858 An autumn of famine this year.
858 The plundering of all Leinster by Cerball son of Dúnlang, and he was no better although Máel Sechlainn had hostages from him, so Cerball son of Dúnlang took the hostages of Leinster, including Cairpre son of Dúnlang and Suithemán son of Artúr.
858 A victory by Cerball son of Dúnlang and Imar over the Gall-Gaedil in Ara Tíre.
859 Kl. 855 A.D. Máel Guala, king of Caisel, was captured by the Vikings and died in captivity among them.
859 A great hosting by Cerball son of Dúnlang with a Norwegian army into Mide, and his hostages that Máel Sechlainn had did not ... so that he was plundering Máel Sechlainn's territories for three months, and he did not stop until he had despoiled all the land of its goods. Many of the poets of Ireland made praise-poems for Cerball, and mentioned in them every victory he had won; and Óengus the scholar, successor of MoLua, made the most of all.
Alas, indeed, as we say often: it is a pity for the Irish that they have
p.107the bad habit of fighting among themselves, and that they do not rise all together against the Norwegians.
861 Áed son of Niall, at the instigation of the king of Cianachta, rose against Máel Sechlainn, for it was Máel Sechlainn who had drowned the brother of the king of Cianachta, i.e. Cináed, as we have written before.
859 A royal assembly of the nobles of Ireland at Ráith Áeda, by Máel Sechlainn, king of Ireland, and Fethgna, successor of Patrick, and Suairlech, successor of Finnian, to establish peace and tranquillity for all Ireland. And it was at that assembly that Cerball son of Dúnlang made full submission to Máel Sechlainn in obedience to the successor of Patrick, after Cerball, along with the son of the king of Norway, had been in Irarus for the previous forty nights destroying the territory of Máel Sechlainn.
862 Áed Findliath son of Niall raided Mide, along with Flann son of Conaing, king of Cianachta, and it was the latter who had incited Áed to make that raid. Another reason, moreover, was that Máel Sechlainn had plundered Áed's territory for three years in succession. This Flann was the son of Niall's daughter. Now Áed and this Flann waged this war, because they did not know what would come of it; and for fear of that joint muster Máel Sechlainn made peace with Cerball, as we said before.
855 The plundering of Loch Cenn, after a very great frost, in the course of which 120 men fell.
856 Kl. Excessive frost, so that the lakes of Ireland could be crossed both on foot and on horseback.
856 The oratory of Lusca was burned by the Norwegians.
856 Suibne grandson of Roichlech, abbot of Les Mór, rested.
856 Cormac of Lathrach Briúin died.
856 Sodomna, bishop of Sláine, was killed by the Norwegians.
856 Cathassach, abbot of Ard Macha, died.
860 The men from two fleets of Norsemen came into Cerball son of Dúnlang's territory for plunder. When messengers came to tell that to Cerball, he was drunk. The noblemen of Osraige were saying to him kindly and calmly, to strengthen him: What the Norwegians are doing now, that is, destroying the whole country, is no reason for a man in Osraige to be drunk. But may God protect you all the same, and may you win victory and triumph over your enemies as you often have done, and as you still shall. Shake off your drunkenness now, for drunkenness is the enemy of valor.
When Cerball heard that, his drunkenness left him and he seized his arms. A third of the night had passed at that time. This is how Cerball came out of his chamber: with a huge royal candle before him, and the light of that candle shone far in every direction. Great terror seized the Norwegians, and they fled to the nearby mountains and to the woods. Those who stayed behind out of valor, moreover, were all killed.
When daybreak came the next morning, Cerball attacked all of them with his troops, and he did not give up after they had been slaughtered until they had been routed, and they had scattered in all directions. Cerball himself fought hard in this battle, and the amount he had drunk the night before hampered him greatly, and he vomited much, and that gave him immense strength; and he urged his people loudly and harshly against the Norwegians, and more than half of the army was killed there, and those who escaped fled to their ships. This defeat took place at Achad mic Erclaige. Cerball turned back afterwards with triumph and great spoils.
At that time came Hona and Tomrir Torra, two noble chieftains, and this Hona was a druid; and they were brave, hard men of great renown among their own people; moreover they were of fully noble stock of the great race of Norway. That pair then proceeded with their troops to Luimnech, and from Luimnech to Port Láirge. Nevertheless they relied more on their own strength than on the troops. The Eóganachta and Araid Cliach mustered against them, and they met face to face, and there was hard fighting between them, with the result that they drove the Norwegians into a small place with strong fortification around it. Then the druid, Hona, who was the elder of them, went up onto the rampart with his mouth open, praying to his gods and doing his druidry, and urging his people to worship the gods. One of the Munster men came up to him and gave him a blow across the jaw with a large stone, and knocked all of his teeth out of his head. He turned then to face his own
p.111people, and this is what he said as the hot blood poured out of his mouth: I shall die of this, he said; and he fell backwards and his life went out of him. They were attacked with stones after that, until they could not stand it, but left that place, and went into the nearest marsh, and the other chieftain was killed there; and that was how they slew the two chieftains, Hona of Luimnech and Tomrir Torra. Only two of their noblemen escaped, and a small number with them; and thus the men of Munster won victory and triumph.
860 In this year Máel Sechlainn, king of Ireland, made a great hosting with Cerball son of Dúnlang to Mag Macha. They encamped there. But Máel Sechlainn was afraid that Áed son of Niall would attack his encampment, despite the promise of peace that Áed had given him through the holy man Fethgna, successor of Patrick.
This is what Máel Sechlainn did: he stationed around his tent the Laigin and the Munstermen and the Connachtmen and the Ulaid and the men of Brega, with their weapons naked in their hands. The king himself, i.e. Máel Sechlainn, stayed watchful and wary and sleepless for fear of Áed, although he had given an oath in the presence of the successor of Patrick. Nevertheless Áed came with his forces to attack Máel Sechlainn's encampment, and they did not find it as they had expected it, for Máel Sechlainn's army had all their weapons in their hands, and they rose up together against the people who had come to attack them, so that they routed them after slaughtering them.
Then madness seized a certain band of them, and they came to Máel Sechlainn's tents, thinking that they were those of their own people. They were there until they were all killedand it was on account of the false oath they had taken that God did that. Máel Sechlainn returned home after that victory. Moreover, Amlaib was along with Áed in this defeat.
861 The Oenach Raigne was held by Cerball son of Dúnlang.