The Doonans of Donagh
County Fermanagh, Ireland
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The Doonans of Donagh, Fermanagh
© Copyright 2003, Shane G. Anderson,
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Doonan is a rare name in
The literal meaning of Ó Dúnáin is “little fort.”  This translation is probably a little too precise. The translation of Dun as a noun yields “a fortified place;” however, the primary meaning of the word dun when used as an adjective is “strong” or “firm.”  It seems more likely that this root word was used metaphorically as a nickname, and was given to describe a small or perhaps short person who, despite their stature, was remarkably strong. The full translation of Ó Dúnáin might therefore yield “grandson [or descendant] of the little strong one.” In common speech, this might be understood as: “grandson [or descendant] of the stocky one.” This fits a pattern common in Irish naming practices and seems less forced. 
The name Doonan, formerly O’Doonan or Ó Dúnáin, lost the prefix “O” sometime in the seventeenth
century. The prefixes “Mac” and “Ó” were widely dropped during the period of the submergence of
Catholic and Gaelic Ireland which began in the early seventeenth century when
English rule and influence in
There is a family tradition among the Doonans of the “
There are a relatively large number of sources which state that the Doonans of Fermanagh were hereditary stewards and guardians of church lands, or erenagh,  in Donagh, Fermanagh from a relatively early date. Donagh means simply “Church,”  and is anglicized and shortened from the ancient name Domhnach Magh-da-claine, the “Church of the plain of the two slopes.” 
The manuscript known as TCD MS 1297  lists erenagh families from Fermanagh during the very early fourteenth century. Ó Dúnáin is listed as erenagh of Domhnach (Donagh) and Tulach na gCaorthainn (Tullynagaorthainn). The name Ó Dúnáin is clearly associated with a place called Domhnach Magh-da-claine in the Irish annals in the year 1507.  In an Annal entry from 1508 which also mentions Domhnach Magh-da-claine, it is clear that the site is a church and that the Patron Saint of the church was St. Patrick. 
Donagh is further mentioned as “O'Dunan's
The family Ó Dúnáin is mentioned yet again in the Patent Rolls of James I.  This English document from the year 1609 records legal proceedings wherein the English deposed the erenagh families of Fermanagh in an attempt to prove that the lands in the care of those families should be forfeited to the Crown as a part of the wider Plantation of Ulster. In this document, Ó Dúnáin is mentioned as erenaghs of “Donoghmoycline,” a much corrupted and anglicized reference to Domhnach Magh-da-claine  or Donagh. Ultimately, the erenagh lands of Fermanagh and the other counties colonized by the English in the Plantation of Ulster were indeed forfeited, and the family Ó Dúnáin, formerly a respected and educated family of church administrators, was put out. Indeed, we are told that in the early seventeenth century the church at Donagh was “seized” by the English planters, and the Catholics were no longer free to worship there and at other churches in the parishes of Drummully and Galloon. 
The Irish Baronial Maps of 1609-10, otherwise the ‘Maps of
the Escheated Counties,’ shows the church at Donagh as Donaghmoychinny.  There are several other
The documentary evidence surveyed above clearly demonstrates that that the Doonans were an erenagh family at Donagh in Fermanagh from at least c. 1300 A.D. Yet there are other documents and references to the Doonans which suggest that Doonans were at Donagh at or before 1000 A.D. A genealogy for the “Doonans of Donagh” appears in the Fermanagh Genealogies, a manuscript which appears to have been compiled over the period 1350 to 1800.  The genealogy for the Doonans mentions, among other things, “Thomas ie: Ó Dúnáin of Donagh.”  The use of the location Donagh as a sort of address may signal that Thomas was the first ancestor to come to Donagh. Certain interpretations of that genealogy would place this ancestor at circa 1000 A.D. 
This document, on its own, might only serve as yet another manuscript source tying Ó Dúnáin to Donagh. However, the well other manuscript evidence which places Doonan at Donagh as early as 1350 A.D. certainly opens the door to the interpretation that Doonans may have been at Donagh earlier, and the Fermanagh Genealogies seems to hint that this may be so.
