the church. Many Erenaghs married and many were ordained. This became a big problem when Rome came back into power.

St. Finnacta Finncoradh in  county Carlow, Leinster province



The editor believes St. Finnacta Finncoradh is of Finn chorad in Leinster. The location was not revealed, however it may be at or near Ravilly in county Carlow in the province of Leinster, which is named as the location of the Sil Cormaic, a tribe of which Finnacta was a member.


 All information was derived from the following extracts of the Onomasticon Goedelicum. There is a Finnerty in the genealogy of the Ryans, Lords of Idrone.

Onomasticon Goedelicum

Finn chorad; gs.; St. Finnacta Finncoradh, Bb. 122 b; Finnachta of Síl Cormaic in Leinster i Finnchoraidh, Ll. 351, 390, Lec. 109; in Leinster,

[see sil cormaic] It is not certain that these two Finnachtas are the same person.

[ NoteThe following references to Finn chorad may apply to other locations named Finn chorad and not apply to St. Finnacta Finncoradh]

Bb. 78 b; Cellán, Garbán, Connlaegh i Findchoraid, Fincora near Roscrea (?). f. druim; From Index Locorum; Ann. Four Masters, Fionnchoradh, Corofin, in Thomond, 1157, see Cora Finne. Cora finne in Thomond, 1573, 1599.

sil. cormaicc; of Leinster., Sr. 65 a; Seghin and Failbhe of the Sil Cormaic, who occupied Ráith Bilech, Ll. 390; at Ravilly, county Carlow.

r. bilech; ds., Raith Bilich, A. 18 a; R. Bilig, Ll. 45 a, 316 b, 351, 390, Bb. 78 b, Lec. 109, 49, 209, Mm. 486, Fir. 726, Lb. 20; the Rath is on East of the village of Ravilly, county Carlow; R. Bile (Bran. 91 b) may be Rathvilla townland in King's Co.

fid; A. 18 a; the wood of Fid round the ridge of Fid (Druim Feadha), Drumfea in parish Fennagh, barony East Idrone, county Carlow; as I gather from the following texts that Iserninus, al. Bp. Fith, came to the South part of Ireland, then to his province to a small tribe (aicme bec) in Clíu named Catrige; thence he went and set up at Toicuile, thence to Ráith Foalascich, to Láthrach Da Arad; there Cathboth's 7 sons came to him and were baptised, and he went with them southwards to their abode; they were exiled for their faith, but when Crimthann, son of Énde Ceinnselach, was baptised at Ráith Bilech they were restored to their home; hence are the Féna or Fid (or hence is the name Féna on Fid?); they go to Patrick and Cremthann, son of Énde, at Scí Pátric, and through Patrick they and Bp. Fith get fr. Crimthann, macc Éndi Níi, "dul" under Griein Fothart fr. Gabor Liphi as far as Suide Laigen, and they settle at th Fithot; Patrick went fr. Tara in Lein., and met Dubthach maccu-Lugir at Domnach Már Criathar in Ui Censelich, A. 18 a; it was at the same time that the Deissi went upon Gabran, and (the) Feni on Fid Már, and the Fothart on Gabran to the E., Laud. 610, fo. 102 a, quoted in Tl. 343; in Idrone are - (1) Clíu (q.v.) reflected in Tullowclay (Tulach Clíach) in parish Fennagh; (2) Catrighe, al. Cotrige, the Corries (Cathrige), Corries Lodge, Corries r., Corrymore Lodge, which implies a Corrybeg (Catrige aicme bec supra), a little South of Fennagh; (3) Féna is Fenagh, al. Fennagh parish, twoland, Bridge and Lodge; Fennagh parish is in barony of East Idrone, Rathvilly (Ráith Bilech supra) and Forth (Fothart supra); (4) Ath Fithot is Aghade tl., p. and Bridge in b. Forth; Epscop Fith of th Fithor (A. 18 a) is Eps. Ith tha Fadat (Ll. 308 b), al. th Fadhad; (5) betw. Aghade and Suide Laigen (Mount Leinster), and also in b. Forth are Kil-graney (Griein Fothart) and Kill-carry (Cell Cat(h)rige), and betw. Aghade and Fennagh is Larah (Láthrach dá Arad?), and N. of Larah is Rath-rush (Ráith-foalascich), where foalascach, gl. arbustum,

Rathbran p. is 10 or 12 m. N. of Ravilly (Ráith Bilech).

ui dróna; Ll. 353, Lb. 22, B. v., K. 168; bb. Idrone, county Carlow., Fia., Tp., Mi., Mm., Ci., Cri., Ui.; Aed tigerna Ua nDróna na tTrí Maige, tanaise Ua cCeinnselaig, Fm. ii. 574; Ua Ríain was its chief, Bran. 153, F2.

Note There is a genealogy of Fiannachtach Hua Droina-Laigen who is related to the Ryans who were Lords of Idrone.

End of St. Finnacta Finncoradh











Cill Fhionshneachta in Manister Parish, Limerick


 A list of churches was bestowed on Manister Abbey in 1185, and it mentioned churches in Kilcurley, Kildonnell and Killeenoughty. Westropp relates an interesting story about the church at Killeenoughty. He says that this church was called Cill Fhionshneachta, meaning the church of the wine-red snow.   According to the legend a saint was slain at the door of the church when the ground was covered with snow.
The blood of the saint coloured the snow wine-red. Westropp says that this church was also

known as Cill Fhionnachta, the church of Saint Fionnachta, and as Teampull na Sceach, the church of the thorn bushes. Locals remember this area as 'Cealltar', a graveyard.

