868 Connmac, abbot of Cluain Moccu Nóis died.
867 A defeat of the fleet of Áth Cliath by the son of Gáethine, on which occasion Odolb Micle fell.
867 Dúbartach of Bérre, a learned scholar, rested.
867 Áeducán son of Fínnachta, master poet of Leth Cuinn, rested.
In this year, the seventh year of Áed's reign, the Laigin challenged Cerball son of Dúnlang to battle. Then Cerball prepared for that fight. Two mounted troops met and joined battle, and many among them were slain. However, when the fighting had hardly begun on either side, there came Sluagadach úa Raithnén, successor of MoLaisse of Lethglenn (a deacon at that time, though he was later a bishop and successor of Ciarán of Saigir afterwards); he came with his wise ... and a sincere peace was made between them.
868 In this year, moreover, Áed Findliath son of Niall, king of Ireland, made a vast hosting to devastate and plunder Cianachta; for the king of
p.133Cianachta, Flann son of Conaing, the son of his own sister, had given great insult to the king of Ireland. Now there was no one in all Ireland with greater honour or kindness than this Flann, and although Áed was not grateful to him at the time when Áed was the High King of Ireland, Flann had served him well when he needed it, that is, when there had been war between him and Máel Sechlainn son of Máel Ruanaid: for it was on that account that Máel Sechlainn had driven Flann out of his territory. However, when Flann son of Conaing gave this insult to the king of Ireland, Land, daughter of the king of Osraige (i.e. Dúnlang)and she was wife to Áed Findliath at that time, having previously been Máel Sechlainn's wife, and it was she who bore Flann Sinna to him, truly the best lad in Ireland in his time, and he was High King of Ireland later; this same Land was mother of the famous Cennétig son of Gáethíneit was then, I say, that this queen was building a church to St. Brigit at Cell Dara, and she had many carpenters in the wood chopping down and shaping trees. This queen had heard the conversation and wishes of the Laigin concerning her husband, Áed Findliath, and concerning her son, Flann son of Máel Sechlainn (and at that time there had never been another youth with his fame and his distinction), and when she found out that the Laigin were mustering with Flann son of Conaing, king of Cianachta, she went to where her husband was, and told that to him, and mightily incited him to gather forces against them.
Consequently, Áed sent his army through Cianachta, and they plundered and burned, and killed people with much slaughter. Flann did not come immediately to attack them, however, for there was a great fleet at the mouth of the Bóand at that time, and he sent to them to request that they come to help him, and they came accordingly, and then the Laigin came to help Flann. They all pursued the King of Ireland, with his booty ahead of him. Áed climbed a height and surveyed the great host that was following him ... he and his advisers said, It is not by the number of warriors that a battle is won, but by the help of God and by the righteousness of a sovereign. Arrogance and excessive size of an army, moreover, are not what God values, but rather humble bearing and firmness of heart. Now these people have a multitude, and they advance arrogantly. All of you assemble around me now, and do not think of flight, for you are far from your own homes, and it will not be friends who will pursue you, and it will not be protection or mercy that you will receive. Do now as your fathers and grandfathers did: endure volleys discharged at you, in the name of the Trinity. When you see me rising, rise, all of you, together against them, as God will guide you. Monday was the day of the week.
Now, this is what Flann son of Conaing on the other side said to his
p.135people: The people yonder are few in number, and we are many, so harden your steps against them.
And he made them into three divisions, he himself in front, and the Laigin next, and the Norwegians last; and he was telling them all, Those people yonder will fall by you, he said, and you will have victory and triumph over them, for they will not think it proper to flee before you, and you are the greater number; for I am not in this battle for any other reason than to seize the kingship of Temair, or to be killed in fighting for it. Those three divisions were indeed most lovely; there were many beautiful multi-colored banners there, and shields of all colors. Then they came in that manner to attack the King of Ireland.
