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

Section 25


The three sons of Eireamhon held the sovereignty of Ireland after him three years. These were Muimhne, Luighne, and Laighne. They held the sovereignty jointly for three years till the death of Muimhne in Magh Cruachan, and till Luighne and Laighne were slain by the sons of Eibhear in the Battle of Ard Ladhrann.

The four sons of Eibhear, Er, Orba, Fearon, and Feargna, held the sovereignty of Ireland a part of a year, when they were slain by Irial Faidh son of Eireamhon, to avenge his two brothers Luighne and Laighne.

Irial Faidh son of Eireamhon held the sovereignty of Ireland ten years, for his three elder brothers had no issue. Besides, when Irial had assumed the sovereignty and attained to greatness and power, he slew Eibhear's four sons—namely, Er, Orba, Fearon, Feargna—to avenge his two brothers who had been killed by them.

Sixteen plains were freed from wood in Ireland in the reign of Irial. The following are their names:—Magh Reichead in Laoighis; Magh Neiliu in Leinster; Magh Comair, Magh Seiliu in Uibh Néill; Magh Sanais i Connaught; Magh nlnis, in Ulster; Magh Midhe; Magh Luinge in Ciannachta; Magh Teacht in Ui Mac Uais; Magh Fearnmhuighe in Oirghialla; Magh Foithin in the west; Magh Cobha in Ui Eachach; Magh Cuma in Ui Neill;


Magh Cuile Feadha, Magh Riada, Magh nAirbhrioch, in Fotharta Airhbrioch, in Leinster.

Irial Faidh son of Eireamhon built seven royal forts in Ireland in his time, namely, Raith Ciombaoith in Eamhain; Raith Croichne in Magh Inis; Raith Bachaill in Lothama; Raith Coincheadha in Seimhne; Raith Mothaigh in Deagh-charbad; Raith Buireach in Sleachta; Raith Lochaid in Glascharn.

The year after that the three rivers called the three Fionns burst over land in Ulster. The following year Irial won four battles. The first battle was the Battle of Ard Ionmhaith in Teathbha, where Stime son of Dubh, son of Fomhor fell; the second battle was the Battle of Teannmhagh, which Irial fought against the Fomoraigh, where the Fomorian king, who was called Echtghe Ethcheann, fell; the third battle was the Battle of Lochmhagh, where Lughroth son of Mogh Feibhis fell; the fourth battle was the Battle of Cuil Marta, where he defeated the four sons of Eibhear. Hence, and to narrate these events, is the poem which begins with this stanza:

    1. Irial, the youngest of the children,
      Son of the king of Fodhla of curled hair,
      King of Sliabh Mis, king of Macha,
      Won four hard battles.
The second next year after this Irial Faidh son of Eireamhon died at Magh Muaidhe, and was buried there.

Eithrial son of Irial Faidh, son of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland for twenty years. In the time of this Eithrial seven plains were cleared of wood in Ireland, namely, Teannmhagh in Connaught; Magh Lioghat and Magh mBealaigh in Ui Tuirtre; Magh Geisill in Ui Failghe; Magh Ochtair in Leinster; Lochmhagh in Connaught; Magh Rath in Ui Eachach; and after he had been twenty years on the throne of Ireland he was slain by Conmhaol son of Eibhear in the Battle of Raoire in Leinster.


Conmhaol son of Eibhear held the sovereignty of Ireland thirty years; and he was the first king of Ireland of the race of Eibhear. Now this Conmhaol defeated the descendants of Eireamhon in twenty-five battles. The following are nine of these battles: to wit, the Battle of Ucha; the Battle of Cnucha; the Battle of Eile; the Battle of Sliabh Beatha; and the Battle of Geisill, where Palap son of Eireamhon fell; the Battle of Sliabh Modhairn, where Samhra son of Ionbhoth fell; the Battle of Loch Lein, where Mughroth fell; the Battle of Beirre; and the Battle of Aonach Macha, where Conmhaol himself fell by Eibhear son of Tighearnmhas of the race of Eireamhon; and he was buried on the south side of Aonach Macha in the place which is called Conmhaol's Mound at this day.

Tighearnmhas son of Follach, son of Eithrial, son of Irial Faidh, son of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland fifty years, or according to others sixty years; and this monarch won twenty-seven battles over the descendants of Eibhear, namely, the Battle of Eille, in which Rochorb son of Gollan fell, and the Battle of Cumar, the Battle of Magh Teacht, the Battle of Lochmhagh, in which fell Deighiarna son of Goll son of Gollan, the Battle of Cuil Ard in Magh Inis, the Battle of Cuil Fraochain, the Battle of Athghart in Seimhne, the Battle of Ard Niadh in Connaught, and the Battle of Carn Fearadhaigh, in which Fearadhach son of Rochorb, son of Gollan, fell, the Battle of Cluain Cuasa in Teathbha, the Battle of Comhnuidhe in Tuath Eibhe, the Battle of Cluain Muirisc in the north of Breithfne, the Battle of Cuil Fabhair on Earbhus, and seven battles in Lughlachta on Loch Lughdhach in one day, and the two battles of Cuil in Airgeadros, and the Battle of Reibh, where the greater part of the descendants of Eibhear were slain by Tighearnmhas.