Famine victims were buried in a graveyard called Cealltar the site of Cill Fhionshneachta. Today, this graveyard is only accessible through the lands of the Skelley family.  A wall surrounds it on all sides.  Within the walls of the graveyard, there also appears to be the walls of a church.  Gazetteer of Ireland-Samuel Lewis- 1842

Editor's note: Fhion and Fionn or Finn usually refer to“fair” or “white,” and sneachta did mean snow.  The annals do record the name Finnachta, Fionnachta, and variants as referring to “fair wine snow,” meaning the snow tasted of wine, or was red as wine; the snow often occurring on the event of the named person's birth.  As there appears to have been a Saint Fionnachta, it is likely he was martyred at the Cell which took his name. -End of Note-

 Brief Manister Parish History & Geographical Location

Manister is mainly in the barony of Small County, but also in Coshma and Pubblebrien. Manister parish is located beside the parish of Croom. The river Camoge, a tributary of the Maigue runs through the parish. The population of the parish is approximately 800.

In ancient times, Manister was known as Kilmargy Manister parish. Manister may be reached by taking the main highway southwest out of Limerick about 6 miles to Patrickswell; then south about 5 miles to Croom.  The village of Monaster lies about 3 miles east of Croom.

The name Manister comes from the Irish An Mhainister meaning 'the abbey'

Monasteranenagh Cistercian Abbey derives its name from Manister an Aonaigh, the monastery of the fair, after a fair that was held here in ancient times.  The ruins consist of a church, which dates from about 1170 to 1220, and an early Gothic chapter house. Turlou gh O'Brien, King of Munster, founded a monastery of Cistercian monks here in 1148 dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Manister was a pre-Norman monastery, sometimes called Monasternenagh.

End of Cill Fhionshneachta in Manister Parish, Limerick

Kilfinaghty in Tulla barony, county Clare




It is thought that a Saint Finaghty established a monastery on the site of Kilfinaghty parish, barony Tulla, county Clare.  This territory was anciently shared by the O'Herns [Ui Echtigherns] who were driven from it, to the east.  Today the territory is known as MacNamara's Country.

 The Annals record the genealogy of Finnachta-findbann, a son of Echthigirnn of the Dal Cas[Heber] who is kin to the MacNamaras and O'Kearneys.  It is speculated that Finnachta-findbann might be this Saint Finaghty or his ancestor, descendant or relative. [not proven]

From the Onomasticon Goedelicum:

ui táil [a people]; in Clare, Township; perhaps in or near parish Kilfinaghty, and near Limerick.

ui cernaigh; also Ui Echtigherns, i.e., parish Kilfinaghty, plus part of district between that parish and Limerick.; the river Ogarney preserves the name and flows through Six-mile-bridge; it divides Ui Cernaigh from Tradraighe, Township.

Note: cernaigh is O'Kearney and Echtighern is O'Hern or Ahern.

From  the Gazetteer of Ireland  By Samuel Lewis - 1842

 Kilfinaghty, a parish, in the barony of Tulla, county of Clare, and province of Munster on the river Ougarnee, and on the old road from Limerick to Ennis, containing, with the greater part of the post town of Six mile bridge, 4132 inhabitants.  It comprises 7212 statute acres including a large portion of coarse mountain pasture and bog, the remainder is in general of good quality, and chiefly under tillage.  Slate exists, but is not worked.  The gentlemen's seats are Castle Crine, the residence of H. butler Esq., Mount Isers of W. Ivers Esq., Castle Lake, of J. Gabbett, esq., Springfield, of F. Morrice, Esq., and Mount Isers Lodge, of E. Ferriter, Esq.  It is in the diocese of Killaloe the rectory forms part of the union of Omullod, and the vicarage is united to those of Kilmurryne gaul, Tomfinlough, Finogh, Clonloghan, Kilconry and Bunratty constituting the union of Kilfinaghty, in the gift of the Bishop. [tithes; omitted] The church of the union is at Six mile bridge and the glebe-house is in the parish of Bunratty.  In the R. C. divisions it forms part of the union or district of Six mile bridge, where the chapel is situated.  About 210 children are educated in three private schools.  At Ballysheen are the ruins of an ancient church with several tombs of very early date and within the limits of the parish are the remains of the old castles of Cappa, Castle Crine, Mountcashel, and Ballycullen, those of the last are extensive and some vestiges of the outworks are still visible, and those of Mountcashel stand on an eminence near a lake, which thence takes its name.- See Six Mile Bridge


Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839


 The ruins of an old Church and burying ground called Ballysheen Church stand in the Townland of Sooreaney. The Church is about sixty feet long and twenty one feet wide, the walls perfect except a breach in the north wall near the west gable. There is a window in the west gable but it is so covered with ivy that its form could not be ascertained. There is a pointed doorway in the south side, twelve feet from the west gable. There are two semicircular headed windows in the same side nearer the east gable, built up of cut brown grit stone and much out of character with the wall in which they are placed, they appearing older. The window in the east gable cannot be seen, it having been filled up with mason work and covered with ivy. Parts of the wall near the breach in the north side, the lower part of west gable and the part of the south wall between that gable and the doorway, appear to be much older than the rest. I think there can be little doubt that this is the Kilfeenaghta from which the Parish takes its name. It occupies the identical spot on which the Church of Kilfeenaghta is set down on Petty's Map. How its name happened to be forgotten and changed to Ballysheen Church nobody now can tell. Though this Church is set down in the Name Book as situated in the Townland of Sooreeny the parishioners believe it to be in the Townland of Ballysheen, from which it has its name. 

