Welcome to the Parish of Roslea website. We hope you will enjoy browsing its pages. The Parish of Roslea exists in two jurisdictions, County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. It descends in the north from the Slieve Beagh through Roslea village southwards through the village of Smithborough in County Monaghan to the Parish of Currin, Killeevan and Aghabog. Its two churches are St. Tierney’s Church in the Fermanagh village of Roslea and St. Mary’s Church, Magherarney (more accurately in the townland of Templetate), Smithborough. St. Tierney’s Church, named after St. Tierney (Tiarnach or Tighernach) of Clones was erected in 1837 and St. Mary’s Church named after the mother of Jesus was erected in 1859.
Diocese of Clogher, AD 2000, A celebration, edited by Father La Flynn, Éditions du Signe, Strasbourg, France.
Landscapes of South Ulster, A Parish Atlas of the Diocese of Clogher, Patrick J. Duffy, The Institute of Irish Studies of the Queen’s University of Belfast in association with the Clogher Historical Society, 1993.
Who was St. Tierney?
The parish church in Roslea is dedicated to the memory of St. Tierney of the 6th Century who is the second most important saint in the diocese after St. Macartan, the Patron of the diocese of Clogher. Tierney’s name has a few variations – Tiarnach, Tigernach and Tierney.
The Office of Saint Tiarnach offers a version of his life. He was of royal blood, the grandson of King Eochaidh of Clogher whose daughter Derfraigh was married to Coirbre, a soldier from Leinster. Baptised by his spiritual mother, St. Brigid of Kildare, Tierney grew and was kidnapped as a young man by pirates who bound him and took him to Scotland where he was educated by Ninian of Whithorn Monastery in Scotland.
Tierney travelled to Rome to study for the priesthood and on his return to Ireland resuscitated nine dead men in the French city of Tours, the home of St. Martin. Consequently the men became Tierney’s loyal followers. About to cross the sea to Ireland he encountered a daughter of the King of Munster, she had been taken hostage by abductors for a marriage with the King of the Britons. She pleaded to Tierney to rescue her and filled with despair at her lot she died that night in the king’s bed. Tierney instructed her coffin be returned to Ireland and as he was celebrating Mass in the ship she was awakened to life by a divine power coming from the consecrated host.
A church dedicated to St. Tiarnach in Aghmacart, Co. Laois in the parish of Durrow in the diocese of Ossory points to Tiarnach having been in the area. Invited by Fiachra Tierney founded a monastery at Ardstraw, Co. Tyrone, between Castlederg and Newtownstewart, then another at Kiltierney in Ederney area, Co. Fermanagh, and from there to Derryvolan in the parish of Devenish, also in Fermanagh. He also founded a monastery at Galloon on the eastern shore of Upper Lough Erne and placed it in the care of his pupil Comgall. Finally he founded a monastery at Clones on the River Finn, Co. Monaghan where he spent the remaining thirty years of his life as a hermit. Tierney died in 549 and his grave is in Clones.
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The Office of Saint Tiarnach presents a person ‘resounding with many miracles and teaching with words and habits, he brought medicine to the sick, giving them the gift of salvation. He brought together the blind to see openly and the lame to walk, and summoned forth the dead from hell to life.’
The monastery at Clones was tied to Kildare and not like Clogher to Armagh but in the passing of time the ties with Clogher strengthened. Hence Tierney whose influence is greater than Macartan’s is the second saint of the diocese.
Tiarnach of Clones, Published by Clogher Historical Society, Castle Printing Ltd, Castleblayney, Seosamh Ó Duffaigh, 2018, ISBN: 0 949012 750, (see chapters 4 & 5, and the Appendix for the Office of St. Tiarnach)