ACCORDING to tradition and folklore Saint Patrick had a lingering affection for the scenes where he spent large six or seven years of his childhood as a swine herd near the hill of Slemish in North Antrim.
When he returned to this country as a missionary to preach the Christian gospel he spent a long time there and founded many churches in the vicinity.
The pagan king who ruled there, Saran, son of Gaelbadh, treated Patrick badly and prevented him from building a church in his territory.
In response the saint is said to have predicted that the king would lose his land and also he excluded from heaven.
Baron's brother Contra, having witnessed his brother's bad behaviour, was ashamed of him and offered Patrick land for a church in his territory.
. According to some sources the church which Patrick built in that territory was the origin of the once famous monastery of Muckamore or 'the church of Cumar' -'the plain of the confluence'.
Other sources claim that the references in ancient archives were to Comber where there was also an ancient monastery.
Anyhow, Patrick is said to have blessed Connla and promised that from him kings and chiefs of that province i.e. Uladh, would be descended.
The catalogue of Kings of Uladh states that no less, than eight of them were descended from Connla
. The Magennises of Iveagh are said to belong to the race of Connla.
The Kings of Uladh or Ulidia were proclaimed at Brew Hill on the Eastern side of Glenavy Parish. The hill rises to 629 feet and there is a large rath which may have been a royal residence on the south soda and a coronation stone stood on the summit.
The spreading tree from which the place takes its name was cut down m 1099 by Kinel-Owen the hereditary enemy of the Ulidians.
The coronation ceremonies place under this sacred tree. Crew Hill came into prominence in Irish history in the 4th century.
Up to that time Emania was the centre of royal power for the whole of the Province of Ulster.
Brian Boru visited Crew Hill, circa 1005
He was well received by the Ulidians but had to depart without receiving the submission of the Kinel-Owen or Kinel Conall.
Eventually, the Ulidians were able to retaliate on the Kinel-Owen. In 1111AD they led an army to Tullaghogue and cut down the sacred tree there under which the Kings of Kinel Owen had been Inaugurated.