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

Section 38


Criomhthann Nia Nar son of Lughaidh Riabh nDearg, son of the three Finneamhnas, son of Eochaidh Feidhlioch, son of Fionn, son of Fionnlogha, son of Roighnen Ruadh, son of Easamhan Eamhna, son of Blathacht, son of Laoghaire Lorc, son of Eanna Aighneach, son of Aonghus Tuirbheach Teamhrach of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland sixteen years. He was called Criomhthann Nia Nar, for nia is the same as 'champion' or 'brave man'; and he was called Nar, 'ashamed', for he felt ashamed of being the offspring of his brother and mother. It was in the twelfth year of the reign of Criomhthann Nia Nar that Christ was born. This Criomhthann met his death by a fall from his horse, soon after which he expired.

Fearadhach Fionn Feachtnach son of Criomhthann Nia Nar, son of Lughaidh Riabh nDearg, son of the three Finneamhnas, son of Eochaidh Feidhlioch of the race of Eireamhon, heid the sovereignty of Ireland twenty years. Nar Tuathchuach daughter of Loch son of Daire of Cruitheantuaith was the mother of Fearadhach Feachtnach. He was


called Fearadhach Feachtnach because justice and truth maintained in Ireland in his time. For feachtnach means 'truthful'. It was in his reign that Morann son of Maon lived, the just judge who possessed the Morann collar; and one of the virtues of this collar was that whoever wore it round his neck while delivering an unjust judgment the collar would close in tightly on his neck till he delivered a just judgment. It behaved similarly as regards one who came to give false testimony until he had confessed the truth. From this collar comes the old saw that is, when one orders that Morann's collar be round the neck of one giving evidence so that he might tell the truth and Fearadhach Feachtnach died in Liath Druim.

Fiatach Fionn, a quo the Dal bhFiatach, son of Daire, son of Dluthach, son of Deitsin, son of Eochaidh, son of Sin, son of Roisin, son of Triun, son of Roithriun, son of Airndil, son of Maine, son of Forga, son of Fearadhach, son of Oilill Earann, son of Fiachaidh Fear Mara, son of Aonghus Tuirbheach Teamhrach of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland three years; and he fell by Fiachaidh Fionnoladh.

Fiachaidh Fionnoladh son of Fearadhach Fionn Feachtnach, son of Criomhthann Nia Nar, son of Lughaidh Riabh nDearg, son of the three Finneamhnas, son of Eochaidh Feidhlioch of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland twenty-seven years. He is called Fiachaidh Fionnoladh, for oladh is a name for a cow, and most of the cows of Ireland were white (fionn) in his time; hence he was called Fiachaidh Fionnoladh. Know that, according to Stowe's Chronicle, there were Scots residing in Aiba in the year of the Lord 73, very soon after Fiachaidh Fionnoladh held the sovereignty of Ireland, and that was before Cairbre Riada lived. And this Fiachaidh was treacherously slain by the rustic tribes of Ireland.

Cairbre Chinn Chait son of Dubhthach, son of Rudhruighe, son of Diochun


Uairiodhnach, son of Tat Teadhmannach, son of Luaighne Laidhcinn, son of Oiris Eachlonnach, son of Earndolbh, son of Rionnal Dagharmagh, son of the king of Lochloinn, who came with Labhraidh Loingseach to the fortress of Tuaim Teannbhaoth, and others say that he was of the Fir Bolg, assumed the sovereignty of Ireland; he reigned five years, and died of the plague. And he was called Cairbre Chinn Chait because his ears were like the ears of a cat, as the poet says in this stanza:
    1. Thus was Cairbre the hardy,
      Who ruled Ireland south and north:
      Two cat's ears on his fair head,
      Cats fur upon his ears.
Cairbre obtained the sovereignty of Ireland in this manner. The serfs or rustic tribes of all Ireland devised a treacherous plot against the king and the nobles of the country; and they resolved to carry out this plot by getting ready a feast to be given to the kings and the nobles of Ireland; and the place in which that feast was given was Magh Cru in Connaught; and they were three years preparing it, and during that time they set apart a third of their crops with a view to the feast; and the free tribes of Ireland came to partake of it; and with them came three kings, namely, Fiachaidh Fionnoladh, king of Ireland, whose wife was Eithne daughter of the king of Alba; Feig son of Fidheic Caoch, king of Munster, whose wife was Beartha daughter of Goirtniad, king of Britain; Breasal son of Firb, king of Ulster, whose wife was the daughter of the king of Sacsa; her name was Aine, and her father's name was Cainneall. The rustic tribes had three chiefs, namely, Monach, Buan, and Cairbre Caitcheann; and this Cairbre was chief of them all. They had been partaking of the feast for nine days when at length the rustic tribes sprang upon the free tribes of Ireland and slew them, so that they all fell by them on the spot, except the three unborn children who were in the wombs of the


three wives of the three kings we have mentioned. Now the women fled to Alba, and there gave birth to three sons, namely, Tuathal Teachtmhar, Tiobraide Tireach, and Corb Olom. As to Ireland great famine and failure of crops and much adversity came upon that country. And this continued to be her lot till the three sons of the three kings they had treacherously slain were able to bear arms. And when the men of Ireland heard that the three sons of these kings were living, they sent envoys to them asking them to assume the sovereignty which their ancestors had held before them; and they gave the sun and moon as surety or guarantee that they would yield them obedience and be faithful to them evermore. Upon this the youths came, and accepted the inheritance of their fathers; and this brought back again her usual prosperity to Ireland. And Cairbre Chinn Chait died of the plague.

Eilim son of Connra, son of Rossa Ruadh, son of Rudhruighe, son of Sithrighe, son of Dubh, son of Fomhor, son of Airgeadmhar, son of Siorlamh, son of Fionn, son of Bratha, son of Labhraidh, son of Cairbre, son of Ollamh Fodla of the race of Ir son of Milidh, held the sovereignty of Ireland twenty years; and he fell by Tuathal Teachtmhar in the Battle of Aichill.