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The Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many, commonly called O'Kelly's Country (Author: Unknown)

section 2

Customs of Hy-Many

These are the tributaries of the Clann Ceallaigh: the O'Duibhginns, the O'Geibhennaighs, the Mac Cathails, the Mac Floinns, Muinter Murchadhan; and the Clann Aedhagain until they became Ollamhs to the arch-chief.

The third part of the province is to be their patrimonial country for ever. And the third part of every treasure


found hidden or buried in the depths of the earth is to be given to these tribes; and the third part of the eric for every man of their people that is killed is to be given to the family of the arch-king.

The third part of every treasure thrown by the sea into the harbours of Connaught is to be given to that tribe.


The marshallship of the forces of all Hy-Many, from Caradh to Luimnech, on all expeditions into Leinster, and into heroic Munster, belongs to the noble tribes.

These tribes are freed from the hostings of Spring and Autumn, and there is no power to ask them against their will.

No man of the province is to be taken as witness against these tribes, but another Hy-Manian is to bear witness.

If the hosting of Connaught should remain longer than a fortnight and a month, the Manians have liberty to return home.

However great may be the accusation brought against them by dishonest people, only one man or one witness is required to deny it or prove it against the other party.

Every privilege which books mention to be allowed to the Oirghialla, the same is given to O'Kelly by the Connacians.

These are the seven oirrighi i.e. sub-chiefs of Hy-Many, viz., O'Conaill, and he has the same patrimony as Mac Cnaimhin and


O'Dubhurrla. The chiefs of the Sil Anmchadha are the O'Madudhains. The kings of Maenmagh are Muintir Neachtain and


the O'Maeilallaidhs. And the king of Erin, strange to say, gives a subsidy to the chiefs of the Hy-Fiachrach Finn, more than [or in preference to] the king of Hy-Many.

The six Soghans with their cantred: to whomsoever of them they cede the chieftainship, he is called Orrigh during his reign.


These are the Cinel Rechta, the Cinel Trena, the Cinel Luchta, the Cinel Fergna, the Cinel Domaingen, the Cinel Geigill. There are three Orrighs i.e. sub-chiefs over the Race of Crimhthann Cael, viz., two Orrighs of his own race, and two of the Sil-Muireadhaigh.

These are the three, viz., the O'Mailruanaidhs, the O'Muroins, and the O'Cathails.


The king of Caladh, which extends from Moin Inraidech to Cluain Tuaiscirt of the Shannon, is Mac Gilliduibh, O'Laeghachain, or O'Laeghog, are the flaiths i.e. chieftains of that fair cantred.

The seven flaiths of Hy-Many are these, viz., Mac Eidhigan, chief of Claim Diarmada; Mac Gilli-Enan and Muinter Chinaith are


chiefs of Clann Flaitheamhail; Muinter Domhnallain, chief of Clann Breasail; O'Duibhginn, chief of Clann Duibhginn; O'Gabhrain of Dal n-Druithne; O'Docomhlan of Rinn na h-Eignide; O'Donnchadha of Aibh Cormaic Maenmuighe; and O'Mailbrighdi is chief of Bredach, the noblest cantred in Hy-Many.

There are seven principal Comharbas in Hy-Many, viz., the


Comharba of Cluain Fearta, the Comharba of Cill Mian, the Comharba of Cill Tulach, the Comharba of Cill Cumadan, the Comharba of Camach Brighdi, where the people of Hy-Many are baptized, the Comharba of Cluain Tuaiscirt of the Shannon, in whom it is hereditary to inaugurate the chiefs of the race of Cellach; and the Comharba of Cluain Cain Cairill.

St. Bridget has the baptism of the race of Maine, and although the baptism may not be brought thither, i. e. to her church the comharba has the power of collecting the baptismal penny from these tribes; and it i.e. the money thus obtained is divided into three parts, of which one-third part is given to herself, i. e. to her Comharba, one-third to Druim Drestan, and one-third to Cluain Emhain.


Cromthar Aedh of Sil Anmchadha, has a sgreaball ongtha from every Hy-Manian.

The burial of the race of Cairpri Crom belongs to Clonmacnoise and St. Ciaran, for which a tribute is paid to St. Ciaran; he has seventeen townlands of free land in Hy-Many.

The race of Maine, both women and men, pay a sgreaball caethrach to St. Grellan.

St. Grellan presides over their battles, i. e. the crozier of St. Grellan, or some such, is borne in the standard of the king of Hy-Many.


Seven garments are given by the queen to St. Cairech Dergain yearly, and a penny by every Hy-Manian daughter along with the tribute of St. Ciaran.

Every tribute which these tribes were bound to give to St. Patrick in the district which extends from Glun-Phadruig to Glaisi Uair, now belongs to St. Cairell; and thence eastwards to the Sinainn, belongs to St. Grellan and St. Patrick.

