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Annála Connacht (Author: [unknown])

Annal 1256


1256 First of January on Saturday and the twenty-ninth day of the moon. Sixteenth year of the Solar Cycle; third year of the Decemnovennial Cycle; fourteenth year of the Indiction. MCCLVI. Embolismal year. BA.


Flann Mac Flainn, Archbishop of Tuaim, died at Bristol.


The Archbishop of Dublin died the same year.


Ruaidri O Gadra, king of Sliab Luga, was craftily and basely killed by his gossip, David son of Richard Cusin, who also broke down his castle.


A huge army was raised by Walter son of Richard Burke to attack Fedlim mac Cathail Chrobdeirg and Aed his son and Conchobar son of Tigernan O Ruairc, an army which for might and multitude had never been surpassed in Ireland, for it numbered twenty thousand to a man. They came to Mayo and Balla and passed through Leyney, which they plundered on all sides, to Achonry; and from there they sent messengers to the Ui Raigillig, bidding them to come and meet them at Cros Dairi Cain at the eastern end of the Brauslieve mountains in Tir Thuathail. The Ui Raigillig came to Clachan Mucada on Slieve Anierin, but turned back from there, not having effected a meeting with the Galls, and came to Soltin Gasain. And on that same day—a friday, and the feast of Crosses in fact—Conchobar son of Tigernan O Ruairc mustered the men of Brefne and Conmaicne and all whom he could get, including Aed son of Fedlim O Conchobair and the chiefs of the Sil Murray and the rest of the men of Connacht. Now these are the best men that were with him:—Conchobair son of Tigernan O Ruairc king of Brefne, Cathal O Flaithbertaig, Murchad Finn O Fergail, Ruad in Feda O Flainn, Flann Mag Oirechtaig and Donn Oc, O Cellaig, the three sons of Mac Diarmata, Diarmait O Flannacain, Cathal son of Duarcan O hEgra, the two sons of Tigernan O Conchobair and Gilla na Naem O Taidc. But there were many of the youth of Connacht there besides these. The van of this host came upon the Ui Raigillig at Sailten Gassan and pursued them to Alt Tige Meg Currin. Here the new levies of the Muinter Raigillig turned upon this joint force and broke them thrice. The main army


came up with them after [some of] their men had been killed: Diarmait O Flannacain, Mac Maenaig, Coiclid O Coiclid and a number of others; and the combined armies came to Alt na hElti and Doirin Cranncha, between Ath na Betige and Bel in Belaig and Coill Esa and Coill Airthir, on Slieve Anierin. And here the Muinter Raigillig turned hardily, eagerly, wildly, strenuously, irrepressibly, to attack Fedlim's son and to avenge their injuries and oppression on him, and each chieftain exhorted his followers to go against the Connacht army.


Then rose up the Connachtmen on the other side of the battle, and a comely, quick, hot and hasty company were they. They ranged themselves in a burning, blazing, active, fiery throng, a phalanx stout and stable, round Aed mac Fedlim, that strong sturdy prince, and on that day the high-king's son showed a ruler's fury, a champion's endurance, a lion's prowess. A fierce furious felling fight was joined then between the two hosts, many were killed and wounded on either side: Conchobar son of Tigernan [O Ruairc] king of Brefne, Murchad Finn O Fergail, Maelruanaid Mac Donnchada and many others were wounded on that field and some of them, among whom was Murchad O Fergail, died of their wounds at home; while Flann Mag Oirechtaig was killed in the recoil of the battle, and many more with him. However, those who have knowledge of this great battle relate that the warriors of the host on that field could not look in the face of the high lord, for two great wideglancing torches were flaming and flashing in his head, so that all feared to speak with him; for he was within hailing-distance in front of the armies as they approached the forces of the Ui Briuin; and he uttered his high-king's war-cry and his champion's shout in the midst of the fight and never stopped on that charge and onset until the ranks of the Ui Briuin were scattered.


But there were killed there Cathal O Raigillig, king of Muinter Mailmorda and Cath Aeda Finn, Domnall Ruad and Niall his sons, and Cu Chonnacht his brother; the three sons of Cathal Dub O Ruairc, Gofraid, Fergal and Domnall; Annad son of Domnall O Raigillig, killed by Conchobar son of Tigernan O Ruairc; Niall, that is in Caech O Raigillig; Tigernan Mag Brataig and Gilla Micheil son of Taichlech and Donnchad O Bibsaig; Magnus Mac Gilla Duib, and more than three score of their chief men besides. Sixteen of the Ui Raigillig themselves were also killed there. The Battle of Mag Slecht at the brink


of Ath Derg, at Allt na hElti above Belach na Bethige—that is the name of this battle.


