Lismore, Abbey of

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Early Irish abbey, County Waterford, Ireland (Gaelic; Lis Mór; Latin, Lismorensis ). According to the Annals of Inisfallen, it was founded the year Mo-Chutu was expelled from Raithen (County Westmeath), in 638. The nature of this entry and the obit of Mo-Chutu in the same annals imply that Mo-Chutu was also its founder. The Annals of Ulster place Mo-Chutu's expulsion a year earlier and are silent about the foundation of Lismore. It was the principal religious center of the Déissi clan (County Waterford). Although sacked six times by the Scandinavians, it flourished and continued as a center of learning. Many of its community were venerated as saints. In time it became one of the strongholds of the culdees. Its later history is that of the origins of the Diocese of Lismore, which was joined to that of Waterford in 1362.

Bibliography: Annals of Inisfallen, ed. and tr. s. macairt (Dublin 1951), Annals of Ulster, ed. and tr. w. m. hennessy and b. maccarthy, 4 v. (Dublin 18871901). Kenney, this with the indexes to annals cited gives the most reliable synopsis of its history. e. h. l. sexton, Descriptive and Bibliographical List of Irish Figure Sculptures of the Early Christian Period (Portland, Maine 1946). f. henry, Irish Art in the Early Christian Period (2d ed. London 1947).

[c. mcgrath]