Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Fragmentary Annals of Ireland (Author: [unknown])



Annal FA 1

FA 1

573 Kl. The battle of Femen, in which Colmán Bec son of Diarmait was defeated, but he himself escaped.

Annal FA 2

FA 2

572 Brénaind of Birra rested in Christ, in the 180th year of his age.

KKKKKKK. I omit these seven years.

Annal FA 3

FA 3

582 Kl. The battle of Manu, in which Áedán son of Gabrán was victor.

Annal FA 4

FA 4

583 Kl. The slaying of Feradach Finn son of Dui, king of Osraige. Now he was one of the three kings who went to heaven during the lifetime of Colum Cille, and this is the reason, as Colum Cille told Áed son of Ainmere: A great illness seized Feradach. Clann Connla came to storm his house, because Feradach son of Dui was of the Corcu Laígde (for seven kings of the Corcu Laígde ruled Osraige, and seven kings of the Osraige took the kingship of Corcu Laígde). Now, he had waged war against Clann Connla. And he was in his sleeping-place then, and his riches were all there with him, as it was customary for the kings to have cubicles of yew about them, that is, a partitioned place, for their bars and cases of silver and their cups and goblets to give service at night, and their brandub and fidchell games and their bronze hurley-sticks to use by day. Feradach had many treasures, and he loved them greatly; but he had acquired them by evil means, for he would not hear of much or little gold or silver, in the possession of either powerful or wretched in Osraige, without confiscating it to take away that wealth, to ornament those treasures. Feradach's sons came to his bed then to take the treasures away with them. ‘What do you want, sons?’ asked Feradach. ‘To take the treasures away with us,’ answered the youths. ‘You shall not take them,’ said Feradach, ‘for they were ill-gotten; I tormented many in gathering them, and I consent to being tormented myself by my enemies on their account.’

His sons left him, and he began fervent penance. Then Clann Connla came, and they killed Feradach, and took the treasures; and Feradach went to heaven.

I omit 32 years.


Annal FA 5

FA 5

595 Kl. (And this is the twenty-fourth of the thirty-two years omitted at the deest.) The death of Colum Cille in the seventy-sixth year of his age; of which Fedelm sang:

    1. Alas, truly,
      for the salmon who was caught in the net;
      the speckled salmon that was in the Bóand,
      the Bóand that generates the wall of beasts;
      • the wall of beasts that surrounds Iasconius,
        Iasconius who hides his fins;
        alas for the death of the king's son;
        alas for the destruction of Eithne's son.

Annal FA 6

FA 6

603 Kl. Anno domini 610. Fintan moccu Echdach, abbot of Cluain Eidnech, chief of the monks of Europe, died on a Thursday; Whereof Colmán son of Fergus sang:

    1. On Thursday Fintan was born
      and was brought forth on earth;
      and on Thursday he died
      on my fair thighs.

Annal FA 7

FA 7

605 KK. The beginning of the reign of Áed Uaridnach.

Annal FA 8

FA 8

605 Kl. Áed Alláin or Uaridnach began to reign for eight years, i.e. Áed son of Domnall son of Muirchertach son of Muiredach son of Eógan.

Annal FA 9

FA 9

Once, when he Áed, not yet king, came through Othan Muru, he washed his hands in the river that goes through the middle of the town.


(Othna is the name of the river, and from it the town—i.e., Othna—is named.) He took a handful of water to put on his face. One of his men stopped him: ‘O king,’ he said, ‘do not put that water on your face.’ ‘Why?’ asked the king. ‘I am ashamed to say,’ said he. ‘What shame do you have at telling the truth?’ asked the king. ‘This is it,’ he replied; ‘the clergy's privy is over that water.’ ‘Is it there,’ asked the king, ‘that the cleric himself goes to defecate?’ ‘It is indeed,’ said the youth. ‘Not only,’ said the king, ‘shall I put it upon my face, but I shall also put it in my mouth, and I shall drink it (drinking three mouthfuls of it), for the water into which his faeces go is a sacrament to me.’

That was told to Muru, and he thanked God that Aed Alláin had such faith. Then he summoned Áed Alláin to him (Áed Uaridnach was another of his names), and Muru said to him: ‘Dear son,’ he said, ‘as reward for that reverence you have given the church, I promise, in God's witness, that you will take the kingship of Ireland shortly, and that you will gain victory and the overthrow of your enemies, and that you will not be taken by sudden death, and you will receive the Body of the Lord from my hand, and I shall pray to the Lord on your behalf that it may be old age that will take you from the world.’

It was not long afterwards that Áed Alláin took the kingship of Ireland, and he granted fertile lands to Muru of Othan. Moreover, Áed Alláin won many victories over the Laigin, and over his other enemies. He was eight years in the kingship of Ireland, and then mortal illness seized Áed Alláin and he sent for Muru. Muru came, and the king said to him, ‘Cleric,’ he said, ‘you have deceived me, for I have neglected my penance, because I expected, through your word, that I would be aged in my lifetime; and it seems to me that death is near me.’ ‘True,’ said the cleric, ‘death is near you, and your life has been cut short, and you have incurred the Lord's anger; so explain all that you have done to offend the Lord.’ ‘I shall relate,’ said the king, ‘that which I think likely to have offended the Lord. I attempted,’ said he, ‘to gather the men of Ireland to this mountain to the east, that is, to Carrlóeg, to build it up, and to construct a huge house on it, and I wished that the fire of that house might be seen every evening in Britain and Argyle; and I know that that was great arrogance.’ ‘That was evil,’ said the cleric, ‘but it is not that which has shortened your life.’


