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8.5 Creag Phádraig

Is cnoc faoi choillte í Creag Phádraig ar imeall Inbhear Nis. Leantar an cosán suas an cnoc go bhfeicfidh tú iarsmaí, más fíor, dhún Brude Rí.

TuganN Adhamhnán, beathaisnéisí Cholmcille, cuntas ar chuairt a thug an naomh ar Brude Rí, rí Cruithneach, ag a dhún áit éigin gar d’Abhainn Nis – agus is féidir gur anseo ag Creag Phádraig a tharla sí – in 565.

Tháinig Colmcille anseo lena chinntiú go ligfeadh Brude Rí agus na ríthe Cruithneacha eile dá mhanaigh taisteal go sábháilte sna hOileán Thiar agus in Inse Orc.

In ‘Beatha Cholm Cille’ le hAdhamhnán tá mórán scéalta a chuireann síos ar thuras fada Cholmcille go Creag Phádraig. Cuireann na scéalta síos ar amanna a ndearna Colmcille míorúiltí nó ar thug sé aghaidh ar an chontúirt. Ar na scéalta seo tá scéal faoin naomh ag dul i ngleic le hollphéist in Abhainn Nis. Tá daoine ann a chreideann gurb é seo is údar don fhinscéal faoi ollphéist Loch Nis.

“Once, on another occasion, when the blessed man stayed for some days in the land of the Picts, he had to cross the River Ness. When he reached its bank, he saw some of the local people burying a poor fellow. They said they had seen a water beast snatch him and maul him savagely as he was swimming not long before. Although some men had put out in a little boat to rescue him, they were too late, but, reaching out with hooks, they had hauled in his wretched corpse. The blessed man, having been told all this, astonished them by sending one of his companions to swim across the river and sail back to him in a dinghy that was on the further bank. At the command of the holy and praiseworthy man, Luigne moccu Min obeyed without hesitation. He took off his clothes except for a tunic and dived into the water. But the beast was lying low on the riverbed, its appetite not so much sated as whetted for prey. It could sense that the water above was stirred by the swimmer, and suddenly swam up to the surface, rushing open-mouthed with a great roar towards the man as he was swimming midstream. All the bystanders, both the heathen and the brethren, froze in terror, but the blessed man looking on raised his holy hand and made the sign of the cross in the air, and invoking the name of God, he commanded the fierce beast, saying:

‘Go no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once.’

At the sound of the saint’s voice, the beast fled in terror so fast one might have thought it was pulled back with ropes. But it had got so close to Luigne swimming that there was no more than the length of a pole between man and beast. The brethren were amazed to see that the beast had gone and that their fellow-soldier Luigne returned to them untouched and safe in the dinghy, and they glorified God in the blessed man. Even the heathen natives who were present at that time were so moved by the greatness of the miracle they had witnessed that they too magnified the God of the Christians.”

                                Adomnán Book II, Story 27

Tháinig Colmcille chuig Brude Rí ar lorg cosaint dá mhanach Cormac Uí Liatháin a bhí ag taisteal in Inse Orc. Bhí rí Cruithneach Inse Orc faoi údarás Brude Rí.

Ba pholaiteoir cumhachtach é Colmcille. Bhí teagmhálacha aige chomh maith le Riderch, Rí na mBriotanach, a raibh daingean aige ag Dumbarton (thiar ó Ghlaschú an lae inniu) agus a raibh ríocht faoina smacht aige sa cheantar timpeall Abhainn Clyde agus níos faide anonn.

Cuireann Adhamhnán síos ar Cholmcille ar a theacht go Dún Brude.

Dátaíonn an dún ag Creag Phádraig ó thart ar 4ú haois RC. In aimsir Cholmcille is féidir gur bunáit Brude Rí, rí na gCruithneach, a bhí ann.

Is féidir imlíne bhallaí istigh an dúin a fheiceáil go soiléir go fóill. Tá siad thart ar 10 méadar ar dhoimhne agus imfhálaíonn siad achar atá 75 méadar ar fhad agus 23 méadar ar leithead. Is cosúil go raibh ceithre thúr ag an dún, ceann ag gach coirnéal.

Is dún gloinithe í Creag Phadraig. Agus an dún á thógáil níor úsáideadh suimint ná aol idir na clocha sna ballaí. Ina áit sin lasadh tine agus téadh na ballaí a oiread sin is gur chomhleáigh na carraigeacha le chéile.

Tá iarsmaí balla amuigh ina luí faoin achar istigh agus an chuma anois orthu gur sraith de thalamh níos comhréidhe atá ann ag barr an chnoic.

Thángthas ar lorg tríú balla níos faide síos an cnoc.

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