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The Gobán Saor

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0263, Page 080

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The Goban Soar.
The Goban Soar was a good builder who lived in Ireland in ancient days. He is not an imaginary personage as people think, but a real historic Irishman who lived about one hundred years after the time of St. Patrick. According to the Irish manuscripts the Goban Soar built a good many churches for the early Irish Saints.
Goban Soar built a church for St Wolling of Fenns about which a peculiar story is told. Gobans company it is said consisted of eight carpenters and their wives, and eight boys. Every morning Goban used to urge them to go to the wood, but the company was as pleased with Saint Wolling's entertainment that they thought it too soon the work would be completed.
At the end of the year they went and cut down the trees for the building. While the church was being constructed Goban's wife received a present of a milch cow from the saint. This cow was soon after stolen by a thief who infested the neighbourhood. St Wolling sent a party of his people after the thief, and they found him about to roast the cow, which he had killed at a large fire on the bank of the River Barrow. When he saw them he quickly climbed a high tree nearby, but one of the party saw him and wounded him with a spear. He fell into the Barrow and was drowned.

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Michael Connor
Carrowndangan, Co. Roscommon