Saint Colmcille

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  • People in History

Early Years

Colmcille was born at Gartan, near Letterkenny in 521. He was also known as Columba, a Latin version of Colum, which was his baptismal name. The 'cille' that was added to the end of his name means 'of the churches'.

His father was a great grandson of King Niall of the Nine Hostages. His mother was a daughter of the King of Leinster.

Colmcille was first educated in Kilmacrennan by Cruitnechan, who had baptised him. Later, Colmcille went to St Finnian's monastic school in Movilla, Co. Down. Then he went to Clonard monastery in Co. Meath.

In 545, Colmcille founded his first monastery in Derry. He went on to found over sixty monasteries and churches in Ireland.