The tradition of the St Brigit’s Cross also reaches back to Pre-Christian times (when it was made of straw). In Irish folklore rushes were associated with childbirth and were laid down when a woman was giving birth…
It is said that St Bridgit went to confession to St Mel, who pronounced the formula for the consecration of a bishop in place of absolution. From this derives the tradition that Bridgit was herself a bishop.
I was reliably informed that there are literally dozens (70+) of retired nuns resident in the new Poor Clares Convent in Ashgrove Avenue. I will ask the next one I see out walking and confirm with you.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Catholics in Ireland were forbidden to openly practice their religion and had to resort to open-air ceremonies where guards could be posted to look out for approaching Redcoats. There was a bounty on priests and especially on Bishops. But the ordinary Catholic practitioner was also at risk.