Lommán of Trim
Cenél Lóegairi, Trim and Armagh
Trim (Ath Truimm) was the foremost church in the petty kingdom of the Cenél Lóegairi, originally belonging to a cadet branch of that dynasty. In the early 8th century, however, the patronage of the church came under serious strain as power shifts occurred within the main ruling branch. Between the early 8th and mid-9th century, descendants of Colmán mac Duib Duin ruled the monastery. The cadet branch appears to have negotiated the position of the saint, turning to St Patrick's church at Armagh for mediation. By way of compromise, Lommán was drawn into the dossier of St Patrick as someone biologically related and subordinate to that saint. An 8th-century text in the Book of Armagh first attests to Lommán's new status. It states that through his mother, Lommán was a kinsman of the saint as well as of a number of other local saints of the 5th century, including Munis (buried in Forgney) and Mo Genóc (Mugenóc) of Cell Duma Glind (Kilglyn). According to the foundation story, Lommán joined St Patrick on his voyage to Ireland, landing at the estuary of the Boyne (according to Muirchú, at Inber Colpthai), and continued in his ship as far as Trim, where he founded the monastery.
Although the cadet branch in control of Lommán's church lost out, Lommán remained an element of St Patrick's cult, notably re-appearing in the Tripartite Life of Patrick, written in the 10th century. It tells that Lommán was a nephew of Patrick, his mother being a sister of Patrick, and that his brothers were Munis, Broccaid of Imliuch Ech, Broccán and Mo Genóc. When at Patrick's instructions, the saint rowed to Trim, he arrived at the fortress belonging to the local ruler Feidlimid son of Lóegaire mac Néill. He first converted Feidlimid's son Foirtchernn (Fortchern) and subsequently Feidlimid himself, whose wife, named Scoth (Scotnoe), was daughter to the British king. Feidlimid welcomed the saint and granted him Trim, where Patrick founded a monastery and left it in Lommán's charge. Foirtchernn became his fosterson and with him he visited his brother Broccaid towards the end of his life. Lommán bequeathed the church to both Patrick and Foirtchernn. Foirtchernn, though initially reluctant, accepted and after the death of his fosterfather, held the abbey for only three days, transferring it to the pilgrim Cathlaid in his stead.
Death and Veneration
His feast-day was observed on 17 February and on 11 October.
- Stalmans and Charles-Edwards, "Meath, saints of (act. c.400–c.900)"
- Ó Corráin, "Ireland c. 800", p. 586.
- Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland, p. 32.
- Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland, p. 16.
- Martyrology of Tallaght, 17 February.
- 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)
- Additamenta in the Book of Armagh, ed. and tr. Ludwig Bieler (1979). The Patrician Texts in the Book of Armagh. Scriptores Latini Hiberniae 10. Dublin: DIAS. pp. 166–71.
- Tripartite Life of St Patrick, ed. K. Mulchrone (1939). Bethu Phátraic. The Tripartite Life of Patrick 1. Dublin.
- Charles-Edwards, T.M. (2000). Early Christian Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Ó Corráin, Donnchadh (2005). "Ireland c. 800: Aspects of Society". In Dáibhí Ó Cróinín. A New History of Ireland, vol. 1. Prehistoric and Early Ireland. Oxford: OUP. pp. 549–608.
- Stalmans, Nathalie and T.M. Charles-Edwards (Sept 2004; online edition, May 2007). "Meath, saints of (act. c.400–c.900)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 Dec 2008.
- Byrne, F.J. (1984). "A Note on Trim and Sletty". Peritia 3: 316–8.