The village of
Killeigh is located in County Offaly 5 miles from
Tullamore and 10 miles from Mountmellick in County Laois.
Killeigh was once a very important monastic site.
It was known throughout Europe as a seat of learning.
It is about 12 years older than Clonmacnoise.
It is now believed, due to recent ground surveys that it may even
have been bigger than Clonmacnoise.
St Senchell was the founder of Killeigh. He built a church in a
clear field among the wooded area now known as Killeigh, in
the 6th century, within sight of the nearby elongated hill
(ridge). Hence Killeigh became known as Cill Achaidh Droma
Fhada An Dha Shenchell. ( The church of the field of the long
ridge of the two Senchells). There were two Senchells.
Senchell The Younger was a nephew of Sinchell The Elder.
Senchell The Elder is said to have been the first person
baptised in Ireland by St Patrick.
Over the centuries Killeigh expanded and eventually boasted an
Augustinian and a Fransiscan monastery and a nunnery.
There are remnants of this past history still visible in and
around the village.