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Annála Connacht (Author: [unknown])

Annal 1225


1225 First of January on Wednesday and the eighteenth day of the moon, MCCXXV. Tenth year of the Cycle of Nineteen; thirteenth year of the Indictional and Solar Cycles.


Amlaib O Beollain, erenach of Drumcliff, a man eminent for generosity and for his guest-house, died this year.


O Mailbrenainn, abbot of the monastery of Boyle, died of blood-letting.


A great rebellion was raised by Toirrdelbach and Aed, sons of Ruaidri [O Conchobair], and Aed O Neill, to wrest the kingship of the province from Aed mac Cathail Chrobdeirg. This was done at the instance of Donn Oc MacAirechtaig, royal chieftain of Sil Murray, who wished to revenge himself for the confiscation of his land and patrimony; and when he revolted the whole of Connacht revolted—Sil Murray and West Connacht with Aed O Flaithbertaig its king—excepting only Mac Diarmata, Cormac son of Tomaltach.


However, O Neill came with them to the middle of Sil Murray and thence to the Faes of Athlone, and they spent two nights at Mullach Uainide and sacked Loch Nen, carrying off the treasures of O Conchobair. Thence they proceeded to Carnfree and there instated Toirrdelbach son of Ruaidri. After this O Neill departed homewards; for the sons of Ruaidri felt confidence in their own lieges, having been asked to come into the country by each one separately, except Cormac son of Tomaltach Mac Diarmata with Dauid O Flainn and the rest of his officers.


As for Aed mac Cathail Chrobdeirg, he sought the protection of the Galls, and it happened fortunately for him that the Galls of Ireland were holding a great Court at Athlone; and each one of them was a friend to him on his father's account as well as his own, since he, like his father before him, was liberal of wages and gifts to them.



So he brought with him the Justiciar and as many of the Galls of Ireland as he thought enough; and Donnchad Cairbrech O Briain with his followers came out to support him, and O Mailsechlainn with his.


Thereupon the people of Mag Ai and the Tuatha fled before them into Leyney and Tirawley with their cattle, and left Ruaidri's sons without any army or territorial levy, accompanied by no eligible princes or chieftains of these districts, but only grooms and servants. Ruaidri's sons advanced to Kilkelly with a small force and a few eligible princes, so as to cover the rear of their cows and herds.


However, Cathal Crobderg's son and his Galls moved towards the position held by Toirrdelbach and his chieftains, who had only grooms and rabble with them; for Aed son of Ruaidri and the son of Muirchertach and Domnall O Flaithbertaig and Tigernan son of Cathal Micuran and the sons of Toirrdelbach son of Ruaidri had gone to guard the cattle and people of Fergal O Taidc, their sworn ally. Now his case was this, that he was the first Connachtman who broke his oath with the sons of Ruaidri, and he brought in [Aed] mac Cathail [Chrobdeirg] and his Galls to protect his cattle and people from them.


It was at this time that the Galls approached Toirrdelbach son of Ruaidri. He rose up with his chieftains, and putting their rabble in front they escaped beautifully, not one of themselves being killed; for Donn Oc Mac Airechtaig, Flaithbertach O Flannacan and a small number of the forces of Cenel Eogain covered their rear.


On that day a raiding-party came upon Echmarcach Mac Branain and a few of his followers, in the middle of an oak-wood, surrounded by his womenfolk and cattle. This man fought with uncommon valour until he was killed, but there were too many good men falling upon him. That night Aed mac Cathail Chrobdeirg with his Galls followed the sons of Ruaidri as far as Mellick, and stayed there for three nights plundering Leyney on every hand.


Unfortunate was the plight of O hEgra then, making peace with the plunderers for the sake of what little was left to the people of Leyney. At that time Ruaidri's sons lay with their backs turned to Loch Mac Eredaig in Glenn na Mochart, and Cathal Crobderg's son determined to lead his Galls to


follow up the cattle of the Tuatha, of Sil Murray and Clann Tomaltaig by a way that none thought a Gall would ever take, namely through Fid Gatlaig; and they reached Attymas untouched by spear or dart. They plundered Coolcarney and wrought destruction on its cattle and folk on that day, for as many of them as reached the level plains without being drowned were plundered and slain. A pitiful thing: all who went to Ballycong were drowned, and the weirs (?) were found to have their wattles full of drowned children. Some of the refugees of Clann Tomaltaig who evaded the Galls and escaped drowning went into Tirawley, where O Dubda fell upon them and left them without a single cow.


