Briúinsech Cael (Briuineach) (6th cent.?), church foundress and saint in the Irish tradition; her father is named as Crimthann, but her lineage is unrecorded. She is said to have had two sisters, Luchad and Tudella. Briúinsech apparently became a member of the community of Liadain (qv), the widowed mother of Ciarán (qv) of Saigir. According to the Life of the latter, Briúinsech was abducted from the convent near Birr and ravished by a local ruler named Dímma. Her virginity, it is claimed, was miraculously restored by Ciarán, whose prayers caused the infant she had conceived to vanish. This episode is offered as an explanation for her sobriquet cael, ‘the slender’.
Briúinsech is commemorated as an anchoress. Her foundation is located in Mag Trea (Moytra, a plain to the north-west of Longford). There is a vague tradition associating her with Mo-Chua (qv) (d. 694) of Balla, but a more explicit claim that she was subject to St Brigit (qv) indicates that her church at some stage came under the jurisdiction of Kildare. The year of her death is unknown, but she probably died on 29 May, under which date she is entered in the Martyrology of Donegal. The commemoration on the same day of Buriana, whose foundation of St Buryan lies near Penzance in Cornwall, has prompted suggestions that the two are identical.