St Moling

St. Moling was descended from the race of Cathaoir Mor of the Leinstermen, Monarch of Erin. His father is reputed to have been a farmer in Kerry. Having accumulated considerable wealth he returned to his native territory, Hy Degha situated on the River Barrow. Moling himself was born in Hy-Kinsellagh. This territory extends to the present counties of Carlow and Wexford. An angel who had assumed human form blessed Moling as an infant and he entered monastic life at an early age.

The saint founded a monastery at the beginning of the seventh century on the River Barrow. Over time a settlement grew up around it. According to local tradition, St. Moling established a mill there and he is reputed to have been the first person to introduce rye into Ireland. He helped his people by distributing corn and meal during a particularly inclement summer.

St. Moling is linked with the folkloric character Suibhne Geilt [Mad Sweeney]. It is related that Suibhne Geilt who went mad at the Battle of Moira (Mag Rath) in A.D. 634 afterwards travelled to Teach Moling. He was murdered there by Mongan who was the swineherd of St. Moling. He was buried with great honour within the church by its founder and patron.

During Moling's time the people of Ossory owed allegiance to the King of Leinster. After a time they rebelled and so the King marched on them with his army and attacked their territory. He plundered their herds and flocks and wrought devastation upon them. St. Moling went to meet with the Leinstermen who became powerless in his presence. They decided to offer all of their captured goods to the saint who immediately returned them to the people of Ossory, their rightful owners. St. Moling praised the Leinstermen for this good deed and predicted that the people of Ossory would one day become their subjects. His prediction came to pass. St. Moling then built a church to commemorate this event and it was called Thomple na-bo or The Church of the Cows.

There is some difference of opinion as to when St. Moling died. It has been said that he lived until his eighty-second year but this is not certain. One account places his date of death in the year A.D.689 while in the Annals of Clonmacnoise it is said to have been in A.D. 692. According to the Chronicum Scotorum he died in A.D. 693 and the Annals of the Four Masters state that it was in A.D. 696.

St. Moling was said to have been buried in his own church.

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