The enslaved tribes of Hy-Many for servitude are these, viz. the Dealbhna from Ath Liag, to where the River Suca i.e. Suck springs from the well in Sliabh Formaili. The Cathraigh of the Suca


extending from Upper Tuaim Cathraigh to Porta Fidigi, on both sides of the Suca; also the Corco Moncho and Dal n-Druithni, and the men of Magh Sen-chineoil, until noble tribes were planted in their places after them; and also Muinter Milcon. And the arch-chiefs of Hy-Many had the power to increase the rents on those tribes ad libitum. Also the family of the O'Mailfinnains,


on account of their exile. There are also townlands which we have not mentioned of the Firbolgs in those districts who are bound to serve the chiefs, and who are serfs and hereditary followers of the kings of Hy-Maine. The Cadanachs of the Feadha, with their tribes, and the remnants of the Fir Bolgs, are the hereditary servitors of Hy-Maine.

O'Conaill and Mac Eidhigan have the marshallship of the forces, and the Hy-Fiachrach Finn and the race of Soghan have the office of taisigheacht scuir.

O'Kelly's part of the office of door-keeper to the king of Connaught belongs to the Hy-Fiachrach Finn.

The taisigheacht allaidh of O'Conor king of Connaught belongs to the Dail Druithni, at the recommendation of O'Kelly.

The office of distributor butler to the arch-chief, without limitation, belongs to O'h-Uroin, of Cluain Ruis.


The superintendence of his banquets belongs to O'Lomain.

The office of Cul-choimed belongs to the Clann Indrechtaigh, and to the races of Bran and Ailil with their adherents.

The taisighecht eallaigh, together with the keeping of the cups, chess-boards, rings, gold and silver, belongs to the Clann-Flaitheamhla.

The arms and the dresses are with the Clann Bresail, and it is theirs to respond for Hy-Maine to every general challenge of combat from strange territories.

The headship of every people who revenge the insults of Hy-Maine belongs to the race of Crimthann Cael, i. e. to the Crumthanns and the Clann Aedhagain, and theirs is the privilege to array the battalions and go in the place of the arch-chief in the conflict. It is around the Soghans all assemble to the conflict, for they are the body i. e. phalanx of every battle-field to all.

To the Aes Brengair belongs the stewardship of the arch-chief, and it is the office of the Hy-Draighnen of Ard na Cno to distribute justice to the tribes.


The hounds are with the Crumhthanns Cruffons. O'Kelly's part of O'Conor's hounds are with the Hy-Teimnein of Muilenn Glaisni. His iron is with the Hy-Tuathaigh, of Echdhruim, and the Hy-Baedain, of Badhna.

The office of door-keeper to the arch-chief belongs to the Clann Indreachtaigh; the Hy-Brain had it at first.

The inauguration and dethroning of the arch-chief at the instance of the Hy-Maine, belong to the Clann Diarmada, to the Hy-Cormaic of Maenmagh, and to the family of Mithighen, Comharbas of Cluain Tuaiscirt.

The Soghans have taisigheach scuir i. e. superintendence of the horse. The Cinel-Aedha have the rearing of his horses. The inhabitants of the southern part of Echtghe have the rearing of his hounds. The Dal Druithne have the carrying of the wine from the harbours of the west of Connaught to the seats of the arch-chief. The Hy-Docomhlann have the erection of the edifices, both houses and out-houses, at the three upper habitations of the arch-chief. The Bolgic tribes of Badhna i.e. Slieve Baun have the building of his edifices at the lower seats. The Cantred of Caladh have his stewardship both of rent and exactions.

The Crumhthanns have the proclamation of his battles. The


inhabitants of the northern part of Fidh-Monach have his otters and fishing. The Bolgic tribe of Echtghe i.e. Slieve Aughty have the feeding and keeping of his stud. Every work he requires or commits to them is to be executed by the Cathraighi, so as that they are not deprived of their lordship.

His implements of battle, the keeping of his treasures, and the keeping of his hostages, are in Bredach.

His harpers are the O'Longargains, of Baile na Banabai, and his cornairedha i.e. trumpeters are the family of Lis na Cornaireagha, that is, the O'Sidheachains.

He is to be maintained in his kingly place and protected by the king of Cashel, for it is the guarantee of the king of Cashel that keeps the king of Hy-Maine from being overwhelmed by the Sil-Muireadhaigh. Wherefore the king of Hy-Maine is under a solemn injunction not to wage war on the Eoghanachts.

The subsidy of the king of Connaught to be reckoned out to the king of Hy-Maine,—(and it is little of his tribute goes in gifts),— is as follows here, as was said in these lines:

    1. The king of Hy-Maine, the hero, is entitled
      To ten steeds, which came across the boisterous brine,
      To ten foreigners ready at deed of anger,
      Ten standards and ten mantles.