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Paróiste San Nioclás/Saint Nicholas

Date: 27/11/2023

Saint Nicholas is nowadays undoubtedly the saint most commonly connected with December in Ireland, or in Irish Mí na Nollag "the month of Christmas". However, Saint Nicholas did not actually feature in the native calendar of saints, and it was only in placenames that post-date the Anglo-Norman invasion that he features. So in the case of the parish of Saint Nicholas just north of Castlebridge in Wexford we find that this parish name was transferred from 'St. Nicholas's Priory' in Exeter, a religious foundation granted carucates of land in this area by the Anglo-Norman David Roche. The name refers to the now-ruined church Temple-St Nicholas. However, the Irish structure of 'Temple-St Nicholas' \ Teampall San Nioclás, a version of the name recorded in 1618 implies regaelicisation after initial colonisation. Notably, the parish church of Carrick near Wexford Town was also dedicated to Saint Nicholas, and it is of interest to note that both churches would once have been within the sphere of influence of the Roche family (see #2622; #2644). (Conchubhar Ó Crualaoich & Aindí Mac Giolla Chomhghaill)

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