End of Kilfinaghty of Tulla baron, county Clare

Saint Patrick's first Baptism in Ireland St. Sinell Ua Finnacta




St. Patrick's first baptism in Ireland. In the Calendar of AEngus, under date April 5th, we find Baithes patraic primda .i. sinell mac findchada dohuib garrchon ise cëtduine robaist patraic inherinn he, Translated means: "Excellent Patrick's baptism i.e.

Excellent Patrick's baptism i.e. Sinell son of Finchad of the Ui-Garrchon, he is the first person whom Patrick baptised in Ireland."

In the annals the name Finchad, Finchada and Finnachta, Finaghty are freely interchanged. The source of this information came from the internet Manx Place Names 1925, where there is a church or abbey on the Isle of Mann named after St. Patrick, Kirk St. Patrick and there is a festival on the 5th of April commemorating the above baptism.

It was probably in the spring of the year 433, that Patrick and his companions landed at the mouth of the Vantry River close by Wicklow Head. As before with Palladius, the mission was threatened.
St. Patrick's first baptism in Ireland. In the Calendar of AEngus, under date April 5th, we find : Baithes patraic primda .i. sinell mac findchada dohuib garrchon ise cëtduine robaist patraic inherinn he, "Excellent Patrick's baptism i.e. Sinell son of Finchad of the Ui-Garrchon, he is the first person whom Patrick baptised in Ireland." 

The genealogy for St.Sinell was taken from the Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae Vol. 1 by M. A. O'Brien. The genealogy makes Sinell the great grandson of FINNACTA-Hua-Garrchon, K. Leinster. Sinell ua Finnacta had a son Ronain who was the 11th King of Leinster. 

End of : Saint Patrick Baptizes a Finnerty 


Saint Kerrill-Great grandson of Fionchada






Saint Kerrill aka Caireall mac Curnain was a Christian missionary in what is now east County Galway , alive in the mid-to-late 5th century. His great grandfather was Fionnchada mac Nair mac Earca.






  Caireall mac Curnain was a member of the Soghain people of Ireland, specifically those located in the kingdom of that name in what is now east County Galway. Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh identified them as part of a larger group called the Cruithin , and stated of them"Of the Cruithin of Ireland are the Dál Araidhi (Dál nAraidi , the seven Lóigisi of Leinster the seven Soghain of Ireland, and every Conaille (see Conaille Muirtheimne that is in Ireland."

The Soghain of Connacht were described by Seán Mór Ó Dubhagáin in his poem Triallam timcheall na Fodla where he states that:

"Six Sogain let us not shun

their kings are without oblivion.


Good the host of plundering excursions 

to whom the spear-armed Sogain is hereditary."

While the Book of Lecan lists their six branches as Cinel Rechta, Cinel Trena, Cinel Luchta, Cinel Fergna, Cinel Domaingen and Cinel Deigill.

Kerrill's is given as Caireall mac Curnain mac Treana mac Fionnchada mac Nair mac Earca mac Tiobraide mac Sodhain Salbhuidhe mac Fiacha Araidhe. His grandfather, Treana mac Fionnchada, was the eponym of the Cinel Trena, who were apparently located close to Knockma as envinced by the placename Tír Mhic Trena (the land of the sons of Trena).

Local tradition maintains that Saint Patrick did extensive missionary work among the Soghain. Kerrill was a disciple of Saint Benan of Kilbennan, Tuam . Benen was born in Tír Ailill, County Sligo, though his mother was from Kilbennan. Benen's grandfather, Lughaidh mac Netach, gave his fort at Kilbennan to St. Patrick to establish a fort over which he placed Benen, who set it up as a training school for evangelists .

Kerrill was apparently with Patrick when the latter founded a church at Tawnagh, Lough Arrow. Patrick made Kerrill a bishop and placed him in charge of Tawnagh. He also led the nuns who were under the care of Mathona, Benen's sister.

Kerrill was later transfered to Soghain, much of which Patrick had apparently reserved for him to evangelise.

Legends told about Kerrill include his fight with an Oll-phéist (terrible serpent) which was devastating the area about Cloonkeen. According to Joseph Mannion the story "is an echo of the enormous struggle which took place between Christianity and Paganism and the defeat of the Oll-phéist by St. Kerrill symbolises his success as a Christian missionary in the area. The 'monster' in question, in all probability, refers to some pagan deity that was worshipped at this place in pre-Christian times ... Many similar stories are told ... at different locations throughout the country.""

Kerrill is portrayed as having a rivalry with St Connell , who's eccleastical territory bounded Kerrill's. One outcome was a mutual curseing, in which Connell [Kerrill?] said May there be blood shed on every fair day in Kilconnell to which Connell replied May there be a funeral every Monday in Cloonkeen. To this day no funerals are held in Cloonkeenkerrill on Monday.

Connell has been mistaken for Conainne , a female missionary and founder of Kilconnell .

A miracle told of Kerrill stated that his intercessions with God allowed Cianóg ní Cicharáin to become pregnant after years of a childless marriage. She bore two daughters, who were the respective ancestors of Brian Boru and the Ó Conchobair Kings of Connacht .

Kerrill was important enough to be rated the second Patrick of that fifth (i.e., province).

Saint Kerrill of Cloonkeekerrill is given as Caireall mac Curnain mac Treana mac Fionnchada mac Nair mac Earca mac Tiobraide mac Sodhain Salbhuidhe mac Fiacha Araidhe. His grandfather, Treana mac Fionnchada, was the eponym of the Cinel Trena, who were apparently located close to Knockma [Cnoc Meadha] as evinced by the placename Tír Mhic Trena (the land of the sons of Trena). This area was the western limit of the kingdom of the Connacht Soghain.

End of Saint Kerrill of Cloonkeekerrill





Saint Ita Abbottess of Killeedymore follows







Saint Ita Abbottess of Killeedy









St. Ita died in 569  on January 15th which is her feast day.

