Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The History of Ireland (Author: Geoffrey Keating)

Section 9


Of the first kings who took the sovereignty of Ireland; and of every king after them who assumed, it, according to the order of the periods and of the invasions, down here.

Sláinghe, son of Deala, son of Lóch, took rule of Ireland (for a year, till he died in Dionnriogh, which is called Dumha Sláinghe: and he was the first king of Ireland [ever]; and, moreover he was the first dead among the Fir Bolg.

Rughraidhe, son of Deala, son of Lóch, took the kingdom of Ireland two years till he fell in the Brugh over the Bóinn.

Gann and Geanann took the kingdom of Ireland four years till they died of the plague in Freamhainn Midhe.

Seangann held the kingship five years till he fell by Fiachaidh Ceinnfhionnán.

Fiachaidh Ceinnfhionnán, son of Starn, son of Rughraidhe, son of Deala, son of Lóch, held the kingdom five years, till he fell by Rionnal, son of Geannan, son of Deala, son of Lóch. There were white heads on the men of Ireland during his time: hence he was called Ceinnfhionnán.

Rionnal took the kingdom of Ireland six years, till he fell by Foidhbghein, son of Seangann, son of Deala, son of Lóch.


This Foidhbghein held the kingship four years, until he was slain by Eochaidh, son of Earc, in Magh Muirtheimhne.

Eochaidh, son of Earc, son of Rionnal, son of Geannan, held the kingship ten years. There was no rain nor bad weather during his time, nor yet a year without fruit and increase. It is in his time injustice and lawlessness were put down in Ireland, and approved and elaborated laws were ordained in it. This Eochaidh fell by the three sons of Neimheadh, son of Badhraoi (Ceasarb, Luamh, and Luachra their names), in the battle of Magh Tuireadh. It is this Eochaidh who was king of the Fir Bolg at the coming of the Tuatha Dé Danann into Ireland. It is she who was queen to him, Taillte, daughter of Madhmór, king of Spain, and in Taillte she was buried, so that from her it was named Taillte. Nuadha Airgeadlámh was king over the Tuatha Dé Danann at that time. This battle of Magh Tuireadh was very long being fought between the two kings aforesaid. Howbeit, it was gained at last over Eochaidh and over the Fir Bolg, till Eochaidh was slain, and a hundred thousand of his people cut off from Magh Tuireadh to Trá igh Eothaile. It is in this battle his hand was cut off from Nuadha Airgeadlámh, so that he was seven years being cured, until a hand of silver was put on him, whence it is that he was named Nuadha of the silver hand.

The small number of Fir Bolg who escaped out of this battle departed in flight before the Tuatha Dé Danann, so that Ára, Ilé, Reachra, Inse Gall, and many islands besides, were inhabited by them; and they dwelt there until the time of the provincial kings being in the sovereignty of Ireland, until the Cruithnigh, i.e. Picts, banished them out of those


islands, so that they (i.e. Fir Bolg) came to seek Cairbre Niadh-fir, king of Leinster, (and) obtained land from him under tenure. However, the heaviness of their rent was such that they were not able to endure it. They depart thence to seek Meadhbh and Oilioll so that they gave land to them, whence it is that that is the migration of the sons of Ughmhór. Aonghus son of Ughmhór was prince over them in the east. It is from them are named the lands where they took up residence in Ireland, namely, Loch Cime, from Cime Ceithircheann, Rinn Tamhain in Meadhraidhe, Loch Cútra, Rinn mBeara, Maoilinn, Dún Aonghusa in Ara, Carn Conaill in Crích Aidhne, Magh n-Aghar (i.e. the plain of Aghar) son of Ughmhór the poet, Druim n-Asail, Magh Maoin (i.e. the plain of Maon) son of Ughmhór, Loch Uair (i.e. the lake of Uar) son of Ughmhór: and they occupied fortresses and islands in like manner in Ireland till they were expelled by Cuchulainn, by Conall Cearnach and by the Ulstermen also. It is not recounted ‘raths’ to have been built, lakes to have burst forth, or plains to have been cleared of woods during the dominion of the Fir Bolg. Some antiquaries say that it is from them (come) these three tribes which are in Ireland but not of the Gael, namely, the Gabhraidhe of Suca in Connacht, the Uí Tairsidh in Crích Ua bhFailghe, and the Gaileoin of Leinster. Those are the proceedings of the Fir Bolg, according to the antiquary, the learned Tanuidhe Ua Maoilchonaire, in the duan of which the beginning is this rann: —
    1. The Fir Bolg were here a while
      In the great island of the sons of Míleadh:
      Five chiefs they came hither,
      I have knowledge of their names.