|Major shrine||Kilbroney (Irish: Cell Brónche)|
Saint Brónach (sometimes anglicised to Bronagh) was a 6th-century holy woman from Ireland, the reputed founder and patron saint of Cell Brónche ("church of Brónach"), now Kilbroney, in County Down.
A disciple of Saint Patrick, she built a refuge for sailors who were shipwrecked in Carlingford Lough. The ringing of Bronach’s bell warned of a rising storm on the dangerous waters of the Lough. About 150 years ago a storm brought down a large old oak tree in the Kilbroney churchyard, and in its branches was found a 10th-century bell. The bell is now in the local church in Rostrevor.
Lying in Glenn Sechis, a mountain valley in County Down (near Rostrevor), Cell Brónche lay at some distance from the major political centres of the region. It may have been a nunnery in origin, but later came to serve as a pastoral church manned by nuns as well as one or several priests. It was chosen as the parish church of Glenn Sechis. A high cross which survives among the ruins of Cell Brónche attests to the importance of her church. It is made of Mourne granite and stands over the traditional site of her grave in the old cemetery. It is part of the "Saint Patrick’s Trail". The building suffered damage during the 1641 Rebellion, as well as in Cromwellian times.
There is a stained glass window depicting Bronach in All Saints Church, Ballymeena.
- Charles-Edwards, "Ulster, saints of (act. c.400–c.650)"
- "St. Bronach", Discover Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Tourist Board
- Waterson, Breda. "The beautiful stained glass windows of All Saints' Church", Parish of Kirkinriola
- "Brónach virgo, from Glenn Sechis". Note to Félire Óengusso, 2 April.
- Charles-Edwards, T. M. (Jan 2007) [Sept 2004]. "Ulster, saints of (act. c.400–c.650)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/50136. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- Félire Óengusso ("The Martyrology of Óengus"), ed. and tr. Whitley Stokes (1905). The Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee. Henry Bradshaw Society 29. London. (PDF here)
- Ó Riain, Pádraig (1989). "Sanctity and politics in Connacht c. 1100: the case of St Fursa". Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 17: 1–14.
- Kilbroney High-cross, Megalithic Ireland
- "The Irish Way: St Bronach's Land", clip from BBC History
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