Saint Ita or St. Ite [Killeedy] is included in Finnerty history because a Finnachta was the Abbot of Kileedy in county Limerick.

From the Annals of the Four Masters

Age of Christ 833. Finnachta, abbot of Cill Ite [Killeedy], died.

Kileedy is located 4 miles south of Newcastle West, which is southwest of Limerick City.

St Ita, the patron saint of Killeedy, was born before 484AD in County Waterford.

Her father was Cennfoelad who was descended from the Monarch Felimy the lawgiver.

Ita refused her father's wish that she should marry a local chieftain, as she believed that she had a calling from God and wanted to become a nun.

To convince her father to change his mind, she fasted for three days and three nights. On the third night, God gave out to her father in his sleep. The next morning, Cennfoelad agreed that Ita could do as she wished. At the age of sixteen, Ita set off on her journey.

Saint Declan of Ardmore conferred the veil on her. Legend has it that Ita was lead to Killeedy by three heavenly lights. She was welcomed to Killeedy by the local chieftain of the Ui Conaill Gabhra tribe. He offered to give Ita a large tract of land but she only accepted a few acres as a garden for her community.

St Ita is called "the white sun of the women of Munster" or the "Brigid of Munster". She was the "Foster Mother of the Saints of Ireland". Ita was a mother figure to some of Ireland's early saints including St Brendan who was in Killeedy for five years under the care of St Ita in the monastery at Killeedy.

Only two names of the abbots of the monastery are recorded. They were Cathasach, who died around 810 or 815, and Finnachta, who died in 833.

A parish priest named William Fenton served from 1913-1924. Fenton is sometimes an anglicized form of Finnerty, etc. in this part of Ireland. 

There is a shrine within the ruins of the church, which is believed to mark the site of Ita's grave. The tradition is that visitors to Ita's grave cover it with flowers. St Carthage's Church in Lismore in her native county pays tribute to Ita in the form of a stained glass window. Colgan recorded her life. She died in 569 (Begley states it is 570) on January 15th which is her feast day. On this date, her life and work is remembered in Killeedy. Devotion to St Ita has continued to the present day and the saint has made Killeedy a place of worship down through the years.

 End of Saint Ita Abbottess of Killeedy & Finnachta, Abbot of Killeedy





Father James Finaghty, Vicar General Diocese of Elphin                    Picture of Chapel Finerty Cemetary

 Coffin shaped Cemetery at Chaplefinnerty


 A priest of the family called Fr James Finaghty or Finnerty was Vicar-General of the Diocese of Elphin during the 1660's.   His suffering for the Catholic faith is recorded by Edmund Teige in 1668 who wrote of the Persecution of the Irish Catholics during Cromwell's reign of terror in the seventeenth century, he said and I quote "Fr James Finaghty frequently suffered tortures and cruel afflictions from the common enemy for the faith of Jesus Christ;

 five times was he arrested and once he was tied to a horse's tail, and dragged naked through the streets, then cast into an horrid dungeon; nevertheless, being again ransomed by a sum of money, he continues to labour untiringly and fearlessly in the vineyard of the lord" This Fr. O' Finaghty is mentioned in the Annals of The Four Masters, and is buried in Chaplefinnerty Graveyard near Ahascragh in the Co Galway, his gravestone is still to be seen, the inscription on his Headstone is in Ecclesiastical Latin.

The translation below was made by a local priest

Pray for the soul of Father James Finaghty

Prior of the Religoius of Connaught

Who built this Church and sorrounding buildings

In honour of the Abbess Saint Gobnaid

 Died Febraury 1st 1683 

Following is another work, circa 1830s of Fr. Finaghty. It appears that some priests who were formally educated did not approve of the confiring of Holy Orders on James Finaghty based soley on his "miracles of healing."

References Notes and Queries Dublin Review, 1836-7 Lynch - Vita Kirovani Ware, Sir James - Works Dublin Penny Journal, 1832-36.





 James Finaghty, or O'Finaghty, a native of Tuam, County Galway, was servant to a Father Moore, a Jesuit, who was known for his powers as an exorcist. Father Peter Walsh, O.S.F., author of the History of the Remonstrance and Irish Colours Folded, describes Finaghty a"illiterate and undiscerning; one who never had studied not only anything to be considered in either atural or rational philosophy, but not one word in divinity which might enable him to discern or try his own spirit."

He is first heard of publicly during the time of the Federation of Kilkenny as an astrologer. He forecast the rehabilitation of the Catholic Church in Ireland and the defeat of Cromwell and the Puritans. There is no record of how or when he received Holy Orders but his portents and miraculous interpositions so impressed Sir Richard Bellings, secretary to the Confederated Irish, and Geoffrey Browne, ancestor to Lord Oranmore and member of the Confederation of Kilkenny, that they believed that God's providence was signally manifested in the person of Father Finaghty. Leaving Galway he travelled throughout Munster and Leinster, "followed by thousands of the population, some of whom believed themselves to have been cured of various diseases by his 'rubbings and touchings'." Bellings asserted that he cured him of the gout, although the attack returned less violently. Browne declared that: "In Cromwell's time, when O'Finaghty began to be first cryed up, he had himself been present when, in a wood in Connaught, whither a multitude came to the Father, he had cured a cripple, who for many years before had been always  a cripple and as such living with the Augustinians of Galway."

Finaghty's fame spread to London. He was invited to try his miraculous powers at the Court of King Charles II. Commissioned to restore the sight to a Portuguese lady in waiting to the Queen, he failed, and soon after returned to Ireland. In spite of his failure he was treated handsomely - "he was honourably conveyed in a coach of six horses through Oxford to Chester and thence to Holyhead, whence he sailed and landed at Ring's end, in the year 1665."

