The Church of St. James in Ballinameela was 250 years old recently. It was built by Fr. Walliam Roche and to celebrate its 150th year the church was given a major face-lift both inside and outside. One of the greatest scholars who studied at Lismore and who is one of the best known Irish saints on the continent of Europe was in great probability, born within a short distance of this church.St. Cathaldus whose tomb lies in the great cathedral of Taranto in southern from Italy.
In the medieval life of Cathaldus which is written in Italy it is stated several times that the saint was born in a place called Canty in the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore in Ireland.
Cathaldus, having studied in Lismore in the 7th century became a Bishop and is associated with Shanrahan in the Parish of Clogheen. Like many early Irish Saints he traveled from Ireland . It seems that his destination was the Holy Land, but, for some reason-perhaps shipwreck-he landed in the extreme South of Italy near Taranto and eventually died there. It would be difficult to exaggerate the popularity and importance of Cathaldus in Italy and beyond. After St. Columbanus he is probably the best known Irish Saint in Europe. He is the Patron Saint of the Diocese and the city of Taranto, his feast on the tenth of May is celebrated in Genoa, Cremona, Mantua, Bologna, Rimini, Verona, Messina and in Siicily.