The year after that nine lakes burst over land in Ireland, namely, Loch Cé, and it was over Magh Sulchair it burst; Loch Aillinne in Connaught; Loch n-Iairn, Loch n-Uair,


Loch Saighlionn, Loch Gabhair in Meath and in Breagh; Loch Feabhail in Tir Eoghain, over Feabhal of the son of Lodan it burst, and Magh Fuinnsighe is the name of the plain over which the lake came; Dubhloch of Ard Ciannachta and Loch Da Bhaill in Oirghialla, and the three black rivers of Ireland, namely, Fobhna, Toronn, and Callonn.

It is the same Tighearnmhas who first found a mine of gold in Ireland; and Uchadan was the name of the artificer who used to refine the gold for him; and it was in Fotharta east of Lithfe he used to smelt it. It was in the time of Tighearnmhas that clothes were first dyed purple, blue, and green in Ireland. It was also in his time that embroidery, fringes, and filigree were first put on mantles in Ireland. It was he in the same way that introduced into Ireland the custom of having but one colour in the dress of a slave, two colours in the dress of a peasant, three in the dress of a soldier or young lord, four in the dress of a brughaidh, five in the dress of a district chief, six in the dress of an ollamh and in the dress of a king or queen. And it was at Magh Sleacht that Tighearnmhas himself died and three quarters of the men of Ireland with him on the eve of Samhain while they were in the act of worshipping Crom Cruaidh, the chief idol of Ireland. For it was this Tighearnmhas who first instituted the worship of Crom Cruaidh (as Zoroastres did in Greece) about a hundred years after they had come to Ireland; and it was from the prostrations of the men of Ireland before this idol that that plain in Breithfne is called Magh Sleacht. Some seanchas state that Ireland was seven years without a king after the death of Tighearnmhas at the convention of Magh Sleacht, and that it was Eochaidh Faobharghlas son of Conmhaol who held the sovereignty of Ireland after him. But they are in error in this; for the Reim Rioghruidhe states that it was Eochaidh Eadghothach of the race of Lughaidh son of Ioth who held it.


Eochaidh Eadghothach son of Daire, son of Conghal, son of Eadhaman, son of Mal, son of Luighaidh, son of Ioth, son of Breoghan, son of Bratha, held the sovereignty of Ireland four years, and he fell by Cearmna son of Eibric.

Cearmna and Sobhairce, two sons of Eibric son of Eibhear, son of Ir, son of Milidh of Spain, held the sovereignty of Ireland forty years, and were the first Ultonian kings of Ireland; and they divided the sovereignty of Ireland between them; and the boundary of this division extended from Innbhear Colpa at Droichead Atha to Luimneach of Munster. Sobhairce obtained the northern part, and built a dun on his own division, namely, Dun Sobhairce. Cearmna obtained the southern division, and built a dun beside the southern sea, namely, Dun Cearmna; and it is now called Dun Mic Padraig in the Courcys' country. Sobhairce fell by Eochaidh Meann, son of a Fomorian king. Cearmna fell by Eochaidh Faobharghlas son of Conmhaol in the Battle of Dun Cearmna.

Eochaidh Faobharghlas son of Conmhaol, son of Eibhear Fionn, son of Milidh of Spain, held the sovereignty of Ireland twenty years. He was called Eochaidh Faobharghlas, for his two spears were bluish-green and sharp-edged; and it was he who defeated the race of Eireamhon in the following battles, namely, the Battle of Luachair Deaghaidh in Desmond; the Battle of Fosadh Da Ghort; the Battle of Cumar na dTri nUisce; the Battle of Tuaim Dreagan in Breithfne; and the Battle of Drom Liathain. He cleared seven plains from wood in Ireland, namely, Magh Smeathrach, in Ui Failghe; Magh Laighne and Magh Luirg in Connaught; Magh Leamhna, Magh n-Ionair, Magh Fubhna, and Magh Da Ghabhal, in Oirghialla. And this Eochaidh fell by Fiachaidh Labhruinne son of Smiorghull, son of Eanbhoth, son of Tighearnmhas, in the Battle of Carman.

Fiachaidh Labhruinne son of Smiorghull, son of Eanbhoth, son of Tighearnmhas, son of Follach, son of Eithrial, son of


Irial Faidh, son of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland twenty-four years, or, according to others, thirty-seven years; and he was called Fiachaidh Labhruinne, for in his time Innbhear Labhruinne burst over land in Ireland; and it was in his time the three following rivers burst forth namely, Innbhear Fleisce, Innbhear Mainge, and Innbhear Labhruinne, from which he is named Fiachaidh Labhruinne. It was in his time also that Loch Eirne burst over land, and Magh Geanainn is the name of the plain over which it came.

It was the son of this Fiachaidh, namely, Aonghus Ollbhuadhach, who defeated the Cruithnigh and the old Britons who were in Alba in several battles, and who first placed Alba under the full sway of the Gaels, though from the time of Eireamhon son of Milidh the Gaels claimed a tribute from them (the Albanians). About two hundred and fifty years after the sons of Milidh came to Ireland, Alba was brought under sway and tribute by Aonghus Ollbhuadhach son of Fiachaidh Labhruinne; and this Fiachaidh Labhruinne fought four battles against the race of Eibhear, namely, the Battle of Fairrge, the Battle of Gallach, the Battle of Sliabh Feimhion, and the Battle of Sliabh Bealgadain, in which he himself fell by Eochaidh Mumho son of Mo Febhis.

Eochaid Mumho son of Mo Febhis, son of Eochaid Faobharglas, son of Conmhaol, son of Eibhear Fionn, son of Milidh of Spain, held the sovereignty of Ireland twentyone years; and he fell by Aonghus Olmucaidh in the Battle of Cliu.