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Annals of the Four Masters (Author: Unknown)


Annal M903


The Age of Christ, 903.


The twenty-seventh year of Flann.


Maelmartin, Abbot of Lughmhadh;


Diarmaid, Abbot of Doire-Chalgaigh;


Cormac, Abbot of Druim-mor;


and Suibhne, son of Dubhdabhoireann, Prior of Cill-dara, died.


Maeloghrai, son of Conghalach, lord of Loch-Gabhar, was slain by Fogartach, son of Tolarg.


The battle of Bealach-Mughna was fought by Flann, son of


Maelseachlainn, King of Ireland, and Cearbhall, son of Muirigen, King of Leinster, and by Cathal, son of Conchobhar, King of Connaught, against Cormac,


son of Cuileannan, King of Caiseal. The battle was gained over Cormac, and he himself was slain, though his loss was mournful, for he was a king, a bishop, an anchorite, a scribe, and profoundly learned in the Scotic tongue. These were the nobles who fell along with him, name, Fogartach the Wise, son of Suibhne, lord of Ciarraighe-Cuirche; Ceallach, son of Cearbhall, lord of Osraighe; Maelgorm, lord of Ciarraighe-Luachra; Maelmorda, lord of Raith-linn; Ailill, son of Eoghan, Abbot of Trian-Corcaighe; Colman, Abbot of Ceann-Eitigh; and the lord of Corca-Duibhne; and many other nobles besides them, and six thousand men along with them. It was in commemoration of this the following lines were composed by Dallan, son of Mor:


    1. Cormac of Feimhin, Fogartach, Colman, Ceallach of the hard conflicts,
      They perished with many thousands in the great battle of Bealach-Mughna.
      Flann of Teamhair, of the plain of Tailltin, Cearbhall of Carman without fail,
      On the seventh of the Calends of September, gained the battle of which hundreds were joyful.
      The bishop, the souls' director, the renowned, illustrious doctor,
      King of Caiseal, King of Iarmumha; O God! alas for Cormac!
It was of the year of Cormac's death was also said:
    1. Since Jesus was born of heaven, three, nine hundred years,
      Till the death of Cormac, were clearly fulfilled; sorrowful the death of the King of Munster.
Fiach Ua Ugfadan of Denlis was he who beheaded Cormac.


A hosting was made by the Cinel-Eoghain, i.e. by Domhnall, son of Aedh, and Niall, son of Aedh; and Tlachtgha was burned by them.


Cnaimheini, son of Maenach, lord of Eile, died.

Annal M904


The Age of Christ, 904.


The twenty-eighth year of Flann.


Ruadhan, Bishop of Lusca,


and Cumascach, son of Ailell,[OElig ]conomus of Ard-Macha, died.


Mughroin, son of Sochlachan, lord of Ui-Maine, died.


Amhalghaidh, son of Conghalach, Tanist of Breagh, and Flann, his brother, were slain by the Conailli-Muirtheimhne.


Colman, son of Cinaeth, lord of Ciarraighe-Luachra, died.


The Daimhliag of Cluain-mic-Nois was erected by the king, Flann Sinna, and by Colman Conailleach.


Bec Ua Leathlobhair, lord of Dal-Araidhe, died. Of him was said:


    1. Awful news that now disperses those ships of the sea that have braved many dangers and perils,
      That no longer lives the golden scion, the sage, the beloved, the famed chieftain of Tuagh-inbhir.


Cearbhall, son of Muirigen, King of Leinster, was killed. In lamentation of him was said:

    1. Great grief that Liffe of ships is without Cearbhall, its befitting spouse,
      A generous, staid, prolific man, to whom Ireland was obedient.
      Sorrowful to me the hills of Almhain and Ailleann without soldiers,
      Sorrowful to me is Carman, I do not conceal it, as grass is on its roads.
      Not long was his life after Cormac who was dishonoured,
      A day and a half, no false rule, and one year, without addition.
      Ruler of a noble kingdom, King of Leinster of the troops of heroes;
      Alas! that the lofty chief of Almhain has died through a bitter painful way.
      Sorrowful for brilliant jewels, to be without the valiant, illustrious lord of Nas.
      Although dense hosts have been slain; greater than all their sorrows is this sorrow.

Of Cearbhall also:

    1. Cearbhall was always a conservator, his rule was vigorous till death;
      What lay of his tributes unpaid, he brought by his strength to Nas.

Gormlaith said:

    1. Evil towards me the compliment of the two foreigners who slew Niall and Cearbhall;
      Cearbhall was slain by Hulb, a great achievement; Niall Glundubh, by Amhlaeibh.



At Cill-Corbain Cearbhall was interred, as stated in the following verses:

    1. There are nine kings of famous career, in a noble church of shining lustre,
      Muiregan, hero without mistake, Cellach, and Cearbhall the prudent,
      Colman, Broen, and Bran the lively, Finn, Faelan, Dunchadh the bold;
      In Cill-Chorbain, I have heard, their warlike graves were made.

