HIGH-KINGS OF IRELAND
The name "Ireland" is English meaning "Land of the Eireans". The Greeks called Ireland "Ierne" for the Erin[ioi] (Erneans; Eireans), which was the dominant tribe in Ireland when the isle first came to the notice of Greece, circa 600BC. The modern Irish call their island "Eire", which is also named after the Eireans. The Romans called Ireland "Hiberniae" for the [H]Ibernae (Iverni), the major tribe of Leinster, Ireland, which was the first Irish tribe to make contact with the Romans, circa 55/50BC.
Ireland first appears in history as divided into five major kingdoms, some of which were composed of sub-kingdoms, over all of which reigned a High-King, that is, the "Ard Ri[gh]", whose seat was at Tara, County Meath. The Medieval Irish "Pentarchy", that is, the rule of "five equal kings" under one "high-king" may be compared to the Medieval English "Heptarchy". The five major kingdoms of Ireland, called the "Five Fifths of Ireland" ["Coic Coiceda Erenn"], were: (1) Meath, the eastern midlands, with capitals at Tara, Uisnech, and Brega; (2) Connacht [Connaught], called "Alenecma" in Macpherson's 18th cent. "Ossian", the western midlands, capital-city at Croghan [Rathcroghan], an extensive archaeological site near Tulsk, Co. Roscommon; (3) Leinster, south-east Ireland, with capital-city at Ailinne [Knochawlin], the largest hill-fort in Ireland, near Kilcullen, Co. Kildare; (4) Munster, south-west Ireland, capital-city first at Naas, then, the Slieveragh Hill, and later at Cashel [Latin: Castellum], the 200-foot high acropolis in central Tipperary [the only royal Irish seat to have a Latin derived name]; and (5) Ulster, northern Ireland, with capitals at Ailech, Emain Macha [Navan Fort], Downpatrick, Armagh, and Belfast.
The "provincial kingdom" of Meath was founded by the Picts, who came from Britain to Ireland at the time of the conquest of Britain by the Celts. The first King of Meath was Tarvos, who gave his name to Tara the kingdom's capital-city. The original kingdom of Meath was later conquered by the Milesians, who gave Meath a new dynasty of rulers.
The "provincial kingdom" of Connacht was founded by the Nagnatae tribe. Legend says that its first king was Sreng, called a Fir-Bolg prince, who established himself at Sligo, the kingdom's first capital-city. The next king of Connacht referred to in ancient Irish annals is Sanbh [son of Ceit Mac Magach], who flourished circa AD 75. The kingdom was re-founded in about AD 200 following a period of civil wars in Ireland by Cathal "Mor" [Mac Maghnu], who built the citadel of Croghan and is also called the first King of Connacht. His descendants held sway in Connacht until its conquest by the Connachta Dynasty, which gave the kingdom its name, circa AD 425.
The "provincial kingdom" of Leinster was founded by the Fir-Bolg [Belgae], whose chiefs, or kings, held sway at Ding Rig, the kingdom's first capital-city, which laid on the banks of the Barrow River, County Carlow. In ancient times Leinster was occupied by five major tribes, of which the tribe of Laigin rose to dominance and gave Leinster its name. The tribes of Leinster were united by Ugaine"Mor" [Hugony "The Great"], who built the hill-fort of Ailinne [Knochawlin], near Kilcullen, County Kildare, and is reckoned as the first King of Laigin [Leinster] circa 25BC. He was the son of Echu Mac Earc [Eochu "Buadh"], the last King of the Fir-Bolg, descendant of Dela Mac Bolg, the first King of the Fir-Bolg. The kingdom was re-founded circa 175/185 following a period of civil wars in Ireland by Cathair "Mor", who is [also] reckoned the first King of Laigin [Leinster] or the first king of a new era of the history of the kingdom.
The "provincial kingdom" of Munster was founded by the Tuatha-da-Danaan [Fir-Domnainn] tribe, cousins of the British Dumnonians of Devonshire. Legend says that the first king of the Tuatha-da-Danaan was Dagde "Mor", whose descendant, Nuada, established the colony of the Tuatha-da-Danaan in Ireland, in Munster, centered around the settlement-town of Naas, which was Munster's first capital-city. He had a famous descendant, Nuada [II] "Airgetlam" ["of the Silver-Hand"], who is listed among Ireland's high-kings. His story in Irish Mythology is an epic tale. There is a third Nuada in the royal Munster genealogy whose epithet is "Necht" [identified with Nuadhas "Neacht"], who also rose to Ireland's high-kingship. The kingdom was re-founded about AD 175/200 following a period of civil wars in Ireland by Mogh "Nuadat", who built the fort on Slieveragh Hill, which he made his seat, and is called the first King of Mumu [Munster]. His descendants split into three great branches: (a) the Eoganachta; (b) the Cinnachta; and (c) the Dalcassians.
The "provincial kingdom" of Ulster was founded by the Caledonians, who may be identified with the Greek Calydons [Kaledonioi]. The Caledonians came to Ireland under the leadership of Partholan [Portholon] [Parthi], a Greek Sea-King, who is sometimes called the first King of Ireland itself, circa 1150BC. Partholan is represented in Irish Mythology as the leader of the first wave of invaders to settle in Ireland in ancient times. Partholan was a prince of the Greek city-state of Calydon, whence the name Caledonians. Legend says that his wife, Dalny [Dealgnaid], was one of the daughters of the Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses III in whose service he and his followers were employed before they came to Ireland and established a colony in Ulster. The three sons of Partholan [Parthi], namely, Rudraighe [Rudrige], Laiglinne [Luchtai], and Slaigne, each founded their own kingdoms. His eldest son, Rudraighe [Rudrige], called the first King of Ulster, is regarded as the ancestor of Ulster's first dynasty. He built the great stone fort of Ailech at Innishowen Head in North-East County Donegal, on the western entrance to Lough Foyle, which stood on a high promontory [803 feet high]. The fort commands one of Ireland's most spectacular panoramic views. His other son Laiglinne [Luchtai], called the first King of Kaledonia [Scotland], gave Scotland a dynasty of kings. And, his third son, Slaigne, gave the Isle of Man a dynasty of Manx kings. The dynasty of Rudraighe held sway in Ulster over a thousand years before ending with an heiress, Nest [Ness], the mother of the epic Irish hero Conchobar "Mac Nessa", whose descendants gave Ulster another dynasty of rulers. The second race to settle in Ulster were the Eireans, who came as immigrants. They also founded a regional-kingdom in Ulster called "Ierne", with Emain Macha [Navan Fort] as its capital-city. Emain Macha is called "Isamnion" by a 2nd century Roman writer; and, finds there by archaeologists suggest that the 18-acre hill-fort, Emain Macha, was known far beyond Ireland in ancient times. The fort was destroyed by the Gaels, who came as invaders and were the third race to settle in Ulster and found a kingdom. The Gaels founded the Kingdom of Airgialla [Oirghialla] [Oriel; Uriel] in Ulster, with Clogner as its capital-city.
The medieval Irish epic "Lebor Gabala Erenn" records five separate waves of invaders to settle in Ireland in ancient times. The fifth and last wave of these invaders were the "Milesians", that is, the "sons of Mil[e]", so-called after Mile "Espaine" [the Latin Milesius], the ancestor of the great Milesian Dynasty, which dynasty ruled Ireland for over a thousand years before the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland in the twelfth century AD. There are several theories of the ancestry of the Milesians. The traditional theory given in the "Lebor Gabala" identifies the Milesians with the Gaels, however, modern scholarship takes exception to this. For, modern scholarship has determined that the "Lebor Gabala" was written by an Irish cleric in the late twelfth century soon after the Anglo-Norman conquest in an attempt to maintain Ireland's separate identity from Britain by giving Ireland its own national literary epic, and, thus, a sense of national dignity and pride. The "Lebor Gabala" gives all the Irish tribes a Gaelic ancestry and denies the existence of other ethnic elements in the Irish population. Hence, the "Lebor Gabala" gives Mile [Milesius] a Gaelic genealogy in place of his true lineage, which is unsure. The ancestry of Mile is traced in the "Lebor Gabala" through a line of Gaelic chiefs from Gaodhal Glas, the eponymous ancestor of the Goidels, one of the Gaelic tribes. The names in the genealogy are not all Gaelic but some are "gaelicized" spellings of non-Gaelic names. There is another theory of Mile's ancestry which has been proposed that identifies Mile with an early British prince whose name was Mille, or Millus, or Millo, which name was common in early British royalty. Now, among the list of Mile's ancestors in the "Lebor Gabala" is one called Breogan, which is the Irish spelling of "Brehin", which is not a name but a title meaning "King of Britain", which could make a case that the Irish patriarch Mile was a British prince. Too, this Breogan is represented as a son or descendant of one called Brath, which is the Irish spelling of Brutus [Britto], who traditionally was Britain's first king. This theory is supported by archaeologists who tell us that a Brythonic [British] state and culture was established in Goidelic Ireland in County Meath centered at Tara during the Iron Age. Then, still, another theory conjectures that Mile was a "gaelicized" Jewish prince, that is, a descendant of the old royal house of the Irish tribe "Fir-De", that is, "Tuathe-De", who were "gaelicized" descendants of Jewish refugees. If this is true, then, Mil[e] descended from Dua[ch], the last king of the Irish "Fir-De", who was killed about 250BC fighting invading Gaels, who conquered the isle. Dua[ch], the last king of the Irish "Fir-De", descended from Ion, the first king of the Irish "Fir-De", or "Tuathe-De", who led a party of Jewish refugees to Ireland about 585BC following the Babylonian conquest of Judea, who is identified with the Jewish prince Johanan, son of Prince Kareah, the brother of King Josiah of Judah, who was a claimant to the Israeli throne. The proponents of the theory of British Israelism have written many books to substantiate this supposition.
