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Annals of the Four Masters (Author: [unknown])

Annal M1172


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1172. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred seventy-two.


BRIGIDIAN O'KANE, successor of Maidoc, died.


Giolla Aedha O'Muidhin (of the family of Errew of Lough Con), Bishop of Cork, died. He was a man full of the grace of God, the tower of the virginity and wisdom of his time.



Tiernagh O'Malone, successor of Kieran of Clonmacnoise, died.


Tiernan O'Rourke, Lord of Breifny and Conmaicne, a man of great power for a long time, was treacherously slain at Tlachtgha by Hugo de Lacy and Donnell, the son of Annadh O'Rourke, one of his own tribe, who was along with them. He was beheaded by them, and they conveyed his head and body ignominiously to Dublin. The head was placed over the gate of the fortress, as a spectacle of intense pity to the Irish, and the body was gibbeted, with the feet upwards, at the northern side of Dublin.



Donnell O'Farrell, chief of Conmaicne, was slain by the people of the King of England.


Mulmurry Mac Murrough, Lord of Muintir Birn, was slain by Mugh Magennis and the Clann-Aodha of Ui Eathach Uladh.


Dermot O'Kaelly died.


The Kinel Owen were defeated by Flaherty O'Muldorry and the Kinel Connell. They the Kinel Connell made prodigious havoc of them, through the holy miracles of God, of St. Patrick, and St. Columbkille, whose churches they the Kinel Owen had plundered.


The complete visitation of the province of Connaught was performed the fourth time by Giolla Mac Liag Gelasius, successor of St. Patrick and Primate of Ireland, to Armagh.


Mac Giolla Epscoip, chief of Clann-Aeilabhra, legislator of Cath Monaigh, was treacherously slain by Donslevy O'Haughy, king of Ulidia. The chiefs of Ulidia, who were as guarantees between them, put Donslevy to death for it i.e. for his crime .



The son of Annadh O'Rourke and the English treacherously plundered the inhabitants of Annaly and Muintir Magilligan, carrying off many cows and prisoners. They afterwards made another incursion into Ardagh of Bishop Mel, and ravaged the country generally, and slew Donnell O'Farrell, chief of Annaly, on that occasion.


A synod of the clergy and laity of Ireland was convened at Tuam, in the province of Connaught, by Roderic O'Conor and Kyley Catholicus O'Duffy, Archbishop of Tuam, and three churches were consecrated by them.

Annal M1173


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1173. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred seventy-three.


Murray O'Coffey, Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, a son of chastity, a precious stone, a transparent gem, a brilliant star, a treasury of wisdom, and a fruitful branch of the canon, after having bestowed food and raiment upon the poor and the destitute, after having ordained priests and deacons, and men of every ecclesiastical rank, re-built many churches, consecrated many churches and burial-places, founded many monasteries and Regles's i.e. abbey churches, and fulfilled every ecclesiastical duty; and after having gained the palm for piety, pilgrimage, and repentance, resigned his spirit to heaven in the Duibhregles of Columbkille, in Derry, on the 10th day of February. A great miracle


was performed on the night of his death—namely, the dark night was illumined from midnight to day-break; and the people thought that the neighbouring parts of the world which were visible, were in one blaze of light; and the likeness of a large globe of fire arose over the town, and moved in a south-easterly direction ; and all persons arose from their beds, imagining that it was daylight; and it was also thus on the east side of the sea.


Conaing O'Hennessy, head of the canons of Roscrea, died.


Ettru O'Meehan, Bishop of Cluain Clonard, died at an advanced age, after having spent a good life.


Kenny O'Ronan, Bishop of Glendalough, died.


Maelisa Mac Ward, Bishop of Clonfert-Brendan, died.


Maelmochta O'Melaghlin, Abbot of Clonmacnoise, died.


A great plunder was made by Hugh Magennis and the Clann-Aedha. They plundered the large third of Armagh; but this man was killed in three months after this plundering of Armagh.



Donnell Breaghach the Bregian O'Melaghlin, King of Meath, was slain by the son of his own father step-brother, Art O'Melaghlin, and by Muintir Laeghachain, at Durrow of Columbkille.