Annal M905


The Age of Christ, 905.


The twenty-ninth year of Flann.


Maelmordha, airchinneach of Tir-da-ghlas,died.


Uallachan, son of Cathal, Tanist of Ui-Failghe, was slain.


The battle of Magh-Cumma was gained by Flann, son of Maelseachlainn, and by his sons, over the men of Breifne, wherein were slain Flann, son of Tighearnan, lord of Breifne, and his son, and many others of the nobility, together with three thousand men, who fell along with them in that battle.


A fleet by Domhnall Ua Maeleachlainn, and by Innreachtach, son of Conchobhar,upon Loch Deirgdherc, so that they defeated the fleet of Munster; and great numbers were killed by them.


A wonderful sign appeared in this year, namely, two suns were seen moving together during one day.


The oratory of Magh-eo was burned.


Aedh, son of Maelpadraig, lord of Ui-Fiachrach, was slain by Niall, son of Aedh.


Buadhach, son of Mothla, Tanist of the Deisi, died.

Annal M906


The Age of Christ, 906.


The thirtieth year of Flann.


Etigen, son of Finghin, Abbot of Treoit, died.


Fogartach, son of Cele, lord of Ui-mic-Uais, died.


Aedh, son of Dubhghilla, lord of Ui-Drona of the Three Plains, Tanist of Ui-Ceinnsealaigh, was slain by the Ui-Bairrche. Of him was said:

    1. O youths of pleasant Ailbhe, mourn ye the king of noble Slaine,
      Slain is the populous Aedh of the Bearbha, the just king of the land of peaceful Fearna.
      To great Fearna of the thousand noble graces there came not, if I remember rightly,
      A corpse of more illustrious fame, since the populous Bran Dubh was slain.
      My shelter, my protection has departed, may the King of kings make smooth his way,
      'Tis easily known by Aedhan's rath that Aedh is dead, O youths.


Dunlang, son of Cairbre, heir apparent of Leinster, died.


Domhnall, son of Aedh Finnliath, lord of Aileach, took the pilgrim's staff.


Gaithine, son of Aughran, Tanist of Laighis, died.


Buadhach, son of Gusan, Tanist of Ui-Bairrche-tire, died.


Dianimh, daughter of Duibhghilla, the wife of Dunlang, died; of whom was said:

    1. Dianimh, protection of our purity, is fettered by the power of the King of the elements;
      Alas! that the long and beautiful person is in a cold house of clay.

Annal M907


The Age of Christ, 907.


The thirtieth year of Flann.


Finnachta, bishop, died.


Cormac, Bishop of Saighir, died.


Maelbrighde, son of Maeldomhnaigh, Abbot of Lis-mor,


and Flann, son of Laegh, Abbot of Corcach, died.


The violation of Ard-Macha by Cearnachan, son of Duilgen, i.e. a captive was taken from the church, and drowned in Loch-Cirr, to the west of Ard-Macha. Cearnachan was soon afterwards drowned by Niall, son of Aedh, King of the North, in the same lake, in revenge of the violation of Patrick.


Ruarc, son of


Maelfabhaill, lord of Carraig-Brachaidhe, died.


Muireadhach, son of Mughron, lord of Clann-Cathail, died.

Annal M908


The Age of Christ, 908.


The thirty-second year of Flann.


Tibraide, son of Maelfinn, Bishop and Abbot of Imleach-Iubhair, died.


Muireadhach, son of Cormac, Abbot of Druim-Inesclainn,


and Gairbhith, son of Maelmordha, Tanist of Conaille-Muirtheimhne, were destroyed in the refectory of Druim-Inesclainn, by Conghalach, son of Gairbhith, lord of Conaille-Muirtheimhne. It was in lamentation of Muireadhach these verses were composed:

    1. Muireadhach,—who does not lament him, O ye learned!
      It is a cause of human plague, it is a cloud to sacred heaven!
      Great loss is the illustrious man, son of Cormac of a thousand charms;
      The great and well-tested relic, who was the lamp of every choir.


Sochlachan, son of Diarmaid, lord of Ui-Maine, died in religion.


Cleirchen, son of Murchadh, lord of Ui-Briuin-Seola, died.


Cuileannan,son of Mael-brighde, died.


Conghalach, son of Gairbhith, lord of Conaille-Muirtheimhne, was slain by the Conailli themselves, the ninth month after destroying the abbot's house at Druim-Inesclainn, against Maelmordha, and Muireadhach, son of Cormac, Abbot of Druim-Inesclainn.


A battle was gained by the foreigners over a crew or fleet of Ulidians, in the region of Saxonland i.e. in England, where many were slain with Cumascach, son of Maelmoicheirghe, Tanist of Leath-Cathail.