The "Lebor Gabala" says that Ireland was ruled by three Danaanite kings at the time of the invasion of the Milesians, namely, MacGrene, MacCecht, and MacCuill. The Milesians crushed the Danaanites, that is, the Tuatha-da-Danaan, who opposed their invasion, in two battles: (1) the Battle of Tailtiu [Teltown, Co. Meath], and later at (2) Druim Ligen, after which they spread their power over Ireland, except Ulster. The sons of Mile divided Ireland among themselves after the Milesian Conquest, and ruled Ireland jointly for a year. Then, civil war broke out among the three brothers, which ended with Erem [Eremon] as the sole ruler. It was his descendants who gave Ireland its high-kings.
The central monarchy of Ireland had come into being in ancient times as the Kings of Tara rose in the Iron Age to become the high-king of all the Irish chiefs/kings; and, later, by medieval times, were calling themselves the "Kings of Ireland". The "Ard Ri[gh]" is portrayed in early Irish literature as reigning over the whole of Ireland from his seat at Tara. Tara, during the Iron Age, was a hill-top stone fort surrounded by a complex of earthworks. It was a cultic site and was the place of the inauguration of the Irish high-kings. It served as the residence of the Irish high-kings from its construction, circa 750BC, until its destruction in AD 540 by an invasion of barbarians. These were Vandals but were called Africans because they came from the Vandal settlement in North Africa. The seat of the Irish high-kings was then moved to Loch Ennel in West Meath though ceremonial gatherings and the inaugurations of the high-kings continued to be held in the ruins of Tara until AD 559 when the site was completely abandoned due to its pagan past.
Modern scholarship has proposed three theories of the Irish "Ard Ri[gh]", which are: (1) that the office and title existed from very early times; (2) that the "Ard Ri[gh]" was a fiction created as political propaganda to support the claims of the Tara Dynasty of County Meath; and (3) that the term was an honorific title given to the most powerful of the five local Irish kings and did not denote a national sovereign.
The Kingdom of Ireland is generally reckoned to have been founded by Niall "Mor" ["The Great"] or "Noigiallach" ["of the Nine Hostages"], circa 396/399, who subdued the whole of Ireland under him and founded the Medieval Irish Monarchy, and is thus reckoned as the first "King of Ireland" in the modern sense.
The Irish high-kingship at Tara prior to the time of Niall "Mor" had not been held exclusively by any one royal house, and the dynasties of the five Irish kingdoms were all eligible to supply representatives to reign at Tara as high-king ["Ard Ri"], but, after Niall's reforms, or actually after the Battle of Ocha (483) ending the civil wars in Ireland that followed Niall's death, the high-kingship was confined to the descendants of Niall "Mor", that is, the "Ui Neill" or O'Neills, and it was agreed also that the succession should alternate between the two great branches of his descendants, the Northern O'Neills and the Southern O'Neills. There were over fifty kings of Medieval Ireland as Niall Mor's successors, and all were his descendants, the O'Neills, with few exceptions, the others were the O'Briens and the O'Conors. In the eleventh century the O'Briens, and then in the twelfth century the O'Conors successively contested the Irish high-kingship with the O'Neills. The succession to the national Irish throne by the twelfth century came to be regulated by a code of three tenets, which were: (1) one must belong to the "derbfine" of any earlier high-king to be eligible for succession [that is, anyone descended in the male-line from an Irish high-king to the ninth generation]; (2) that a claimant must be able to prove his lineage; and (3) among those lawfully eligible, the succession was determined usually by "tanistry" or sometimes by election, depending on the situation and political climate at the time, thus, the succession did not necessarily pass to a king's son but more often to a king's cousin, or uncle, or nephew, according to the male-line. The system of "tanistry", whereby, the king designated his successor during his life-time from the "worthiest" of his "derbfine", was practiced among the royalty of Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, whereas in England the system of primogeniture developed as that country's code of succession. In France the "Salic Law" [so-called] regulated the succession to its throne, whereby, the succession could only pass to or through a male-line descendant of the royal house. The principle was contested by England whose kings were more closely related to the old line of French kings than the new line which replaced them thus igniting the "100 Years' War". The election of an Irish high-king in an assembly of the Irish tribal chiefs, clan captains, and sept elders, was unusual but did happen on occasion. For example, such was the case in 1171 when King Henry II of England, whose grandmother was a descendant of Ireland's first king, Niall "Mor", was acknowledged as "Lord of Ireland" in an assembly of the Irish chiefs/kings, etc. The fact that the later English King Henry VIII claimed the Irish throne through his descent from the daughter and heiress of Ireland's last king, Ruaidri II, was disputed by the Irish chieftains and was to be a matter of contention for centuries to come.
date unk a. Mile "Espanie", eponymous founder of the Milesian Dynasty; = Scota, an Egyptian princess; begot 3 sons: (1) Erem ([H]Eremon)(Ermin), (2) Ier (Ir), (3) Eber (Heber)(Emher), who were the ancestors of three great Irish clans. The uncle of Mile, namely, Ithe, who accompanied him on all of his adventures, was also the ancestor of an Irish clan, the Ithians. Mile [Milead; Milidh][Mille; Millo], according to legend, was a prince in exile from his native country [? Britain] due to a struggle for the throne. The name of his native country is not given. He attracted followers and became a freebooter, and hired himself and his followers out as mercenaries to foreign kings. He had an early career in Scythia as the captain of foreign mercenaries [? possibly British refugees] in the employ of the Scythian king. Next, according to myth, he and his followers appear in the service of the Egyptian Pharaoh Nectanebus I or II [380-363BC or 360-343BC], whose daughter, Scota, he marries. Then, he and his followers appear in Spain in the service of its king, whence his epithet "Espanie" ["Soldier of Spain"]. Irish Myth says that Mile "Espanie" was killed in battle in Spain and his followers came to Ireland under the leadership of his sons, Erem, Ier, Eber, their mother, Scota, and his uncle, Ithe, who led the "Milesians", to Ireland where they subdued the natives and established a colony. The Milesians, the final invaders of Ancient Ireland, were misidentified with the Gaels by medieval Irish clerics, and their arrival in Ireland was made contemporary with events recorded in the Bible.
at Navan Fort, reigned:
575BC a. Eochaid, King of Ierne [not a Milesian, but turned into one by medieval Irish clerics]; = Tamar [Tea] Telphi, daughter of Zedekiah, Judah's last king; the Jewish princess is the center figure in several legends, from whom descends:
?-95BC u. Sirlaim
95-85BC v. Airgedmar, King of Ierne, father of Aedh "Ruad", Dithorba, & Cimbad
85/80BC w. Duach "Ladhrach", he slew his predecessor to gain the throne, and was overthrown and killed by his successor
80/75BC x. Lugaid "Laidhe", killed his predecessor, was murdered by successor
75-50BC y. Aedh "Ruad", begot an only child, a daughter, Macha
50-25BC z. Macha, only queen-regnant in Ancient Irish History; co-reigned with uncle-husband, Cimbad, after whose death she = 2nd Eochu "Buadh", King of Laigin, whose son, Ugaine, born of his first wife Taillte, was adopted by Queen Macha as her step-son. After his death Queen Macha reigned alone over Ireland in great glory. She had three sons of her first marriage, namely, [Ro]Sin, ancestor of later Kings of Ierne, and the twin sons Fedach and Fomfor. Her step-son by her second marriage, namely, Ugaine, succeeded his step-mother in the Irish high-kingship. He moved the royal seat to Ailinne as a compromise between Tara and Navan Fort.
at Ailinne [Knochawlin], the largest hill-fort in Ireland, near Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, reigned:
25BC-AD25 X. Ugaine "Mor" [Hugony "The Great"], High-King of Ireland, [son of Eochaid "Buadhach" [Eochu "Buadh"], King of Laigin [Leinster], identified with Echu Mac Earc, the last King of the Fir-Bolg, descendant of Dela, first King of the Fir-Bolg, descendant of Beli of Tyre]. He was a popularly claimed ancestor of Irish Royalty in medieval times. He, according to Irish Mythology, engaged in foreign conquests, and extended his dominion over Britain and Gaul. A story now lost has him campaigning in Italy: if so, it would have been as the captain of a company of Irish mercenaries in Roman military service as irregulars or foreign auxiliaries. His wife, called "Cesair [III]", the third person in Celtic Mythology to have that name, is called the daughter of the King of the Franks, who, at the time would have been the Roman Governor of Gaul, namely, […]oroix, a native Gallic prince in Roman service. On his death claimants to the high-kingship arose at Tara, Navan Fort, as well as Ailinne, which sparked civil wars among the claimants.
date unk X. Loeguire "Lorc", son, King of Laigin/Leinster
date unk X. Cobhthach "Caelbreagh", bro, usurper
date unk X. Labraid "Loingsech" [son of Oilioll "Aine", son of Loeguire "Lorc"], restored to his grand-father's throne with the help of foreign mercenaries, the Gauls (Gaels).
at Tara, reigned:
50-25BC 90. Olave [Ollamh] "Fotla" ["Fodhla"], High-King of Ireland [# 18 in some lists] [son of Fiachu Find Scothach]; =1 X [mother of his son Aillill "Ollfhinnachta", claimant, 1st King of Athfotla in Scotland]; =2 X [mother of 3 sons: Slanoll, Finnacht "Finn Sneachta", and Cairbre]; =3 Cesair [widow of […]oroix, Governor of Gaul, daughter of Julius Caesar & Cordelia, the British Queen, mother of Geide [Gede; Gedhe; Ghede] "Ol-Gothach"]
25-5BC X. Cesair, queen-regent, widow
5BC-? 91.Geide [Gede; Gedhe; Ghede] "Ol-Gothach" ["Ollghothach"], son
AD 25 92A. Eochaid "Feidlech", and his twin-brother, Eochaid "Airem", associate-king, sons of Fionn "Lughe" [who possibly may have been a half-brother of Geide, # 91]. Eochaid "Feidlech" was the father of a son, Bres-Nar-Lothar [Fineamhas], and, a daughter, Etain, the wife of Conaire "Mor".
