The early monastery at Timahoe is in the ancient territory of Loígse, which gives its name to the modern county of Laois. During the early medieval period this territory lay on the old borderlands of the province of Leinster. It was here that St Mo Chua (d. 657; feast-day 24 December) came from Connaught to found the monastery that bears his name—Timahoe, Teach Mo Chua.
It is not known how he came to found his monastery in the heartlands of Laois, but according to several medieval sources he was a soldier who became a monk late in life. Several miracles worthy of sainthood are attributed to him, one of the most evocative being that he cured St Munnu of leprosy by licking the sores off the Wexford saint’s body. He is also reputed to have assisted St Cianán with his construction of a stone church at Duleek, Co. Meath.
Text and photos: Chris Corlett
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|Solar Alignments, passage tombs
Heritage Guide No. 83: Teach Mo Chua— an early ecclesiastical site at Timahoe, Co. Laois
- ISBN: ISSN 0790-982X
- Author(s): Frank Prendergast
- Availability: In Stock