Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/O'Caran, Gilla-an-Choimhdedh

Gilla in Choimded Ua Caráin in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

O'CARAN, GILLA-an-CHOIMHDEDH (d. 1180), archbishop of Armagh, who is called Gilbert by Roger Hoveden and elsewhere (Cotton, Fasti), a name which has no relation to Gilla-an-Choimhdedh (servant of the Lord), was in 1157 witness of the charter granted to the abbey of Newry by Muircheartach O'Lochlainn [q. v.] The two chief northern bishops were then often called of Cinel Eoghain and Cinel Conaill, and the bishopric of Cinel Conaill or Tyrconnel, which was the title of Gilla-an-Choimhdedh O'Caran, corresponded in general with the present diocese of Raphoe. If they were convertible terms in his time, he had ceased to be bishop before 10 Feb. 1173, when the chronicles record the death of Muireadhach O'Cobhthaigh (‘epscop Doire agus Ratha Both’), bishop of Derry and Raphoe. In 1175 he became archbishop of Armagh, and held office during the visitation of Cardinal Vivianus, sent to Ireland as apostolic legate by Pope Alexander III in 1177. The ‘Annals of Inisfallen’ (Dublin copy) state that he was with O'Lochlainn, bearing the ‘Canoin Phatraic,’ believed to be the present ‘Book of Armagh,’ in a battle near Downpatrick in 1177, in which John de Courcy defeated the Cinel Eoghain and the Ulidians. In the last year of his episcopate Armagh and most of its churches were burnt. He gave Bailebachuill, co. Dublin, to St. Mary's Abbey, near Dublin (Ware). He died in 1180.

[Annals of Loch Cé, ed. Hennessy, i. 160; Ware's Commentary of the Prelates of Ireland, Dublin, 1704, pp. 11, 53; Reeves's Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Down, Connor, and Dromore; Stuart's Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh, Newry, 1819; Clarendon MS. in British Museum, vol. xlii. p. 179. This is the copy of the charter of Newry, originally belonging to Sir James Ware, from which the printed texts of it, nearly all of which are inaccurate, have been made.]

N. M.