AD 25 92B. Eochaid "Airem" [# 93 in some regnal-lists]
AD 35 93. Eterscel [Edir "Scroll"] of Ierne
AD 45 94. Eimhir "Finn" [not numbered in some regnal-lists]
AD 50 95. Nuada "Necht", son of Setne [Sedna Sithbhai], and, father of Foirbre of Munster [fl.c. AD 75/85], descended from Dagde "Mor", the ancestor of the chiefs/kings of the Tuatha-da-Danaan.
AD 55 96. Conaire "Mor"; got epithet "Mor" from expeditions to Gaul and Britain against the Romans; was elected King of Ireland by an assembly of Irish chieftains but was murdered by bandits while on his way to accept the crown.
AD 60 97. Lugaidh "Sraibh-nDearg", son of Bres-Nar-Lothar [Fineamhas] (above),&, father of Crimthann "Naidar" (below)
AD 65 98. Conchobar "Abrat-Ruad", son of Finn "File", slain by successor
AD 70 99. Crimthann "Naidar" [whose mother was Naire, daughter of Nar-Tath-Chaoch, King of Alba, i.e., Britain]; = Baine, daughter of Loich [Laoch], son of Dareletus, a British king; died shortly after his return to Ireland from one of several expeditions assisting the Britons in their wars against the Romans; begot Feradach "Find Fechtnach"
XX-83 100. Feradach "Find Fechtnach", 1st time; = X, a British princess, one of the two daughters of the British Queen Boadicea; deposed AD 83 during a national assembly at Magh-Cru, in Connacht, and the indiscriminate massacre of many of the tribal chiefs gathered there by the militias of the three rebel-chiefs, Cairbre "Cinncat", Buan, & Monach, which signaled a general rebellion throughout Ireland of the Aitheach-Tuatha [plebeians]. Feradach, the ex-king, was one of three who escaped the massacre and fled to Britain, the other two were Tibraide "Tireach" [an ancestor of the Dal-nAraide, whose mother, Aine, was the daughter of a British king] and Corb "Olum" [an ancestor of the Eoganacht, whose mother, Cruife, was the daughter of a British king], each of whom found refuge at the courts of their mothers' fathers in Britain. The Irish ex-king Feradach appealed to the Roman Governor Agricola to help him re-take his throne.
It may have been the Roman Governor Agricola who built the Roman fort in Ireland at Drumanagh, fifteen miles north of Dublin, which is discussed in the article "Revealed: Ireland's Hidden Roman Past", by Ciaran Byrne and John Maas. The article gives evidence that Ireland contrary to popular myth was indeed invaded by the Romans and shatters one of the country's strongest myths that the Romans never set foot there. The fort covered 40 acres and a significant trading town grew up around it. The site has yielded coins stamped with the names of the emperors Titus, Trajan, and Hadrian, which suggests that the fort was occupied by the Romans during the late first century through the early second century. [Much thanks to Sir Rodney Hartwell, KtB(Y), CStS III, who kindly brought this article to my attention.]
83-88 101. Cairbre "Cinncat", usurper, was elected king at the assembly at Magh-Cru, in Connacht, by the rebel-leaders of the Aitheach-Tuatha [name means "plebeian people"], who had taken over the assembly. His reign saw drought, famine, and plague. A gathering of Irish leaders consulted the druids as to the cause of the adversity and how to remedy the situation. The druids replied that they had acted treacherously towards their king, and that prosperity would not return to Ireland until the restoration of the king, who was in exile in Britain at the time. This, no doubt, influenced the son of Cairbre "Cinncait", Moran, who was generally favored by public opinion to succeed his father, to renounce his rights upon his father's death. Cairbre "Cinncait" reigned five years and died of the plague. Upon his death, his son, Moran, instead of accepting the crown, used his influence to restore the rightful dynasty. He sent envoys to Britain and invited the Irish ex-king Feradach "Fechtnach" to return to Ireland and to take his place on Ireland's throne.
88-97 (100)/102. Feradach "Find Fechtnach", 2nd time (above), was restored to the Irish throne by Prince Moran, the son of his predecessor, Cairbre "Cinncait", who was an usurper and had earlier overthrown him. And, as a reward, King Feradach made Moran the chief-justice of the Irish state. Here is the legend of "Moran's Collar" ["Iodhain Morain"], which was said to increase pressure around the neck of its wearer whenever he was about to pronounce an unjust sentence.
97-99 103. Fiatach "Finn" [from whom the Dal-Fiatach take their name][son of Daire, son of Dluthig, etc] of Ierne, usurper. He was defeated and killed in battle by his successor.
99-101 104. Fichad "Findfholaid" [Fiacha "Fionnla"]; = Ethne Imgel, a British princess. He defeated and slew his predecessor, and took the throne. He was himself overthrown in a rebellion of the Irish provincial kings, among whom were: (a) Ellim, King of Ulster; (b) Foirbre, King of Munster; (c) Eochaid Anchenn", King of Leinster; and (d) Sanbh, King of Connacht; who drove him into exile. The Irish king Fichad "Findfholaid" of Meath [at Tara] fled to Britain with his brothers, Fidach, 1st King of Fidach [in Scotland], and Fibaid, 1st Earl of Fife [in Scotland].
101-120 105. [C]Ellim [Elim Mac Connra] of Ulster, usurper, was the principal-leader of the rebellion of the provincial Irish kings. There was a civil war in Ulster during his reign among the Picts, the Erin[ioi], and the Scots. He was defeated and killed in battle at Aichill by his successor, Tuathal "Le Legitime".
120-145 01. Tuathal "Teachtmar" [Tuathal "Le Legitime"] [numeration in regnal-list starts over], reckoned "first" King of Midhe ["Middle Kingdom"]; = Baine, daughter of Sgaile “Balbh”, a British king. Tuathal was born in exile in Britain where his parents had taken refuge during a rebellion in Ireland in which his father was overthrown. The record in the "Lebor Gabala" says that Tuathal was born outside of Ireland and had not seen the country before he invaded it. All accounts say that Tuathal came from abroad with a foreign army. This army, called the "Fianna", was recruited from a colony of Irish exiles in Roman Britain, called "Fenians", whose ancestors had come to Britain a generation earlier during the rebellion in Ireland that had overthrown his father. In Year 120 the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who had come to Roman Britain to fight the Picts, responded to attacks by the Irish Picts by organizing the colony of Irish exiles [Gaels] in Roman Britain, called "Fenians", into a militia or legion, called the "Fianna", and gave command of it to the exiled Irish prince Tuathal "Teachtmar", who invaded Ireland against the Picts apparently with an imperial commission. Tuathal, nick-named "Teachtmar", the royal Milesian heir, captain of the "Fianna", almost certainly in Roman service, conquered Ireland on behalf of the Roman Empire, although Ireland was never formally incorporated into the Roman Empire. Tuathal with an army mostly of foreigners, accompanied by his mother, Ethne-Imgel, a British princess, came ashore at Malahide Bay, rallied the Irish people, and, challenged by the Pict-King [C]Ellim of Ulster, defeated the Picts, who had extended their domination from Scotland and Ulster over the whole of Ireland, and drove them back into Ulster. Tuathal marched on Tara, expelled the Cruithni [Picts], the Ligmuini, the Gailioin [Goidels], the Fir-Bolg, and the Domnainn, from County Meath, and occupied Tara, where he was acclaimed high-king. Tuathal slew his predecessor, King [C]Ellim of Ulster, in battle at Aichill, then, proceeded to campaign throughout Ireland against the rebellious Aitheach-Tuatha, and defeated them in a series of battles. Tuathal reduced Leinster to vassalage, and imposed his authority over Munster, Connacht, and Ulster.
A new order was founded in Ireland by Tuathal, who carved-out a midland Irish state, "Midhe" [meaning "middle"], from portions of the Irish "four-quarters", which became a fifth Irish state, so that the "Ard-Ri" ["High-King"], crowned at Tara, could be independent of the other four provinces, with its capital city at Uisnech, which was then perceived to have been the centre of Ireland. Tuathal convened a general assembly of the Irish chieftains at Uisnech, in Connacht, where he was officially acknowledged king. He was inaugurated king at Tara, which was the custom. There, also, he convened the "Feis of Tara", as it was customary for every king to do that at the start of their reign, in which Tuathal renewed the laws, regulations, and ordinances of his predecessors, and pronounced new laws of his own to the nation. Then, at Tlachtgha, in Munster, which was the national-place of sacrifice, Tuathal called an assembly of the Irish Nation to meet to offer sacrifices to the old Irish pagan gods. The kingdom of Midhe also had inside its borders the passage grave of Newgrange [Bruig na Boinde], which contained the graves of the ancient Irish high-kings. It was Tuathal who first levied upon the Irish people the "boraimhe" ["tax"], which very likely originally was a tribute to Rome but soon turned into an Irish tax paid to the Irish high-king. The imposition of the "boraimhe" caused a national uprising, and Tuathal was killed in the Battle Moor attempting to suppress a rebellion of the Irish people under the leadership of Maol MacRochride, whom the Irish people placed on the Irish throne.