Gilla Mac Liag Gelasius, the son of Rory, the successor of St. Patrick, and Primate of Armagh, and of all Ireland, a son of chastity, filled with purity of heart towards God and man, died in righteousness, at a venerable old age, on the 27th of March, being the Wednesday after Easter, and in the eighty-seventh year of his age. He had been sixteen years in the abbacy of St. Columbkille, at Derry, before he became successor of St. Patrick.

Annal M1174


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1174. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred seventy-four.


Maelisa O'Connaghtan, Bishop of Sil-Murray Elphin, died.


Maelpatrick O'Banan, Bishop of Connor and Dalaradia, a venerable man, full of sanctity, meekness, and purity of heart, died in righteousness, in Hy-Columbkille, at a venerable old age.


Gilla Mochaibeo, Abbot of the monastery of SS Peter and Paul at Armagh, a diligent and faithful servant of the Lord, died on the 31st day of March, in the seventieth year of his age.


Flann i.e. Florentius O'Gorman, chief Lecturer of Armagh, and of all Ireland, a learned sage, and versed in sacred and profane philosophy, after


having spent twenty-one years of study in France and England, and twenty other years in directing and governing the schools of Ireland, died happily on the Wednesday before Easter, in the seventieth year of his age.


Maurice O'Duffy, Abbot of the monastery of Ath da laarg, on the River Boyle, died.


Rory O'Carroll, Lord of Ely, was slain in the middle of the island of Inish-cloghran.


Congalagh O'Coinfiacla, Lord of Teffia, died.


Mulrony O'Keary, Lord of Carbury, was treacherously slain by the Galls Ostmen of Dublin, i.e. by Mac Turnin, assisted by the son of Hugh O'Farrell, and Kellagh O'Finnallan, Lord of Delvin-More.


The diocese of Westmeath was annexed to the city of Clonmacnoise, by consent of the clergy of Ireland.


The Earl led an army to plunder Munster; King Roderic marched with another army to defend it against them. When the English had heard of Roderic's arrival in Munster, for the purpose of giving them battle, they


solicited to their assistance the Galls Ostmen of Dublin; and these made no delay till they came to Thurles. Thither came Donnell O'Brien and the Dalcassians, the battalion of West Connaught, the great battalion of the Sil-Murray, besides numerous other good troops left there by the King, Roderic. A brave battle was fought between the English and Irish at this place, in which the English were finally defeated by dint of fighting. Seventeen hundred of the


English were slain in this battle, and only a few of them survived with the Earl, who proceeded in sorrow to his house at Waterford. O'Brien returned home in triumph.


Melaghlin O'Donnagan, Lord of Ara, was slain by O'Conaing.

Annal M1175


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1175. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred seventy-five.


O'Brien, Bishop of Kildare, died.


Maelisa Mac an Chlerigh Cuirr, Bishop of Ulidia (Down), died.


Giolla Donnell Mac Cormac, Bishop of Ulidia, died.


Flaherty O'Brollaghan, successor of St. Columbkille, a tower of wisdom and hospitality, a man to whom, on account of his goodness and wisdom, the clergy of Ireland had presented a bishop's chair, and to whom the presidency of Hy Iona had been offered, died in righteousness, after exemplary sickness, in the Duibhregles of Columbkille; and Gilla Mac Liag O'Branan was appointed in his place in the abbacy.


The Kinel-Enda were defeated, and a great slaughter made of them by Eachmarcach O'Kane, and Niall O'Gormly.


Manus O' Melaghlin, Lord of East Meath, was hanged by the English, after they had acted treacherously towards him at Trim.



Donnell Kavanagh, the son of Dermot, King of Leinster, was treacherously slain by O'Foirtchern and O'Nolan.


The son of Donnell, son of Donough, Lord of Ossory, was treacherously slain by Donnell O'Brien.


Teige, the son of Farrell O'Rourke, was killed.


