Episode 14 St. Patrick’s Day Special: Patrick versus Cromm Cruach

St. Patrick and Crom Cruaich. Illustrated by L.D.Symington. (Wikimedia Commons)

show notes s02 e04
Irish Mythology Podcast

Marta 11, 2021

Episode 14

St. Patrick’s Day Special: Patrick versus Cromm Cruach

Thank you for listening to this episode!

Here you’ll find our notes, links to research and some personal highlights from your hosts. 

Welcome | fáilte 

In this episode we hear about how St. Patrick confronts a pagan idol whose followers are resisting the forward march of Christianity.  This deity, Cromm Cruach isn’t for going meekly into the night and makes a spirited defence of his place on the landscape and those who follow him.

We ask:

  • Why was Patrick determined to destroy Cromm Cruach?
  • Who worshipped Cromm Cruach according to textual sources?
  • Was Cromm Cruach even a deity or did Christian writers make him up?
  • Why was Patrick at odds with King  Lóegaire Mac Neill?
  • How did early Irish Christianity interact with native polytheistic paganism?
  • How did people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the past. 
  • St. Patrick’s Day, Paddy’s Day or Patty’s Day?

Patrick has had a lot of success spreading the word of God in Ireland, but one native deity and his followers are not going without a fight. Who will win this epic confrontation? Patrick versus Crom Cruach; This time it’s biblical!

We talk Patrick, Cromm Cruach, hagiography, human sacrifice, Lóegaire mac Néill, and the different ways Christianity and native Irish Paganism interacted. We also make a bit of time to talk old St. Patrick’s Day customs.



Written, presented and produced  by Marcas Ó hUiscín and Stephanie Ní Thiarnaigh. 

Music – Celtic Warrior by Damiano Baldoni (licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 public licence 


All sounds cc licence from freesound.org