Rev. C. P. Meehan in reference to the thaumaturgist, states: "that it should be borne in mind that O' Finaghty had been ordained priest previous to his visiting England; and if we reflect on the circumstances of the period at which he was admitted to holy orders, we need not be surprised that a bishop could be found to ordain him, or one like him; for the bishops  at that period had no alternative, and were forced by necessity to confer orders on many persons who, however distinguished for morality, did not possess as much knowledge, as would now entitle them to a middle place in a grammar school."

"Father Caron," he adds, "a celebrated Franciscan, then living in London says:'That O' Finaghty was (even through fear conceived by the Protestant Clergy of England, he would, by his miracles, convert their flocks to the Roman Church),dismissed from London and subsequently patronised by Lord Dillon and Gerrot Moor, Esq.'"

Thousands visited Finaghty on his arrival in Dublin. These credulous people believed that he had wonder-working powers. They looked on him as a saint, that he could heal the blind, the lame, and the dead. His devotees were not limited to the illiterate and poor classes. He numbered Lord Fingall,Sir Richard Bellings and Geoffrey Browne among his notaries. Lord Fingall's belief in him was shattered when: "a Lancashire woman came with the Thaumaturgist to Ireland, and he gave out that she was a demoniac, and proposed to disposes her in the house of the Earl of Fingall. Amongst the company assembled to witness the performance was the celebrated Father Peter Talbot - Archbishop of Dublin, 1669-1680 - who insisted that the dispossession should take place signovisibili, but OFinaghty, after all his adjurations, failed to make the devil give any  sensible proof of his exit, whereon many began to doubt the veracity of the Father." Father Peter Walsh met Finaghty for the first time on his return from England at the "Chapel of Father Ailmer, a secular priest, who officiated at Saint Owen's arch." Walsh, an ally of Ormond in the political complications of the time - especially in the matter of the Remonstrance - promised to obtain Lord Ormond's permission for a public trial of his miraculous powers. Warning him "to consider seriously and frequently of the scorn and laughter to which he would expose himself and others of his religion if, upon such a license granted and such a public trial made, he chanced to fail," the permission of Lord Ormond was obtained. It is recorded that before the demonstration Ormond observed to Bellings: "Look you to it, that instead of converting Protestants to your own religion, by bringing that miraculous man of yours hither and exposing him to more prying, more narrow searching than any he hath met with amongst men that are themselves willing to be deceived, you find not quite contrary effects, and make him an object of scorn for montebankery, and yourselves for laughter

Finaghty lived with Peter Walsh in Dublin, where a few days before the trial he was visited by Sir William Petit and Sir Robert Southwell. Petit having told Finaghty that he suffered from defective vision and that if he succeeded in curing him he would conform to Catholicism. The miracle man then put on a stole, read several prayers out of a book called Flagellum Daemonum, and rubbed the eye lids of Sir William. The experiment failed and Finaghty fearing to risk his reputation further pleaded that his state of health required a speedy return to his native Galway air and on the morning of the day of the trial before Ormond, took horse for Loughrea leaving behind him the reputation of a clumsy impostor.

Before taking up residence with Walsh the impostor' house in Dublin was besieged by cripples, idiots, hypochondriacs and all types of diseased persons. Young girls, "troubled with fairies, boys with closed eye lids " and others suffering from "supernatural illnesses " crowded about him, and by adjurations, breathings and rubbings, he expelled the devils that existed only in his imagination. Some fancied they were cured, others that they were partially cured but Finaghty accumulated horses, watches, gold, silver, pieces of linen and woollen cloth - a rich harvest indeed. The healer received little encouragement from the clergy, secular or regular. Father Dempsey declared in the Franciscan Convent of Clare, "that the said O' Finaghty's pretence of exorcising and dispossessing devils, was to his knowledge, a lying cheat." Against the advise of the Jesuits, however, Archdeacon Lynch allowed himself to be imposed on, and it was not until John de Burgo, Archbishop of Tuam interfered that an end was put to the career of the charlatan, and he sank into obscurity.

In Portumna a number of people allowed themselves to be shut up in a tower by Finaghty where they were mad through the treatment they received at his hands. It is to be noted that a competitor of Finaghty's in the field of miracle-healing was Valentine Greatrakes, the "Touch Doctor." At thirty-four he began to develop these powers of curing scrofula and other diseases for which he was afterwards famous. Some of his notable cures were certified by the Royal Society.

  "All he did was only to stroke the patients with his hands, by which all old pains, gout, rheumatism, and convulsions, were removed from part to part to  the extremities of the body, after which they entirely ceased, which causeg him to be called the stroker - of which he had the testimonials of the most curious men in the nation, both physicians and divines." Like Finaghty his powers fell into disrepute and he into oblivion.

 References Notes and Queries Dublin Review, 1836-7 Lynch - Vita Kirovani Ware, Sir James - Works Dublin Penny Journal, 1832-36.


Clan Nominates Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta for 2012 Clans of Ireland Order of Merit 





Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta Awarded 2012 Clans of Ireland Order of Merit 

 to: Chevalier Sean McClafferty CLJ KEG KMW

Chancellor, Order of Clans of Ireland,

3 Cherry Park, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland.



Órd Finte na hÉireann ~ Order of Clans of Ireland




Title and Full Name of Nominee:  Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta 




Brief Biographical Profile of Nominee Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta


Ó Fiannachta, Pádraig (1927- ), Ordained a Priest in 1953; renowned Irish language scholar, poet, author, translator; born in Ballymore, Dingle, Co. Kerry, and educated at Maynooth, University College Cork and All Hallows, Clonliffe College.  


