Énnae (Enda, Éanna) (d. c.530), one of the earliest monastic founders of the Irish church, is said to have been born in the mid fifth century in the kingdom of Airgialla. His Latin Life, which is a late production, has a number of chronological incongruities. It states that he was the son of Conall Derg (d. 609?), a descendant of Colla-dá-Chrích, and that he inherited his father's royal title as king of the Airgialla, but that he was persuaded by his sister Fainche (qv) (who later entered religion) to abandon his inheritance and his profession of warrior, and take monastic vows. The Martyrology of Tallaght, however, provides a different pedigree, making him the son of Ainmire son of Rónán of the Uí Chremthainn in Meath.
Énnae is believed to have received much of his early monastic training under St Ninian (qv) at the monastery of Candida Casa at Whithorn in Galloway. After some years, he returned to Colptha port (Drogheda), and established a number of churches in the Boyne valley. The king of Munster, Óengus (qv) son of Nad-fraích, later gave him the Aran islands on which to establish a permanent settlement. His monastery (now Killeany, on Inis Mór) attracted a great number of disciples, who established other small monasteries and hermitages on the islands. His pupils are said to have included Finnian (qv) of Clonard, Ciarán (qv) of Clonmacnoise, Brendan (qv) of Clonfert, Colum Cille (qv), and the British Cubius (Papeus) of Anglesey. Énnae was greatly esteemed as a monastic teacher, being second only in fame to his pupil Finnian.
Several monastic memorials survive on Inis Mór, some of which may be of Énnae's time. The island acquired such a reputation for sanctity that it was known as ‘Ára na naomh’ (Aran of the saints). Énnae is reputed to have died c.530 at a great age, though the annals have no mention of him. His feast-day on 21 March is commemorated in the Irish and several foreign martyrologies. His reputed burial place is Tighlagheany on Inis Mór.