Saint Columba, Cineal Conaill

A Kind Von Mir (child of mine) is a descendant of St. Columba, Cineal Conaill, the Tyrconell branch of Niall of the Nine Hostages (438 AD).

From the Gollaher Family Foundation:
St. Columba (Columbcille in Gaelic, meaning “dove of the church”). Grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Apostle of the Northern Picts, born. 7 Dec. 521 in Co. Donegal, he spent his formative years not among his family but with his foster father, the holy man Cruithnechan, in Leinster. Founded the church of Derry (now Londonderry) 545, and many other monastic churches, also the monastery of Durrow 553, caused a war in which his kinsmen the Northern Ui Neill defeated the King of Ireland (Diarmaid, head of the Southern Ui Neill) 561, went into voluntary exile, founded the Abby of Iona 563, converted Bruide, King of the Picts; inaugurated his own cousin Aidan as King of the Scots of Dalriada 574, and died June 9, 597.

Revered second only to St. Patrick Columba left an incredible theological mark across Ireland and Scotland. The young Columba spent some time at the monastery in Moville, Ireland. Intrigued by the plentiful books there, he began to make a copy of one of the psalters but was caught in the act by the abbot, who considered this akin to stealing the actual book, and he appealed to King Diarmaid for judgment. In what was probably the world’s first copyright lawsuit, the king decided the case in favor of the abbot, saying “as the calf is to the cow, so the copy is to the book.” Infuriated at this ruling, Columba followed a decidedly unsaintly course. He rallied his kinsmen and engaged the king’s army in a battle in which more than 3,000 men were killed.

Brought before the religious and royal authorities to face punishment for his instigation of the conflict, but miraculously managed to escape serious penalty. At the church trial, he reportedly was preceded into the room by a column of white light, a portent that the church elders determined to be a sign from above. Not wanting to defy a divine omen, they decided not to excommunicate him. When brought before the royal court in the year 563, the king also showed leniency and did not have him executed, but instead exiled him. Remorseful for causing so many deaths, Columba solemnly vowed to the Irish leaders that he would convert one person for each one that had died during the battle, and went on to found the famous Abby of Iona and become the most beloved saint of all Scotland.

In 575 Columba returned to Ireland on a peace-keeping mission, and while there defended the rights of the non-Christian bardic poets against Aed, son of King Ainmere, who had ordered their banishment.

Conal Ghulban
First son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, Conall Ghulban, King of Tír Chonaill or the “Land of Conall” (Tyrconnell or Tirconnell in anglicized English), the lands to the west of Aileach, which was his share of the family’s conquests in north-western Ulster after 425. His descendants, known as the Cenél Conaill, formed one of the principle branches of the Northern Uí Néill, and until the 12th century their kings were inaugurated at the sacrifice of a white mare, going down on all fours like a stallion and lapping its broth. As the kindred of St. Columbia, members of this branch were also Abbots of Iona 563-891 or later, Abbots of Dunkeld from the 9th to 12th centuries, and Kings of Scots from Duncan I (slain by MacBeth 1040) to Alexander III (died of a fall from his horse 1285/86).

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