Indeed, an Annal entry at 943 A.D.  mentions “Maeltuile, son of Dunan, successor of Tighear-nach.” The “successor of Tighear-nach” would make Maeltuile the abbot of Clones,  a famous early monastery about eight miles from Donagh. The mention of Dunan is very interesting given that surnames generally arose between 900 and 1000 A.D.; the form of the name, given without the “O” prefix, suggests that Maeltuile’s father was the man for whom the Ó Dúnáin family was named. Given the rarity of the name, the proximity of Clones to Donagh, and the fact that the office of abbot of a monastery is exceedingly analogous to that of erenagh, it is not beyond reason to suggest that in this Annal entry we see the eponymous ancestor of the Doonans of Fermanagh. At least one highly respected source has stated that Maeltuile, abbot of Clones, was an early Doonan, and that he was one of a family of hereditary church officials and priests that gave rise to the great 12th Century church reformer Mael Muire Ua Dunain. 
This 12th Century church reformer, Mael Muire Ua Dúnáin,
“noble bishop and chief senior,” presided over the ceremony held in 1101 A.D. when the Cashel was given to the Church by
the King of Munster.  He may have held formal papal authority at
this meeting, which was called the Synod of Cashel. 
Among other things, this meeting was convened to start the process of
reform. This process continued, and
another meeting, called the Synod of Rath Breasail, was held in 1111
A.D. to “to prescribe rules and good morals for all, both laity and clergy.”  Among the accomplishments of the reformers at
this meeting was the imposition of a diocesan structure on the church which had
been previously been organized along monastic lines. Mael Muire Ua Dúnáin retired to Clonard in
Meath in 1117 A.D. and died on
Returning to the Fermanagh Doonans, it follows that, if Maeltuile abbot of Clones was one of a line of Ó Dúnáin churchmen that culminated in the career of the reformer Mael Muire Ó Dúnáin, the connection between the Ó Dúnáin family of Fermanagh and this family is almost certain. The name Doonan is exceedingly rare throughout the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries and is rare even today. Yet evidence of an early member of a hereditary church family called Ó Dúnáin at Clones in 943 A.D., eight miles from Donagh where another hereditary Ó Dúnáin church family resided as early as perhaps 1000 A.D. seems too close in terms of geography, chronology, and circumstances to be a mere coincidence.
In any event, this material does support the idea that Doonans were at Donagh before the early fourteenth century. All indications from the site of Donagh itself support this idea, since the foundation of the church itself might well be quite ancient. Certain well accepted criteria have been defined for church foundations pre-dating the year 1111. These include the following elements: 1. A church in ruinous condition, of apparently late medieval date; 2. a cemetery surrounding the ruin, which is still in use; 3. the enclosure is curvilinear and is in the form of a curving wall incorporated into the graveyard boundary; 4. the placename includes an ecclesiastical element.  Donagh meets or exceeds each of these criterion, and generally only three criteria are required in order to raise strong suspicions that the church in question is an early medieval church. Of particular interest here is the criterion that the placename includes an ecclesiastical element. In the case of Donagh, or “Church,” there is consensus that this name comes from a very early stratum of words and tends to strongly indicate an early medieval foundation.
The Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Database maintained
by Environment and Heritage Service, the largest Agency within the Department
of the Environment of Northern Ireland, the agency charged with protection and
Adjacent to Donagh Cross Roads. The early history of this site is obscure, but erenaghs of the Doonan family probably indicate a pre-Norman date for the foundation of a church, which later became a medieval chapel-of-ease. All that now remains of the church are remains of the E gable, & a fragment of the S wall at the SW angle. According to the OS memoir, the church was 15.8m x 7.9m. A loose, round headed window head lies in the graveyard, which is polygonal & contains many C18th gravestones. See SM7 for further detail
The periods assigned to this church are Early Christian (early medieval), medieval, late-medieval and post-medieval. A “pre-Norman” date for the foundation of a church would be a date earlier than 1169 which is very consistent with the analysis of the criteria for foundations which can be expected to predate 1111 A.D.
There is a tradition in
In summary, the documentary evidence clearly demonstrates
that the Doonans were hereditary stewards of the church lands at Donagh from
the early fourteenth century (1300 A.D.) up to the time of the plantation of
Since the church site of Donagh itself may have been founded as early as the fifth century, it is quite possible that the ancestors of the Doonans were associated with this church from a very early date, literally before the family was called Doonan, and the Doonan of Clones was just one in a long line of Doonan precursors who happened to be captured in the Annals at a pivotal moment.