‘Moreover,’ I attempted,‘ said the king, to build a bridge at Cluain Iraird, and to build it marvellously, so that my name would endure on it forever.’ He related many similar things. ‘It is none of these things,’ said the cleric, ‘that is cutting short your life.’ ‘I have something else, then,’ said the king; ‘that is, the hatred I have for the Laigin; for this is what I desired: to force all their men to battle, and to slay them all then, and to bring their women and slaves to serve the Uí Néill; and to bring us of northern Ireland into Mide, and the men of Mide into Leinster.’ ‘Alas, alas!’ said the cleric, ‘it is that which has shortened your life, for that tribe which you hate, that is, the Laigin, have saints praying on their behalf in the presence of the Lord; Brigit is greater than I, and her prayers are more powerful than my own. Nevertheless, the Lord is merciful and forbearing; make offerings yourself to Him on account of that malice that was in your heart towards the Laigin, so that you may be in a Kingdom more lasting than the temporal kingdom.’

Then the king was anointed, and he received the Body of the Lord, and he died at once, and went to heaven.

I omit seven years.

Annal FA 10

FA 10

612 Beginning of the reign of Máel Coba.

Annal FA 11

FA 11

612 Kl. Máel Coba son of Aed son of Ainmere reigned three years.

Annal FA 12

FA 12

614 A star was seen in the third hour of the day.

Annal FA 13

FA 13

615 Kl. The slaying of Máel Coba son of Áed by Suibne Menn son of Fíachna.

Annal FA 14

FA 14

615 The death of Diarmait, third abbot of Cluain Iraird.

Annal FA 15

FA 15

615 The beginning of the reign of Suibne Menn.

Annal FA 16

FA 16

615 Kl. Suibne Menn took the kingship of Ireland after Máel Coba for thirteen years, until he was slain by Congal Cáech son of Scandal.


Annal FA 17

FA 17

One day, as Fiachna, the father of that Suibne, was going to inspect his plowing—for he himself was not a king at all—he brought to his mind how each person succeeded another in the kingship of Ireland. Pride and great arrogance came over him, and greed to seize the sovereignty of Ireland, and he came home and told this to his wife, and this is what his wife said to him: ‘Since you have not attempted that before now’, she said, ‘I do not see that it is suitable for a man of your age and antiquity to be fighting at this time for a kingdom. For it is not
’ ‘Be quiet;’ said he, ‘don't get in my way; but have food and drink brought in,’ said he, ‘and let the noblemen be invited out to visit us, and let them be given their fill.’ And he summoned his wife to him then, and he lay with her, and every plan that had been in his mind before he put away from him through the act of procreation, and after that it was his wife who possessed the intentions that he had had, and it was then that this Suibne Menn was conceived in the womb of his mother.

When he rose from the woman, she asked, ‘Shall everyone be invited in?’ ‘No,’ said Fiachna, ‘we will not make ourselves ridiculous—that is, by fighting for the kingship henceforward.’ Now from that it is to be understood that it is from the pre-existing great ambitions of parents that children with great ambitions are born.

Now, one day when this Suibne, as a young man, was in his house with his wife, he said to his wife, ‘I am amazed,’ he said, ‘that so few of the Cenél Eógain have taken the lordship over all, up to this time.’

His wife replied, with a kind of sarcasm, ‘What's wrong with you, that you don't use force, and go before them to fight with everyone, and win frequent victories?’ ‘That's the way it will be,’ he said. Consequently he came out armed the following morning, and he met a warrior of the people of the country, who was armed, and he gave battle to him until the warrior submitted to him at spear-point; and a huge host submitted to him in that manner, and he took the kingship of Ireland.

Annal FA 18

FA 18

628 Kl. Death of Suibne Menn.


Another fragment, extracted by the same person from the same manuscript: beginning from about the year 661.

Annal FA 19

FA 19

662 Kl. Cummíne Fota died in the seventy-second year of his age; whence Colmán úa Clúasaig, tutor of Cummíne, sang:

    1. A dead man south of me, a dead man to the north,
      they were not the darlings of a worthless army;
      relieve, O King of grey heaven,
      the misery you have sent us.
    2. The dead of this year—
      nothing is to be lamented in comparison with them—
      Máel Dúin, Bécc son of Fergus,
      Conaing, Cummíne Fota.
    3. If anyone across the sea were entitled,
      he would attain to the dignity of Gregory,
      if he were from Ireland, there was no one for it
      except Cummíne Fota.
    4. He was not only a bishop, he was a king,
      my Cummíne was son of a lord;
      Ireland's beacon-blaze for wisdom;
      he was lovely, as has been told.
    5. Noble his tribe, noble his form,
      his kindred was widespread;
      descendant of Cairpre and descendant of Corc,
      he was a wise man; he was brilliant; he was famous.

Annal FA 20

FA 20

662 The battle of Ogaman, in which Conaing son of Congal and Ultán son of Ernáine, king of Cianachta, were slain. Blathmac son of Aéd Sláine was defeated by the followers of Diarmait.