145-150 02. Maol Mac Rochride, the King of Ulster, was elevated to the Irish High-Kingship by popular acclaim. He lifted the "boraimhe", which had caused the rebellion. He was challenged by the son of his predecessor, Fedlim "Rechtmar", the Milesian heir, who defeated and slew him in battle.
150-170 03. Fedlim [Fedelimidh] "Rechtmar" ["the Law-Giver"]; =1 Bente; =2 Ughna, daughter of the King of Lochlainn [Norway]; =3 Maeve, widow of Oenlam "Gaba". Fedlim "Rechtmar" was the son of Tuathal "Teachtmar". He gathered his supporters and defeated Maol MacRochride in battle, and slew him to avenge his father's death. He issued numerous laws earning him the nick-name "Law-Giver". This disproves the statement made by Peter B. Ellis in his book "Erin's Blood Royal" that the Irish kings were not lawmakers [page 30]; for, quite the contrary, indeed, they were. He ruled with an iron hard; and the country enjoyed a prosperous era of nine years peace during his reign.
170-175 04. Fiacha [I] "Suigde"
his full-brother was Eochaid “Fothart” [father of Oengus "Balb", father of Loghaire]; and, their half-brother was Conn "Cetchathach". His death was followed by a period of civil wars between his sons, namely, Fiacha "Raidh", Cairbre "Rigronn", and Fothad "Fineam", versus their uncle, Conn "Cetchathach", over the succession. His descendants were the chiefs/kings of the Deisi.
The original estate of the Deisi is commemorated in the barony of Deece, Co. Meath. The grandson of Conn "Cetchathach", namely, Cormac "Ulfhada", drove the Deisi out of Meath into Leinster, where they remained for one year, and thence they went to Osruighe, and from there to Munster. Their settlements in Munster came to be known as "Decries". The Deisi are often confused with the Dalcassians, with whom they engaged in a series of wars. Upon the defeat of the Deisi by the Dalcassians, a large number of the Deisi migrated to Demetia, South-West Wales, where they founded a colony under Echach "Almuir", their prince, who gave Demetia a dynasty of rulers. Those remaining in Munster became vassals of the its kings, though acknowledging their own native rulers. The kings of the Munster "Decries" were called the "King of the Deisi-Muman".
175-185 05. Cathair "Mor" of Leinster, asserted himself as high-king, and for a while held sway over Southern Ireland. Cathair "Mor" was a descendant of Eochu Mac Earc", the last King of the Fir-Bolg [tribe]. Caithair "Mor" united the five major tribes of Leinster, and is reckoned the first King of Laigin [Leinster] as the founder of a unified kingdom. The half-brother of his predecessor challenged his supremacy, and he was killed in battle at "Magh hAgha" against his successor.
185-205 06. Conn "Cetchathach" [son of Fedlim "Rechtmar", or his step-son begotten of his 3rd wife, Maeve, of her first husband, Oenlam "Gaba"]; =1 Eithne; =2 Be-Chuma; issue by 1st wife: twin sons, Connla & Criona, both murdered AD 205, and, another son, Airt “Aonfhir" ["Le Solitaire"], plus two daughters, Sadhbh [wife of Maic-Naidh & mother of Lugaid “Mac Con”] and Sarait [wife of Conaire "Moglame" (below)]. He defeated his [supposed] nephews, the sons of his older half-brother [or step-brother], in a series of battles, after which he took control of the Kingdom of Midhe [Meath], and had himself crowned "High-King" at Tara. Conn "Cetchathach" conquered Connacht [formerly "Necmacht"], which he renamed after himself and annexed it to Meath. Conn "Cetchathach" [whose epithet "Cetchathach" means: "of the hundred battles"] warred with Leinster, slew its king, Cathair "Mor" [his predecessor in the high-kingship] in the Battle of Magh hAgha. Conn "Cetchathach" warred with Munster. Its king, Mogh "Nuadat", challenged Conn's supremacy, and they fought each other in a series of battles, none of which were decisive. The war ended in a stalemate, and resulted in the division of Southern Ireland into halves: (1) "Conn's Half" ["Leth Cuinn"], that is, Meath-Connacht; and (2) "Mogh's Half" ["Leth Mogha"], that is, Munster-Leinster. Later, the "sons of Cathair Mor" of Leinster" broke free of Munster's domination, and Conn "Cetchathach" intervenes on the side of the "sons of Cathair Mor" against Mogh "Nuadat", King of Munster, and drives him out of Ireland, and Conn "Cetchathach" reigns over the whole of Ireland, except Ulster.
note: Ulster, was then inhabited by five major tribes whose chiefs/kings recognized the overlordship of either the Pict kings of Albany [Scone] in Scotland or sometimes the Erin kings of Ierne [Emain Macha] in Ulster, Northern Ireland, whose domain remained outside of the hegemony of the Gaelic High-Kings of Midhe at Tara. The only time in history that Ulster has ever been united with Ireland was during the English Era when the whole of Ireland was subject to the British Crown. At the end of Ireland's English Era, Ulster once again became a separate state independent of Ireland as it had been before.
Meantime, Conn "Cetchathach" divided Munster into halves [north and south], and installed two co-kings over North & South Munster, namely, Conaire and Maicnia, as puppet-rulers. Later, the ex-king Mogh "Nuadat" returns from exile. He was an exile in Spain for ten years, where he married the Iberian princess, Beare, and begot Ailill "Aulomm" [Oilioll "Olom"]. Mogh "Nuadat" stirs up a revolt in Munster against Conn's puppets, Conaire and Maicnia, whom he slays in battle; whereupon, Conn "Cetchathach" marched against him, and defeated and slew Mogh "Nuadat" in the Battle of Mag Lena, near Tullamore, Co. Offaly. The son of Mogh "Nuadat", Aillill "Aulomn", made peace with Conn "Cetchathach" and reigned over Munster as one of his vassals. He was the father of three sons: (1) Eogan "Mor" [also called Eogan "Fitheccach" and/or Eogan "Taidlech", who is often confused with his grand-father, Mogh "Nuadat", nevertheless, were separate persons], the ancestor of the great Eoganacht Dynasty/Clan/Tribe; (2) Cian "Mor", ancestor of the Ciannachta Clan; and (3) Cormac "Cas", ancestor of the Dal-Cais Tribe.
note: Cormac "Cas" ancestor of the Dal-gCais, was killed by the invading Deisi Tribe at Carn Feradaig, near Limerick, which is an important entry in ancient Irish annals because the Dal-Cais and the Deisi were confused in medieval literature.
Ireland enjoyed a season of peace during the latter reign of Conn "Cetchathach", that is, until he was murdered in his own court at Tara by assassins masquerading as troubadours, who had been sent by the Ulster King Tpiraiti "Teach" [Tibraite "Tireach"], the son of the earlier Irish High-King Maol MacRochride, who thereupon asserted his claim to the high-kingship.
205 07. Conaire II [son of Mogh Lamhe”, King of Ierne], usurper. He took the Irish throne in right of his wife, Saruit (Saraid), the daughter of Conn "Cetchathach", a popular princess. Conaire was murdered by Neimhidh [son of Sruibhgeann], in the interests of the Milesian heir, Airt "Aonfhir". Neimhidh was in turn murdered by Cairbre "Righfhoda", son of Conaire II, to avenge his father's murder.
205-225 08. Airt "Aonfhir"; =1 Etain [mother of his son, Doel]; =2 Delbchaem; =3 Maeve [mother of his son, Nia, King of Connacht]; begot of an encounter with Eachtach [Achtan], daughter of Uilceathach [Olc Acha] “The Smith”, one son, Cormac "Ulfhada". His epithet "Aonfhir" means "The Lone" or "The Solitare", which he was called after the death of his only brother. Airt "Aonfhir" warred with Oilioll "Olom" [Ailill "Aulomn"] of Munster, who rose up in an attempt to throw-off his overlordship but was defeated and deposed by the Irish High-King, whereupon Maccon [the ex-king's step-son] seized the Munster throne. Maccon was shortly after expelled by Eogan "Mor", one of the three sons of the ex-king Oilioll "Olom", who had retired from public life. The three sons of Oilioll "Olom" of Munster were: (1) Eogan "Mor" [ancestor of the great Eoganacht dynasty], (2) Cinn [ancestor of the Cinnachta clan], and (3) Cormac "Cas" [ancestor of the Dal-gCais clan, who was slain fighting the invading Deisi. [note: the Dal-gCais, the Dalcassians, are not to be confused with the Deisi, who were a completely different people]. Airt "Aonfhir" supported the usurpation of Cofey in the kingdom of Leinster over his nephew, Lowry, the rightful king. Lowry fled into exile in Britain, where he appealed to its Roman Governor for assistance. It is said that the High-King Airt "Aonfhir" never collected the "boromh" ["tribute", or "taxes"] without an uprising, rebellion, or battle. As the Irish high-king Airt "Aonfhir" was traveling throughout his realm, he stopped off and made a visit to Olc Acha "The Smith", who said he would be honored if the king would lie with his daughter, Achtan, by whom Airt "Aonfhir" begot Cormac "Ulfada".