Now as to the sons of Ruaidri, they decided while at Loch Mac Feradaig to disband until the Galls of [Aed] mac Cathail Chrobdeirg should disband; they themselves, Toirrdelbach and Aed, with the son of Magnus, and Donn Oc to seek the protection of O Flaithbertaig, their sworn ally, while the son of Muirchertach [Muimnech] O Conchobair and Tigernach son of Cathal [Micuran O Conchobair] should go to protect their cows and folk and to make peace for the sake of these, until the Galls of the son of Cathal Crobderg should be disbanded.


Now as for the southern part of Connacht, its people were no more peaceful or quiet. For the Galls of Leinster and Munster and Muirchertach O Briain came [against them] as did the Galls of Desmond and the Sheriff of Cork, plundering and killing everyone they came up with. And Cathal Crobderg's son took it ill of them that they invaded the country; for he had not sent for them, but when they heard of all the booty which the Justiciar and his Galls had got they were seized with jealousy and envy. It was in this attack that the four sons of Mac Murchada were killed on one spot. Pitiful indeed was the tempest which God permitted to descend upon the best province of Ireland, north, south, east or west. For the young warrior would not forbear, if only he were the stronger, to plunder his comrade, while women and children, feeble folk and lords' sons were brought to suffer cold and hunger through this war.


But to return to Aed mac Cathail Chrobdeirg. He proceeded to Mayo, where the sons of Muirchertach Muimnech made submission to him under protection and guarantees, in order to preserve their cattle and people. Next day he went to Kilmaine


and here the three armies of Galls met, and between them and the Gaels the whole province was well-nigh filled with armies.


Here Aed O Flaithbertaig came in and submitted to Cathal Crobderg's son and the Justiciar, subject to conditions and upon the guarantees of the chief Galls and of Donnchad Cairbrech O Briain, his gossip, and made peace with them, he being allowed to retain his cattle and people and undertaking to send away Ruaidri's sons. Cathal Crobderg's son with his Galls went to Tuaim, where he dismissed the Leinster and Desmond Galls, reserving to himself the task of escorting the Justiciar past Athlone. Then he took another decision, to turn back towards O Flaithbertaig; for he mistrusted the situation in which he had left him, having Ruaidri's sons with him to the west of the Lake and his own son-in-law, Donn Oc as well. At this juncture the son of Magnus parted from the sons of Ruaidri and went into Tirawley to look for his cattle and people. He found them in good case, not having suffered plunder or robbery, and carried them away and left them in the safekeeping of O Ruairc, while he himself made a most successful raid on Pilip Mac Gosdelb. Now as for Donnchad Cairbrech O Briain, he sent the chief men of his people and his officers before him with great and rich booty of food and clothing and spoil of cows and horses.


At this moment Aed mac Ruaidri and Eogan O hEdin with a few good men crossed their path, and the Munstermen for fear of the High-king's son, did not stand their ground; but he prevailed against them and captured the officers of Donnchad Cairbrech [O Briain], and vast was the booty which fell into his hands. Donnchad Cairbrech then submitted to his term of peace and made oath, under pain of excommunication, undertaking not to march against Ruaidri's sons again. This undertaking he gave to obtain the liberty of his officers, and he did not fulfil it, for he joined the very next expedition against the sons of Ruaidri. By this time Cathal Crobderg's son and the Justiciar reached Iniscraff Strand, after the Galls of Leinster and Desmond and Munster had left them, and O Flaithbertaig was obliged to give Iniscraff and Castlekirk Island and all the vessels on the lake as further pledges in return for the recovery of his cows and people.


Cathal Crobderg's son returned once more to Tuaim and proceeded again to escort the Justiciar, who left with him a few of the principal Galls and a large force of soldiers, for


he trusted but very few of the men of Connacht. He then delivered the chief men of the lordship—Flaithbertach O Flannacain, Fergal O Taidc and a number of others—into the hands of the Galls as security for the payment of their wages, and these prisoners had to provide their own ransom.


After his Galls had left Aed mac Chthail Chrobdeirg, O Flaithbertaig and the sons of Muirchertach [Muimnech] with other eligible princes rose up again to join Ruaidri's sons, and Cathal's son sent messengers and writings to the Galls, telling them of this second revolt and asking for more troops. They responded with alacrity, for these expeditions were profitable to the Galls, who got much booty thereby, though not incurring the dangers of the confiict.


