Dallan Forgaill

Dallan Forgaill (properly Eochard, Eigeas, or Righ Eigeas), of Cluain Dallain, an Irish saint of the 6th century, was the son of Colla, of the race of Colla Nais, who was monarch of Ireland, A.D. 323-326. He was born on the borders of Connaught and Ulster, at a place called Masrige and Cathrige Sleacht, afterwards Teallach Eathach. He was early recognized as the royal poet and the greatest scholar in Ireland. In his day the bards had become very turbulent and annoying to royalty, and because king Aedh refused their requests, they threatened to satirize him in their bardic lays. The king issued a decree of banishment. At a convention of the estates of the nation, which met at Drumceatt (now Daisy Hill; in the county of Londonderry), the question of the bards coming up, St. Colamba pleaded successfully for their retention, as a useful body. In gratitude to St. Columba, Dallan composed the Amhra Cholumcille, or "Praises of St. Columba," which, though largely glossed remains to this day. It is written in very old and almost unintelligible Irish. It was long used as a charm, and the reciting of it was believed to be a safeguard in danger, and a sure remedy in blindness, Dallan himself having, it is said, received his sight on the completion of his poem at St. Columba's death. He is also said by Colgan (Acta Sanctorum, 204) to have composed other panegyrics in praise of St. Senan of Iniscathey and St. Conall of Iniscail, which had the same wonderful effects.. He is said to have been made chief Ollamh, or special master of education and literature, at the reformation then inaugurated in Ireland. In or about the year 594 Dallan was killed by the pirates on the island of Iniscail (now Inishkeel, in Gweebara Bay, County Donegal), and was buried in the church of St. Conall of Iniscail, where his memory was long held in great veneration. He is popularly connected with several churches, as with Maighin, a church in Westmeath; Killdallain, now Killadallan or Kildallan, in the diocese of Kilmore, County Cavan; Disert-Dallain; Tullach-Dallain, in the diocese of Raphoe; and Cluain-Dallain, now Clonallan, in the diocese of Dromore, County Down. He is commemorated January 29.

the living at Kinnell in 1703, and died January 20, 1705. See Fasti Eccles. Scoticanae, 3:800.

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