Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Fragmentary Annals of Ireland (Author: [unknown])

Annal FA 221

FA 221

?733 Áed Alláin son of Fergal defeated Flaithbertach son of Loingsech, king of Ireland, in battle, so Flaithbertach brought a fleet with him from Foirtriu against Cenél Eógain. However, most of that fleet was drowned. Flaithbertach himself died in that year, and the kingship of Ireland was taken from Cenél Conaill for a long time thereafter.

Annal FA 222

FA 222

733 In this year a cow was seen in Delginis Cualann that had six legs, and two bodies, and one head, and it was milked three times a day.

Annal FA 223

FA 223

734 Kl. Áed Alláin son of Fergal took the kingship of Ireland.

Annal FA 224

FA 224

732 Flann Sinna Ua Colla, abbot of Cluain Moccu Nóis, died.

Annal FA 225

FA 225

732 Garolt, princeps or pontifex of Mag Eó of the Saxons, died.

Annal FA 226

FA 226

732 Sebdann, daughter of Corc, abbess of Cell Dara, died.

Annal FA 227

FA 227

732 The battle of Connacht, in which Muiredach son of Indrechtach fell.


Annal FA 228

FA 228

735 Áed A1láin defeated the Ulaid in a battle in which Áed Rán, king of the Ulaid, and Conchad, king of the Cruithne, fell, at Fochart Muirtheimne; Áed Rón's thumb is in the church at Fochart.

Annal FA 229

FA 229

733 Battle again between Áed Allaacute;in and Cenél Conaill, in which Conaing son of Congal son of Fergus of Fánad fell.

Annal FA 230

FA 230

733 Domnall son of Murchad won a battle over Cathal son of Finguine in Tailtiu.

Annal FA 231

FA 231

735 Kl. Oegedchar, bishop of Aendruim, rested.

Annal FA 232

FA 232

735 Bede the Wise rested in the 88th year of his age.

A third fragment, extracted by the same Mac Fir Bhisigh from the same manuscript, beginning from the fifth year of the reign of Máel Sechlainn son of Máel Ruanaid, or (as the Annals of Donegal have it) 849 A.D.

Annal FA 233

FA 233

851 Then as the sentinels of the Norwegians were looking attentively across the sea, they saw a vast sea-going fleet coming towards them. Great terror and fear seized them: but some of them were saying that it was Norwegians coming to reinforce and relieve them. Some others—and those understood better—said that it was Aunites, i.e. Danes, who were there, coming to destroy and plunder them; and that was more accurate. The Norwegians sent out a very fast ship to meet them to investigate.

Then the swift ship of the young man who was mentioned before came alone in front of the other ships, until the two ships met face to face, and the helmsman of the Norwegian ship said, ‘You, men,’ he said, ‘from what country have you come onto this sea? Do you come for peace, or for war?’ This is the answer that the Danes gave him: a great shower of arrows upon them. The crews of those two ships set to at once; the Danish ship overcame the Norwegian, and the Danes killed the crew of the


Norwegian ship. The Danes rushed all together against the Norwegians so that they reached the shore. They battled harshly, and the Danes killed three times their own number of them, and they beheaded everyone that they killed. The Danes brought the Norwegians' ships with them to port. Afterwards the Danes seized the women and gold and all the goods of the Norwegians, and thus the Lord took from them all the wealth they had taken from the churches and holy places and shrines of the saints of Ireland.

Annal FA 234

FA 234

851 At that time Máel Sechlainn sent messengers for Cináed son of Conaing, king of Cianachta—and it was he who had burned the churches and the oratories of the saints (as we recounted before)—as if to consult with him as to what they should do about the matter of the Danes, for it seemed there was peace between Máel Sechlainn and Cináed; and although Cináed had an eye disease, he came to Máel Sechlainn, with an army about him as if to protect him.

Máel Sechlainn and Cináed and Tigernach, king of Brega, met together in one place. Máel Sechlainn desired that he and the king of Brega should kill the king of Cianachta. However, Máel Sechlainn did not do that immediately, because Cináed had an army, and he was afraid that there would be reciprocal slaughter. What he did was to postpone it until the morning of the next day. Then Máel Sechlainn devised false reasons for their coming to the same place the following day, and he ordered the armies to go away. When Cináed's army had left him, Máel Sechlainn came with a large host to Cináed, and it was not fully daylight then; and this is what Máel Sechlainn said in a loud and harsh and hostile voice to Cináed: ‘Why,’ he said, ‘did you burn the oratories of the saints, and why did you, along with Norwegians, destroy their holy places and the books of the saints?’

Then Cináed knew that fine words would not avail him, and he remained silent. That noble, well-born, strong youth was dragged out after that, and he was drowned in a dirty stream according to Máel Sechlainn's plan; and that was how he died.

