Sitric MacAeda, Metal-Worker

(c. 1084)


From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

He was maker of the box, or shrine, or a copy of the Psalter, for Domnall, the successor of St. Columba at Kells, who died in 1098. It was known as the Cathach of the O'Donels, who preserved it for centuries with great veneration, and it was carried before them into battle as a talisman. After the siege of Limerick it was taken to France by Colonel Daniel O'Donel, who entered the French service and died after a distinguished military career in 1735. In 1723 he had an outer case made to preserve the ancient shrine, and deposited it in a monastery in Belgium. In his will he directed that this ancient family treasure should be given to whomsoever should prove himself to be the head of the O'Donels. In 1802 it passed into the possession of Sir Neal O'Donel, of Newport, Co. Mayo, baronet, and it was subsequently entrusted by Sir Richard O'Donel to the care of the Royal Irish Academy, where it now is. The outer case of silver, made for Colonel O'Donel, bears the O'Donel arms and the inscription: "Jacobo 3rd M.B. rege exulante Daniel O'Donel, in Xtianissõ Impo. praefectus Rei Bellicae hujusce haereditarii Sancti Columbian Pignoris, vulgo CAAH dicti, tegmen argenteum vetustate Consumptum, restauravit Anno Salutis 1723."

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