Íte (M'Íde, Ita, Ida) (d. 570/77), foundress and first abbess of Killeedy (Co. Limerick) and a saint in the Irish tradition, is traced to a lineage of the Munster Déisi. Her father is named as Cenn-fáelad, and her mother as Necht. Tradition claims that she was first called Derithea, or Deirdre, but adopted the name Íte (thirst) on entering the religious life. Apparently, Íte travelled from her original homeland (in west Co. Waterford) to the land of Uí Chonaill Gabra (in Co. Limerick). Here she founded Cluain Credail, later Cell Íte (Killeedy), on land granted to her by the local king. Íte's community established a close relationship with Uí Chonaill. Her prayers were believed to have secured victory in battle for that dynasty; the annals specifically mention a defeat of the Corco Óchae at Cuilenn (Co. Limerick) in 552.
The Lives bring Íte into contact with several sixth-century saints; in particular, it is claimed that she was foster-mother and tutor to Brendan (qv) of Clonfert and Mochóemóc (qv) of Liath Mór (Leigh (Leighmore), Co. Tipperary). She is represented as a cousin of the latter – her mother and Ness, Mo-Chóemóc's mother, being sisters. According to later hagiography her community and that of Darerca (qv) of Killevy exchanged books; Íte is also claimed as the author of the poem ‘Ísucán’. While the work in question is much later than her time – probably ninth or tenth century – the attribution implies that Killeedy achieved a reputation for scholarship. Later tradition emphasised her ascetic qualities; she is said to have suffered great hardship from physical disease and strict fasting. Yet her Life contains four separate episodes in which she dealt leniently with nuns who lapsed in their vows of chastity, all but one – who refused to repent – being forgiven and readmitted to the community. The lesson, presumably, was that repentance was necessary and ultimately rewarding.
Íte died in 570 or 577; it is claimed that, in her old age, she received an embassy from Mac Nisse, who was about to succeed as third abbot of Clonmacnoise; he held office 570–83. Íte's death probably took place on 15 January, under which date she is commemorated in the martyrologies. Her foundation of Killeedy survived for several centuries, becoming a joint community of men and women. Her cult spread throughout Munster and overseas; there are dedications to her in Cornwall and she is referred to in a work of the English poet Alcuin. Centuries after her death, in 1305, Íte was credited with a miracle, when a Dál Cais dynast, Toirdhealbhach Óg Ó Briain, who treacherously slew two noblemen of Thomond in the sanctuary of Dísert Muirthile (Killadysert, Co. Clare), died suddenly.