Statue Of St. Conleth: Grounds Of St. Conleth’s Parish Church, Naas Rd, Newbridge
Image by infomatique
Saint Conleth was an Irish hermit and metalworker, also said to have been a copyist and skilled illuminator of manuscripts. He is believed to have come from the Wicklow area.
While living in seclusion at Old Connell on the River Liffey in what is now Newbridge he was persuaded by Saint Brigid to act as priest for her monastic community in Kildare and he became the first Bishop of Kildare circa 490. Cogitosus, in his Life of Brigid, calls him "bishop and abbot of the monks of Kildare".
Conleth died when he was attacked by wolves in the forests of Leinster on pilgrimage to Rome on May 4, 519 and was buried nearby. In 799 his relics were transported and laid beside Brigid’s in the great cathedral in Kildare. His relics were finally laid to rest in Connell in 835.
Saint Conleth is the patron saint of the Catholic St Conleth’s Parish, which includes Newbridge and the surrounding areas. Old Connell – the site of Conleth’s original cell, which is now a graveyard – is within the parish limits.
A product of Saint Conleth’s metalwork for which he is noted is the crozier that he fashioned for Saint Finbarr of Termonbarry.
Saint Conleth’s Feast Day is May 4.