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

Section 23

XXIII.

But when Ceallachan returned to Munster he considered how severely the Lochlonnaigh oppressed Munster, and he himself and the nobles of Munster resolved to attack them with a view to banishing them; and they first made a sudden attack on Luimneach, and Ceallachan and his host slew five hundred of them and took away hostages from them. After this he plundered Corcach and brought hostages and treasures therefrom. He also plundered Cashel, and three hundred Lochlonnaigh were slain there. Thence he went to Port Lairge and took possession of the town and plundered it, and he inflicted a severe defeat on Sitric, son of Iomhar, and slew five hundred of his people; and Sitric himself took flight in his fleet; and Ceallachan returned to Domhnall O Faolain, king of the Deise, and gave him his own sister Gormfhlaith, daughter of Baudhachan, to wife. Soon after that Ceallachan died,


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and after his death Feargraidh, son of Ailghionan, son of Donnghal, held the sovereignty of Munster till his own tribe slew him by treachery. After this Mathghamhain, son of Cinneide, held the sovereignty of Munster twelve years, and in his time Echthighearn, son of Cinneide, was chief of Thomond.

It was Mathghamhain, son of Cinneide, king of Munster, and his brother Brian, son of Cinneide, who was then a stripling, who won the Battle of Sulchoid over the Lochlonnaigh wherein Teitill Treinmhileadh Ruamonn and Bearnard Muiris of Luimneach and Torolbh and twelve hundred Lochlonnaigh were slain, and Mathghamhain and Brian and the Dal gCais pursued them as they retreated in through the streets of Luimneach, and many of them were slain in the streets and in the houses, and they gave up much gold and silver, valuables and goods; and also their duns and fortresses were burned and thrown down. Soon after this Donnabhan seized on Mathghamhain by treachery in his own house and gave him over to the son of Bran and to the foreigners in violation of the protection of Colam, son of Ciaragan, the comhorba of Bairre; and the son of Bran, slew Mathghamhain in violation of the saint's protection.

It was in the time of Donnchadh, son of Flonn Sionna, king of Ireland, of whom we are treating, that the following events took place, to wit, the death of Ciaran, bishop of Tuilen, and the going of this Donnchadh to plunder and spoil Connaught. However, many of his followers were slain in Duibhthir Atha Luain, where Cionaoth, son of Conchubhar, king of Ui Failghe fell. It was about this time that Cluain mic Nois was plundered by the Lochlonnaigh, and they went thence on Lough Ribh and plundered the country on either side of it. The Lochlonnaigh also plundered and spoiled Eininse, and two hundred Gaels were slain there. After this twelve hundred Lochlonnaigh


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were drowned in Lough Rudhruighe, and the Lochlonnaigh of Ath Cliath seized on Faolan, son of Muireadhach, king of Leinster, and his children; and Dun Sobhairce was plundered by the Lochlonnaigh of Port Lairge. Soon after this the Ultonians made great slaughter on the Lochlonnaigh in which eight hundred of them, together with three of their leaders, to wit, Albdan, Aufer and Roilt, fell by Muircheartach, son of Niall.

About this time there was a large trading business carried on with Ireland when the Lochlonnach earl Oilfinn came with the Lochlonnach forces of Luimneach and Connaught to the fair of Ros Cre on the feast of Peter and Paul; and the people at the fair stood up against them, and three or four thousand Lochlonnaigh were slain there, and the earl himself was slain with them, according to Finghin Mac Carrthaigh in the booklet which he has written giving a brief account of Irish affairs from the beginning to this time. At this period Tadhg, son of Cathal, was king of Connaught twenty years; and Sitric, son of Iomhar, king of the Fionnlochlonnaigh and the Dubhlochlonnaigh, died. About this time the Connaughtmen wrought great slaughter on the Lochlonnaigh of Loch Oirbsean; and Conaing, son of Niall, wrought dreadful slaughter on the Lochlonnaigh of Loch nEeachach wherein two hundred of them fell. After this a party of Lochlonnaigh came on Loch Eirne and they plundered churches and districts; and Gothfraidh, chief of Loch Cuan, plundered Ard Macha; Cill Chuilinn was plundered by Amhlaoibh, son of Gothfraidh, and he took thence ten hundred prisoners. Oileach Neid was plundered by the Lochlonnaigh, and Muircheartach, son of Niall, was captured there, but God set him free by a miracle. Soon after this Aralt, son of Iomhar, chief of the Lochlonnaigh of Luimneach, was slain by the Connaughtmen; and Amhlaoibh, son of Gothfraidh, king of


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the Fionnlochlonnaigh and of the Dubhlochlonnaigh, died, and Lorcan, son of Faolan, king of Leinster, was slain by the men of Normandy. It was at this time that the son of the prince of Wales, whose name was Rodoricus, came to plunder Ireland; and he was slain by the Irish according to Hanmer in the year of the Lord 966. It was about this time that Ath Cliath was plundered by Conghal, son of Maoilmithidh, and one hundred and forty Lochlonnaigh were there slain, and their valuables and their goods were taken from them. After this Donnchadh, son of Flann Sionna, king of Ireland, died.

Conghalach, son of Maoilmithidh, son of Flanagan, son of Ceallach, son of Conaing, son of Conghal, son of Aodh Slaine, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland ten years. Muire, daughter of Cionaoth, son of Ailpin, king of Alba, was the mother of this Conghalach. It was in his reign the following events took place. For it was then that Etimonn, king of Sacsa, and Blathchuire, son of Iomhar, king of Normandy, died; and Conghalach, son of Maoilmithidh, king of Ireland, fought the battle of Muine Brogain against the Lochlonnaigh where seven thousand of them fell, as well as many Gaels on the other side.

