Catholic Encyclopedia – Saint Eoghan of Ardstraw


Eoghan of Ardstraw was a native of Leinster, and, after presiding over the Abbey of Kilnamanagh (County Wicklow) for fifteen years, settled in the valley of Mourne (County Tyrone), his mother’s country, about the year 576. He was followed by many disciples including Saint Kevin of Glendalough, who completed his studies under this saint. As a boy he had been carried off to Britain, and subsequently he was taken captive to Brittany, together with Saint Tighernach, who is best known as the founder of the abbey of Clones, Co. Monaghan. So great was the fame of the sanctity and learning of Saint Eoghan, at Mourne, that he was consecrated first Bishop of Ardstraw about the year 581. It is difficult to give his chronology with any degree of exactness, but the Irish annalists give the date of his death as 23 August 618. His name is generally latinized as Eugenius, but the Irish form is Eoghan (Owen), hence Tir Eoghain, or Tyrone.

Ardstraw continued as an episcopal see until 1150, when it was translated to Rathlure and subsequently to Maghera, but in 1254 it was definitely removed to Derry. In all these changes Saint Eoghan was regarded as the clan patron, and hence he is the tutelary guardian of the See of Derry to this day. His feast is celebrated on 23 August.

MLA Citation

  • William Grattan-Flood. “Saint Eoghan of Ardstraw”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 May 2014. Web. 27 May 2019. <>