Destruction of Crom Cruach

From An Illustrated History of Ireland by Margaret Anne Cusack

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Having preached for some time in the western part of the territory of Meath, the saint proceeded as far as Magh Slecht, where the great idol of the nation, Ceann [or Crom] Cruach was solemnly worshipped. The legend of its destruction, as given in the oldest annals, is singularly interesting. We give a brief extract from Professor O'Curry's translation: "When Patrick saw the idol from the water, which is named Guthard [loud voice] (i.e., he elevated his voice); and when he approached near the idol, he raised his arm to lay the Staff of Jesus on him, and it did not reach him; he bent back from the attempt upon his right side, for it was to the south his face was; and the mark of the staff lies in his left side still, although the staff did not leave Patrick's hand; and the earth swallowed the other twelve idols to their heads; and they are in that condition in commemoration of the miracle. And he called upon all the people cum rege Laeghuire ;they it was that adored the idol. And all the people saw him (i.e., the demon), and they dreaded their dying if Patrick had not sent him to hell."[9]

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[9] Hell—O'Curry, p. 539. This is translated from the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick.


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