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Christian/ Gilla-Críst O’Conarchy/ Ua Conairche , Abbot of Mellifont, Bishop of Lismore, Papal Legate

Died: 1186   

Cistercian monk, bishop of Lismore and papal legate, Ua Conairche was born somewhere in Co. Kerry. He became a monk, perhaps in Bangor under St. Malachy, and accompanied him on his first visit to Rome in 1139/40. He may have been one of the monks left with St. Bernard at Clairvaux for training in French Cistercian observance, and he was late appointed as ‘father’ of the Irish monks residing in Continental Cistercian monasteries. He was one of the founders of Mellifont Abbey in c. 1142, and became the first abbot there. He was made bishop of Lismore in c.1151, and was appointed permanent papal legate by the Cistercian pope Eugenius III, with whom he had spent his novitiate in Clairvaux. He was involved in many of the major synods throughout the twelfth century involved in the reform of the church. He was visited by King Henry II at his residence at Lismore in 1171. He resigned his offices in c.1176, and retired to the Cistercian monastery of Abbeydorney, where he died and was buried in 1186. (DIB (Aidan Breen, accessed 27/02/13)

Sites associated with this person

Abbeydorney Abbey, Kerry