Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Mac Carthaigh's Book (Author: [unknown])

Annal MCB1160




A.D. 1160. A hosting by Muircheartach son of Niall Ó Lochlainn with [the men of] the north of Ireland, the men of Midhe, the Leinstermen, and the Galls of Dublin; and they divided all Bréifne and Connacht, and Ruaidhrí son of Toirdhealbhach Ó Conchobhair, king of Connacht, submitted to Muircheartach son of Niall Ó Lochlainn.

Annal MCB1163




A.D. 1163. Donnchadh son of Donnchadh son of Cithach Mac Carthaigh, candle of generosity and valour of Clann Charthaigh, was treacherously killed by Diarmaid son of Cormac Muighe Thamhnach after excelling one another(?) ... Mo Chuda as well as all the other relics between them.


War broke out between Somhairle Mac Giolla Adhamhnáin, king of the Hebrides ... of Scotland with a great fleet came from Dublin.


A foray by Toirdhealbhach Ó Briain against Diarmaid son of Cormac [Mac Carthaigh] through Druim Fínghin, and he carried off many cows.

Annal MCB1164




A.D. 1164. Muircheartach son of Toirdhealbhach son of Diarmaid Ó Briain joined with Thomond against his own father, and they banished him to the house of Diarmaid son of Cormac [Mac Carthaigh] at Lismore. He gave hostages and military service to Diarmaid son of Cormac for assisting him against Muircheartach, his son, and Ruaidhrí son of Toirdhealbhach Ó Conchobhair, king of Connacht.



A hosting by Muircheartach son of Toirdhealbhach Ó Briain and by Ruaidhrí Ó Conchobhair in pursuit of his father to banish him from the son of Cormac [Mac Carthaigh]. Giolla Ailbhe Ó Deadhaidh was killed by them, and they turned back without banishing Toirdhealbhach or making peace with the son of Cormac.


A hosting by Muircheartach son of Niall Ó Lochlainn with the men of Fearnmhagh, the Cinéal Conaill, and the [Cinéal] Eóghain into Ulaidh. They destroyed the monastery of the monks of Newry, and plundered Sabhall Pádraig in Rinn Móin, Downpatrick, Aointreabh, Baile Cluig Comhghaill, all Ulaidh, and almost all Dál n-Araidhe, and they banished Domhnall son of Cú Uladh [Mac Duinn Shléibhe] from the kingship of Ulaidh.


A hosting by Ruaidhrí son of Toirdhealbhach Ó Conchobhair and Tighearnán Ó Ruairc in ... and they plundered the people of Inis Pádraig, and the nuns, and they burned a large part of it.

Annal MCB1165(1166)




A.D. 1165. Armagh, together with its three churches, was burned, except St. Paul's church, and from Dair Colaim Cille to Craobh Brighde.


Muircheartach son of Niall Ó Lochlainn, king of Oileach, captured Eochaidh son of Cú Uladh Mac Duinn Shléibhe, king of Ulaidh, his own gossip, at Camus Comhghaill, in his Easter house, after they had been at the same guest-table up to that, and he carried him off to Inis Aonaigh and blinded him there, in violation of the protection of Patrick's coarb, the Bachall Íosa, Clog an Udhachta, Soisgéala Mártain, Míosach Cairnigh, the three shrines in Teampall na Sgrín, together with the relics of the north of Ireland, and in violation of the protection of Donnchadh son of Cú Chaisil Ó Cearbhaill, king of Oirghialla, together with the nobles of the north of Ireland, including


Cinéal Conaill and Cinéal Eóghain, laymen and clergy. An account reached Ó Cearbhaill of this violation of his protection and of the blinding of his foster-son. He made peace with Ruaidhrí Ó Conchobhair, king of Connacht, and Tighearnán Ó Ruairc, and taking with him the Oirghialla south of Sliabh Beatha, the Conmhaicne, and the Uí Bhriúin, he went into Tír Eóghain. Muircheartach son of Niall [Ó Lochlainn] was at Teallach Óg, and he came to Fiodh Ó nEachach to meet Ó Cearbhaill, and they fought a battle there in which Cinéal Eóghain were defeated, and Muircheartach son of Niall Ó Lochlainn, king of Oileach, was killed and his head cut off for the [outraged] honour of Jesus, Patrick, and Ó Cearbbaill. Ó Cearbhaill went from there to Magh nImchláir, and Aodh Ó Néill proclaimed his kingship of Cinéal Eóghain.