Certain well respected sources have shown that the Doonan at Clones was a part of a hereditary church family whose claim to fame includes the career of Mael Muire Ua Dúnáin, the great twelfth century archbishop and church reformer. If the Doonan at Clones was, in fact, and ancestor of both the Fermanagh Doonans and the sept which gave rise to the archbishop Ua Dúnáin, then the Fermanagh Doonans may claim that he was perhaps the most famous of their ancient Doonan line.
After the Plantation of Ulster commenced in 1609, the
English wholly dispossessed the Doonans.
The church was taken by the English and the congregation was denied the
right to worship there. The church
itself may have been pulled down and used for building material. Yet the foundations of the church remain. The Doonans, it seems never recovered their
former status, and for a time were not even visible in the various census and
census substitutes. Yet the family
persists in Fermanagh, and some of their cousins are yet to be found among the
[If you have enjoyed this brief summary of the Ancient Doonans of Donagh, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Figure 1. The
Figure 2. A general view of the
Figure 3. Entrance to the
Figure 4. This photograph, taken just inside the entrance to the cemetery, shows again, the curvilinear shape of the cemetery enclosure. The stone lying on the ground in front of the tombstone is a carved stone known to be the arch from the top of one of the windows. This piece of stone has implications for dating the church.
Figure 5. Part of the crumbled foundations of the
ancient church in the
Figure 6. A photograph taken outside of the enclosure, from the road; it is clear here that the road follows the contour of the old cemertery, and that it is, indeed, “curvilinear.”
name in Ireland: Woulfe, Patrick, Sloinnte
Gaedheal is Gall: Irish names and surnames, collected and edited with
explanatory and historical notes by Patrick Woulfe.,Dublin, M.H. Gill & Son, 1923
; Father Woulfe calls it “a scattered
surname but now found chiefly in Leitrim and Roscommon.” (p. 519). Perhaps the best evidence of the rarity of
this name is contained in Matheson’s Special Report of birth distributions in
1890. In that year, there were 15 Doonan
births in the entire country. Dwyer,
which was the 100th most common Irish name in
 Ó Dúnáin: Woulfe,
Patrick, (1923 p. 519, Ibid.).
See also: MacLysaght, Edward. More Irish families.
 “grandson or descendant of.:” MacLysaght,
Edward. (1985 p. ix, Ibid). See also:
O'Donovan, John, Editor. The topographical poems of John O'Dubhagain
and Giolla na Naomh O'Huidhrin. Edited in the original Irish, from mss. in the
Library of the
 the year 1000:
MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of
 “little fort:” Ó Corráin, Donnchadh
and Maguire, Fidelma, Gaelic personal names.
or “firm:” Joyce, P.W., The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places
 less forced: For example, Edward MacLysaght (1996, Ibid) gives an example of (O) Flannery which is based upon the Irish Ó Flannabhra, meaning flann, red or ruddy – abhar “eybrow.” When fully translated it yields “grandson” or “descendant of [the one with the] Ruddy Eybrow.” In Personal correspondence, Dr. Pádraig Ó Dálaigh, Higher Placenames Officer, Oifigeach Logainmneacha (the Irish Government Placenames Office) has been kind enough to confirm this thinking.
 effective: See:
 Irish names: P.W. Joyce (1875), Ibid covers the rules for converting Irish placenames into their anglicized counterparts in some detail in his chapters concerning Systematic Changes, Corruptions, and False Etymologies. These materials can generally be safely applied to the study of the conversion of surnames. Joyce’s material also generally covers both Irish and anglicized name variants throughout the volume, and it is clear from that the root word dun may today be found as dun, doon, down, or don; with the addition of the diminutive –an, the Irish Ó Dúnáin gives way to O’Doonan easily with no corruption. See generally pp. 276-281. It should be noted that instances of the name O’Downan and Downan can be observed in various material, and it is always associated directly with names which can be identified as being Ó Dúnáin. Any modern instances of this surname should be investigated to determine if this is a synonym of Doonan.
