Saint Ciarán of Clonmacnoise was supposedly the son of a carpenter and was one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. His name has produced many variant spellings, including Ceran, Kieran and Queran. He was born in 516 in County Roscommon, and was a student of Finian’s at Clonard. After travelling and studying in various places around Ireland he finally settled in Clonmacnoise, where he founded the monastery and became it’s first abbot. He only worked here for one year (as he died of a plague, in his early thirties) but Clonmacnoise went on to become one of the most important centres of study and religion for early Christianity in Ireland. It even managed to survive the plunderings of the Viking raids, the Anglo-Norman wars and the destruction during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, in 1552. It’s ruins still remain a centre of civic and religious activity to this day. There are various legends connected to St Ciarán and the treasures of his shrine were dispersed throughout the Medieval era. His Crozier however still exists and is stored in the National Museum of Ireland. His feast day is 9 September.