At that time Diarmaid Mac Murchadha, king of Leinster, carried off by force Derborguill, daughter of Murchadh Mac Floinn, wife of Tighearnán Ó Ruairc, king of Bréifne and Midhe according to some books. When Tighearnán heard of this, he sent word to Ruaidhrí son of Toirdhealbhach [Ó Conchobhair], king of Connacht, and setting out together, with the Galls of Dublin, the men of Midhe, and the Uí Fhaoláin, they burned Fearna Mhór Maodhóg with all its churches, and brought away hostages from Mac Murchadha.


Another hosting by Ruaidhrí Ó Conchobhair with the same people to Fearna, in which he demolished Mac Murchadha's stone house, and they banished himself eastwards oversea to the king of England [who was] in France.


The king of England at that time was King Henry, Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine, and Anjou, and Lord of Wales and Scotland, according to the books of the Galls. On Mac Murchadha's arrival, the king welcomed him and kept him with him for a while, and then allowed him to return to England with letters and treasure. As it was not possible for himself or hit forces to go with Mac Murchadha, he gave permission to everyone who wished to go with Mac Murchadha to Ireland for the purpose of recovering his territory.


Mac Murchadha came to Bristol and made a treaty with Richard FitzGilbert, Earl of Striguil; Áine, daughter of Mac Murchadha, was to be given in marriage to the Earl, and the province of Leinster after Mac Murchadha's death, in consideration of his coming to Ireland to effect the conquest for Mac Murchadha in the ensuing summer.



Mac Murchadha left Bristol and went to the north of Wales. The king of Wales at this time was Rhys ap Gruffudd. Mac Murchadha came to him, and complained of his own case and of how he was exiled, and requested help of him. The king granted him that, and treated him well.

Annal MCB1166




A.D. 1166. A hosting of Ireland by Ruaidhrí son of Toirdhealbhach Ó Conchobhair to Machaire Arda Macha, from there to Bealach Gréine, to Teach Damhnatan, through An Fotair over Sliabh Beatha, in Magh Leamhna, and to Fearnach na Meabhla ... The nobles of the north came to meet him, and gave him four hostages: two from north of the Mountain and two from south of the Mountain, so that Ruaidhrí was then named King of Ireland.

Annal MCB1167




A.D. 1167. Mac Murchadha came to an agreement with the king of Wales concerning the help he had promised to send with him to Ireland. The king aided him by giving him Robert FitzStephen, whom he had in prison for three years, and by affirming to Mac Murchadha that he would come to Ireland with him in consideration of his release, together with as much of a following as he could get. Mac Murchadha crossed the sea from there to Fearna, and was in hiding there throughout the Spring.


Toirdhealbhach son of Diarmaid Ó Briain, king of almost all Ireland, died.


Muircheartach Dúin na Sgiath, son of that Toirdhealbhach, was killed and burned by Conchobhar son of the son of Conchobhar Ó Briain, i.e. Slapar Salach. This Conchobhar, Slapar Salach, was killed by Maol Seachlainn Ó Faoláin and his son three days after that.


Éanna son of Diarmaid Mac Murchadha was blinded by Domhnall Mac Giolla. Phádraig, king of Osraighe.


Donnchadh son of Cú Chaisil Ó Cearbhaill, high-king of Oirghialla, who obtained the kingship of Midhe as far as Clochán na hImrime, and the kingship of Ulaidh, and to whom was


offered many times the kingship of Cinéal Eóghain, chief ornament of the north of Ireland, and even of all Ireland, for appearance, wisdom, bravery, friendship, brotherliness, vigour, kingship, power, for bestowing treasure, food, bounty, and reward to laymen and clergy, for overwhelming all evil and exalting all goodness, for protecting bells, croziers, and the monasteries of canons and monks, and like unto Solomon for peacefulness in his own native territory and towards every territory around, died after repentance, having bequeathed much gold, silver, and stock, and having partaken of the Body of Christ.