Dermot, the son of Teige O'Brien, and Mahon, the son of Turlough O'Brien, were deprived of sight in their own house at Castleconning, by Donnell O'Brien; and Dermot died soon after; and Mac an Leithdheirg O'Conor, (i.e. the son of O'Conor Corcomroe), was also slain by Donnell on the same day.



Roderic O'Conor, King of Ireland, marched with an army into Munster; he expelled Donnell O'Brien from Thomond, and much wasted the country on that expedition.


Conor Mac Concoille, Abbot of the church of SS. Peter and Paul, and afterwards successor of St. Patrick, died at Rome, having gone thither to confer with the successor of St. Peter.


Gillacolum O'Molloy, Lord of Fircall, was treacherously slain by Rory, the son of Conor Mac Coghlan.

Annal M1176


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1176. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred seventy-six.


Fore and Kells were laid waste by the English, and by the Hy-Briuin.


Louth was laid waste by the Saxons.


Niall, the son of Mac Loughlin, was slain by Muintir Branan, i.e. the Dal-m-Buinne.



The daughter of Roderic O'Conor, King of Ireland, and wife of Flaherty O'Muldory, was killed by the sons of O'Carellan.


Benmee, the daughter of Donough O'Carroll, and wife of Cooey O'Flynn, lady of Hy-Tuirtre and Firlee, died.


Cooey O'Flynn, Lord of Hy-Tuirtre, Firlee, and Dalaradia, was slain by Cumee, his own brother, and the Firlee.


The English were driven from Limerick by Donnell O'Brien, by laying siege to them.


An English castle was in progress of erection at Kells.


The English Earl (i.e. Richard) died in Dublin, of an ulcer which had broken out in his foot through the miracles of SS. Bridget and Columbkille, and of all the other saints whose churches had been destroyed by him. He saw, as he thought, St. Bridget in the act of killing him.



The castle of Slane, in which was Richard Fleming with his forces, and from which he used to ravage Oriel, Hy-Briuin, and Meath, was plundered by Melaghlin, the son of Mac Loughlin, Lord of the Kinel-Owen, by the Kinel-Owen themselves and the men of Oriel. They killed five hundred or more of the English, besides women, children, and horses; and not one individual escaped with his life from the castle. Three castles were left desolate in Meath on the following day, through fear of the Kinel-Owen, viz. the castle of Kells, the castle of Galtrim, and the castle of Derrypatrick. Richard Fleming himself was slain on this occasion.


A ballybetagh was granted in perpetuity by Roderic O'Conor, King of Ireland, viz. the townland of Toomaghy to God and St. Berach. The following were the sureties of that perpetual gift: Keyly Catholicus O'Duffy, Archbishop of Tuam; Aireaghtagh O'Rodiv; Flann O'Finnaghty; Hugh O'Flynn; Rourke O'Mulrenin; Ignatius O'Monahan; Gilla-an-choimhdhe Mac-an-leastair; O'Hanly; and Conor Mac Dermot; who were to guarantee that this townland was to remain for ever the property of God and St. Berach, from O'Conor and his representative.


Donnell, the son of Turlough O'Conor, Lord of the north of Connaught, the glory, the moderator, and the good adviser of the Irish people, died, and was interred at Mayo of the Saxons.


Donnell, the son of Turlough O'Brien, the heir apparent to the kingdom of Munster, died.



Donnell O'Malley, Lord of Umallia the Owles, in the county of Mayo, died. Dermot,the son of Cormac Mac Carthy, King of Desmond, was taken prisoner by his own son, Cormac Liathanach; but Cormac was treacherously slain by his own people, and Dermot then re-assumed his lordship.


Donnell Mac Gillapatrick now Fitzpatrick, Lord of Ossory, died.


Hugh, the son of Gilla-Broidi O'Rourke, died.


Donnell, son of Gillapatrick O'Keary, Lord of Carbury O'Keary, was treacherously slain by O'Melaghlin (i.e. Art), upon which Art was deposed by the men of Meath, and his kingdom (or lordship) was given to Donough O'Melaghlin; and his son Flann was slain by the inhabitants of Carbury O'Keary.

Annal M1177


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1177. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred seventy and seven.


