Four Tipperary saints
The lives of Colum of Terryglass, Crónán of Roscrea, Mochaomhóg of Leigh and Ruadhán of Lorrha
Pádraig Ó Riain
‘Pádraig Ó Riain is one of the foremost scholars (if not the foremost scholar) on early Irish hagiography. His numerous studies of medieval Irish saints’ Lives have opened new pathways in the field; his Dictionary of Irish Saints is an invaluable resource not just for scholars of Irish hagiography but of hagiography in general. This present volume is a welcome addition to his corpus on Irish hagiography, not least because it makes these four Lives available to a wider audience … Ó Riain’s translations here represent the first complete translations of these Lives; he draws upon their sources, both manuscript and modern edited versions, often collating the different texts to produce a comprehensive version. Each Life is preceded by a brief, yet highly informative, introduction to the saint, his provenance, and his church … This book will be of great benefit and interest to students of medieval hagiography, Irish or otherwise. It may also appeal to a more general audience who would like to know more about the saints and the churches of Ireland. The translations are fluid and accessible … The colour plates offer a visual treat to go along with the texts. The book is altogether handsomely produced and will be attractive to both scholar and lay reader alike’, Dorothy Ann Bray, Speculum (October 2015).
‘This book is much more than just a translation of the medieval Latin lives of these four north Tipperary saints. It is a wonderful succinct synthesis of scholarship from the pen of our leading commentator on the lives of the Irish saints … [the book contains] lucid writing, authoritative background information, and unrivalled intimate scholarly knowledge of the political, secular, and ecclesiastic contexts of the 12th Century during which these ‘lives’ were written … So this handsome illustrated volume, produced, as usual, to the highest academic standards by Four Courts Press admirably serves the scholar, a general readership and the interested parishioner, both for the parishes honoured and those proud of their Christian heritage … It deserves widespread circulation’, George Cunningham, Irish Catholic (Spring 2015).
‘This book presents the Lives of four saints located in the northern half of County Tipperary … Each Life is prefaced with an introduction to the individual saint, an account of the church associated with him and a summary of the text itself … The maps and many black-and-white photographs throughout are complemented by a number of beautiful colour photographs illustrating the vitality of faith that inspired these Lives and invite contemporary readers to reconnect with this heritage’, Kevin O'Gorman, The Furrow (June 2015).
‘This attractively produced and attractively priced little book presents four medieval Latin Lives of Irish saints in English translation, each with a short introduction and some notes … With these reliable translations in their hands many readers will be in a position to consider what the Lives seek to convey’, Richard Sharpe, Studia Hibernica (2015).
'Ó Riain provides us with the first translations into English of the Latin lives of four saintly figures from the relatively small geographical location of Northern Tipperary in the North Munster/Midlands of Ireland ... In using the earlier Latin sources [Ó Riain] provides us with the most complete and valuable English translation of the Lives of these four figures thus far. Ó Riain supplements his translations with a brief general discussion on each of the saints and the historical context of their churches in turn, while comprehensive and very useful end-notes to the translated texts follow at the end of the volume ... An excellent starting point for those seeking fruitful avenues of further scholarship while being an ideal example of how to engage with a text clearly and briefly for the modern reader ... An indispensable work', Gavin Dillon, CSANA Journal (Summer 2017).