Ite (DNB00)

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ITE (d. 569), Irish saint, whose name also occurs as Ita, Ida, Ide, Ytha, Idea, Ite, and with the prefix mo, mine, as Mide, Mida, Medea, is the patroness of Munster, and is sometimes spoken of by Irish writers as the Mary of Munster. Her father, Cennfoeladh, and her mother, Necta, were both of the tribe of the Deisi, descendants of Feidhlimidh Rechtmhuir, king of Ireland, who had marched south from Tara and conquered for themselves a territory in the south of Munster, part of the present county of Waterford. When grown up, Ite left her own country with the inten tion of founding a religious community, settled at Cluaincreadhail, at the foot of Sliabh Luachra (co. Limerick), and she became abbess of the society which she instituted there. Her abbey has disappeared, and the only indication of its site is her name in the parochial designation, Killeedy (Cill Ite), Ite's church. The baronies of Costello, in which this parish is situated, were then called Ua Conaill Gabhra, and the O'Cuileans, who then ruled it, and are still numerous in the district under the Anglicised name Collins, gave land and protection to the saint. She was no recluse, but took part in the public affairs of the clan, travelled to Clonmacnois (King's County), visited St. Comgan when he was dying, and received St. Luchtighern and St. Laisrean. The Ua Conaill believed that they obtained victory by her prayers, and many legends are preserved of the wonders performed by her in the improvement of the wicked, the cure of the sick, and the breeding of horses. She died on 15 Jan. 569, apparently of hydatid of the liver.

[Colgan's Acta Sanct. Hiberniæ, 1645, p. 66; Martyrology of Donegal, p. 17; Reeves's On a MS. Volume of Lives of Saints, 1877; Annala Rioghachta Eireann, i. 207.]

N. M.