Cardinal Vivianus arrived in Ireland. A synod of the clergy of Ireland, both bishops and abbots, was convened by this cardinal on the first Sunday in Lent, and they enacted many ordinances not now observed.


Hugh O'Neill, popularly called an Macaemh Toinleasc, who had been for some time Lord of the Kinel-Owen, and heir presumptive to the throne of Ireland, was slain by Melaghlin O'Loughlin and Ardgal O'Loughlin; but Ardgal himself fell on the spot by O'Neill.


An army was led by John De Courcy and the knights into Dalaradia and


to Dun da leathghlas; they slew Donnell, the grandson of Cathasach, Lord of Dalaradia. Dun da leathghlas was plundered and destroyed by John and the


knights who came in his army. A castle was erected by them there, out of which they defeated the Ulidians twice, and the Kinel-Owen and Oriels once, slew Conor O'Carellan, chief of Clandermot, and Gilla-Macliag O'Donnelly, chief of Feardroma; and Donnell O'Flaherty now Laverty was so wounded by arrows on this occasion, that he died of his wounds in the church of St. Paul at Armagh, after having received the body and blood of Christ, and after extreme unction and penance. Many other chieftains were also slain by them besides these. During the same expedition, John De Courcy proceeded with his forces to Hy-Tuirtre and Firlee; before his arrival, however, Cumee O'Flynn had set Armoy on fire; but they burned Coleraine and many other churches on this incursion.


Niall O'Gormly, Lord of the men of Magh-Ithe and Kinel-Enda, was


slain by Donough O'Carellan and the Clandermot in the middle of Derry Columbkille. The house in which he was was first set on fire, and afterwards, as he was endeavouring to effect his escape out of it, he was killed in the doorway of the house. Donough O'Carellan then made his perfect peace with God, St. Columbkille, and the family i.e. clergy of Derry, for himself and his descendants, and confirmed his own mainchine (gifts) and those of his sons, grandsons, and descendants, for ever, to St. Columbkille and the family of Derry. He also granted to them a ballybetagh near Donaghmore, and, moreover, delivered up to them the most valuable goblet at that time in Ireland, which goblet was called Mac Riabhach i.e. the tan-coloured son, as a pledge for sixty cows. There was also a house erected for the cleric, in lieu of that burned over the head of O'Gormly, and reparation was made by him for all damage caused by the burning. All the Clandermot gave likewise full satisfaction on their own behalf.


Murrough, the son of Roderic O'Conor, brought Milo de Cogan and his knights with him to Roscommon, to ravage Connaught, to annoy Roderic his father. The Connacians immediately burned Tuam and other churches, to prevent the English from quartering in them. They afterwards defeated the English, and forcibly drove them out of the country of Connaught; and Roderic put out the eyes of his son, in revenge for this expedition.



O'Muldory and the Kinel-Connell were defeated by Conor O'Carellan in a battle, in which O'Sherry and many other distinguished men of the Kinel-Enda were slain.


Donnell O'Hara, Lord of Leyny in the now county of Sligo, died.

Annal M1178


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1178. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred seventy-eight.


The crozier of Columb Mac Luighdheach openly conversed with its cleric.


Donnell O'Fogarty, bishop of Ossory, died.


Gilchreest O'Hoey, bishop of Conmaicne Ardagh, died.


Conor, the son of Conallagh O'Loony, assumed the chieftainship of Kinel-Moen; and Donnell, the son of Donnell O'Gormly, was banished from Moy Ithe into Inishowen, to Donough O'Duibhdhiorma. In three months afterwards, the Kinel-Moen deposed Conor, the son of Conallagh, and gave back the chieftainship to Donnell, the son of Donnell O'Gormly. The people of Donnell O'Gormly, namely, Gilla Caech O'Ederla, and the O'Flanagans, treacherously slew O'Loony in Donnell's own house, even while he was under the protection of the Erenagh of Urney, who was with him at the time. Upon this the Kinel-Moen drove Donnell O'Gormly from the chieftainship, and set


up Rory O'Flaherty as their chieftain: but the three sons of this O'Flaherty acted a treacherous part towards the Kinel-Moen;they slew Donnell, the son of Donnell O'Gormly, Tiernan, the son of Randal Mac Donnell, and eight other gentlemen of the Kinel-Moen. Randal, the son of Eachmarcach O'Kane, had been slain by the Kinel-Moen in the beginning of this summer, and in revenge of this were slain Galagh O'Loony and Murtough O'Petan; and it was in revenge of this, moreover, the aforesaid act of treachery was committed against the Kinel-Moen.