In Year 225, the Roman Governor of Britain, Maximus, after quelling a rebellion in Britain, crossed-over and invaded Ireland. Maximus is identified with "BENNE BRIT" ["Beinne Briot"] of Irish Annals, who is called a British king, though he was actually the Roman Governor of Britain. He landed in Leinster with a Roman Army, slew King Cofey of Leinster, the usurper, and restored the ex-king Lowry to his throne, very likely as a client-king. Maximus, with his allies, Loghaire [son of Oengus "Balb"], the Midhe claimant, and Maccon [the earlier Munster usurper], marched against King Eogan "Mor" of Munster, who, with Maximus' advance, withdrew from Munster into Connacht where he was joined by his ally King Airt "Aonfhir" of Midhe [Meath-Connacht]. Maximus [Beinne "Brit"] defeated their combined forces in the Battle of Mag Muccruime, near Athenry, and slew King Airt "Aonfhir". Eogan "Mor" also fell in the battle. Maximus, Roman Governor [225-6], set Loghaire, the Midhe claimant, on the throne at Tara as Ireland's High-King. Maximus made his headquarters in Ireland at Uisneach, which was then perceived to have been the center of Ireland, and there set up a five-cornered pillar-stone [the "Ail na Mirenn" = "Stone of Divisions"] to mark the meeting-point of the five Irish kingdoms, that is, the Irish "Five Fifths". There he called an assembly of all the Irish tribal chiefs, clan captains, and family elders, to meet to settle the country's affairs. The Hill of Uisneach [602 feet high] can be seen all around for a great distance, which may explain its continued use for a meeting-place of the Irish clans. The Romans encamped in Ireland for one year, AD 225-6, during which Maximus went about organizing Ireland into the Roman province of "Hibernae". He built the citadel of Cashel in Munster as a Roman fort. Cashel [Latin: "Castellum"] is the only Irish town with a Roman name. The 200-foot acropolis known as the Rock of Cashel in Co. Tipperary, in Munster, is one of the best known sites in Ireland. There, Maximus deployed a garrison of troops under the command of Maccon, his Munster ally. Maximus was recalled in AD226 and was replaced in office as Governor of Britain with Claudius Apellinus, who did not send any Roman troops to Ireland to replace those which Maximus brought back with him. The garrison of Roman troops that Maximus had left behind in Ireland were expelled by Lugaid "Laghe", King of Ierne [Ulster], who slew their commander [also called "Beinne Brit", which was a title]. The Roman defeat was not avenged by Claudius Apellinus, who left the new Roman province of "Hibernae" abandoned, and the Romans never again set foot in Ireland. The expulsion of the Roman garrison was followed by a series of regional-wars in Ireland, which kept the Irish High-King busy his whole reign.
225-226 09. Loghaire [son of Oengus "Balb", son of Eochaid Finn Fuathairt, the half-brother of Conn "Cetchathach"] had been fostered in the household of King Oilioll "Aulomm" [Ailill "Aulomm"] of Munster, whose sons were his constant adversaries in later life. Loghaire suffered defeat against Eogan "Mor" in the Battle of Cenn Abrat, and fled to Britain, where he appealed to Beinne Briot, called "King of Britain", for assistance. Beinne Briot, however, may be identified with Maximus, the Roman Governor of Britain. He took a Roman force to Ireland and installed Loghaire as High-King of Ireland at Tara, doubtless as a client-king. Loghaire was expelled after the departure of Maximus by Lughaid "Laghe", the King of Ierne [Ulster], who thereupon usurped the Irish throne.
226-240 10. Lughaid "Mac Con" and/or "Laghe" ["Lata"], King of Ierne [Ulster], joined the Irish reaction against the Romans after the departure of Maximus, and led the Irish against the lone Roman garrison left behind by Maximus. He expelled Loghaire from Tara, and usurped the Irish throne. Lugaid "Laghe" fostered Cormac "Ulfada", the son of the earlier high-king, Airt "Aonfhir", in his court at Tara. Cormac fled to Connacht when Fergus "Dubhdetach" expelled Lughaid "Laghe" and usurped the throne.
240 11. Fergus "Dubhdetach" ["Black-Tooth"] of Ierne, Prince of Dal-Fiatach, usurper, expelled Lughaid "Laghe", usurped the throne, and reigned for one year, during which he fought rival claimants. Lughaid "Laghe" raised an army and expelled Fergus "Dubhdetach", but was forced to flee again on the news that Cormac "Ulfada" was on the march against him. Lughaid "Laghe" was murdered by Feircis, one of his own officers, who joined up with Cormac "Ulfada".
240-277 12. Cormac "Ulfada"; = Eithne, daughter of a Leinster princess [whose identity is disputed]; begot two sons, Cairbre “Lifechar” & Failge, and, two daughters: Grainne [1st wife of Finn MacCool] and Ailbhe [2nd wife of Finn MacCool]. He returned and claimed the throne when Lugaid "Laghe" was killed, but the nobles chose Fergus "Dubhdetach", and Cormac fled again in fear of the designs of Fergus on his life. Cormac gained support, and a year later marched against Fergus "Dubhdetach", defeated the usurper in the Battle of Crionna [on the Boyne] where Fergus and his two brothers were slain; and Cormac took the throne. He then proceeded to make himself supreme in Ireland, and re-conquered Connacht, subdued Ulster, made Leinster tributary, and with Munster as an ally established an overlordship over Ireland and reigned as High-King at Tara. His power was sufficient to make his half-brother, Nia, King of Connacht. His reign is regarded as a "Golden Age" by the Irish people. Ireland enjoyed peace, prosperity, and justice during his reign. Cormac rebuilt the palace at Tara, and modeled his court there after the Roman fashion; and he established an administration and a chancery. He had clerks in his court who wrote. The "ogham" alphabet [based on a rude Latin dialect] was introduced by Cormac. Cormac also maintained a standing army, the "Fianna", which he made into a sort of "praetorian guard". Its captain was the epic Irish figure Finn Mac Cool. Most of the episodes in the "Fenian Cycle" occurred during Cormac's reign. Cormac created the "Feis" as a sort of a senate or triennial assembly of the Irish tribal chiefs. He lifted the hated tribute, the "boromah", which Lugaid "Laghe", under Maximus' pressure, had re-imposed on the Irish people. Cormac came to be very wealthy through raids on the Roman Empire, especially on Roman Britain and Roman Gaul. He led attacks on Roman Britain and occupied Western Wales for three years [258-261], but was driven out of Britain by the Romans. He withdrew back to Ireland where he spent the last years of his reign devoted to domestic affairs. Fiacha "Araide" [from whom the Dal-nAraide take their name] temporarily drove Cormac from Tara; but Cormac counter-attacked and defeated Fiacha "Araide" and retook Tara. Cormac was confronted with the Fenians. The Fenians were repatriated Irish exiles from Britain, from whom were recruited the "Fianna". Cormac spent the last years of his life fighting the Deisi. The rulers of the Deisi represented the senior-line of the Milesian royal house. Cormac fought several battles with the Deisi and drove them out of Meath. In one battle against the Deisi, Cormac was blinded in one eye by their captain, Oengus "Gaibuaibthech", and was obliged to quit Tara due to the tradition of that city as a sacred site and lived the rest of his life at Achall, the city on the near-by Hill of Skreen. He appears to have abdicated at that time. Cormac became a Christian before his death. One story says that he was poisoned by the druids because he had become a Christian; while another story says that the High-Druid, Maoilgheann, incited the Irish people against the ex-king, Cormac, and he was killed in a riot. Then, still another story says that Cormac died from choking on a fish-bone. Cormac was not buried in the traditional place of the Kings of Tara, at Brugh, near Newgrange; but was buried at Ros-na-Riogh, where he had built a church.
277-278 13. Eochaid "Gunnait", usurper, seized the throne when Cormac "Ulfada" was wounded in battle, and reigned for one year. He was killed by a rivaling claimant, Lughaid "Mean", his cousin.
278-287 14. Cairbre "Lifechar" was the father of two sons, Fiacha [II] "Sraibtine" and Eochu “Doimlen” [the father of the three Colla’s: (1) Colla Uais; (2) Colla Fo Chrioch, a.k.a. Muiredach, 1st King of Airgialla (Oriel); and (3) Colla Menn]. Cairbre, King of Meath-Connacht [Midhe], fought three battles against Munster in defense of Leinster. The nature of the "Fianna" shifted widely during Cairbre's reign, from being chivalrous benefactors [i.e., the Irish equivalent of King Arthur's knights] to parasitic marauders. The "Fianna", under its captain Finn Mac Cool, failed to disband on Cairbre's order, upon which civil war broke out between Cairbre and the "Fianna". The warrior-militia lost its prestige, and degenerated into a renegade war-band of landless mercenaries, who spent their summers fighting as mercenaries and spent their winters where ever they happened to be. Cairpre "Lifechar" crushed the rebellion of the Fenians, and, in so doing he splits apart the rival factions of the clans Baiscne and Morna. The feud between the Clan Bascna and the Clan Morna broke out, and Coirpre, the High-King, sided with the Clan Bascna, while the Clan Morna was aided by the King of Munster. At that time the Clanna Morna formed the regular army of Ireland, under their general Aodh Caomh. The party of Garaidh Glundubh incited Coirpre and the provincial kings to dethrone Mogh "Corp" in the hope that as a consequence of this, the Clanna Bascna [the clan of Finn Mac Cool] would be banished, which was the clan of Mogh Corb's mother. The "Fianna" regrouped after the death in battle of their captain, Finn Mac Cool, under his son, Oisin [Ossi]. In the final battle at Gabhra Aichle, the "Fianna" were crushed by Coirpre, who, mortally wounded by Oscar [Finn Mac Cool's grandson], slays Oscar before dying. The Fenians after the Battle of Gabhra Aichle were scattered into small groups over the whole countryside, and were eventually absorbed into the Irish population at large.