He spent some time in Wales prior to returning to Maynooth College where he became professor of early Irish in 1959-60 as well as Welsh Language lecturer. He was made professor of Modern Irish at Maynooth in 1982. He was awarded the Douglas Hyde prize for literature in 1969.


With George Thomson he translated Augustine's Confessions as Mise Agaistín (1967).

Ponc (1970) was a collection of poems, followed by Rúin (1971) and Deora Dé (1988).

Ag Siúl na Teorann (1985) was a novel, and Gaililí agus Iarúsailéim sa Bhaile Againn (1999) a long poem.

His crowning achievement was An Bíobla Naofa (1981), the Maynooth Irish Bible, of which he was chief translator.

He retired from Maynooth in 1992, returning to Dingle as parish priest. In 1998 he was awarded the title Monsignor by the Catholic Church. He is involved in many Dingle events such as the blessing of the boats and participated in the Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis name change debate.


Description of Nominee’s activities: Priest, Professor, Poet, Author, Lecturer.



What makes this person’s activities outstanding:



Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta's tireless devotion to researching, translating and publishing ancient Gaelic and other Celtic texts has preserved our beloved Irish history, our customs and our holy traditions for us and for future generations.  


His contributions as a poet, author and professor of early and modern Irish;

 his recognition nationally and internationally for his contributions to society has brought great honor to Msr. Fiannachta's name & clan, brought honor to Ireland, and honor to the Irish race.


[ In appreciation for Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta's great contributions to our Irish heritage, past and present, Clans of Ireland is proud to present Monsignor  Ó Fiannachta with the Clans of Ireland Order of Merit]


Msr. Ó Fiannachta's Publications

  • An Bíobla Naofa. translated and edited by Padraig O'Fiannachta (1982)

  • The Tain (Hardcover) by Padraig O'Fiannachta (Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies 1966)

  • Ruin (1969)

  • Feoirlingi Fileata (1972)

  • Donn Bo (1976)

  • Seanghaeilge Gan Dua (1981)

  • Deora De (1987)

  • Léim An Dá Mile (1999)

  • Irisleabhar Mha Nuad, O'FIANNACHTA, PADRAIG

  • Prayers from the Irish Tradition by Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, English translation by Desmond Forristal Columba Press (1 Jan 2000)


Other supporting information:


1. EXTRACT:  An Irish language version of the bible, known as the Biobla Naofa,  is available on the internet free of charge.  Monsignor Pádraig Ó'Fiannachta has generously facilitated this out of a desire to see the Bible in Irish made as freely available as possible. :

2. EXTRACT: Conferment of Mons. Pádraig Ó Fiannachta with ITIA Honorary Membership.  You are invited to the conferment of Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta with Honorary Membership of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association, which will take place on Monday November 28th at 7.00 pm in the Oak Room, the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. The event coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of An Bíobla Naofa, a translation co-ordinated by Mons. Ó Fiannachta. The evening will feature an appreciation of Mons. Ó Fiannachta by Prof. Pádraig Ó Héalaí. The event will be bilingual, English and Irish. :

3.  EXTRACT:  Díseart Centre of Irish Spirituality and Culture, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.  Guided by a Board of Directors and set up as a non-profit making organisation, Díseart opened and began employing permanent staff in 1999, with the aid of initial Government support through Údarás na Gaeltachta. The board includes An tOll. (Prof) Pádraig Ó Fiannachta(Cathaoirleach/Chairman), [see article for other board members]. Situated in An Daingean, the largest Gaeltacht town in Ireland.

The project has evolved from the enthusiasm of a group of individuals who believe that Ireland should have a centre which would focus on the academic study and research of Irish culture and spirituality and which would publish and disseminate the results. One of these people, Professor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, has undertaken a great deal of research into these areas and is well known and respected amongst the academic and religious community. His close relationship with the Sisters of the Presentation Convent and the proposed reduction in the size of that Order's presence in Dingle and its teaching commitment resulted in a unique invitation from the Order. This resulted in a long-term lease on the convent and environs to be used as a research, spiritual, educational and cultural facility.  [ EXTRACT: ]

4.  Irish Manuscripts from the Russell Library on line [EXTRACT]

The Russell Library at Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth houses one of Ireland's finest collections of manuscripts in the Irish language, the earliest of which dates from the 15th century. The predominant character of the writings is devotional and catechetical, with a rich vein of poetry and tales.

There is a published catalogue of the manuscripts. The first fascicle, by Fr Paul Walsh, appeared in 1943. The seven subsequent fascicles, were the work of Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta. Fascicles 7 and 8 comprise indexes. Details of the catalogues with addenda and further information on the collection may be found at

 5.  MINISTER FOR ARTS, SPORT AND TOURISM, LAUNCHES GAEILGE BEO.   Bain Taitneamh as an Teanga, le Gaeilge Beo. “Enjoy the language with Gaeilge Beo”

EXTRACT:  On a Friday the 13th of April, the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue preformed the officially opening of Gaeilge Beo, Irish Cultural Activity Holidays at a reception in Tigh T.P’s Pub, Ballydavid at 6.30pm. 

