Tirechan (DNB00)

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TIRECHAN (fl. 7th cent.), bishop and saint, was brought up in co. Meath by Ultan, bishop of Ardbraccan, who educated him. His ‘Collections’ relating to St. Patrick, which are preserved in the ‘Book of Armagh,’ are derived partly from Ultan's information oral and written, partly from the ‘Confessio’ of St. Patrick, which he quotes as ‘scriptio sua,’ and another work concerning him called ‘Commemoratio Laborum,’ and partly from traditions communicated to him by ‘seniors’ and ‘wise ancients.’ He was moved to write by love of the saint and indignation at the wrongs done to his successors, the coarbs of Armagh, by ‘deserters and robber chiefs and soldiers.’

Tirechan is the earliest witness to assign the date 469 to the death of St. Patrick, and his testimony proves that the date long generally accepted (493) is a later tradition. The date of Tirechan is inferred from that of his benefactor, Ultan, who was a member of the third order of Irish saints, and died in 656. Tirechan's day in the calendar is 3 July.

[The Tripartite Life of St. Patrick (Rolls Ser.), ii. 302–23; Analecta Bollandiana, edidit R. P. Edmundus Hogan, S. J., Bruxelles, 1882, pp. 57–90; Ussher's Works, vi. 375, 534, 607; Martyrology of Gorman, p. 129; Todd's St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, p. 399.]

T. O.