The Celtic Literature Collective

The Convention of Taillte
The Book of Leinster
TCD MS 1339 (H 2.18), fol. 274a.10-35

Taillte's Convention is held by Dermot son of Cerbhall, S. Kieran the carpenter's son also, his confessor, being there beside him; the meeting's games are played, its races run. There a certain woman accosts her husband and accuses him of intrigue with another woman. He persisted in denial of the fact, and the wife said: "I will accept his affidavit sworn under Kieran's hand." The husband accordingly swore under Kieran's hand that in the matter which his wife laid to his charge he was guiltless; but it was a lie for him. Therefore upon his neck, just where the cleric's hand had lain, an ulcerous tumour took him and his head fell from him so that, in presence of all Ireland there he went about in the concourse and he without a head: a miracle whereby God's name was magnified and Kieran's.

By Kieran subsequently the headless one was conveyed to Clonmacnoise, there to be looked after for so long as God should appoint his life to be. To the end of seven years after Kieran he lived on with the monks; then a woman was brought to him, he made it up with her, and in due course she bore a son: from whom, as some say, are the Soghain in Meath. But the man after his marriage consummated died presently, and by the clergy was laid at the east end of iomaire Chomgaill, or 'Comgall's ridge,' where to-day stands cros Comgaill or 'Comgall's Cross.' There then Ambacuc's stone and place of rest are, for a commemoration of his story to all men, and this is an item of the wonders of Taillte's Convention.

Here too is another one of the same meeting's marvels: the seeing namely of three ships that navigated the air over their heads when with Murrough's son Donall the men of Ireland celebrated the Convention.

The Convention of Tailtiu was held at the hill of Tailtiu (modern Telltown), around August 1, the festival of Lughnassadh.

"Fragmentary Annals". Silva Gadelica I-XXX. ed. and trans. Standish Hayes O'Grady. 1892. reprint: NY: C. Lemma Publishing Corporation, 1970.

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