Robert FitzStephen came to Ireland, as he had promised Mac Murchadha, with thirty knights, three score esquires, and three hundred archers. They made port at Banabh, and leaving their ships, encamped at the harbour until Mac Murchadha arrived with five hundred supporters. The principal knights who came there with Robert FitzStephen were, Maurice FitzGerald, Robert de Barry, Meiler FitzHenry, and Hervey de Montmorency: it was this Hervey who endowed the monastery of Dúin Bróith. They confirmed their agreement, and unfurling their banners they proceeded with one accord to attack Wexford, and captured it. After its capture, Mac Murchadha, as he had promised, handed it over to Robert FitzStephen and Maurice FitzGerald, together with the county to the east and the west of it. He went from thence to Osraighe, where he inflicted slaughter and took hostages from Mac Giolla Phádraig as an earnest of submission to him.


An account of these events reached Ruaidhrí Ó Conchobhair, who was titled King of Ireland at that time. He assembled those of the forces of Ireland who were his lieges, and went to Fearna. Mac Murchadha was in the fastnesses of a wood near Fearna, and they made peace: Diarmaid Mac Murchadha was to receive Ó Conchobhair's daughter as wife, and Mac Murchadha was to send back the knights, and not to bring any more foreigners to Ireland, nor to support them there. He gave up his own halidoms and his son to Ó Conchobhair in token of his fulfilment of that agreement.


A short time after this, Mac Murchadha sent letters to England for Richard, Earl of Striguil. The Earl sent Raymond le Gros FitzGerald with ten knights and seventy archers to assist Mac Murchadha and the knights, for he was a son of the paternal uncle of Robert FitzStephen and Maurice FitzGerald, according to the books of the Galls.



Raymond landed, four miles east of Waterford, and when Maol Seachlainn Ó Faoláin and the people of Waterford learned of his arrival, they set out, three thousand strong, to attack Raymond in the fortress in which he was. Raymond struck the first man of them who crossed the moat on the head with his sword, and split his head in two. When the crowd nearest saw this, they at once fled, towards their people, and when the rearguard saw the van fleeing towards them, they too fled, and the English pursued them and inflicted slaughter on them by drowning and by killing.


Domhnall Mór Ó Briain son of Toirdhealbhach son of Diarmaid son of Toirdhealbhach son of Tadhg son of Brian Bóramha took the kingship of Thomond, and Brian son of Toirdhealbhach Ó Briain was blinded by him.

Annal MCB1169(1170)




A.D. 1169. Thomas of Canterbury, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of all England, was killed within the church of Canterbury by the retainers of Henry, son of the Empress, king of England.


Richard, Earl of Striguil, came to Ireland with two hundred knights and a thousand archers to the assistance of Mac Murchadha on St. Bartholomew's Day. Mac Murchadha came with his knights to meet them, and gave his married daughter, Áine, to the Earl, in consideration of his assisting him to conquer Ireland. On the following day they proceeded to Waterford and took it.


When Diarmaid son of Mac Carthaigh heard of this, he went with all the Munstermen he could get to Waterford to meet them. They fought a battle there, and Cathal son of Amhlaoibh Mór Ó Donnchadha, Raghnall Ó Ríoghbhardáin, and the son of Íomhar Ó Cathail were killed, and there was slaughter of the English on the other side.


Mac Murchadha and the Earl went with their knights to Dublin, and they drove out all the Norse, the merchants, and the inhabitants who were there, killed or drowned many women and men and youths, and carried off much gold and silver and apparel. The English Earl left the care of these, as well as of the town, in the hands of Diarmaid Mac Murchadha,


to avenge the wicked slaying of his father by the people of Dublin before that, when a dead dog was buried with his body in the ground as a mark of hatred and contempt.


Mac Murchadha with his Galls and Gaels plundered the most of Midhe and Cluain Ioraird, and set Ceanannas and Bréifne on fire.

Annal MCB1171




A.D. 1171. Diarmaid Mac Murchadha, king of Leinster, died at Fearna.


Iohannes Orcach and [Haskulf son of Raghnall son of] Thorkil, two officials of Dublin, came to Ireland with three score shiploads of Norsemen to avenge their reverse and their expulsion from Dublin. The Norse and the English fought a battle around Dublin, in which the two one-time officials of Dublin were killed, with slaughter of the Norse fleet.


Maghnus son of Cú Uladh son of Conchobhar [Mac Duinn Shléibhe] king of Ulaidh, was killed by his own brother, Donn Sleibhe.


