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Saint Carthage the Elder (or Carthach) was an Irish bishop and abbot in the sixth century. His feast day is 5 March.

Saint Carthage the Elder
Died6th century
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church Roman Catholic Church
Feast5 March

The saint is mainly known as a disciple and successor of Ciaran of Saighir (the Elder) and the tutor and fosterer of his greater namesake, Saint Carthage of Lismore (also known as Saint Mochuda).[1] Carthage was of the Eóganacht Chaisil and son, or, more probably, grandson of Óengus mac Nad Froích whom Saint Patrick baptized. He was punished by St. Ciaran the Elder with penance for a sin of the flesh committed in his younger days. On completion of his canonical penance, Carthage was reinstated as a member of the religious brotherhood of Saighir. Afterwards he founded the monastery of Druim Fertain and another monastery in the upper island of Lough Sheelin, County Meath.

In the barony of Clanmaurice is a townland called Monument on which are some scant remains of an ancient church called Cill Cartaig (Carthage's Church).

There is a short paragraph about St. Cartha in The Martyrology of Donegal: a Calendar of the Saints of Ireland (1864) by James Michael O'Clery, page 65:

Carthach, Bishop, alumnus of Ciaran of Saighir. One of his places was Druim-fertain, and in Cairbre Ua Ciardha is Druim-fertain; and to him belongs Inish Uachtair in Loch Sileann, and Cill Charthaigh in Tir Boghaine in Cinel Conaill. He was son of Aenghus, son of Nadfraech king of Munster, &c.

Cill Charthaigh is Kilcar.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bethada Náem nÉrenn (Lives of Irish Saints). Charles Plummer (ed), Richard Irvine Best (ed), Second edition, in that the text is reprinted from the corrected sheets of the first edition [vol. 1: xliv + 346 pp; vol. 2: 484pp] Clarendon Press Oxford (1922) (repr. 1968). Found online through UCC CELT, here:
  • "Carthach (d.580?)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

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