A violent wind-storm occurred in this year; it caused a great destruction of trees. It prostrated oaks. It prostrated one hundred and twenty trees in Derry-Columbkille.


John De Courcy with his foreigners repaired to Machaire Conaille, and committed depredations there. They encamped for a night in Glenree, where


Murrough O'Carroll, Lord of Oriel, and Cooley Mac Donslevy, King of Ulidia, made a hostile attack upon them, and drowned and otherwise killed four hundred and fifty of them. One hundred of the Irish, together with O'Hanvy, Lord of Hy-Meith-Macha, fell in the heat of the battle.


John De Courcy soon after proceeded to plunder Dalaradia and Hy-Tuirtre; and Cumee O'Flynn, Lord of Hy-Tuirtre and Firlee, gave battle to him and


his foreigners, and defeated them with great slaughter, through the miracles of Patrick, Columbkille, and Brendan; and John himself escaped with difficulty, being severely wounded, and fled to Dublin.


The Constable of the King of England in Dublin and East Meath (namely, Hugo) marched with his forces to Clonmacnoise, and plundered all the town, except the churches and the bishop's houses. God and Kieran wrought a manifest miracle against them, for they were unable to rest or sleep, until they had secretly absconded from Cuirr Cluana on the next day.


The River Galliv (Galway) was dried up for a period of a natural day; all the articles that had been lost in it from remotest times, as well as its fish, were collected by the inhabitants of the fortress, and by the people of the country in general.



A victory was gained by Art O'Melaghlin, the people of Offaly, and the English, over the people of Delvin Eathra and Melaglhlin Beg, and a party of the men of Teffia; in the battle, Murray, the son of the Sinnagh the Fox, was slain.


Hugh O'Flaherty, Lord of West Connaught, died at Annadown.


Awley Mac Awley was killed by the Sil-Anmchadha.


Melaghlin Beg O'Melaghlin took the house of Art O'Melaghlin, who made his escape out of it; but Flann, the son of Mac Awley, chief of Calry, was killed by Melaghlin.


Annal M1179


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1179. The age of Christ, one thousand one hundred seventy-nine.


Tuathal O'Connaghty, bishop of Tir-Briuin; Colman O'Scanlan, Erenagh of Cloyne; Gilladowny O'Forannan, Erenagh of Ardstraw; and Mulmurry Mac Gillacolum, seachnab prior of Ardstraw, died.



Armagh was burned, as well churches as regleses, excepting only Regles Brighde and Teampull na bh-Fearta.


The churches of Tyrone, from the mountain southwards, were left desolate, in consequence of war and intestine commotion, famine, and distress.


O'Rogan, Lord of Iveagh, died of three nights sickness, shortly after he had been expelled for violating the Canoin-Phatruig.


A peace was concluded by Donough O'Carellan and all the Clandermot with the Kinel-Moen and O'Gormly i.e. Auliffe, the son of Menman, brother-in-law of the aforesaid Donough. This peace was concluded between them in the church of Ardstraw, upon the relics of that church and those of Donaghmore and Urney. On the following day, O'Gormly (Auliffe) repaired to the house of Donough O'Carellan to demand further guarantees, but was killed in the middle of the meeting, in the doorway of the house, in the presence of his own sister, the wife of Donough. Three of his people were also killed along with him; namely, Kenny, son of Art O'Bracan; the son of Gilchreest, son of Cormac Mac Reodan, the foster-brother of Donough O'Carellan.


Ardstraw, Donaghmore, Urney, [...] were desolated by the men of Magh Ithe.



One hundred and five houses were burned in Clonmacnoise, during a predatory incursion.


Clonfert-Brendan, with its churches, were burned.


