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Annála Connacht (Author: [unknown])

Annal 1536


1536 First of January, the age of the Lord one thousand five hundred and thirty-six years.


This was a pestilential, unhealthy year, wherein there were many diseases, as for instance the plague very widespread, and smallpox, the flux and the lectual sickness in great excess.


A greater calamity than any other suffered in this age: Cormac Oc son of Cormac son of Tadc Mac Carthaig, the very best prince among Galls and Gaels in Leth Mogha, died after winning a victory over the world and the Devil and was buried at Kilcrea.


Mac Davy [Burke] died likewise.



Mac Goisdelb died this year.


Tomas O hUiginn, teacher of the men of Ireland in Poetry, died this year.


O Cellaig [died] this year.


The chief men of Lower Connacht, namely Tadc Oc son of Tadc son of Aed and Tadc son of Cathal Oc O Conchobair, the Clann Donnchada and the sons of O Dubda went against the posterity of Richard Burke at the instigation of Bishop Barrett; The cattle of the country were driven into the Termonn of Errew before their coming, but the Bishop brought them to the army, out of the sanctuary, and they were not given back out of respect to the Saint.


The monastery of Dromahaires was burned in the night, after everyone had gone to sleep, and much damage was done in it.


Feidlim son of Feidlim O Ruairc died in fetters as the prisoner of Brian O Ruairc.


The Coarb of Drumreilly, Cathal son of Seoinin son of Sean O Mailmocheirghe, a man possessed of much livestock and lasting wealth, died this year.


Tadc Oc son of Tadc son of Aed son of Toirrdelbach Carrach was proclaimed O Conchobair. Now this was not the title which was usually given to the man who was lord of the O'Connors in Lower Connacht, but Mac Domnaill Meic Muirchertaig, and Tadc Oc had himself proclaimed under this changed style to ennoble his line and to excel the kings who had preceded him.


This new O Conchobair and the son of Cathal Oc O Conchobair went on a raiding expedition into Clann Goisdelb. They did not seize on much prey, but they encircled Kilcolman, the residence of the sons of Rughraidhe Mac Goisdelb, and he came out of the place and delivered himself into the custody of O Conchobair, bringing an engraved (?) mailcoat (?) which he


possessed, the mailcoat of Mac Feorais, and O Conchobair took iim to Sligo as a hostage for the payment of his full ransom.


There was a long-protracted war between O Domnaill and he nobles of Lower Connacht, and Brian O Ruairc alone was got assisting either side. O Domnaill brought together an immense expeditionary force to one place, including Mag Uidir, O Neill's son, namely Niall Oc son of Art, and Aed son of Maelmorda O Raigillig with the levies of O Raigillig. And all O Domnaill's sons except Magnus, who was at variance with his father, came to join the forces of O Domnaill, and the Clann Suibne and O Baigill came likewise. This well-sped, well-liking host moved out from Ballyshannon towards the end of the day and rested in camp between the Duff and the Drowes; and after they had eaten their meal they posted men to keep watch and ward over the army, for fear the camp might be attacked by the O'Connors, who were assembled to oppose them at Sligo and promising to fight O Domnaill.


Now the man who went on guard over the army was O Baigi11, who thought he would find some of his enemies and rivals of Lower Connacht coming to attack O Domnaill's camp. The followers of Aed Buide O Domnaill also went on guard, and in the early morning twilight they came across O Baigill. These followers of O Domnaill's son met and engaged O Baigill and his cavalry, taking them to be a body of Lower Connacht men. And O Baigill did not feel the onset of his foes (for he was convinced that it was they who were attacking him) to be a ground for fear or flight, but he charged against them eagerly and swiftly, not waiting to be spared, and going unguardedly into the midst of them was most unfortunately slain by his own good friends. And the death of this Niall O Baigill is a very great loss to the poor, the destitute, the weak and the ollavs.


This disaster did not hinder O Domnaill's march or turn him from his purpose, but when daylight came he advanced to Finnir, where he waited and rested till sunrise next day. Cathal Oc's cavalry, which was composed of the Muinter Airt, went from Sligo to Bradhullian, where they found some of the cavalry of the [invading] army, and the two parties went on skirmishing


together as far as the Doonierin Road. One of the O Hart horsemen was killed in this encounter and they separated after that.


O Domnaill remained in his own camp that night. Next day he rose early and went to Fersad Randa in Liagain to cross over into Cuil Irra. O Conchobair was with his muster in Sligo, making ready his followers to go to attack O Domnaill at Fersad Ranna in Liagain (where Liagan, a Fomorian hero, was slain by Lugh Lamfada as the Fomorians were marching to the battle of Mag Tuired, in their attempt to levy the tribute whereto the Irish had been long subjected; so that it is from him this Fersad is named). As long as the tide was high in the Fersad the two armies were estimating each other's strength; and O Conchobair, not having as many men as O Domnaill and seeing that O Domnaill had taken his dispositions and trained his cannon on the Fersad in readiness for the moment of its becoming passable, decided not to engage him there. On seeing the Fersad unguarded O Domnaill crossed over, and a party of O Conchobair's followers went to seek a skirmish with his men. Not doubtfully (?) was that request responded to, for they attacked each other boldly, incautiously, courageously; and a great loss was suffered by O Conchobair's people that day, Maelsechlainn son of Tadc son of Ruaidri Mac Donnchada being killed by a gun-shot, while another noble horseman, of O Domnaill's side, was killed by the cast of a javelin, namely Semus Ballach son of Niall son of Sean. They separated after that.