Galls from Leinster were given to him this time, including William Cras and the Fitz Griffin, a great company; and when they had come he marched against Ruaidri's sons, going westwards over the Causeways and turning south into Ui Diarmata, where he heard Ruaidri's sons were, without followers and not yet rejoined by their allies. He now sent Fedlimid his brother and some of his principal men, with a large force of the soldiery of the Galls, to raid Eogan O hEdin in Ui Fiachrach Aidni. They encamped for a night at Ardrahan, so as to make the raid early in the morning.


O Flaithbertaig and the sons of Muirchertach were on their way to join Ruaidri's sons when they heard that Galls were going to raid Eogan, their sworn ally, and were at present in Ardrahan. They decided to make for Ardrahan and to attack the Galls early in the morning and burn the place about their ears. They marched all night and were early on the green at Ardrahan.


They then decided to send Tuathal son of Muirchertach Muimnech into the town at first with his Galls and whoever of the Gaels should volunteer to go with him, while O Flaithbertaig and the son of Muirchertach should encircle the town on the outside.



Bravely then was the town entered, the Gael who answered the call to go with Tuathal being Taichlech son of Aed O Dubda. And when they entered the town, quickly and boldly, the Galls fled out of it both east and west, and those who went east were routed; but those who were defeated and fled westwards inflicted defeat on such Gaels as were without at the back of the town. Yet there were no more valiant Gaels than those who were defeated on the western side, only God did not grant them success.


The party which fled east was pursued by Tuathal and Taichlech O Dubda, and the Constable of the Galls was first wounded by Tuathal and then slain by Taichlech. It was great good-fortune for Ruairdri's sons not to be in this defeat. In this western battle were killed Mathgamain son of Aed son of Conchobar Maenmuige [O Conchobair] and the son of Gilla Crist Mac Diarmata and the son of Amlaib Mac Airechtaig's son and Niall son of Fergal O Taidc; and the man who slew Niall was himself slain, namely the brother of Cuilen O Dimusaig.


Next day Ruaidri's sons met with O Flaithbertaig and the sons of Muirchertach and Tigernan son of Cathal [Micuran O Conchobair] and Donn Oc, and they all proceeded northwards to Druim Cenannain. But then Aed mac Cathail Chrobdeirg with his Galls came after them, and they decided that each one should return to his cattle and people and leave the sons of Ruaidri. Ruaidri's sons departed out of the country, having no Galls or other following at hand, and together with Donn Oc they once more sought the protection of Aed O Neill, this expedition having resulted in nothing but the wasting and ruining of a countryside which before had been completely peaceful and prosperous.


As for Cathal's son [Aed], he advanced upon O Flaithbertaig and exacted hostages and sureties from him for the nonce, and then went on northwards to Kilmaine and Mayo, where the sons of Muirchertach and Tigernan son of Cathal Micuran concluded a peace for the sake of their cattle and people, making submission to Cathal Crodberg's son under the guarantees of Donnchad Cairbrech and the chief Galls of Ireland. And this was a much-needed rest, for there was not a church or layproperty in Connacht which had escaped destruction.


After the plunderings and the slaughter of men and beasts and the exposure of the inhabitants to cold and hunger, a severe attack of sickness came upon the countryside, a kind


of fever, which emptied towns of every living soul; and though some who took this sickness did recover, they were but a few.


Flann son of Amlaib O Fallamain, chieftain of Clann Uatach, was killed in this war by Fedlim son of Cathal Crobderg.


Amlaib son of Ferchar O Fallamain, the best chieftain of his hereditary estate that ever was, died in the same month in which Flann his son was killed.


Tadc O Finnachta, an officer of Aed son of Ruaidri [O Conchobair] was killed by Mac Aedacan's men on a plundering raid in this same war.


Muiredach O Finnachta, chieftain of Clann Murthaile, died in a boat on Loch Corrib, though in good health when he entered it.


Conchobar the son of Tadc O Cellaig's son, king of Ui Maine, and Ardgal his brother were both burned in a house they were defending against the sons of Tadc O Cellaig. This Conchobar was the most generous man and the boldest, maintained the most retainers and won the most fame, of any of his stock.


Gilla Corpti O Mugroin died this year and was buried at Cong.


Moelbrigte O Maicin, abbot of Ballintober, a virgin and sage, rested in Christ. By him the church of Ballintober was begun, and its sanctuary and crosses(?) finished with great labour, in honour of Patrick, Mary our Lady, John and the Apostles.


Duarcan O hEgra king of Leyney, Tadc O hEgra and Etain daughter of Diarmait son of Domnall O hEgra died.


Galls and Munstermen attacked Termon Keelin and the Galls were slaughtered afterwards by the miraculous power of Coelainn.


The corn was being reaped after St. Bridget's Day and plowing [was going on] at the same time.