287-288 15A Fothaidh "Corptheach" [twin], co-king with brother, was murdered by his brother, who thereupon reigned alone.
287-289 15B Fothaidh "Airgtheach" [twin], slays his brother and reigns alone. He is killed in the Battle of Ollarba, in Magh Line, by Fiacha "Strabtine", the Milesian heir.
289-323 16. Fiacha [II] "Sraibtine"; = Aeoifa, a British princess, whose two sisters were Oriuna [wife of the British Emperor Carausius] and Helena [1st wife of Roman Emperor Constantius "Chlorus"], the three daughters of the British King Cole II. He made a treaty with the British King.
Civil wars broke out in Ireland during his reign that caused the migrations of peoples to Britain and elsewhere. Among them were: (a) a large group of the Eoganacht of Munster, in Ireland, under their prince, Corpre of Kerry, came to Britain and were settled in England, in Devonshire. Corpre of Kerry founded a local line of rulers there. Another branch of the Eoganacht, the "sons of Liathan [Lethan]", migrated at this time and settled in Western Wales. And, a third branch of the Eoganacht of Munster, in Ireland, settled in Kincardineshire, in Scotland, circa AD 305; (b) the Laigin of Leinster, Ireland, colonized the Lleyn Peninsula of Caernarvonshire, Gwynedd, in North-West Wales, at this time, but about a century later were driven out of North-West Wales by Cunedda "Guledig", a British prince in the service of the Roman Empire; (c) the Deisi, under their prince, Echach "Almuir", who settled in Pembrokeshire, in South-West Wales. The Deisi were Milesians from Meath and have wrongly been identified by writers with the Dal Cais [supposed] collateral cousins of the Eoganacht of Munster. Echach Allmuir is reckoned as the ancestor of the Second-Dynasty of Dyfed/Demetia, later called Deheubarth.
The migrations of the Scots, Erin, and Gaels, from Ireland to Scotland during this period was to later have a formative effect on the development of that country; for the Irish colonists in Scotland eventually overcame the native population and took over the country and established their own kingdoms, whereas, the Irish colonists in Wales and England were less successful, for there they only established local or regional states, and were culturally absorbed by the native Celto-Roman population.
Fiacha "Sraibtine" was killed by his nephews, his brother's sons, the rapacious "Three Collas", in the Battle of Dubhchomar, in Crioch Rois, in Breagh.
323-326 17. Colla Uais [Colla Huas] [Cairioll], one of the three Collas. His brothers were: Colla Fo Chrith [Muredach], 1st King of Airgilla (Oriel), and Colla Mend (Aodh). They were the three sons of Eochaid "Doimlen" [brother of the High-King Fiacha "Sraibtine"] and his wife Aileach, daughter of Udhaire, King of Alba [Britain]. The brothers murdered their uncle, and the eldest usurped the throne. Colla Uais was High-King of Ireland for four years, and then was banished with his brothers by their cousin, Muiredach "Tireach", who took the throne. They were expelled from Meath along "with 300 followers".
326-356 18. Muiredach "Tireach" [son of Fiacha "Sraibtine"] fought and defeated the three Collas and expelled them, and took the throne. The three Collas later reconciled with their cousin, the Irish High-King Muredach "Tirech", whose overlordship they acknowledged as part of the terms. It was upon the advice of Muiredach "Tireach" that the three Collas turned their energies against their common foe, that is, Ulster.
Meantime, in Ulster, Fergus "Foghae" [also called "Mac Roich" and/or "Mac Leite"], was ousted by his step-son, Conchobar, through the machinations of his mother, Nest. He led an unsuccessful counter-rebellion against his wife and her son, and was driven into exile in Connacht with his followers. There, Fergus, the ex-king, came to be the lover of Queen Maeve of Connacht, and slew her husband, Ailioll of Leinster, who caught them in the act of adultery. Later, Fergus regrouped his followers, and, reinforced by the Connacht Army under Queen Maeve, marched to Ulster in an attempt to retake his throne, but Conchobar, the Irish hero, with the assistance of the three Collas, who suddenly appeared on the scene, slew Fergus "Foghae", the last King of Ierne [Eamhain = Emain Macha], at the Battle of Carn Achaid [Carnagh], Year 331/332, and destroyed the capital city of Ierne, Emain Macha [Navan Fort], which was left in ruins, and drove the Erin[ioi] out of their tribal lands, which the three Collas then settled and founded a colony of Gaels in Ulster. The defeated Erinioi were pursued with fearful slaughter across the Glenn River [the Newry Valley] to Co. Down. The three Collas established themselves in central Ulster and carved out for themselves a kingdom, that is, the Kingdom of Airgialla (Oriel; Uriel), with its capital city at Clogner, and Colla Fo Chrith [Muiredach Colla Dacrioch] is reckoned its first king.
In the 30th year of his reign, Muiredach "Tireach" was killed in battle at Portrigh fighting against Coelbha "Coba", Prince of Ulster.
356-357 19. Coelbha [Coelbad] "Coba" of Ulster slew Muredach "Tireach" and usurped the throne. He was the son of Cathbad "Ba Drui", the paramour of Queen Nest (Ness) of Ulster, begotten of an earlier wife, Fine, and, the half-brother of the epic Irish hero, Conchobar "Mac Nessa". He was himself later slain by his predecessor's son, Eochaid "Mugmedon", who avenged his father's death.
357 20. Eochaid "Mugmedon", 1st time (see below), lost the throne the year of his accession to Daire "Drechletan", King of the Deisi, and became a sea-pirate.
357-? 21. Daire “Drechletan”, King of the Deisi
?-365 22. Fecho, brother. He succeeds his childless brother as both King of the Deisi and as High-King of Ireland. His death gave Eochaid "Mugmedon" the occasion to retake the Irish throne.
365-389 (20)/23. Eochaid "Mugmedon" [Eochu "Moyvone"], 2nd time; =[primary wife] Mongfind, sister of Crimthann "Mor" of Munster; =[secondary wife] Carien "Casbub", daughter of Sachell Balb, a British princess, whom he kidnapped during a raid on Britain. He begot of his 1st wife three sons, Brian, Fiachra, and Oilioll; and, begot of his 2nd wife one son, Niall [Nel] "Mor"/"Noigiallach". Eochaid/Eochu earned his epithet "Mugmedon" ["Moyvone"], meaning "Slaves'-Lord" or "Lord of Slaves", from his many raids into Britain to capture people and sell then as slaves. His primary wife, Queen Mongfind, was filled with jealousy when she realized that her husband favored his son, Niall, begotten of his secondary wife, over her sons, Brion, Fichra, and Oilioll; and forced Carien "Casbub" into servitude. Niall protested to his father on behalf of his mother, which took Queen Mongfind to the breaking-point and she demanded that her husband, Eochaid, name his successor. He refused giving the task to the druid-wizard Sithchenn who devised a test for the contenders which Niall won, whereupon, Eochaid "Mugmedon" chose Niall as his successor, and he was proclaimed heir over his older half-brothers. Queen Mongfind, upon her husband's death, prompted her brother, Crimthann "Mor", to take the throne to buy time to eliminate Niall, the heir-designate.
389-396 24. Crimthann "Mor", usurper, takes the throne in prejudice of the "rightful heir", Niall, with the contrivance of his sister, Queen Mongfind, the widow of the late High-King Eochaid "Mugmedon", who engineers her brother's succession. He = Fidheang, daughter of the King of Connacht, and had issue. Crimthan got his epithet "Mor" ["The Great"] from his raids on Roman Britain. Tradition says that he even established a presence in Britain and was therefore called "King of Eire" [Ireland] and "King of Alba" [Britain]. He was defeated in a naval battle in the Irish Sea fighting the Romans under the famous general Stilicho in Year AD 396. Upon his return home, at a feast that was held to celebrate his return alive he was poisoned by his sister, Queen Mongfind, in the hope that her son, Brian, would become king over her brother's sons. The scheme back-fired and she too died of poison upon accidentally drinking from the same draught. His sons were expelled by his successor; and they fled to Britain where they settled in Wales as the "Cenel Crimthann". His mid-fifth century grandson, Eogan "Albanach" [Eogan "of Britain'], was the ancestor of a line of local rulers in Wales.
396-423 25/1. NIALL [NEL] "MOR" ["THE GREAT"] or "NOIGIALLACH" ["OF THE NINE HOSTAGES"], one of Ireland's greatest kings, is reckoned the "first" King of Ireland in the modern sense, hence, the numeration of Irish kings starts over with him. He subdued whole of Ireland under him, and founded the Medieval Irish Monarchy. Niall was called "Mor", i.e., "The Great", for his political and military achievements, and was called "Noigiallach" ["of the Nine Hostages"] for the sons of nine kings he held hostage. There are two stories to explain his epithet "noigiallach". The older, more plausible, version is that they were the sons of the kings of each of the nine sub-kingdoms which made-up the greater Kingdom of Airgialla, which was among his earliest conquests. The other story, which may possibly have been invented by a medieval scribe, says that they were the sons of the kings from each of the five major Irish kingdoms [Meath, Connacht, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster], in addition to three from the major kingdoms of Britain [England, Wales, and Scotland], as well as one from France. For, the Irish Annals tell us that Niall "Mor" not only subdued Ireland but that he made seven raids on Britain and three on France, and took hostages on all of his campaigns.
