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Origin of Name

The Breac Maedoc is associated with St. Mogue (Maedoc or Aidan) who was born in the 6th century on the small island of Inis Breachmhaigh (now Mogue’s Island) at Bawnboy, Co. Cavan. There was no boat to take the infant to the mainland to be baptised so he is said to have miraculously floated across the lake on a slab of stone to where St. Killian was waiting to perform the baptism. The clay or mortar from inside the ruins of the church is said to be a protection against fire or drowning and is kept by many local people in their homes. St. Mogue spent his youth in Cavan and became known for performing miracles to protect and aid local people. He left Ireland and studies under St. David in Wales, returning to found his monastery at Ferns in Co. Wexford around 580 AD. He founded 30 churches and a number of monasteries. The first of these monasteries was on the island. Culturally, the Breac Maedoc is of huge significance to Cavan. It dates from the 9th century and is one of the earliest and finest examples of a mediaeval reliquary, which were used to house the relics of important saints. In his old age St. Mogue returned to Breifne where he died in 632 AD as his monastery in Rossinver, where he is buried.

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