Annal FA 235

FA 235

852 In this year, that is, in the fifth year of Máel Sechlainn's reign, two chieftains of the Norwegian fleet, Zain and Iargna, mustered large armies from every place against the Danes. They assembled, then, so that there were seventy ships, and they went to Snám Aignech; and that was where the Danes were at that time. They drew together there and fought a hard and terrible battle on both sides; for we have never before heard anywhere


of a slaughter like that which took place between them there, that is, between the Danes and Norwegians. Nevertheless, it was the Danes who were defeated.

The Danes gathered together afterwards, after they had been routed, and they were dying of famine; and this is what their chieftain, Horm, said to them (and before then he had been a hard, triumphant man): ‘Until now,’ he said, ‘you have won many victories, although you have been overcome here by a more numerous army. Listen to the words I will say to you: every victory and every triumph, and all the glory that you have gained thereby, that has been destroyed by a small bit of a single day. Look, then, to the next battle you would fight against the Norwegians, for they have your women, and all your wealth, and your ships, and they are gloating at having won victory and spoils from you. What you must do now is to go single-mindedly against them, as if you did not expect to live, but were not waiting for death either; and revenge yourselves. And though you may not have a lucky victory thereby, we will have what our gods and our fate will give to us; if it does not go well for us then, there will be general slaughter on both sides. Here is another of my counsels to you: this Saint Patrick who is chief bishop and head of the saints of Ireland, against whom our enemies have committed many offenses: let us pray diligently to him, and let us give honorable offerings to him, to bring victory and triumph over those enemies.’ All answered him, and this is what they said: ‘Let our protector,’ they said, ‘be this Saint Patrick, and the Lord who is master to him, and let our spoils and our treasure be given to his church.’

After that, they proceeded together single-mindedly, virile and manly, against the Norwegians, and gave battle.

At this time Zain, one of the two kings of the Norwegians, and Matudán, king of Ulaid, came to ravage the Danes on sea and land; although Zain the Norwegian had not known about that before, he came, along with the small number who had accompanied him, to attack the Danes on one side, and Iargna, the other king of the Norwegians, came against the Danes from the other side. Then the battle was fought hard. The shrieking of the javelins, and the crashing blows of swords, and the hammering of shields being struck, and the cries of soldiers being overcome, were loudly audible. Though it lasted a long time, it was the Norwegians who were defeated, and the Danes took victory and spoils, by grace of Patrick, although the Norwegians were three or four times the number of the Danes.

Afterwards the Danes attacked the camp of the Norwegians, and killed some there, and took others captive, and put others to flight, and seized


all the wealth of gold and silver, and all other goods, and their women, and their ships. However, Zain himself was not fighting in this battle, for he did not come along with his people towards the camp, because he had been taking counsel in another place. When he came to the camp, it was the enemies he saw there, and not his own people.

Besides the Danes themselves who were killed, five thousand Norwegian men of good families were slain. Moreover, many other soldiers and men of every rank were killed in addition to those numbers.

It was at that time that Máel Sechlainn, king of Temair, sent messengers to the Danes. When they arrived the Danes were cooking, and the supports of the cooking-pots were heaps of the bodies of the Norwegians, and even the spits on which the meat was roasting rested their ends on the bodies of Norwegians, and the fire was burning the bodies, so that the meat and fat that they had eaten the night before was bursting out of their bellies. The messengers of Máel Sechlainn were looking at them thus, and they were reproaching the Danes for it. This is what the Danes said: ‘They would like to have us like that.’ They had a huge ditch full of gold and silver to give to Patrick. For the Danes were like that, and they had kinds of piety—that is, they abstained from meat and from women for a while, for the sake of piety.

Now this battle gave good spirits to all the Irish because of the destruction it brought upon the Norwegians.

Annal FA 236

FA 236

852 In this year Máel Sechlainn defeated the pagans in battle, and the Cianachta, moreover, defeated the heathens twice.

Annal FA 237

FA 237

849 Kl. The encampment of Máel Sechlainn at Crufot, of which Máel Fechini sang:

    1. It is time to cross the fair Bóand
      towards the smooth plain of Mide;
      it is difficult to be in the fresh wind
      at this time in withered Crufot.

Annal FA 238

FA 238

849 Indrechtach, abbot of Í, came to Ireland with the holy relics of Colum Cille.

Annal FA 239

FA 239

849 Also in this year, i.e. the sixth year of the reign of Máel Sechlainn, Amlaib Conung, son of the king of Norway, came to Ireland, and he


brought with him a proclamation of many tributes and taxes from his father, and he departed suddenly. Then his younger brother Imar came after him to levy the same tribute.

Annal FA 240

FA 240

850 Kl. Loch Laig in the territory of Umail flowed away.