Caimín (d. 654), founder of the monastery of Inis Celtra on the island of Lough Derg, near Scariff, Co. Clare, is said to have been a half-brother to Guaire Aidni (qv) (d. 663), king of Connacht. Although his pedigree, which makes him son of Dímma and descendant of Énnae Cennselach (qv), king of Leinster, is given among the genealogies of the saints, his Irish Life is quite fabulous and unhistorical and was dismissed by John Colgan (qv). According to the Life of Berach (qv) of Cluain Coirpthe, Fáelán (qv) (d. c.645), son of Colmán and king of Uí Dunlainge in Leinster, was fostered with Caimín. Tradition relates that c.640 Caimín retreated to the island monastery of Inis Celtra, which subsequently attracted a great number of students because of its remoteness and his reputation for sanctity and asceticism. Several of Inis Celtra's later bishops and anchorites are recorded in the annals. The monastery was raided by vikings in 837 and 922. It remains an important archaeological site with impressive monastic ruins. The so-called ‘Psalter of Caimín’, a quire of six folios containing part of Psalm 118 with extensive Latin glossing, is an eleventh-century manuscript; its attribution to Caimín simply indicates it was written on Inis Celtra. His feast-day is given in the martyrologies as 24 March; his obit (s.a. 654) is given only in the Annals of Inisfallen.
Ann. Inisf.; Mart. Gorm.; Mart. Don.; Plummer, Vitae SS Hib., i, 78; R. A. S. Macalister, ‘The history and antiquities of Iniscealtra’, RIA Proc., xxxiii C (1916–17), 93–174; Kenney, Sources, 385–6, 646–7; Bibliotheca Sanctorum 3 (1963), 644 (J. F. Alonso); M. McNamara, ‘Psalter text and psalter study in the early Irish church (A.D. 600–1200)’, RIA Proc., lxxiii C (1973), 201–98: 246–9; ODNB (Munster, saints of )