The fourth year of the reign of this Conghalach, son of Maoilmithidh, Brian Boroimhe, son of Cinneide, assumed the sovereignty of Munster; and the second year after he had become king of Munster he gave notice to Maolmhuaidh, son of Bran, king of Ui nEachach, that he would give him battle at Bealach Leachta to avenge his brother Mathghamhain who was treacherously slain by the followers of the son of Bran. The son of Bran assembled a great host of foreigners and of Gaels; so that he had one thousand four hundred Lochlonnaigh and a large battalion of Gaels. Still Brian and the Dal gCais defeated them, so that many of them, of whom we have no mention, were slain, and


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those who were not slain were captured by Brian. After this Domhnall O Faolain, king of the Deise, and Iomhar of Port Lairge made war on Brian, and they plundered the greater part of Munster. But when Brian came up to them and a battle took place between them at Fan mic Connrach, he defeated the Lochlonnaigh and the king of Deise, and Brian and the Dal gCais pursued the defeated host to Port Lairge, and Domhnall O Faolain and most of the foreigners of Port Lairge were slain by Brian on that occasion. He plundered and burned the town.

When Brian had been eight years king of Munster the whole of Leath Mogha were forced to give him hostages. But after the death of Domhnall Claon, son of Domhnall, king of Leinster, both the Lochlonnaigh and the Gaels of Leinster refused to submit to him. Brian assembled the main host of Munster to oppose the foreigners and the Leinstermen, and the Battle of Gleann Mama was set on foot between them. And Brian defeated the Lochlonnaigh and the Leinstermen, and four thousand of them were slain in that battle. In short, Brian defeated the Lochlonnaigh in twenty-five battles, from the first battle he fought against them to the last, that is the Battle of Cluain Tarbh, in which himself was slain.

After this Conghalach, son of Maoilmithidh, king of Ireland, went to plunder and spoil Munster, and he slew two sons of Cinneide, son of Lorcan, to wit, Echthighearn and Donn Cuan. After that Gothfriadh, son of Sitric and the Lochlonnaigh of Ath Cliath plundered Ceanannus and Domhnach Padraig and Ard Padraig and Cill Scire and many other churches, and they seized on three thousand people in this place and took away with them much gold and silver and booty. It was about this time that Eithne, daughter of Fearghal, queen of Ireland, that is, the wife of Conghalach son of Maoilmithidh, and Maolcolum, son of Domhnall, king of Alba, and Gaoithinne, bishop of


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Dun Leathghlaise, and Tadhg, son of Cathal, king of Connaught, died. Soon after this, Conghalach son of Maoilmithidh, king of Ireland, was slain at Ard Macha by the Lochlonnaigh of Ath Cliath and by the Lagenians.

Domhnall, son of Muircheartach, son of Niall Glundubh, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland ten years. It was in this king's reign that Cill Dara was plundered by Amhlaoibh, son of Sitric, and the Lochlonnaigh of Ath Cliath; and Domhnall son of Muircheartach, king of Ireland, went to spoil and plunder Connaught, and took preys of cattle and hostages from Fearghal O Ruairc, who was then king of Connaught.

It was also about this time that the principal church of Tuaim Greine and its tower were built by Cormac Ua Cillin, bishop of Tuaim Greine; and Fearghal O Ruairc, king of Connaught, was slain by Domhnall, son of Conghalach, son of Maoilmithidh; and Brian, son of Cinneide, king of Munster, plundered and burned Luimneach against the Lochlonnaigh. After this, Domhnall O Neill with a numerous host went into Leinster and plundered the country from the Bearbha eastwards to the sea, and encamped there for two months in spite of the Lochlonnaigh and the Leinstermen; and Maoilfinnein, son of Uchtan, bishop of Ceanannus and comhorba of Ulltan, died, and Ceanannus was plundered by Amhlaoibh Cuaran, and the Lochlonnaigh of Leinster, who took thence a large prey of cattle and much booty; and they inflicted a great and dreadful defeat on the Ui Neill when many fell on either side. It was about this time that the Battle of Cill Mona was won by Domhnall, son of Conghalach, and the Lochlonnaigh of Ath Cliath over Domhnall, son of Muircheartach, king of Ireland, wherein fell Ardghal, son of Madagan, who was king of Ulster seventeen years, and Donnagan, son of Maolmuire, king of Oirghiall, with many other nobles. Soon after this Beacan,


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bishop of Finne, and Cionaoth O Hartagain, primate of Ard Macha, died; and Ughaire, son of Tuathal, king of Leinster, was captured by the Lochlonnaigh of Ath Cliath. After this Inis Cathaigh, which was in the hands of the Lochlonnaigh, was plundered by Brian, son of Cinneide, king of Munster, and there fell eight hundred of the Lochlonnaigh; and three Lochlonnach chiefs were captured there, to wit, Iomhar, Amhlaoibh and Duibhgheann; hence the poet says:
    1. The slaughter at Inis Cathaigh
      Was thy work, no wastrel's deed,
      In which thou didst slay the leaders of the foreigners
      Around Iomhar and around Duibhgheann.

It was about this time that the Battle of Biothlann was won from the Leinstermen by the Lochlonnaigh of Ath Cliath, wherein Ughaire, son of Tuathal, king of Leinster, was slain. Soon after this Domhnall, son of Muircheartach, king of Ireland, died at Ard Macha.