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Fergus Kelly notes that no cases relating to the Cáin Adomnáin have been preserved.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.
Each ordinance was issued either by a saint or monastic group.
Three texts of these legislations have come to us, the earliest being Cáin Adomnáin - Lex Innocentium - proclaimed by Adomnán, abbot of Iona, at the synod of Birr in 697.
Various factors, including Marian devotion in seventh- and eighth-century Ireland, The indigenous Brehon Laws were committed to parchment about the 7th century, most likely by clerics.
Most scholars now believe that the secular laws were not compiled independently of monasteries.
The laws also provided sanctions against many things like the killing of children, clerics, clerical students and peasants on clerical lands; rape; impugning the chastity of a noblewoman and women from having to take part in warfare. The law described both the secular fines which criminals must pay and the ritual curses to which lawbreakers were subject.
Bystanders who did nothing to prevent the crime were as liable as the perpetrator.The legal symposium at the Synod of Birr was prompted when Adomnáin had an Aisling dream vision wherein his mother excoriated him for not protecting the women and children of Ireland.During almost two centuries, and more precisely the years 697-887, nine different ordinances were promulgated and kept in the record of the annals of Ireland.As well as being the site of a significant monastery, associated with Saint Brendan of Birr, Birr was close to the boundary between the Uí Néill-dominated northern half of Ireland, and the southern half, where the kings of Munster ruled.It, therefore, represented a form of neutral ground where the rival kings and clerics of both sides of Ireland could meet.No contract affecting land was valid unless made with the consent of the joint family.Other contracts had to be made in the presence of the noble or magistrate.The parties to a contract had to be free citizens, of full age, free to contract, and under no legal disability.A witness was in all cases important—and, in some, essential—to the validity of a contract.On the other hand, tenure, whether of cattle or of the right to graze cattle, was subject to a security.The members of the tenant’s joint family were liable to make good out of their own property any default in payments.