Welcome to the parish of Knockninny. Knockninny parish has two churches St Ninnidh’s Derrylin and St Mary’s Teemore. The parish gets its name of the the 6th century saint Ninnidh.
St. Ninnidh is regarded as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. He is associated with shores of Lough Erne and particularly the island of Inishmacsaint and the parish of Knockninny (derived from the Irish: Cnoc Ninnidh, meaning The Hill of Ninnidh).
Ninnidh was born in County Donegal, a grandson of Laoghaire, the High King of Ireland. He was educated under St. Finian at Clonard. In 530 AD Ninnidh held a 40-day fast on Knockninny Hill, during the period of Lent.
When dying, St. Brigid was attended to by Ninnidh, who afterwards became known as “Ninnidh of the clean hand” because he supposedly had his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent it being defiled after administering the last rites to Ireland’s patroness.
St. Ninnidh’s feast day is the 18th of January. St. Ninnidh’s well is situated at Knockninny Quay on the shores of Upper Lough Erne and is reputed to have curative properties for eye ailments. In William Henry‘s Upper Lough Erne in 1739 the well was described as a chief curiosity, “being a plentiful foundation of pure water, having a clearance and coolness scarce to be met with. It was at that time a popular spot for boatspeople to retire to for their entertainments for which and around it are arranged benches of sod and over it a shade of aquatic trees”.
St. Ninnidh’s bell, traditionally presented to Ninnidh by St. Senach of Derrybrusk, was kept in Knockninny parish in the 17th century. It was at Castle Caldwell, County Fermanagh until 1877, when it was sold at auction to Robert Day of Cork (who sketched the drawing on the right). When Day’s collection was sold in 1913, this bell was not part of the sale. Although for some time it was identified with a bell in the National Museum of Edinburgh (probably St. Ninian’s Bell, formerly from the collection of John Bell), the location of St. Ninnidh’s Bell is presently unknown.