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St Munchin | St Lelia

St Munchin

St Munchin is the patron of the Diocese of Limerick and his feastday is celebrated on January 3rd. He founded a church called Cill Mainchín on Inis Sibhton. Details about the life of St Munchin are shrouded in legends but it is believed that he lived in the second half of the 7th century.

The legends about St Munchin give two versions of his background. One of the legends states that Munchin was a nephew of Bloid, who was also the King of Thomond. Bloid was a disciple of St Patrick. The other legend concerning Munchin's background states that he was one of three sons of Setna who came from the present day area of County Clare around Lahinch and Ennistymon. It is also believed that Munchin's brother Ainlid ruled during the late 7th century.

There is also a legend about the building of Munchin's first church in Limerick. While he was building the church, the locals refused to help Munchin. As a result, Munchin placed a curse on the city that the stranger would flourish and the native would perish.

St Lelia

Who St Lelia actually was is unclear. However, there are a number of suggestions as to the origins of the Parish Saint. According to Fr Jasper White, Lelia was the sister of St Munchin. John O'Donovan believed that the area was actually dedicated to St Failia. In the calendar of Irish saints the entry for August 11th is the Dalcassian saint Liadhain.

According to legend, Liadhain was the daughter of Diarmuid, the grandson of Cairtheann. Cairtheann was believed to have been baptised by St Patrick. According to Séan Spellissy, the placename of Killeely may have been a corruption of Cill Liadhaine or of Cill Faoile.

St Munchin | St Lelia

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