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Apple Juicing at Kinnegad Parish


The abundance of apples locally this year inspired a group of locals to get together, collect apples and spend a morning juicing the fruit!

Thanks to the generous assistance of Kilbeggan Men’s Shed the Kinnegad group had access to an apple juicer. The juice flowed for a morning at the Parish Church in Kinnegad. Bottled as “Finian’s Brew – Kinnegad Original Cloudy Apple Juice” – the taste was “heavenly” and the drink refreshing for body and soul. The entire stock of 50 bottles has been enthuastically consumed by thankful patrons!

You might wonder why St. Finian’s Brew? Of course, in tribute to the memory of our great local Saint Finian of Clonard who was no stranger to apples. The story goes that when he returned from Wales he sought a place in his native Leinster to build a church. In anticipation of building a wooden church he had his followers set out to cut trees to build the church. One of his followers returned from the task with a branch of an apple tree and its fruit. Finian was so delighted with the apples that he went to find the apple tree and there build his church.

The place where he built this Church was Achad Aball – field of apple trees! This is modern day Aghowle in Wicklow close to Sliabh Condala. Finian is reported to have spent 16 years at Aghowle and we can imagine him enjoying the odd apple, taking a refreshing drink of apple juice and on occasion, perhaps some stronger!

Here is a short extract from The Irish Life of St. Finian of Clonard:

Master of the Saints of Ireland.

2598. Thereafter Bresal’s father, Muiredach, came and gave Findian the field which Bresal had refused him. It was improved by him, and is (called) Achad Aball (‘Field of Apple-trees’) today. He dwelt sixteen years in that place, serving the Lord of the Elements, till the angel said to him: “This is not the place of thy resurrection,’ saith he: ‘howbeit this will be the place of thy meeting with thy monks on Doomsday.’ Whence is the name Sliab Condala, that is the mountain of Findian’s comdál (‘meeting’) with his monks on Day of Judgement.