A hosting by Tighearnán Ó Ruairc with the forces of Uí Bhriúin, Domhnall son of Maol Seachlainn Crosaoh [Ó Maoil Sheachlainn with the men of] Oirthear Midhe, and Murchadh Ó Cearbhaill with the Oirghialla and Uí Mheith, to drive the knights from Dublin. The English went to Ceall Maighneann, to meet the Irish, and they fought a battle, in which the Galls were defeated, and the Gaels pursued beyond the town, eastwards and southwards, all those who did not go into the town with the knights. Ó Ruairc remained on the green of the town with a small force of horse, and when the knights saw him, they sallied forth from the town against him, killing Aodh, son of Tigheaman Ó Ruairc; and Ó Ruairc was defeated. When the Irish saw Ó Ruairc fleeing, they themselves fled, and the knights pursued them, killing many of them. So far the rout of An Luaithreadh.

Annal MCB1172




A.D. 1172. Henry son of the Empress, King of England, Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine, and Anjou, came to Ireland with five hundred knights and numerous cavalry and infantry, and entered Waterford harbour on the feast of St. Luke the Apostle.



The Pope at that time was Alexander III, the Emperor was Frederick [Barbarossa], and Louis [VII] was King of France: Ruaidhrí son of Toirdhealbhach son of Ruaidhrí Ó Conchobhair was over Ireland. Aodh Ó Néill over Cinéal Eóghain and the whole province. Donn Sléibhe son of Cú Uladh son of Conchobhar [Mac Duinn Shléibhe] over the Ulaidh. Domhnall Mór son of Toirdhealbhach son of Diarmaid son of Toirdhealbhach son of Tadhg son of Brian Bóramha over Thomond and one of the two provinces of Munster. Diarmaid son of Cormac son of Muireadheach Mac Carthaigh over the other province. Donnchadh son of Cian son of Donnchadh Donn son of Cú Mara son of Brodchú son of Mathghamhain son of Cian son of Maol Muaidh [Ó Mathghamhna] over Uí Eachach. Lochlainn Ó Mic Thíre over Uí Mac Caille. Maol Seachlainn Ó Faoláin over Déise. Domhnall Ó Giolla Phádraig over Osraighe. Domhnall Caomhánach son of Mac Murchadha over Leinster. Murchadh son of Donnchadh son of Cú Chaisil Ó Cearbhaill over Oirghialla and the men of Fearnmhagh. Dornhnall son of Maol Seachlainn Crosach [Ó Maoil Sheachlainn] over Oirthear Midhe. Tighearnán Ó Ruairc over Gairbhthrian Connacht, and he was called King of Midhe.


The King of England was not long in Waterford when Diarmaid Mór [Mac Carthaigh] came into his house and gave hostages and made submission to him. Shortly after that, Domhnall Mór Ó Briain and Donnchadh son of Cian Ó Mathghamhna went to meet him on the banks of the Suir, and made submission to him.


The King of England went from thence to Dublin, and the Leinstermen and Domhnall Caomhanach submitted to him.


Tighearnán Ó Ruairc, Murchadh son of Donnchadh Ó Cearbhaill, and Donn Sléibhe [Mac Duinn Shléibhe], king of Ulaidh, came into the house of the King at Dublin and made submission to him.

Annal MCB1173




A.D. 1173. The King of England departed from Ireland, leaving Hugo de Lacy as constable in his place with great power.


Numerous churches were destroyed by the English after the King had left.



Tighearnán Ó Ruairc was killed by the constable, Hugo de Lacy, and Clann Ghearailt on Cnoc Í Ruairc, when he had come to meet them. Seven knights of them waited on their horses, and when they found Ó Ruairc coming to where the constable was, they pierced him with spears, cut off his head, and hung his body, feet upwards, at the north side of Ceall na Truan.


Domhnall son of Giolla na Naomh Ó Fearghail was killed by the same Englishmen.


Dorm Sléibhe son of Cú Uladh son of Conchobhar Mac Duinn Shléibhe, king of Ulaidh, was killed by Uí Eachach, Uí Bhreasail, and Uí Niallain, with great slaughter of the Ulaidh, to avenge the killing of Mac Giolla Easpuig in violation of the relics and clergy of the north of Ireland a fortnight before that.


Ruaidhrí son of Cú Uladh [Mac Duinn Shléibhe] took the kingship of Ulaidh, and Niall son of Cú Uladh, his own brother, was blinded by him.


Giolla Aodha, bishop of Cork, died.