Monsignor, Professor and Canon Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, perhaps one of the best known Gaelic scholar’s, performed a special blessing at the launch and it was also attended by Eamonn Ó’ Neachtain, Regional Manager of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Máire Uí Léime, Munster Regional Manager of Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta, Thomas Fitzgearld, Managing Director of Bárd Na Gleann, Breandan MacGearailt, Bord Member of Údarás na Gaeltachta and Local Councillor, Tomas MacGearailt, Retired Senator, Michael Hennessy, Marketing Manager of the Irish Fisheries Board, Martin Kerin, Chairman of the Irish Traditional Netsmens Association, John Sheehy, President of Dingle Business Chamber and a host of business people and local’s from the community.  EXTRACT:

 6.  This is a short recording, made in Dingle in April 2011, of Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta as, speaking in Welsh, he recalled the great poet from Wales, Waldo Williams, during his months long stay in Ireland during the 1940s. Waldo, a conscientious objector, had travelled to Ireland to find some relief. He went to Maynooth where he was given a hearty welcome, a temporary post as a lecturer and the freedom to come and go as he pleased. He began to learn Irish. To enable him to meet native speakers the young Pádraig Ó Fiannachta arranged for Waldo to spend some time as a guest of his sister back home in Kerry.The interview ends abruptly because of the limitations of the camera being used.

Fís ghearr a léiríonn an Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta sa Daingean ag caint in Aibreán 2011 faoin bhfile enwog ón Bhreatain Bheag a chaith tréimhse in Éirinn ins na daicheadaí den aois seo caite. Bhí Waldo i gcoinne an chogaidh ar bhonn coinsiasa agus mar sin chuaigh sé go hÉirinn le sos a fháil. I Má Nuad fuair sé fáilte, post sealadach agus cead a chinn. Chuir sé suim sa Ghaeilge agus d'eagraigh Pádraig Ó Fiannachta go bhfanfadh sé seal i dteach a dheirféara i gCiarraí.Críochnaíonn an fhís sar ar chríochnaigh an chaint - camera beag a bhí in úsáid ag an am. Breatnais, ar ndóigh, is ea an teanga.

Fideo byr wedi'i recordio yn An Daingean (Dingle) gyda chamera bach ym mis Ebrill 2011. Mae'r Monsignor yn cofio'r bardd Waldo Williams wrth iddo fyw yn Iwerddon am gyfnod yn ystod yr Ail Ryfel Byd. Bu Waldo yn erbyn rhyfela ar sawl cydwybod. Fe aeth i Iwerddon am gyfnod i osgoi'r ffrwgwd. Cafodd groeso a swydd drto dro yn Maynooth. Cymerodd ddiddordeb yn y Wyddeleg. Trefnodd Pádraig iddo aros am gyfnod yn nhŷ ei chwaer ar bwys 'An daingean'...


 END Biography of Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta 






1.  In a message dated 9/1/2012 3:10:31 P.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:

I concur.  Peggy [Finnerty]* Saumer   Email:  


2.  In a message dated 9/1/2012 3:29:45 P.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:

I concur on your nomination of Monsignor Padraic O Fiannachta.
Sincerely, Thomas J. Finnerty,  Email:


3.  In a message dated 9/1/2012 3:46:52 P.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes: Your nomination of Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta appears to be a fine choice. I concur.  

Timothy S Lundstrom [Finnerty]* Email . 


4.  In a message dated 9/2/2012 7:04:42 A.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:

I concur, Todd Michael Widick  [Finnerty]*  Email:


5.  In a message dated 9/2/2012 11:38:48 P.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:

I concur.  Patrick Finnerty


6.  In a message dated 9/4/2012 3:04:07 P.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:


 I, Tracey Coleman (nee Finnerty), do concur on the on the nomination of MSR Padraig O Finnachta for the C of I Order of Merit.  Email  


7.  In a message dated 9/5/2012 4:15:41 A.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes


I concur.  Blessings, Peg Finnerty Murphy  Email.

8.  In a message dated 9/5/2012 1:07:12 A.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:

  I concur. Diana (Fenety) Cowland Email  COWLANDS@HOTMAIL.COM

9.  In a message dated 9/4/2012 11:09:28 P.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:

I concur. Kieran Finnerty Email


10.In a message dated 9/5/2012 9:19:29 A.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:

I Concur.  R. Alan Finnerty  Email (squirefw@yahoo.con)


11.  In a message dated 9/5/2012 8:14:03 A.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:

I concur, Julie Finnerty Dolan,


12. In a message dated 9/5/2012 10:14:04 A.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, writes:

 I concur that Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta should be nominated by Finnerty, O'Finnerty Clans of Ireland, for "The  Clans of Ireland Order of Merit."   Richard M. Finnerty, 1900 Lalea Place, Honolulu, HI. 96821 USA.    Email


I certify that the concurrances 1 - 12 [supra] were received by me and they are from current  members of Finnerty, O'Finnerty Clans of Ireland.


Richard M. Finnerty



Date:  September 5, 2012

END  Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta 

 Finnerty Archdeacons, Bishops and Abbots in the Annals





  The following listing is of all the Finnerty religious leaders who were found in the various Irish Annals. Each entry is preceded by the year in which the event happened.


 Annals of Connacht

[1243.7] Finnachta O Lugada, coarb of Benen and archdeacon of Tuaim, died at Martinmas.

Note Finnachta must have been the comarb, or successor of Bennignus [a disciple of St. Patrick]. He is called the"Great Dean of Tuaim," near which the church of Kilbannon is seated, in Galway. The Annals of the Four Masters call him coarb of Finen.

[1289.5] Simon O Finnachta, Archdeacon of Elphin, [rested].

Note Simon would have been of the Sil Murray tribe of Roscommon and Galway.

[1308.7] Simon Oc O Finnachta rested in Christ.

Note Simon the Younger would have been of the Sil Murray tribe of Roscommon and Galway.

[1326.4/5] Luirint O Lachtnain, Bishop of Elphin, rested in Christ. Master Seoan O Finnachta [Metra Sion O Findachta?] was then elected to the same bishopric.

Note Sean or John would have been of the Sil Murray tribe of Roscommon and Galway.

