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  • People in History


In 563, Colmcille and twelve monks sailed from Derry to the island of Iona. Iona is situated off the west coast of Scotland.

Colmcille was going into exile. The cause is said to have been his involvement in the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne in County Sligo.

The story is that Colmcille secretly copied a psalter belonging to St Finnian at Movilla. King Diarmaid was asked to determine the owner of the copy. King Diarmaid ruled as follows: 'To every cow her calf and to every book its copy.' This gave ownership to Saint Finnian.

Colmcille was very angry and he persuaded his royal kinsmen to rise up against Diarmaid. Over 3,000 warriors were killed in the battle. As a penance, Colmcille left Ireland forever.