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Annála Connacht (Author: [unknown])

Annal 1537


1537 First of January, the age of the Lord one thousand five hundred and thirty-seven years.


The chieftain of Munter Kenny, Tadc son of Aed son of Aed Mac Consnama, a modest famous humane hospitable man, died this year.


O Gadra, Eogan son of Diarmait son of Eogan, lord of Coolavin, died this year.


Macwilliam Burke, Theobald son of Ulick son of Edmund, rested in Christ and after his death a war broke out for his estate.


O Neill, that is, Conn, made an expedition into Trian Congail, devastating and plundering much of the land. His son, being in the rearguard of the army, was taken prisoner at Belfast, after which O Neill returned home. And at this time the lord of Trian Congail, Niall Oc son of Niall son of Conn, died suddenly. O Neill returned into Trian Congail and recovered his son who was in captivity; and there was a war for the lordship of Trian Congail.


O Raigillig's son, Brian son of Fergal, a noble gentleman and a great loss, was killed by the followers of the English Justiciar, they having come plundering into Clanmahon.


The son of Mac Suibne, namely Maelmuire, was killed by the sons of Murchad Mac Suibne this year.


There was war between Aed Buide O Domnaill and Magnus O Domnaill and the sons of O Baigill. The castle of Donegal was occupied by Aed; and this threw the country into confusion. Some of the posterity of Bishop O Gallchobair were killed by O Baigill's sons, such as the son of Toirrdelbach Oc son of Brian, the two sons of Eogan Ballach son of Brian, and others.



The English Justiciar led an expedition into Offaly and demolished the castle of Daingen, the strongest place, for situation and appointments, in Ireland. He slew [many people] and obtained much booty therein; and having all O Conchobair's towns at his mercy, he devastated the country.


O Domnaill [died this year,] that is Aed Dub son of Aed Ruad son of Niall Garb son of Toirrdelbach the Festive, lord of Tir Conaill and Lower Connacht and Fermanagh and Cenel Moain and Inishowen: He had brought under tribute and obligation many districts and territories which were at a greater distance from him than these; and the obedience and respect which he received were no wonder, for his foes were never seen to conquer in any field of battle or encounter, nor did he ever retire one foot before an adversary, small or numerous, from the day on which he received the lordship to the day of his death, that is for two and thirty years; but very often during that time he slaughtered his enemies and conquered his foes, marched through their lands and lordships in their despite, and brought away their cattle and flocks and spoils after a triumphant victory. Nor were the success and happiness that attended him to be wondered at, for he was the biggest and most handsome man of his age; and though great were his body and his courage he had an equal measure of nobility, of bountifulness and of lordly qualities of every kind, such as wisdom and honour, charitableness and humanity, law and governance, repressing of vice and exalting of virtue. Indeed we think it not too much to say that there never came a lord of the posterity of Niall Noigiallach who, while not having all Ireland in his power, yet came nearer to the Kingship of Ireland than did this lord, on account of his power and estate, form and feature, nobility and bounty, the excellence of his rule, his stoutness of heart towards his enemies and manifold acquaintance with the arts. Moreover it was thought and widely believed, according to the prophecies of the Saints and the likely signs that appeared in him and in his time, that he was that Aed Engach whose coming late in time the prophets and seers and great learned Saints of Ireland had promised; and since he was not, I do not think [that Aed] will come till the day of doom and the end of the world. Yet there is no doubt that if the Gaels had not been growing feeble and fickle he would have made a bid for the sovereignty of Ireland, and it is probable he would have succeeded; but since he saw that the Gaels were becoming men of bad faith, trusting no man, unruly and froward, he made an alliance with the King of England, so that he was not oppressed by the might of the Galls


