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Lough Derg

Saint Dabheog is the patron saint of Lough Derg, a lake in County Donegal, Ireland, near the town of Pettigo and shouldering the border of counties Donegal and Fermanagh. Biographical knowledge of this local cult saint is vague, although local records indicate his presence as abbot of Lough Derg in the 5th century. Healy states that Dabheog was born in Wales.[1] Tradition maintains that Dabheog was a disciple of Saint Patrick who became responsible for caring for the site known as St. Patrick's Purgatory, which was on one of the islands in the lake known as Lough Derg.

Many of the modern Catholic pilgrimage rituals at Lough Derg are focused on devotion to St. Dabheog: including the short hike to a pre-Christian Bronze Age burial site (known as Dabheog's Chair or Seat) on a hill overlooking Lough Derg, and the meditation upon one of the beehive cells on Station Island which is dedicated to the saint.[2] One of the boats which transports pilgrims to Station Island is named after Dabheog, as well as the valley overlooking Lough Erne. Dabheog is also known by the following aliases: Dabeoc, Davog, Davoc, Daboc, Beoc, Mobeoc, Mobheog, Daveoc, Daveog. This variation is due to the lack of standardization in the Irish language and the ambiguity of the saint's historical origins.


  1. ^ Healy, John. The Life and Writings of St. Patrick, M. H Gill & Son Ltd., 1905
  2. ^ McGuinne, Joseph: "St. Patrick's Purgatory: Lough Derg, page 18. Columba Press, 2003