[1350.3] Brian Mac Diarmata, eligible for the kingship of Moylurg, was unhappily killed at Roscommon by the men of Bishop O Finnachta, by an arrow-shot; and the man who was blamed for the shot, Ruaidri of the Chamber O Donnchada, was killed and mutilated for the deed.

[1354.8] Seaan O Finnachta, bishop of Elphin, rested in Christ.

Annals of Clonmacnoise

 830 AD. Ceallach m fynnaghty abbott of Killehy died.

Note in 803 these annals report the death of Finnsneaghty mcKeally King of Leinster at Kildare. Killehy would seem to be Cill Achaid. This Ceallach would seem to be the son of the Leinster King Finnsneaghty whose father was King Ceallach. The Onomasticon Goedelicum reports on many Cill Achaids. The following appears to be the most logical. cill achaid; in Ui Cennselaig, diocese Glendaloch, Cr. 1173; Cill achaith, in diocese Dublin, Cr. 1179; transferred from diocese Glendaloch to Dublin.

Other possibilities cill achaid; al. Cill Achaid Drumfota, Cill Achaid Sinchill, now Killeigh, near Tullamore, King's Co.; Mainistir Chille Achaid, Fm. iv. 954, Lc. ii. 78; Finn mac Gussáin, Bp. of Kildare, died there, Ct. 630; the tombs of O'Conor Failghe, O'Dempsy, O'Dunn, and O'Molloy, are there, Fm. iv. 954.

 Onomasticon Goedelicum

 Finn chorad; gs.; St. Finnacta Finncoradh, Book of Ballymote 122 b; Finnachta of Síl Cormaic in Leinster i Finnchoraidh, Ll. 351, 390, Lec. 109; in Leinster, Bb. 78 b; Cellán, Garbán, Connlaegh i Findchoraid, Lb. 17; perhaps Finnaragh in parish Ardagh, county Longford; Fincora near Roscrea (?). f. druim; Findruim; Findrum townland in parish Convoy, barony Raphoe, county Donegal, Mi., Ci.; Fintan of, Lec. 108. From Index Locorum; Ann. Four Masters, Fionnchoradh, Corofin, in Thomond, 1157, see Cora Finne. Cora finne in Thomond, 1573, 1599.




Cill forga; Findchad Epscop ó Cill Fhorga., Fg. 216; C. Fhorga, C. Earga (q.v.), Fep.; Killarga, barony Dromahaire, Leitrim; Fionnchadh Epsop cille Forga, mesaim gurab é so espucc Fionnchadh ó Cill Arga i mBreifne, Md. 306; O Treabhair Coarb of C. Forga, Fir. 675, Lc. ii. 90.

Annals of the Four Masters

 Age of Christ

794. Fiannachta, of Fearna, died.

NoteIndex Locorum; Fearna, Fearna-mor, or Fearna-mor-Maedhog, Ferns, in Ui-Ceinnsealaigh. [ A great religious center in southeast Ireland, Leinster province]





937. Finnachta, son of Ceallach, comharba of Doire, died.

Note There are many Doires; the primary religious center being Doire-Chalgaigh, or Doire Choluim Chille, [Londonderry].

821. Finneachta, son of Breasal, abbot of Cill-dumha [gloinn], died.

Note from Onomasticon Goedelicum c. chúile dumai; Bran mac Muridaigh and his wife were burned in C. C. D. in Laigis Chúile by Finachta mac Cellaigh (clearly in Leix; [although]O'D. placed it at Kilcool, county Wicklow), Ll. 39 a, 39 c, 388, Fir. 426, Au. i. 274, Fm. i. 396, Sto. 3 a 2; Murchadh, son of Bran, and his wife Aine were burned in Cill Cuile Dumha in Leinster, Bb. 35 b; Bran Ardcenn (K. of Lein., Fir.), mac Muiredaigh (of the O Tuathal) and his wife Eithne (Aine, dau. of Domnall Midech, Fir.), burned in C. Chúile Dumha, Ll. 39 c, 388; Nathfraech, Sacerdos, and the Ara of Brigit, in C. Cula Dumai, Ll. 353; Coole tls. at Abbeyleix.

 833. Finnachta, abbot of Cill Ite [Killeedy], died.

Note from index Locorum Killeedy, in the county of Limerick. See Cill-Ite and Cluain-chreadhaill in Ui-Conaill-Gabhra.





865. Aedhacan son of Finnsneachta, Tanist-abbot of Cluain, and abbot of many churches, died on the first day of November.

Note All the Cluains [nearly 100] are several words, such as Cluain-mac-nois. This might be Cluain-Uamha in county Cork, which was also known as Cloyne.

 907. Finnachta, bishop, died.

926; Finnachta, abbot of Corcach, died.

Note from index Locorum Corcach, or Corcach-mor-Mumhan, Cork, in Munster.





948. Finnachta, son of Echthighern, bishop, scribe, and abbot of Lughmhadh, and steward of Patrick's people from the mountain southwards; …. died.

Note Lughmhagh, Lughmadh, or Lughbhadh signifies Lugh magh [the plain of Lugh or Lugaid] Louth village, in the county of Louth. The father was not found. Speculation The O'Carrolls of the Clann Colla were Kings of Oriel/Louth down to the 12 century. The Collas were known to prohibit bishops who were not of their blood; so it is likely FINNACHTA was related to the O'Carrolls or at least descended from Colla da Crioch.

957. Finnachta, son of Lachtan, Airchneach of Fearna;……..died.

Note Lachtan, Abbot of Fearna died, 900. Fearna, Fearna M'or, or Fearna-mor-Maedhog, Ferns, in Ui-Ceinnsealaigh [Leinster].