but held sway in Leth Chuind without cavil, after the manner of the men of Ireland. For many a time he made hosting round every territory therein and carried back, unopposed by them, their pledges and hostages to his own land, just as the kings of whom the poets and the Regnal Successions speak took [the like] to Cruachu or Emain or Ailech. Nor was any part of his success a matter for wonder, for he was the son of a married couple, a true and worthy heir to the land, and there were united in him naturally the goodness of his parents and his own goodness and Aed O Domnaill was ‘a vessel twice filled’; in so much that the four elements were never in latter times in Ireland put together to form any person more perfect in the qualities of lordship and all other virtues than was O Domnaill, that is Aed Dub son of Aed Ruad, head-letter and guardian of Cenel Conaill, the like of Conn Cetchathach for making war and raising battle and strife, co-equal of Art Enfher in bounty and fidelity, image of Cairbre in proficiency and understanding of all arts in use among the Gaels, peer of Guaire son of Colman for succouring poets and exiles, veritable worthy kinsman of Brian Boruma mac Ceinneididh both in lineage and in actions, such as the exalting of Orders and churchmen, destroying rebels and lawless men, attacking and conquering his foes; and as God bestowed these great gifts upon him in the world, so may his soul enter into rest in God's Kingdom after quitting this life. It was on the fifth of July and a Thursday he died in the monastery of Donegal, where he had put on the robe of St. Francis by his own free decision and consent and being of sound mind, and departed this life after the Unction and Penance prescribed by the Church. His son Magnus O Domnaill was made king in his stead, as was his right, by permission and advice of the Cenel Conaill and the coarbs of St. Columba.


O Domnaill, that is Magnus, led an army into Lower Connacht in the month of September, destroying much corn, burning the whole district as he passed through it on his return Northwards; Carbury, Tireragh, both [lordships of] Leyney, Corran and Tirerrill. On this expedition he captured the residence of O hEgra Riabach, and on getting O hEgra himself into his power he granted him quarter and took him captive.


Mag Uidir, that is Cu Chonnacht son of Cu Chonnacht son of Brian, lord of Fermanagh, a charitable humane man and the most famous for many years past among the posterity of the Collas for his strong hand, nobility and hospitality, who had


reduced the country from Clones to Cel Uisce to subjection to his rule; and it was a good rule, for it was a long time since there had appeared in his land a lord who gave better law and governance and who more firmly put down robbery and violence and all criminals whatsoever, who settled the country in greater peace and comfort, or in whose time prosperity and wealth increased more—this man was treacherously killed this year on Craghan Island in Loch Erne by the descendants of Tomas Mag Uidir and of Toirrdelbach Mag Uidir. He was buried first at Devenish, under the protection of God and St. Molaise, and after a time his body was taken up by the Friars Minor and carried to Donegal, et reliqua.


Niall son of Aed son of Niall (Mor) son of Conn son of Aed Buide, eligible for the lordship of Trian Congail, one who practised magnificence and hospitality, who seemed likely to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors on account of his renown and his liberality in rewarding poets, exiles, scholars and ollavs, and of his nobility and bounty, was killed by Scots.


O Conchobair Failgi recovered his territory against the will of the English Justiciar and of his own kinsmen, the sons of O Conchobair. He captured some of their followers and seized the supreme power in his own country, as was the right of one in his position.


The Baron of Delvin, Richard son of Christopher son of James, shield and shelter of the Galls against the Gaels, a rich valiant warlike contentious knight, died at his own residence after a victory of Unction and Penance, though many were the perilous affrays he had survived previously.


The son of O Mailsechlainn, Semus son of Murchad, the man of his time most famous for martial feats of all the race of Fiachu son of Niall, was killed by the son of O Conchobair Failgi.


O Raigillig's son, Cathair the Surly son of Sean son of Cathal, was killed by the English in pursuit.


O Dochartaig's son, Niall Caech son of Geralt, was killed on a night-attack by Rugraide son of Feidlim O Dochartaig at Ballymagowan in the Termon of Derry.


O Flannacain of Toorah, that is Gilla Isa, and his son were basely slain by the rest of his kin; and many offences were committed in Fermanagh, by burning and plundering, following on the death of Mag Uidir.



Calbach O Domnaill plundered and burned in Clann Amlaib. He made another raid on O Cathain.