And O Domnaill entered the territory of the descendants of Brian [Luignech] O Conchobair and was there for three nights, destroying corn and burning towns and bogs, while O Conchobair was encamped at Ballindrehid. O Domnaill crossed the Strands westwards [and went] into Tireragh, where he destroyed much property of every kind, for the whole country was at his mercy except a few of its castles, and [his followers] seized much of the cattle of the district about the Ox Mountains. At the instigation of the posterity of Richard Burke they crossed to the west of the Moy, to get some of the cattle of O Dubda's sons, and they captured the daughter of Walter Burke, the wife of Eogan O Dubda, as well as her cattle. So great were the spoils and preys taken by O Domnaill that an ox, or two oxen, would be sold for a groat in the camp.



Mac Diarmata, the sons of Tadc Mac Diarmata and the sons of Mac Davy [Burke] came to the help of Lower Connacht against O Domnaill, O Domnaill marched back, after accomplishing the purpose of his journey into that country just as he pleased; and those nobles of Lower Connacht had made ready to attack him on his return march; yet they performed nothing but some feeble skirmishing, for O Domnaill made no delay between leaving Tireragh and reaching Drumcliff and had his army in battle order all the time. In this skirmishing a horseman of the followers of Cathal Oc's son was killed as the [retiring] army was crossing Fersad Randa an Liagain, namely Aed Ballach son of Brian son of Aed, and Mac Diarmata's son, Aed son of Eogan son of Tadc, was severely wounded. O Domnaill returned home, having obtained no submission or honour from the nobles of Lower Connacht this time.


Conchobar Carrach son of Feidlim O Dochartaig was treacherously killed by the sons of Aed Gruamda O Dochartaig.


Donnchad son of Tadc son of Ruaidri was proclaimed Mac Donnchada while Mac Donnchada himself, Eogan son of Donnchad son of Murchad, was still alive, though near the end of his days and blind. Eogan's sons made war on [the new] Mac Donnchada for the title, but little notable damage was done on either side.


Gilla Dub son of Aed son of Ruaidri O Conchobair died this year.


An expedition was made by O Conchobair of Sligo, O Ruairc, and the son of Cathal Oc O Conchobair, at the request of Mac Diarmata and the sons of Tadc Mac Diarmata, against Toirrdelbach Ruad son of Tadc Buide. They devastated the church and lay properties of the Cloonties and thence proceeded into the Tuatha, where the Muinter Ainlidhe gave them hostages and [so] were not destroyed by them. After this they went among the Ui Maine and destroyed all who were the friends of O Conchobair, except such as O Ruairc protected (for O Ruairc had not gone on that expedition to commit devastation, but to see if he could make peace between Mac Diarmata and his kinsmen and O Conchobair Ruad). This army took Turrock Castle and demolished it; and Donnchad son of Emann O Cellaig came to them as a hostage, for fear of his own territory being devastated. The army turned back, having accomplished the purpose of their expedition just as they wished, and those hostages were taken to Sligo, to wit the son of O hAinlidhe and


the son of O Cellaig, and they carried with them the ornamented door of Turrock [castle] to Sligo.


The English Justiciar made another expedition this year, into Munster. He took Carrigogunnell Castle and broke Murchad O Briain's bridge over the Shannon; and, if it be true, O Briain's son Donnchad had a hand in these doings.


Brian son of Eogan son of Tigernan was proclaimed O Ruairc.


Castlecarr was taken and razed by O Ruairc this year.


Macwilliam of Clanrickard, that is John son of Richard son of Edmund, died and there was a great war in Clanrickard for the lordship. Two Macwilliams were proclaimed in the land, Richard the Lame and Ulick son of Rickard Og, Ulick na gCenn siding with Richard the Lame.


Donnchad Dub son of Conchobar son of Ruaidri Buide [Mac Diarmata], a rich man keeping an open guest-house, died with Unction and Penance.


Mag Flannchaid, that is Feradach son of Uilliam son of Tadc, chieftain of Dartry and a charitable, humane man to the men of every art, died of the smallpox.


O Raigillig, to wit Fergal son of Sean son of Cathal, king of the Conmaicne and the Muinter Mailmorda, a man of hospitality and great generosity, died after Communion and Sacrifice.


Domnall son of Donnchad O Cellaig, a good captain, Tanist of the Ui Maine from Caras to the Grian, and his brother's son, that is Eicnechan son of Maelsechlainn son of Donnchad O Cellaig, were treacherously killed, together with Maelsechlainn son of Uilliam son of Maelsechlainn O Cellaig of the Fews of Athlone, at the bidding of the sons of Tadc son of Donnchad O Cellaig, i.e. the sons of Domnall's own brother.


The sons of Macwilliam of Clanrickard, namely John Duff and Raymond Roe, sons of Richard son of Ulick, were killed by the sons of another Macwilliam, i.e. of Rickard Og. They were overtaken by a party in pursuit (?) after they had gathered and massed together the preys of the country.



Mac Goisdelb, Sean son of Gilla Dub, a munificent, humane man and a good captain, was killed by some of his own kinsmen this year.


O Conchobair Failgi, Brian son of Cathair son of Conn son of Calbach, was driven out of his land by the English Justiciar, Lord Leonard [Grey], who demolished all his castles and killed many of his followers in them. These ill deeds, moreover, were brought to pass through the jealous machinations of his brother Cathal Ruad.