 Fermanagh: This tradition was communicated to me by John
Skelly, son of Joseph Skelly, who married Grace Marie Doonan, daughter of James
T. Doonan, son of Frank Doonan, of
example, the Primary Valuation of Ireland,
better known as the Griffith's Valuation,
show 80 total entries for Doonan in Ireland as follows: 33 distinct entries for Doonans in
Fermanagh; there are 14 entries from
County Leitrim, 10 from County Monaghan, 7 from County Cavan, 5 from County
Longford, 3 from County Mayo, 3 from County Meath, 2 for County Down, and 1
each for Counties Roscommon, Kilkenny, and “Queen’s,” now County Laois. In addition to showing that Doonans were
 erenagh: Erenach: (Old Irish airchinnech, ‘head of an ecclesiastical settlement’), and office distinguishing the later medieval church among the Gaelic Irish from the system obtaining among the English colonists. There erenach, a lay guardian of a parish church, was nominated by the Bishop as headman of the family which had hereditary tenure of that church’s lands. There emergence of the airchinnech in the 9th-century annals and its common occurrence thereafter is usually attributed to
secularizastion of the office before and during the age of the Vikings, in an Irish ecclesiastical system supposedly dominated by monasticism. Recently, however, this model has been questioned. It is proposed that the airchinnech as administrator of ecclesiastical temporalities and dependents is expressly recognized in the eighth century vernacular law and in Hiberno-Latin canon law of about the same period, where he is
often designated princes (‘head’). This official might or might not also be a priest or a bishop, and/or conventional monastic abbot. If not himself in major orders, however, he was bound to provide for
pastoral ministry, whether resident or visiting, to the community dependant upon the church. The office, in the early as in later Middle Ages, was susceptible to dynastic control. Oxford Companion to Irish History, edited by Connolly, S.J., Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998, contributed by: Bourke, Comac, Curator of Medieval Antiquties, Ulster Museum, Belfast, p. 178; for a good discussion of the office of erenagh, see also: Nicholls, Kenneth, Gaelic society and economy in the high middle ages in A New History of Ireland II, Medieval Ireland 1169-1534, Cosgrove, Art Ed., Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1987; see also Watt, J.A., Gaelic polity and cultural identity in A New History of Ireland II, Medieval Ireland 1169-1534, Cosgrove, Art Ed., Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1987; see also: For an account of the erenagh by Sir John Davies, the English Attorney General at the time of the Plantation of Ulster, see: Belmore, Somerset Richard Lowry-Corry, Earl of, 1835-1913, The History of the Two Ulster Manors of Finagh, in the county of Tyrone, and Coole, otherwise Manor Atkinson, in the county of Fermanagh, and of their owners. By the Earl of Belmore, M.R.I.A., London, Longmans, Green & Co.; [etc., etc.] 1881.
 Church: Joyce, P.W., The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places (First Series). Dublin, McGlashand & Gill: London, Whittaker and Co.: Simpkin, Marshall and Co.: Edinburgh, John Menzies, 1875, “The Irish word domhnach [downagh], which signifies a church, and also Sunday, is from the Latin Dominica, the Lord’s day. According to the Tripartite Life, Jocelin, Ussher, &c., all the churches that bear the name of Domhnach, or in the anglicised form , Donagh, were originally founded by St. Patrick... etc.” p. 318.
 Church of the
plain of the two slopes: This
translation of comes from the note to the annal for the year 1507 in O'Donovan,
John, editor and translator. Annala
Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the
 TCD MS 1297: This manuscript was formerly designated MS H.2.6.,
TDC - "S" prior to 1900, and this designation has persisted in most,
if not all of the material relevant to this paper. See most particularly MacMurchaidh, C. Some notes on Mag Uidhir Fhear Manach.
Clogher Record, Volume XIII, No. 3 (1990) for a reproduction of the table
showing Doonan as erenagh of Donagh. See
also: Livingstone, Peadar. The Fermanagh Story: A Documented History of
 1507: “O'Dunan of Domhnach-maighe-da-Chlaoine was
killed with a stab of a knife by his own brother, Gilla-Patrick, son of
Philip.” from Annala Rioghachta Eireann:
Annals of the
 St. Patrick: The 1508 annal
reads: “The son of Mac Mahon, i.e.