After this battle, Fedlim O Conchobair and his son Aed na nGall, with the men of Connacht, and Tigernan O Ruairc, with the men of Brefne, made an expedition to Loch in Trein; and the two armies fell upon the churches of Brefne, all except Fenagh, and returned(?) to their homes with hostages of the Fir Brefne, that is, of Mac Fiachrach and Mac Tigernain and Mag Samradain and of the son of Art O Ruairc; and Fedlim gave the hostages of the chieftains into the custody of O Ruairc and handed over Mag Samradain to his own son, Aed na nGall.


A small party of horse and foot and some soldiery of O Ruairc's following went to range the land of the Muinter Mailmorda, for it had been told to O Ruairc that some powerful men of the Muinter Raigillig were collecting what force they could of soldiery and Gaels, and coming to range that territory and to raid Mac Fiachrach.


The two parties, of O Ruairc and O Raigillig, met at Farnaght and when they came face to face the Ui Raigillig were scattered, though there were three large battalions of them. Not only that, but thirty-six of them were killed on that field, eight of whom were of the name O Raigillig, including Amlaib and Aed son of Cathal. O Ruairc's people returned home cheerful and gay, ungrieved and unbeaten.


Conchobar son of Tigernan O Ruairc, king of Brefne, and Gilla na Naem Mag Samradain and Mac Raith Mag Tigernain, the son of Cu Buide, and Mac na hOidche Mag Dorchaid and Cathal Mag Ragnaill and the sons of the kings and chieftains of the Ui Briuin with their followers came to Fenagh to meet with Domnall O Raigillig. They pursued him from the meeting-place and killed his beloved son Annad and Gilla Isa Mac in Chrottaig (Son of the Hunchback) [O Raigillig?] and many others. Next day, St. Brendan's day, they took a great prey out of Cruacha O Cubrain and plundered the country all the way to Fenagh. That day was ‘a drop before a shower’ to the Muinter Raigillig, since from it proceeded the beginning of the harm and harassing that afterwards befell them. For it is then that they sent envoys to the Connacht Galls, Macwilliam Burke and Mac Gosdelb, [inviting them] to destroy Connacht and Brefne.



As for the Galls, they mustered a great army and advanced to Keshcorran, where they encamped and spent the best part of a week, plundering all the churches of the Corann.


The Ui Raigillig came to Loch Allen, to Port na Cranne, which is called Fuarchosach on Loch Allen, but the Galls did not come to meet them there for fear of Aed O Conchobair, who was then at Cell tSesin in Uachtar Tire, waiting upon the two armies to east and west of him, [till he could decide] which of them to attack.


But Aed, when he heard of the arrival of the Muinter Raigillig, agreed upon a plan with O Ruairc, to leave their horses, armour and accoutrements at Cell tSesin and cross on foot to the east bank of the Shannon to attack the Ui Raigillig. They crossed the Shannon into the Enga, and when they heard that they had gone away they sent some followers and soldiery ahead to overtake them, as we have said above.


The Galls returned home, while the bishop O Maicin was excommunicating them. At the hour of nones, when a man was as dark as a brake, on the eve of the festival of Crosses, the Muintir Raigillig were slain. Aed O Conchobair remained that night at the place of battle, and next day the heads of the Muintir Raigillig were cut off and he brought them to Fedlimid at Dun Ailli west of Slieve Bawn.


A Justiciar came to Ireland from the King of England to settle the territory of Ireland among the barons and knights of Ireland.


This Justiciar and Aed O Conchobair had a meeting at Randoon and made peace, with a stipulation that O Conchobair should suffer no diminishing of territory or estate so long as this Justiciar held office in Ireland.


Aed son of Fedlim O Conchobair plundered the territory of Mac Richard Cusin to avenge the slaying of O Gadra on him. After that he broke down his castles, killing all the inmates, and took possession of the whole of Loch Gara.v


Ragnall Mac Branain, chieftain of the Corca Athclann, died.



Macwilliam Burke made a great raid on Ruaidri O Flaithbertaig, plundering Gno Mor and Gno Bec and taking possession of all Loch Corrib afterwards.


A great meeting between Aed O Conchobair and Eoan de Verdun at Ballyleague this year.


Sitrecc Mag Senalich escaped and fled for refuge to the monastery of Boyle.


Donn Cathaig Mag Senlaich died in the monastery of Boyle this year.


Athlone and Duniry were burned on the same day.


Gilla in Chomded O Cinnfaelad, abbot of Annadown, rested.


The Abbot of the Trinity at Tuaim, O Gillarain, rested.


Great war arose between Aed O Conchobair and Conchobar son of Tigernan O Ruairc, though they had been good comrades till now.


O Ruairc submitted to the Galls and made a separate peace, without permission of O Conchobair or his son.


Aed O Conchobair made a great raid on O Ruairc on the Wednesday before Great Christmas. They made peace afterwards.