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St Patrick

24 25 slemIsh and skerry the pagan who would not yield Trechn and Muirch both say that Patrick was slave to Miliucc, king or druid of the Braid Valley in north Antrim, and tended his herds near Slemish mountain. Muirch says that when Patrick returned as bishop Miliucc would not submit, but brought his valuables into his house, and burnt them with him. Trechn says Patrick taught Miliuccs children about Christ, with equally incendiary consequences. You poured fire into my sons mouth, which filled the lips of my daughters and they burnt to cinders he protested, but Patrick retorted that the sparks of Christs words made them vomit up their druid past. Trechn says Patrick had his visions here, while his angel stood with one foot on Slemish and the other on Skerry hill a mile away. Supposedly Miliuccs house was here, and the angels footprint is on a stone by Skerry church. A cross marked where Patrick stood below Slemish, a crag is Patricks Seat, a stone is worn by his knees, the devils footmark is on a rock in the river and below a cairn are the ashes of Miliuccs daughters. In these accounts Patrick also cursed Miliuccs family to eternal subservience, which justified the Braids conquest by the neighbouring kingdom of Dalriada. A church was later built on Skerry. The hill thus has curious echoes of Navan Fort, the sacred tribal hill of Ulster, where a large circular wood and thatch house was constructed, filled with stones, burnt and then buried so as to create a ritual centre in the Iron Age.
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