Irish History: The great robbery of the treasures of Clonmacnoise
Irish History From The Annals


The Annals of the Four Masters record that in 1129 the Cathedral at the important monastery of Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly was robbed of its treasures by Gillacomhgain a Dane from Limerick.

Gillacomhgain got away with a model of King Solomon's Temple, a gift from the High King Maelseachlainn; the cup of the High King Donnchadh; two silver cups and a gold drinking horn from Toirdhealbhach Ua Conchobhair King of Connacht; the drinking horn of Ua Riada, the King of Ara in Tipperary; a silver chalice that had been a gift from a daughter of the High King Ruaidhri Ua Conchobhair and a silver cup from Ceallach, Bishop of Armagh. Unable to escape from Ireland Gillacomhgain was captured the following year by Conchobhar Ua Briain, the King of Munster, and the treasure recovered. After confessing what he had done Gillacomhgain was hung at Cloonbrien, Co. Limerick.

The altar of the great church of Cluain-mic-Nois was robbed, and jewels were carried off from thence, namely, the carracan model of Solomon's Temple, which had been presented by Maelseachlainn, son of Domhnall; the Cudin Catinum of Donnchadh, son of Flann; and the three jewels which Toirdhealbhach Ua Conchobhair had presented, i.e. a silver goblet, a silver cup with a gold cross over it, and a drinking-horn with gold; the drinking-horn of Ua Riada, King of Aradh; a silver chalice, with a burnishing of gold upon it, with an engraving by the daughter of Ruaidhri Ua Conchobhair; and the silver cup of Ceallach, successor of Patrick. But Ciaran, from whom they were stolen, afterwards revealed them.

The jewels of Cluain-mic-Nois were revealed against the foreigners of Luimneach, they having been stolen by Gillacomhgain. Gillacomhgain himself was hanged at the fort of Cluain-Bhriain, by the King of Munster, he having been delivered up by Conchobhar Ua Briain. This Gillacomhgain sought Corcach, Lis-mor, and Port-Lairge, to proceed over sea; but no ship into which he entered found a wind to sail, while all the other ships did get favourable wind. This was no wonder, indeed, for Ciaran used to stop every ship in which he attempted to escape; and he said in his confessions at his death, that he used to see Ciaran, with his crozier, stopping every ship into which he went. The name of God and Ciaran was magnified by this.


 
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