The king of Ireland, however, was preparing for them, and he had six banners, the Lord's cross, and the staff of Jesus. Now when the enemy troops came near Áed, he placed and he arranged around him the king of Ulaid on one side, and the king of Mide on the other side, and he said to them: Do not think of flight, but trust in the Lord who gives victory to the Christians; let your thoughts be not womanish, but manly, and rout your enemies at once so that your fame may last forever. They all replied that they would do so.
The King of Ireland had not finished saying the last of those words when their enemies came near, and first they loosed vast showers of arrows and afterwards showers of spears, and the third shower was of javelins, so that the King rose against them with his followers, and they fought bravely against them. (Unfortunately I do not find in the old book that is broken all of the exploits that everyone performed in this battle of Cell úa n-Daigre, nor the fine words that the King of Ireland spoke throughout to direct his own people; though I have the fact that the King defeated his enemies.)
And then the King said (when his troops had accomplished the defeat): Beloved people, spare the Christians, and attack the idolators, since they are fleeing before you. It was not futile for him to say that, for they did attack them, so that not more than a quarter of them escaped unhurt. All of the Laigin escaped to their own homeland, for they had formed themselves into a firm battle-line, shoulder to shoulder, on the advice of their prudent leader, Máel Ciaráin son of Rónán. Flann son of Conaing fled with his troops, however, and the King's people caught up with him and beheaded him, and brought his head to the King's assembly place. And the King lamented over it then, although everyone was telling him that it was not right to mourn it simply because of the nearness of their kinship, and for other reasons which I cannot get out of the old book, etc.
869 Kl. Niallán, bishop of Sláine, died.
869 Cormac son of Élóthach, abbot of Saigir and scribe, died.
869 Ailill of Clochar, scribe and bishop and abbot of Clochar, died.
869 Dubthach son of Máel Tuile, the most learned in Latin in all Europe, rested in Christ.
869 The martyrdom of Éodus son of Donngal by the heathens in Dísert Diarmata.
869 Dúnlang son of Muiredach, king of Laigin, died.
869 Máel Ciaráin son of Rónán, royal champion of eastern Ireland, died.
869 Amlaib plundered Ard Macha, and burnt it along with its oratories, that is, the great oratory of the son of Andaige. There were a thousand captured or killed, and also much booty.
869 Donnacán son of Cétfaid, king of Uí Ceinnselaig, died.
869 Cian son of Cummascach, king of Uí Bairrchi Tíre, died.
?869 Kl. In this year, the eighth year of the reign of Áed Findliath, the Laigin drove away one of their chieftains, because they hated himthat is, they were jealous of him on account of the victories he had won over the Norwegiansor because they regarded him as an interloper, for he was of the stock of the Ciarraige Luachra; or else they hated him because of his arrogance. Because he could not be at the head of the noblemen of the Laigin, and king of the Laigin, he came with his followers to the King of Ireland, after he had been banished, and on account of his renowned valor the King received him with honor and gave his daughter, Eithne, to him as wife.
So great, moreover, was the power and the strength that he exercised over the Norwegians that they did not dare do any servile work on Sundays. It would be an impressive story to relate all the tributes that they used to pay to him ... It was from envy and jealousy that the Laigin drove him away from themselves, and moreover, because he was of the men of Munster. Afterwards he came with troops to the Laigin, and he
p.139made many raids and devastations and burnings and slayings among them. However, it is among the provisions of the saints that it will not be easy for him who is banished by the Laigin to come back to make war among them again, that it will not be easy for him ... they ignored fairness of men and of combat against him, but hacked at him from all sides with spears and battle-axes and swords, so that they made little pieces of him, and his head was struck off. Then all of his followers were killed. His head was later brought to the Norwegians, and they stuck it on a pole, and took turns shooting at it, and afterwards they threw it into the sea.
870 Kl. Suairlech of Indeidnén, bishop and anchorite and abbot of Cluain Iraird, best doctor of religion in all Ireland, rested.
870 Gérán son of Dicosca, abbot of Saigir, died.
870 Diarmait, abbot of Ferna Mór, rested.