SAINT CIANAN OR KENAN BISHOP OF DULEEK, IN
ACCORDING to his acts quoted by Usher, he was a
pupil of the religious man, Nathan; and, when a youth, was one of the
fifty hostages whom the princes of Ireland gave to king Leogair, by
whom he was set free at the intercession of bishop Kiaran. He then
went into France, and passed some time with great fervor at Tours in
the monastery of St. Martin. Returning to his native country, he
converted great numbers to Christianity in Connaught. Thence he
proceeded to Leinster, and founded a church in a place called to this
day The wood of Cianan. At length he went into the territory
of Owen, (that is, Tir-oen,) so called from king Owen, whose niece,
Ethne, was St. Cianan’s mother. There he broke down an idol
with an altar that was dedicated to it, and on the place built a
Christian church. In the office of St. Cianan extant in MS. in the
library at Cambridge, it is said that the saint built here a church
of stone, on that account called Damliag,* corrupted into Duleek. St.
Cianan was descended from the royal blood of the kings of Munster. He
died on the 24th of November, in 489. Duleek having suffered greatly
by several fires and devastations of the Danes, its episcopal see was
united to Meath. See Usher, Antiq.1. 29, and Primord. p. 1070; Ind.
Chron. ad ann. 450; Ware’s bishops, p. 137, and on St. Ultan, 4
Sept. p. 39.