His embassy to King Dermot (Diarmait) at Tara, in 556, is worked into a romance known as the “Cursing of Tara”, but the ardri continued to reside at Tara till his death (564). The legend as to Tara’s halls having been deserted after 564 is of comparatively late origin, and is contradicted by the fact that a Feis was held at Tara in 697.
St. Ruadhan founded the monastery of Lorrha. His bell is preserved in the British Museum; St. Ruadhan’s feast is kept on the anniversary of his death.
Ruadhán gave the prophecy that Dermot would be killed by the roof-beam of his hall at Tara. Dermot had the beam cast into the sea. Dermot then asked his druids to find the manner of his death, and they foretold that he would die of slaughter, drowning and burning, and that the signs of his death would be a shirt grown from a single seed of flax and a mantle of wool from a single sheep, ale brewed from one seed of corn, and bacon from a sow which had never farrowed. On a circuit of Ireland, Dermot comes to the hall of Banbán at Ráith Bec, and there the fate of which he was warned comes to pass. The roof beam of Tara has been recovered from the sea by Banbán and set in his hall, the shirt and mantle and ale and bacon are duly produced for Dermot. Dermot goes to leave Banbán’s hall, but Áed Dub, waiting at the door, strikes him down and sets fire to the hall. Dermot crawls into an ale vat to escape the flames and is duly killed by the falling roof beam. Thus, all the prophecies are fulfilled. “The sanctuary at Lorrha was invaded by the king and Ruadhan cursed Dermot for such an evil thing and ner again in Tara did the sound of church bells ring?
Photo: St. Ruadan’s Church, Finnoe Parish, Co Tipperary