Redmond Oge, son of
 Tribes of Ireland: The passage from the Tribes of Ireland states: “A fly would swallow in one morsel, Without difficulty, - without trouble.- The thin cake with its butter on its back, That I got at O'Dunan's Church of Donagh [Ir: Cill Ui Dhunain Domnuig]. O’Dalaigh, Aenghus, The Tribes of Ireland, With Poetical Translations by the Late James Clarence Mangan, together with an Historical Account of the Family of O’Dalaigh; and an Introduction to the History of Satire in Ireland by John O'Donovan, LL.D., M.R.I.A. Dublin: John O'Daly, 1852, Reprinted by Tower Books of Cork, 1976. [p 50-51] Setting aside the fact that O’Dalaigh treated all of the families in his manuscript in a similar fashion, and was eventually murdered for his satire, a more balanced view of this passage might be that it is generally true, and is probably indicative that on the eve of the Plantation of Ulster, the Doonans of Donagh were already under pressure and had fallen on hard times.
 Patent Rolls of
James I: 16 James
Magh-da-claine: The name Ó Dúnáin appears in this document as the
anglicized “O’Downan.” The sheer weight
of manuscript material mentioning Ó Dúnáin at Donagh, coupled with their
designation as erenagh in some material makes the identification of O’Downan as
Ó Dúnáin in the Inquisition not at all troublesome; the materials already cited for P.W. Joyce
(1875, Ibid), at pp. 276-281 shows that “Down” and “Doon” are both anglicized
“Dún” and the addition of the diminutive suffix “-an” yields “Downan” and
“Doonan” equally well. The
identification of Donoghmoycline with
Domhnach Magh-da-claine is treated
by Lady Dorothy Lowry-Corry (1919, Ibid) who is clear that the names “Donoghmoyline” [sic.], “Donaghmoychiny,“ and “Donaghmoychinny” found in the
Inquisition of 1609 and other plantation sources are used in reference to
Donagh, Fermanagh. Her identification of
Donoghmoyclineof the Inquisition of
1609 with Donagh is quite natural given the great bulk of materials associating
Doonan with Donagh, and several authors have accepted the identification
without question. See: Ó Maolagáin, P. and Ó Gallchobhair, P. (1955,
Ibid.). See also:
Moore, Philip. Inscriptions in
 Drummully and Galloon: McKenna, Canon James E. Parishes of Clogher. Fermanagh Herald, Enniskillen, 1920 at p. 130.
 Donaghmoychinny: These maps are not easy to get. Swift, Michael, Historical Maps of
These are covered in Lady Dorothy Lowry-Corry’s (1919, Ibid) excellent summary, and include the “Chapel of Doawney” in the
Survey of 1603, Donaghmoychinny in
the The Irish Baronial Maps of 1609-10, and the chapple of Donaghmoychiny in the Survey of 1608. the latter is reproduced in by MacNéill, Eoin
and Hogan, James, Editors, MS. Rawlinson
A 237, The Bodelian Library,
 1508: The fire of 1508 was set by Redmond Oge MacMahon in a raid on the church in that year and is recounted in the Annals entries for that year in both the Annals of Ulster and the Annals of the Four Masters.
 1710: “Here lyeth the body of Father Phillup McAlgun, who dyed August FE 23, 1710, aged 66.” The Ordnance Survey Memoirs mention two gravestones dated 1799 and 1710 inside the ruin at the east gable. See: Day, Angélique and McWilliams, Patrick, editors (1990, p. 98, Ibid). The names and inscription are reproduced in that sources, and can also be found in Ó Maolagáin, P. and Ó Gallchobhair, (1955, Ibid)
 1350 to 1800: See:
Moran, T. Whitley, The Medieval
Gaelic Geneaologies II, in The Irish
Genealogist, 1972, Volume 4, Number 5, p. 417. The Fermanagh Geneaologies themselves are
reproduced and edited in MacFirbisigh
Transcript Ms. 23 K 45 Geinealaighe Fearmanach, Analecta Hibernica /
Comisiún Láimhscríbinní na hÉireann, The Irish Manuscripts Commission,
 Thomas ie: Ó Dúnáin of Donagh: Translated from the original which reads “Tomáis .i. O Dúnan domhnaigh.” The title of the Doonan genealogy in this document is “GINEOLACH Í DHÚNAN DOMHNIGH” or roughly “Genealogy of Doonan of Donagh.”
