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Saint Conleth and Old Connell

Old Connell lies just outside the present town of Newbridge.   It is the spot where St. Conleth lived. Conleth's chantry was less than a quarter of a mile from the right bank of the Liffey.Access, with permission, can be gained to it by going through private grounds.

Its exact location is beside a private residence and stables on the River Liffey side. There is a graveyard there now. Many of the graves are marked with tombstones. Old Connell graveyard is now surrounded by a wall and among the tombstones are several trees. Foundations of old building are to be seen where graves were dug out.There are no very ancient monuments to be seen. The graveyard is now closed for burials. The last burial here  is supposed to have been a Mrs. Kinsella about 1925.

About two hundred yards from the burial ground is an artificial mound or moat. This can be seen from the Newbridge - Naas Road.Many similar moats are to be found near the sites of other ancient religious establishments throughout the country.Locally this moat is referred to as Hurley's Moat.

SAINT CONLETH

We do not know exactly when Conleth was born or who his parents were.In the Acts of St. Brigid he is called different names - Conlath, Conlaeth, Conlaith, Conlaid and Conlian. Other sources suggest that his name stands for Cundail Aedh(Hugh) which translates to "Aedh the Wise" or "Friendly Aedh".

We do know that he lived as a hermit in a cell at Old Connell.He had the reputation of being a very holy man who had the gift of prophecy.

He was skilled in working with gold and silver.Old Connell was famous for its art in ancient times.

About 490 AD Saint Brigid recommended that Conleth be made Bishop of Kildare and he was.

After about twenty years as Bishop Conleth set out on a pilgrimage to Rome. Because he was now an old man Saint Brigid feared for him going on this journey. Somewhere on the journey in Ireland Conleth was attacked and killed by wolves which at that time lived in the woods and mountains of Leinster.

Saint Conleth died on the 3rd. May 519 AD.Some say that he was buried on the left side of the altar in the church in Kildare Town and Saint brigid on the right. Local tradition in Newbridge says that he was buried in the Old Connell graveyard.

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