Lorha, Ardfert-Brendan, Cashel, Tuam, Disert-Kelly, Kilmaine, and Balla, were all burned.


Melaghlin O'Mulvey, Chief of Muintir-Eolais, died.


Ivor O'Casey, Lord of the Saithne, died.


Melaghlin Reagh O'Shaughnessy, Lord of half the territory of Kinelea, was killed by the son of Donough O'Cahill.

Annal M1180


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1180. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred eighty.


Lorcan O'Toole, i.e. Lawrence, Archbishop of Leinster and Legate of Ireland, suffered martyrdom in England.



Macraith O'Deery, Erenagh of Derry died.


Randal O'Carellan was killed by the Kinel-Moen, in defence of St. Columbkille, in the middle of Derry-Columbkille.



Donough O'Carellan was killed by the Kinel-Connell, in revenge of his treacherous conduct towards O'Gormly, and by the miracles of the saints whose guarantee he had violated.


Aindileas O'Doherty died at Derry-Columbkille.


A battle, called the battle of the Conors, was fought between Connor Moinmoy, the son of Roderic O'Conor, and Connor O'Kelly, Lord of Ely-Many, in which were slain Conor O'Kelly, his son Teige, his brother Dermot, Melaghlin, the son of Dermot O'Kelly, and Teige, the son of Teige O'Conor


Maurice O'Heyne, Lord of Hy-Fiacrach-Aidhne, was killed by the men of Munster.


Carroon O'Gilla-Ultain, Chief of Muintir Maoil-t-Sionna, was killed by Hugh Mac Carroon, on Inis Endaimh, in Mor-loch.


Donnell, the son of Teige O'Kennedy, Lord of Ormond, died.



Mulmurry Mac Con-na-mbocht, chief senior of Ireland, died.


Hugh O'Caithniadh, Lord of Erris, was treacherously slain by O'Callaghan at Kilcommon.


Auliffe O'Toghda, Chief of Bredagh, was killed by O'Gaughan, Chief of Moy-heleag.


Murrough O'Laghtna, Chief of Da Bhac, was drowned in Lough Conn.

Annal M1181


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1181. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred eighty-one.


Dungal O'Kaelly, Bishop of Leighlin, died.


Mulmurry O'Dunan, Abbot of Cnoc-na-Seangan Louth, died.


Mulkieran O'Fiavra, successor of Kieran, died.


Flaherty O'Muldory, Lord of Tirconnell, defeated the sons of the King of Connaught on the Saturday before Whitsuntide. Sixteen of the sons of the lords and chieftains of Connaught were slain by the Kinel Connell, as well as many others, both of the nobles and the plebeians. They held the Connacians under subjection for a long time after this battle, which was known by the name of Cath Criche Coirpre i.e. the Battle of the Territory of Carbury.



According to another book, the sons of kings who were slain by Flaherty in the last mentioned battle were the following, viz. Brian and Manus, two sons of Turlough More; and Mulrony; and [...] two sons of Hugh O'Connor. In that battle also fell Hugh, the son of Conor O'Kelly, and Gilchreest, the son of Mageraghty O'Rodiv; Eachmarcach O'Murray; Donough, the son of Brian Luighneach O'Conor; Cucuallachta, the son of Murtough O'Conor; three of the O'Mulrenins; the two Mac Gillaboys; and Hugh, son of Hugh, who was son of Roderic, together with many others of the nobility.


Donnell, the son of Hugh Mac Loughlin, and the Kinel-Owen of Tullaghoge, made an incursion into Ulidia, and defeated the Ulidians, the Hy-Tuirtre, and the Firlee, together with Rory Mac Donslevy, and Cumee O'Flynn.


The men of Moy-Ithe, together with O'Kane Eachmarcach, and the Kinel-Binny of the Valley, mustered an army, and crossed Toome. They plundered all the territories of Firlee and Hy-Tuirtre, and carried off many thousands of cows.


Tomaltagh O'Conor was consecrated successor of St. Patrick. He performed the visitation of the Kinel-Owen, received his dues from them, and left them his blessing.