698 Kl. The death of Forannán, abbot of Cell Dara.
698 The battle of Fernmag, in which fell Áed Aired, king of Dál Araide, and Conchobor of Macha son of Máel Dúin, who sang:
- I am Conchobor, marauding
on mighty Loch Echach;
700 Kl. Three shields were seen as if fighting in the sky, from east to west, like tossing waves, on the tranquil night of the Ascension of the Lord. The first was snowy, the second fiery, the third bloody, which it is thought prefigured three evils to follow: for in the same year herds of cattle throughout Ireland were almost destroyed, not only in Ireland, but indeed throughout Europe. In the next year there was a human plague for three consecutive years. Afterwards came the greatest famine, in which men were reduced to unmentionable foods.
699 The battle of Fiannamail son of Ossíne.
698 The death of Muirgius son of Máel Dúin, king of Cenél Cairpri.
?695 Justinianus Augustus was driven out.
698 Kl. Leo reigned for three years.
700 Kl. The repose of Áed, bishop of Sléibte.
700 Fiannamail grandson of Dúnchad, king of Dál Riata, died.
700 In this year enmity arose between Írgalach son of Conaing and Adamnán, for Írgalach had flouted Adamnán by killing his own kinsman, Niall, in spite of Adamnán's protection. This is what Adamnán did: he fasted every night without sleeping, staying in cold water, to shorten Írgalach's life. And this is what that sinner, that is, Írgalach, used to do: he would ask Adamnán, What will you do tonight, cleric? Adamnán did not want to tell him a lie. He would tell him that he would be fasting without sleep in cold water until morning. Írgalach would do the same, to free himself from Adamnán's curse. But all the same, Adamnán deceived him: Adamnán was talking to one of the clerics of his household, saying, You be here tonight instead of me, with my clothes on you, and when Írgalach comes to ask you what you will do tonight, say that you will be feasting and sleeping, so that he will do the same for it was easier for Adamnán that one of his people should lie than he himself.
Then Írgalach came to that cleric, and he thought that it was Adamnán who was there. Írgalach asked him, What will you do tonight, cleric? Feast and sleep, said the cleric.
So Írgalach feasted and slept that night. Adamnán, on the other hand, fasted and kept vigil and stayed in the Bóand till morning. While Írgalach was asleep, he saw Adamnán up to his neck in the water, and he started violently out of his sleep because of that, and he told it to his wife. Now his wife was humble and obedient to the Lord and to Adamnán, because
p.49she was pregnant and was afraid that her child might be harmed through Adamnán's curse, and she used often to beseech Adamnán not to harm or curse her child.
Írgalach rose early the next morning, and Adamnán came to see him. Adamnán said to him: Cursed son, said he, hardest and worst man of God's making, know that shortly you will be separated from your sovereignty, and you will go to Hell.
When Írgalach's wife heard that, she came before Adamnán and lay at his feet, and besought him for God's sake not to curse her child, the infant that was in her womb. Adamnán said, The infant in your womb will be king indeed, but one of his eyes is now broken as a result of the cursing of his father. And that is how it was. The boy was born immediately after that, and he was half blind.
701 Fedelmid son of Máel Cothaid died.
701 Ailill son of Cú cen Máthair, king of Munster, died.
701 The slaying of Niall son of Cernach, as Adamnán had prophesied.
Írgalach son of Conaing killed him.
- Slaughter, terror that bursts a wall,
from which the fire blazes from the head of a king,
by which the company will be strongly attacked (?)
on Monday at Imlech Phích.
702 Kl. Fáeldobur of Clochar died.
702 Tiberius reigned for seven years.
702 In this year Írgalach son of Conaing was killed, i.e. in the seventh year of the reign of Loingsech, on account of Adamnán's curse; and he himself saw in a dream vision on the night before he was killed the manner in which he was slain. Then Írgalach came out onto a rock the day after seeing his vision, and he heard a loud voice, saying, Into the lands near you, it said, and scorch and burn and plunder them. And after that he
p.51saw the hosts and the multitudes plundering the lands, and he went to a hill facing Inis Mac Nesáin. And just at that time a British fleet happened to put into port there, with a great storm behind them. One of their warriors had seen a vision the night before, namely, a herd of pigs had attacked him, and the largest boar there was killed by him with one blow of an arrow; and that came true, for Írgalach was that big boar, and his sinful and cursed army was that herd. Moreover it was by that warrior who had seen the vision that Írgalach was killed.
703 Kl. Colmán son of Findbarr, abbot of Les Mór, died.
703 A great army was led by Loingsech son of Oengus into the territory of the Connachtmen, to destroy and plunder Connacht. Loingsech's poets were satirizing the king of Connacht, Cellach son of Rogallach, and they were saying that it was not fitting for a shaky old king like Cellach to challenge or contend with the King of Ireland, and that if he did, he would be defeated. Nevertheless it did not turn out that way, but just the opposite. For when that Cellach, king of Connacht, saw his land and his territory being destroyed and plundered, he called to him the two Dúnchads, i.e. Dúnchad of Muiresc and the other Dúnchad; and he had decided beforehand that it was they who should take the kingship of Connacht after himself. He had just bathed and put oil and many royal herbs on himself. He placed one of the two men aforesaid (i.e. one of the two Dúnchads) on his right side, and one on his left side, and he arranged the Connachtmen around him for the battle. He himself (Cellach) sprang from his chariot swiftly and far from the chariot, and the cracking of the old man's bones was audible as he leaped out of the chariot. And after that he said, in a loud voice, springing to the nearby battle: Connachtmen, defend and protect your own freedom, for the people who are against you are not nobler or braver than you, and they have not done any better than you up to now. And he was talking to them like that, with his voice quavering and his eyes on fire.
The Connachtmen took heed of that, and that shaky king took the lead against the army of the King of Ireland, and he defeated the King of Ireland, and Loingsech, the King of Ireland, was slain there with a massacre of his people, including his three sons, and the two sons of Colcu, and Dub Díberg son of Dúngal, and Eochu Lemna, and Fergus Forcraid, and Conall Gabra. This battle, the Battle of Corann, was fought on the fourth of the Ides of July. It was on account of these quatrains, moreover, that the battle was fought. Conall Mend sang:
Afterwards Cellach son of Rogallach entered the Church, and he left the two Dúnchads in the kingship. And Cellach died at the end of two years after that.
- I was a night in Corann;
I was cold; I was terrified;
... the good warriors with whom I was
in Corann of the sons of Dúnchad.
- If Loingsech should come from the Banna
with his three thousand fighting men about him,
gray-haired Cellach of Loch Cime
will give hostages, though long his grief.
- Cellach cuts round balls of wool;
blood through spearpoints;
the Badb leaps quickly
with the red-handed king of Loch Cime.
- It was a hurly-burly
the morning that he was at Glass Chuilg;
I slew Loingsech there with a sword,
the High King of Ireland, by my art (?).
703 The battle of Mag Cuilinn between the Ulaid and Britons in Ard Úa Echdach, in which the son of Radgund, enemy of God's Church, fell. The Ulaid were the victors.
695 Bran son of Conall, king of the Laigin, died.