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

Section 31


Duach Dallta Deaghaidh son of Cairbre Lusc, son of Lughaidh Luaighne, son of Ionnadmhar, son of Nia Seaghamain, son of Adhamair Foltchaoin, son of Fear Corb, son of Mogh Corb, son of Cobhtbach Caomh, son of Reachtaidh Righdhearg of the race of Eibhear, held, the sovereignty of Ireland ten years. He was called Duach Dallta Deaghaidh, for Cairbre Lusc had two sons, namely Duach and Deaghaidh, and they disputed the sovereignty of Ireland with one another, for each of these sons, was a fit person for the kingship as regards shape, make, action, and valour. But Deaghaidh, the youngest of the sons, sought to supplant his elder brother Duach. When Duach perceived this, he sent messengers for his brother Deaghaidh; and Deaghaidh came to the place where Duach was; and when he came into his presence, Duach seized him, and took out his eyes, so that he was really a blind man; hence the name Duach Dallta Deaghaidh, ‘Duach who blinded Deaghaidh’, clung to him. To set forth this deed some poet composed this stanza:

    1. Deaghaidh was seized in his house
      By Duach, by his brother;
      And blinded by violence was
      This Deaghaidh, though sorry was the deed.
This Duach fell by Fachtna Fathach son of Cas.

Fachtna Fathach son of Cas, son of Rudhruighe, son of Sithrighe, son of Dubh, son of Fomhor, son of Airgeadmhar, son of Siorlamh of the race of Ir son of Milidh, held the sovereignty of Ireland sixteen years; and he fell by Eochaidh Feidhlioch.


Eochaidh Feidhlioch son of Fionn, son of Fionnlogh, son of Roighnen Ruadh, son of Easaman Eamhna, son of Blathacht, son of Labhraidh Lorc, son of Eanna Aighneach, son of Aonghus Tuirbheach Teamhrach, son of Eochaidh Foiltleathan, son of Oilill Caisfhiaclach, son of Connla Cruaidhchealgach, son of Iarainnghleo Fathach, son of Meilge Molbhthach, son of Cobhthach Caol mBreagh, son of Ughaine Mor of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland twelve years. Benia daughter of Crioinhthann was mother of Eochaidh Feidhlioch. He was called Eochaidh Feidhlioch, for he suffered long from sighing, for feidhil means long, and uch means ‘a sigh’, hence Feidhlioch means ‘a long sigh’. For his heart was never without a sigh since he slew his sons in the Battle of Drom Criaidh until his own death. These three sons were called the three Finneamhnas. And they were called Eamhna, from the word amhaon, denying that any one of them was born alone, they being all born together. And Cloithfhionn daughter of Eochaidh Uichtleathan, wife of Eochaidh Feidhlioch, was their mother, and she gave birth to them together. Their names were Breas and Nar and Lothar. And this Eochaidh Feidhlioch it was who first divided Ireland into provinces and instituted provincials. For he divided the province of Connaught into three parts, between three, namely, Fidheac son of Feig, Eochaidh Allad, Tinne son of Connraidh. He gave to Fidheac Fir na Craoibhe, from Fidheac to Luimneach; he gave to Eochaidh Allad Iorrus Domhnann, from Gaillimh to Dubh, and to Drobhaois; he gave to Tinne son of Connraidh, Magh Sainbh and Seantuatha Taidhean, from Fidheac to Teamhair Bhrogha Niadh; he gave, moreover, the province of Ulster to Fearghus son of Leide; he gave the province of Leinster to Rossa son of Fearghus Fairrge; he gave the two provinces of Munster to Tighearnach Teadbhannach and to Deaghaidh; so that he brought all Ireland under his own sway and rule during his reign.


After this, however, Eochaidh went into Connaught; and the three kings and the people of the three divisions of Connaught came to meet him. Eochaidh asked of them the site of a royal fortress for himself in Connaught. Eochaidh Allad and Fidheac said they would not grant him this, and that they preferred to send him his rent and dues to Tara. Tinne son of Connraidh, however, the third king, consented to Eochaidh's having the site of a fortress. Eochaidh gave his own daughter Meadhbh to wife to Tinne; and they formed a friendly alliance with one another. Eochaidh Feidhlioch inquired of his druids where he should build the fortress; and they told him to build it at Druim na nDruadh, which is called Cruachain. The fort was then begun by the Gamhanruidh from Iorrus Domhnann; and they made the rampart of that fort of Eochaidh in one day, as the poet says:

    1. He enjoined on the tribe of Domhnann, in one day
      To make and shape the rampart;
      The king of Fail of the feasts gave not
      Pay to the men for the work.
A residence was then built within it; and Eochaidh gave the kingdom of Connaught to Tinne son of Connraidh, and gave him his own daughter, Meadhbh, in marriage. After this Tinne slew Eochaidh Allad, and gave the kingdom of Domhnann to Oilill Fionn. Now Meadhbh gave the government of Raith Eochach to Crochain Croidhearg, her own mother; and it is from this Crochain that the name Cruachain is now given to Raith Cruachan, as the poet says in this quatrain:
    1. Druim na nDruadh and Tulach Oichne,
      And then Raith Eochach was it called;
      Raith Cruachan from Crochain Croidhearg,
      Who sped great wrath on the plain.
Meadhbh continued for a long time afterwards to be the wife of Tinne son of Connraidh, till he fell at Tara by the hand of


Monuidhir, who was called Mac Ceacht. Now Meadhbh held for ten years the sovereignty of Connaught after Tinne without living with any man publicly, but living privately with whatever man pleased her fancy. After this Meadhbh took for her husband Oilill Mor son of Rossa Ruadh, a Leinsterman. Mada Muirisc, a Connaughtwoman, was his mother. And Meadbh bore to Oilill seven sons, namely, the seven Maines. And it was Conall Cearnach who when at Cruachain, in his old age, slew Oilill by a cast of a javelin; and the men of Connaught followed and slew him to avenge that deed.

There were war and strife for a long time between the people of Connaught and those of Ulster while Meadhbh held sway over Connaught, and Conchubhar was king of Ulster. And in order that thou mayest know, O reader, the cause of the enmity that existed between them, I shall set down here how the children of Uisneach were slain in violation of the guarantee or protection of Fearghus son of Rogh, of Cormac Conluingeas, and of Dubthach Daol Uladh. The pith of the story is briefly as follows.