Niall [Nel] "Mor" was a scion of the Connachta dynasty, which were the descendants of Con[n] "Cetchathach" ["of the hundred battles"], an earlier Irish high-king, who is sometimes also called Ireland's first king. Niall "Mor" claimed the Irish throne at Tara on the death of the incumbent king, Crimthand "Mor" [who belonged to the Eoganacht dynasty], and, after expelling the late king's sons and overcoming other rivals, including his half-brothers, succeeded to the Irish high-kingship of Tara in 396. There is a legend that the druid-magician or wizard Sithchenn devised a plan to test the claimants of the throne, and announced at the end of the test that Niall "Mor" should be king. There is also the myth of how Niall acceded to the kingship ahead of his older half-brothers by lying with the dame "Sovereignty", which is the female personification of Ireland in Irish Mythology.
The purported dates of Niall's reign are still a matter of dispute. His tradition dates, 379-405, are too early and do not fit into the chronology of events and people mentioned as contemporary in his life's story. The revised dates of his reign are 396-423, which fit nicely into the chronology of the times. It is recorded in medieval Irish annals that Niall reigned twenty-seven years.
Niall married at least thrice. He begot of his first wife, Roig (Rioghnach), five sons, namely, Loeguire, Maine [Tethbae], Cairpre (Corpre), Conall "Cremthainne", and Fergus. He begot of his second wife, Ine (Ineachtfee), three sons, namely, Eogan, Conall "Gulban", and Endae. And, of his third wife, [name], begot at least one son, namely, Fiachu, and possibly up to six more.
There are three accounts of his death: (a) one, that he was murdered in Scotland while being entertained at the court of the King of the Picts; (b) another, that he was ambushed in France and was killed on the banks of the River Loire; and (c) the other, that he was murdered during a naval battle he was winning in the English Channel [Muir nIcht] while fighting the Britons. In all three accounts Niall was murdered by the Irish prince Eochu [Eochaid], the son of King Enni Cennselach of Leinster, which Irish prince he had either banished or held hostage. His body was taken back to Ireland and buried beneath Faughan Hill, south-west of Kells, about three miles south of Tailtiu, County Meath. His death was followed by civil wars in Ireland. His nephew, Dathi, succeeded him on the Irish throne.
Meantime, in the confusion following Niall Mor's death, the whole of Ireland was engulfed in regional-wars, Conall "Cremthainne", one of Niall's sons, established himself at Brega, Co. Meath, and founded a local state, and is reckoned as the first King of Meath. He was the ancestor of the Southern O'Neills [the ancestors of the O'Melaghlin, or McLoughlin, chiefs]. His half-brothers, Eogan, Conall "Gulban", and Endae, meanwhile, made conquests in Ulster and carved-out their own sub-kingdoms, and were the ancestors of the main branches of the Northern O'Neills. Eogan seized the fortress of Ailech and founded a line of kings there, and is reckoned the first King of Ailech. Conall "Gulban" founded the petty state of Tyrconnell [Tir Conaill] in County Donegal, and is reckoned as its first king. Endae also founded a petty state neighboring those founded by his brothers, but it was divided up by his brothers on his death without issue. Maine, another of Niall's sons, was the ancestor of the Lords of Teffia in Meath. Cairbre (Corpre), another of Niall's sons, was the founder a line of rulers, and gave his name to the barony of Carbury, Co. Kildare. Fiachu, another of Niall's sons, was the ancestor of the MacGeoghegan chiefs of Uisneach.
Meath was revived as a kingdom during this period with Conall "Cremthainne", one of Niall Mor's sons [the ancestor of the O'Melaghlins], who established himself at Brega and is reckoned as the first King of Meath, circa 425.
Connacht was conquered by the three older half-brothers of Niall "Mor", namely, Brian, Fiachra, and Oilioll, circa 425. Brian established himself at Tir Briuin; Fiachra established himself on Sligo Bay; and Oilioll established himself in Tirerril. Later, the whole of Connacht came under the rule of Fiachra's son, Amalgaid [the ancestor of the O'Conors], who established himself at Croghan, founded a new dynasty, and is [also] reckoned as the first King of Connacht, circa 450, or the first king of Connacht's new dynasty.
Leinster was re-founded also during this period by the heir of its old royal house, Bressal "Belach" [the ancestor of the McMurroughs], who established himself at Aileen [Ailinne] and is reckoned as the first King of Leinster, circa AD 425, or the first king of a new era in the history of the kingdom.
Munster was revived as a kingdom during this period by Conall "Corc", the heir of its old royal house, who established himself at Cashel and is reckoned as the first King of Munster, circa AD 425, or the first king of a new era in the history of the kingdom. His descendants, the Eoganachta, reigned in Munster from the fifth to the tenth century when the Dal Cais [Dalcassians] [the ancestors of the O'Briens] were able to seize the kingdom from the Eoganachta [the ancestors of the Mac Carthys] almost without opposition (964).
Ulster [Ultonia] was occupied in medieval times by three races, which were: (a) the Picts; (b) the Eireans (Scots); and (c) the Gaels. In medieval times the capital-city of Ulster was Armagh, which is still the residence of the Primate of Ireland, who bears the title "Comharba Phadraig" ["Successor of Saint Patrick"]. Ulster emerges during this period divided into three sub-kingdoms: (1) Ailech in the west; Airgialla [Oriel] in the middle; and, Ulaid in the east. The first King of Ailech was Eogan, one of Niall Mor's sons [the ancestor of the O'Neills]. (2) Airgialla, founded earlier by the three Colla brothers, still flourished as a kingdom, divided into nine sub-kingdoms. And, (3) Ulaid was revived as a kingdom during this period by Congal "Claringnech", who is sometimes reckoned as the first King of Ulster [II-A], who established himself at Downpatrick and founded a local state. He was the ancestor of two great clans, the Dal nAraidi [centre at Raith Mor, Co. Antrim], and the Ui Echach Cobo [centre at Iveagh, Co. Down]. His descendants alternated with the Erin chiefs/kings of Ulster in the succession to the "provincial" throne of Ulster. The Erin[ioi], called "Scots", inhabited Ulster along with the Ulidians [Ultonians] and the Gaels. The Erin [Eireans] of Ulster [centre at Dunseverick] comprised two great tribes: one, the Dal-Reti, whose chiefs/kings later established themselves in their colony in Scotland and founded the Scottish kingdom of Dalriada, which came to be the nucleus of the later Kingdom of Scotland; and, two, the Dal-Fiatach. The medieval kingdom of Ulster in Northern Ireland was politically separate from the hegemony of the Irish High-Kings, who reigned over the Irish "four quarters" of Southern Ireland, and remained a separate state until the Anglo-Norman Conquest of Ireland in the twelfth century. The royal O'Neill heir of the Irish High-Kings established the dynasty's new seat at Dungannon, in Ulster, following the conquest of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Anglo-Normans, 1171-2, and gave Ulster a new line of kings.
423-428 2. DATHI [NATH-I] seized the Irish throne during the confusion in Ireland following the death of Niall "Mor", his uncle, while his cousins, the sons of Niall "Mor" by three wives, were squabbling among themselves over the inheritance. Dathi engaged in foreign campaigns. He fought in Gaul [France] possibly at first as the captain of Irish mercenaries in the employ of the Romans against the Visi-Goths, but later appears to have switched sides. He is mentioned in surviving fragmentary writings fighting against Formenus [Faramond; Pharamond] of Provence, the captain of Frankish mercenaries in the employ of the empire. It is recorded in medieval Irish annals that Dathi was killed by a lightning-bolt while crossing the Alps on the march into Italy against the Romans.
428-463 3. LOEGUIRE [son of Niall "Mor"] convened the Feis of Tara in 428 to renew the laws, regulations, and ordinances of Ireland as his predecessors had done according to Irish custom. He received St. Palladius in 432; and, received St. Patrick in 457; but remained a pagan. He suffered a humiliating defeat by the Leinstermen at the Battle of Ath-dara, 458, while demanding tribute.
463-482 4. AILILL "MOLT" [son of Dathi, # 2] was killed in the Battle of Ocha versus a coalition including Lugaidh [son of Loegaire], Muirecheartach Mac Earce, Fergus Cerrbel [son of Conall Cremthainne] of Meath, Fiachra [son of Laeghaire, King of Dal Araide], and Cremthann [son of Enni Cennselach, King of Leinster], during the civil wars to determine if the high-kingship was to be confined to Niall Mor's descendants.
482-507 5. LUGAIDH [son of Loegaire] subdued Munster in 489 by the Battle of Cell Osnadha. He was defeated in battle in 496 at Druim Lochmaighe by the Leinstermen, but regrouped and counter-attacked and defeated the Leinstermen in another battle the next year, in 497, at Inde Mor, in Crioch Ua nGabhla. Lugaidh subdued Connacht in 499 by the Battle of Seaghais; and, lastly subdued Meath in 501 by the Battle of Freamhain, subjecting all Ireland under him. Lugaidh was later himself defeated in the Battle of Leix versus King Arthur of Britain, who conquered Ireland in 507. Lugaidh was killed following the battle at Achadh Farcha in uncertain circumstances.
