1539 First of January, the age of the lord one thousand five hundred and thirty-nine.
O Briain, Conchobar son of Toirrdelbach son of Tadc, died this year after having been king of Thomond for a short time, during which the land was wealthy and prosperous; and Murchad son of Toirrdelbach son of Tadc was made king in his stead, as by his actions and merit up till then he had deserved.
O Domnaill, that is Magnus, made an expedition into Lower Connacht between Christmas and St. Bridget's day, exacting tributes and hostages.
O Neill, that is Conn, was in Donegal for Easter this year and O Domnaill made a costly and splendid entertainment the while, as was fitting. O Domnaill and O Neill then entered into the firmest and strongest covenants with each other.
. Mag Uidir's son, Cormac son of Cu Chonnacht son of Cu Chonnacht son of Brian, a noble prince, magnificent and hospitable, was guilefully killed by his brother's followers, in the presence of that brother, et cetera.
O Neill and O Domnaill, by mutual permission and encouragement, made a hosting into Meath, devastating and burning the country as far as Tara; and never in later times had the Gaels assembled against the Galls an army which destroyed more of the wealth of Meath than this army. Immense were the booties of gold, silver, copper, iron and other valuables of all kinds. They completely plundered Ardee of its treasure and
p.713wealth. And as they were returning from this expedition loaded with pride and haughtiness and spoil, the English Justiciar, Lord Leonard, followed after them, together with a full muster from the large towns and from Meath, both lay and clerical, and all the Englishmen in Ireland, and men from all the fleets which they had lying in the harbours on every hand, for instance, a large fleet in Carlingford Harbour. The army of the Gaels was overtaken by this assembled force of the Justiciar's in Oriel, at Belahoe to wit, and they were not able to array themselves in order properly, nor did they succeed in following the advice of their leaders as to defence and resistance, but fled in disorder, leaving much of their own spoils and of those captured from the Galls in the possession of the army of Englishmen. Yet though they fled in such disorder they lost no men of great distinction, Maelmuire Mergech son of Eoin Ruad Mac Suibne being the most important person lost by Cenel Conaill there.
Mag Aengusa, that is Muirchertach, was captured by some men of Oriel, having become separated from his followers on this expedition and being left with but a few men. He was kept secretly in captivity for a time, and then treachery was done on him at the suggestion of some of his own race, that is to say, a reward was accepted for putting him to death.
Niall Oc O Baigill was killed by Conchobar the son of O Baigill.