Mochuda, also known as Carthage, is the saint associated with the valley of the river Maine where he is the patron of Kiltallagh parish. He travelled widely in Ireland, finishing in Lismore, Co.Waterford, where they honour him as their patron. (We learn that a succession of bishops of [Waterford and] Lismore were Kerrymen.) Also in Waterford is St Declan’s monastery of Ardmore, a place mentioned in the present extract from the manuscript of Mochuda’s life. We learn from Charles Plummer (Lives of the Irish Saints, 1922) that the manuscript was copied in Cork by Br Michael O’Cleary, the best known of the Four Masters, in the summer of 1629. Plummer’s introduction is the source for the following.
Mochuda son of Finall was of the Ciarraige Luachra by race, of the Ui Ferba to speak precisely. He came on pilgrimage from the south to Leth Cuinn, and settled in Rahen. There was a large body of monks with him labouring and praying, seven hundred and ten in number, and every third man of them held converse with angels.
The king of Tara and the king of Meath went to expel Mochuda from Rahen, after laying many false charges against him. And they cast lots to see which of them should go to expel the clerk, i. e. Mochuda, from Rahen. And the lot fell upon the king of Meath; and he sent his brother to expel Mochuda; and the brother died forthwith. The king was angry, and they entered and scourged Mochuda and his monks out of Rahen.
When the king of Munster, Failbe Flann, heard that Mochuda was on the road, he went to meet him in order [to welcome him, and] to offer him a place of abode. “I cannot”, said Mochuda, “for a (special) place of resurrection has been granted to me”. He went to Ard Fináin, and the king of the Deisi came to meet him, and offered him Ard Fináin. And the wife of this king was a daughter of Failbe Flann. And she saw a wonderful vision, to wit an innumerable flock of birds coming to the place where they were, and the leading bird of them alighting on the king. And she told the king what she had seen, and they (both) rejoiced at it. “It is Mochuda” said he, “who will be journeying hither, and the flock (of birds) is his train, and he himself is the bird that settled on me”.