 1000 A.D.: T. Whitley Moran (1972, pp. 425-426) in analyzing the Moran genealogy from this collection, notes that “[T]he bifurcation of the pedigree… coincides with the Gaelic resurgence, which is the period in which spreading family trees began to replace single-line pedigrees.” Elsewhere Moran generally assigns the Gaelic resurgence to the fourteenth century. Based on this, there are nine (9) generations, including Thomas, before the pedigree of the Doonans branches into a genealogy. Assigning an average generational period of 33 years, per Moran’s material (see p. 428), and multiplying by nine generations, we arrive at 297 years; this is an overly precise calculation that can be rounded to 300 years. If we then apply that to the beginning of the Gaelic resurgence at approximately 1300 A.D., we arrive at the year 1000 A.D. This is admittedly a rough calculation, but it is based on basically sound principles and does have some merit and promise in terms of a methodology for assigning baseline dates to some of the material in the Fermanagh Genealogies. It is unfortunate that the genealogical fragment expressed in the 1507 Annal entry, ie: O'Dunan of Domhnach-maighe-da-Chlaoine was killed with a stab of a knife by his own brother, Gilla-Patrick, son of Philip, does not seem to be reflected in the Fermanagh Genealogies. This might provide another means for assigning dates to this genealogy.
of the Four Masters A.D. 943 state:
“Maeltuile, son of Dunan, successor of Tighear-nach and Cairneach, i.e.
of Tuilen, died.” See: O'Donovan, John, editor and translator.
(1848-51, Ibid); see also Annals of
untroubled death.” in MacAirt, Seán and Mac Niocaill, Gearóid,
(ed. & trans.). The Annals of
O’Corrain, Donnchadh, Mael Muire
Ua Dúnáin (1040-1117), Reformer, printed in Folia Gadelica: Essays presented by former students to R.A. Breatnach
on the occasion of his retirement from the professorship of Irish Language and
 Mael Muire Ua Dunain: In speaking of Mael Tuile mac Dúnáin, abbot of Clones and Tulén, Donnchadh O’Corrain states: “We have no reservations… about the … annalistic entry on Uí Dúnáin.” He is quite positive that Mael Tuile mac Dúnáin is a Doonan, and that he is no doubt related to the sept that gave rise to Mael Muire Ua Dunain, the twelfth century reformer. As is stated in the body of this paper, the proximity of Clones to Donagh, and the proximity of this Doonan to the year calculated for Thomas of the Femanagh sept makes it hard to refute the connection between Mael Tuile mac Dúnáin of Clones and the Fermanagh sept. This is a very serious assault on Edward MacLysaght’s (1996, p. 83) statement that “The fact that Maelmuire O Dunáin was Bishop of Meath (from (1096 to 1117) is little evidence of his family origin.” MacLysaghts statement may be taken as a criticism of Father Pathrick Woulfe’s (1992 reprint, Ibid.) mention of Maelmuire Dunáin in connection with the name Doonan.
 synod of Cashel : This idea has been
advanced by Aubrey Gwynn in his chapter “Six Irish Papal Legates, 1101-98”
found in Gwynn, Aubrey, The Irish church
in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, edited by Gerard O'Brien. Blackrock,
Kill Lane, Co.
 both laity and clergy: See: The Annals of Ulster at 1111 A.D.: “A synod was held in Fiadh Mic Aenghusa by the nobles of Ireland, including Cellach, successor of Patrick, and Mael Muire ua Dúnán, noble elder of Ireland, with fifty bishops or a little more, three hundred priests and three thousand clerics, and also with Muirchertach ua Briain, with the nobles of Leth Moga, to enjoin uprightness and good conduct on everyone, both laity and church.”
 at the age of 77: The Annals of Ulster at AU 1117: “Mael Muire ua Dúnán, an eminent bishop of the Irish and the head of the clerics of Ireland and a lord of alms of the world, in the seventy-seventh year of his age, on the ninth of the Kalends of January 24 Dec., completed the excellent course of his great religion.”
 See: Swan, D.L., Early Christian Ecclesiastical Sites of County Westmeath, in Settlement and Society in Medieval Ireland, Studies presented to F.X. Martin, O.S.A, Edited by John Bradley, Kilkenny, Boethius Press, 1988.
 P.W. Joyce (1875, p. 318) recounts this tradition thus: “The Irish word domhnach [downagh], which signifies a church, and also Sunday, is from the Latin Dominica, the Lord’s day. According to the Tripartite Life, Jocelin, Ussher, &c., all the churches that bear the name of Domhnach, or in the anglicised form , Donagh, were originally founded by St. Patrick... etc.”
Doherty, Charles, The Cult of St. Patrick
and the politics of