Maelbrighde, son of Tornan, repaired to Munster, to ransom a pilgrim of the Britons.


Annal M909


The Age of Christ, 909.


The Thirty-third year of Flann.


Tibraide, Bishop of Cluain-eidhneach;


and Maelmaedhog, Abbot of Druim-mor, died.


Litheach, Abbot of Cluain-eidhneach;


and Maelcaisil,Abbot of Mungairit, died.


A battle was gained at Gulban-Guirt by Niall Glundubh, son of Aedh Finnliath, over the Connaughtmen, i.e. Maelcluiche, son of Conchobhar, where a slaughter was made of the Connaughtmen, together with Maelcluiche himself, and many others of the nobility.


A battle was gained by Maelmithidh, son of Flannagan, and Donnchadh Ua Maeleachlainn, over Lorcan, son of Dunchadh, and Fogartach, son of Tolairg, and the Leinstermen, wherein many persons were slain, and great numbers taken prisoners.


Maelpatraig, son of Flathrai, lord of Rath-Tamhnaighe, died.

Annal M910


The Age of Christ, 910.


The thirty-fourth year of Flann.


Foreigners arrived in Ireland, and took up at Port-Lairge.


A hosting of the Fochla, and of all Ulidia, with Niall Glundubh, son of Aedh, into Meath, as far as Greallach-Eillte, where they were there defeated by Flann Sinna and his sons, and some of their friends slain, together with Fearghal, son of Aenghus, son of Maelduin; Maelmordha, son of Eremhon, son of Aedh, of the Ulidians; and Erudan, son of Gairbhith, chief of Ui-Breasail; Diarmaid, son of Sealbhach, lord of Dal-Riada; Maelmuire, son of Flannagan, lord of Fearnmhagh; Domhnall, son of Gairbhith, lord of Conaille; Connican, son of Aireachtach; and Cormac, son of Innreachtach, lord of Ciarraighe; and other nobles besides them. Of this battle was said:

    1. Sorrow to the cold Greallach-Eillte, we found hosts by its side;
      Cormac said to Niall, we shall not be permitted to go westwards, let us move eastwards.


Annal M911


The Age of Christ, 911.


The thirty-fifth year of Flann.


The plundering of the south of Breagh, and of the south of Cianachta, by Flann, son of Maelseachlainn.


Maelbrighde, son of Geibhleachan, lord of Conaille, was slain by the Ui-Eathach, in the fourth month after his having taken the chieftainship.


Aenghus, son of Flann, heir apparent to the sovereignty of Ireland, was mortally wounded at Greallach-Eillte, by Cernn, son of Bernn; and he died at the end of sixty days afterwards. In attestation of which was said:

    1. A blessing on the hand of Cern, son of Bernn, who slew Aenghus Finn, the pride of Fail;
      It was a good achievement of his sharp valour to avenge the noble Aedh Ollan.


Domhnall, son of Aedh (i.e. of Aedh Finnliath), son of Niall, lord of Aileach, died in religion, after a good life. In lamentation of him and of Aenghus was said:

    1. From the birth of Christ, body of purity, till the death of Domhnall, according to the chronicles,—
      A better guide cannot be found,—one year and ten above nine hundred,
      The history of this year is heavy mist to fertile Banbha,
      Aenghus of Meath, the great champion, and Domhnall, son of Aedh of Aileach perished.
      There came not of the Irish a youth like Aenghus of Codail,
      In the latter ages there was not a royal hero like Domhnall of Dobhail.
      Heavy sorrow to the Gaeidhil that these chiefs have perished
      The first two of this spring; their times will be found in the histories.

Annal M912


The Age of Christ, 912.


The thirty-sixth year of Flann.


Maelciarain,son of Eochagan, Abbot of Cluain-Eois and Mucnamh, died. He was the foster-son


of the archbishop Fethghna.


An army was led by Niall, son of Aedh Finnliath, into Dal-Araidhe, in the month of June precisely. Loingseach Ua Leathlobhair, lord of Dal-Araidhe, met them at Freghabhail where he was defeated by Niall; and he lost his brother in the conflict, i.e. Flathrua Ua Leathlobhair. Aedh, son of Eochagan, king of the province, and Loingseach Ua Leathlobhair, afterwards pursued them to Carn-Ereann, where Niall again defeated them, and where Cearran, son of Colman, chief of Cinel-Mailche, and the son of Allacan, son of Lachten, were slain, and Dubhghall, son of Aedh, son of Eochagan, was severely wounded; and great numbers of the Ulidians were slain in the pursuit besides these distinguished men. A peace was afterwards, on the Calends of November, made at Tealach-Og, between Niall, lord of Aileach, and Aedh, King of the province.


A great new fleet of foreigners came to Loch-Dachaech, and placed a stronghold there.