----------- interim: 507-512, under direct rule of King ARTHUR of Britain, who appoints a governor
512-534 6. MUIRCHERTACH I MAC EARCE [MORTOUGH] [numbered the 131st Monarch of Ireland in some lists] was one of the victors in the Battle of Ocha, 482, as Lugaidh's ally. He defeated and slew Oengus, King of Munster, as Lugaidh's ally in 489; and, in 504, defeated and slew Duach "Teangumha", King of Connacht, [again] as Lugaidh's ally. He was elected King of Ireland in 512 by an assembly of Irish chiefs. Muirchertach subdued Meath in 513 by the Battle of Dedna, in Droma Breagh. He defeated Eochaid, King of Munster, in 523. He defeated Oilioll [?][son of Dunlaing], King of Leinster, in 524, and collected tribute. He defeated Cairell, King of Ulster, in 526. He was surrounded in a house by Tuathal Maelgarb and his attackers, who set the house ablaze. In a futile attempt to escape Muirchertach climbed into a wine cask, but drowns even as the fire burns up the house.
534-544 7. TUATHAL "MAELGARB" subdued Meath by the Battle of Ailbhe, in Breagh, 534; subdued Connacht by the Battle of Claenloch, in Cenel Aedh, 536; quelled uprising of Forggus and Domnall, two sons of the late king Muircheartach Mac Earce, in the Battle of Sligeach, 537; was overwhelmed by invading barbarians, 540; survived a plague that wiped-out a third of the island's population, 543; slain at Greallach Eillte, by Maelmore, who supported the candidacy of Diarmait, whom he placed on the throne.
544-563 8. DIARMAIT I [DERMOT], was the last to celebrate the pagan ritual of "Feis Temrach" ["Feast of Tara"], that is, "sleeping" with a personification of "sovereignty"; slew Ailioll Inbhanda, King of Connacht, in Battle of Cuil Conaire, 544; slew Cairbre, King of Leinster, in Battle of Cuilne, 546; and, slew Eochaid, King of Ulster, 547/8. He executed Curnan, son of Aedh [son of Eochaid Tirmcharne], King of Connacht, in violation of the guarantee and protection of Saint Columba, in 554. A rebellion of his vassals broke out in 555 and Diarmait [Dermot] was defeated in the [first] Battle of Cul Dreimhe by Aedh, King of Connacht [son of Eochaid Tirmcharne], which put him on the defensive. He was defeated again in battle at Cuil Uinnsenn in 556 by Aedh, sub-king of Teathbha [son of Breanainn], and was routed in flight. And, Diarmait [Dermot] was slain at Rath Beag, in Magh Line, by Aedh "Dubh" [son of Suibhne, King of Dal Araide] following his defeat in another battle at Cul Dreimhe against his co-successors.
563-566 9A. FORGGUS [FERGUS], co-king, reigned jointly with his brother, his twin, and, died of plague.
563-566 9B. DOMNALL I "ILCHELGACH" [DONALD "THE DECEITFUL"], co-king, defeated and mortally wounded Eogan, King of Connacht, 558; defeated Ailioll, King of Connacht, who turned back from the battle and was slain, 559; defeated Demman, King of Ulster, 562; defeated Colman "Mar", King of Leinster, 563; won the Battle of Cul-Dreimhe versus his kinsman, Diarmait, King of Ireland, 563; died of plague, 566.
566-569 10. AINMERE was slain by Fergus Mac Nelline, King of Leinster, while attempting to collect tribute.
569-572 11A. BAETAN I, co-king, reigned jointly with his nephew.
569-572 11B. EOCHAID, co-king, reigned jointly with his uncle; both were slain by Cronan, sub-king of Keenaght, i.e., the Ciannachta of Glengiven [Glinne Gemhin].
572-585 12. BAETAN II [son of Cairell], sometimes 12 & 13 are combined into one; slew Colman "Mar", King of Leinster, in Battle at Sliabh Mairge, 576/580; slew Fergus Scandal, King of Munster, 583.
585-586 13. BAETAN III [son of Ninnid], killed in battle at Leim An Eich [Leimaneich] by Comain [son of Colman Bec, son of Cearbhall] and [his cousin] Comain [son of Illadhan, son of Cearbhall].
----------- interim: 586-592: civil wars, Fiachna [son of Baetan II], won the Battle of Tola against the sub-king of Osraighe; also, Cairbre, King of Munster, defeated Colman Bec [son of Diarmait I] in the Battle of Feimhin; too, Bran Dubh, King of Leinster, won the Battle of Magh Ochtair over the Ui Neill, etc.
592-598 14. AEDH I [son of Ainmuire] subdued Meath by the Battle of Doete [Bealach Feadha], 592; invaded Leinster to avenge the death of his amorous son, Comusgach, but was surprised by night in camp at Dunbolg by Bran "Dubh", King of Leinster, and, though surrounded by his bodyguard was unhorsed and beheaded during the retreat.
598-604 15A. COLMAN "RIMID" ["THE CELEBRATED"], co-king, won several victories; murdered by his brother, Lochan Dilmane.
598-604 15B. AEDH II "SLAINE", co-king; slew Suibhne [son of Colman Beg], King of Meath, in the Battle of Bridamh, 598; was killed in the Battle at Loch Semhedidhe by Conall Guithbhinn [son of Suibhne, son of Colman "Mar", son of Diarmait I]
604-612 16. AEDH III "UARIDNACH" defeated Bran Dubh, King of Leinster, in the Battle of Slaibhre and exacted tribute, which was never paid without a battle, 604. He died of ague, however, another source says he was slain in a rebellion of his vassals in the battle of Atha-de-Facla [Ath Da Fearta] versus Mael Cothaid I, King of Connacht.
612-615 17. MAEL COBO was killed in the Battle of Sliabh Toadh by his successor.
615-628 18. SUIBNE "MENN" slew Mael Cobo, King of Ireland, and succeeded him on the throne; after which the Cenel Eoghain and the Cenel Conaill were rivals for the turn of the Northern Ui Neill in the high-kingship, which alternated with the Southern Ui Neill in successive reigns. He was killed in the Battle of Traigh Brena, near Lough Swilly, by Congal "Claen", King of Ulster.
628-642 19. DOMNALL II defeats Congal "Claen", King of Ulster, in the Battle of Dun Ceithirnn, 629, who takes flight into exile; slew Maelodhar Macha, King of Airgialla, 636; Congal "Claen", the ex-king of Ulster returns to Ireland supported by a large army led by Domnall Brecc, King of Dalriada, but defeated in the Battle of Moira, 637, in which Congal "Claen" was killed and the Scottish king, Domnall Brecc, lost his Irish territories. Domnall II died at Ard Fothadh, in Tir Aedha, following a year of penance
642-654 20A. CONALL "CAEL", co-king; slew Scannlan Mor, sub-king of Osraighe [Ossory], 642; slain by Diarmait [son of Aedh II "Slaine"]
642-654 20B. CELLACH [KELLY], co-king; abdicated, died a monk in 658 at Brugh Mic An Og.
654-665 21A. DIARMAIT II, co-king; quelled an uprising at Ogamhain, at Ceann Corbadain; died of plague.
654-665 21B. BLATHMAC, co-king; died of plague.
665-671 22. SECHNUSSACH slew Faelan, King of Leinster, 665; slew Bran Finn, Lord of the Deisi-Mumhan, 666/8; was slain by Dubhduin, Lord of the Cinel Cairbre.
671-675 23. CENN "FAELAD" slain in the Battle of Aircealtair, at Tigh Ua Maine, by his successor.
675-695 24. FINSNECHTA "FLEDACH", identified with St. Finniety "The Festive"; at his instigation, Fianamhail, King of Leinster, was murdered by one of his own officers, 678; too, at his instigation, Ceannfaeladh, King of Connacht, was murdered by one of his own men, 680; was unable to repulse invading Anglo-Saxons from England who plundered Ireland and carried off much spoils together with many hostages, 683; killed in the Battle of Greallach Dollaith against rival claimants.
695-704 25. LOINGSECH slew Fearghal Aidhne, King of Connacht, 695; slew Fianamhail, King of Dal-Riada, 698; and, drove Aurthuile, Lord of Cinel Eoghain, into exile; slew Muireadhach, King of Connacht, 700; was slain in the Battle of Corann, by Ceallach, Lord of Loch Cime.
704-710 26. CONGAL "CENNMAGAIR" ["CION MAGHAIR"] slew Maelduin, Lord of Cinel Eoghain, in the Battle of Leathairbhe, 705; died unexpectedly of a sudden illness.
710-722 27. FERGAL slew Cormac, King of Munster, in the Battle of Carn Fear-ad-haigh, 710; defeated the Southern Ui Neill in battle at Armagh, 713. He banished his heir-designate for homicide, 716. He exacted tribute from Leinster, 721. Fergal was killed in the Battle of Almhain versus Dunchad, the heir-designate, supported by Aedh II, King of Leinster, Cathal III, King of Munster, and Indrechtach II, King of Connacht, 722.
722-724 28. FOGARTACH [FOGERTY] was killed in the Battle of Delgean versus his successor.
724-728 29. CINAED [KENNETH] was killed in the Battle of Druim Corcrain by his successor.
728-734 30. FLAITHBERTACH [FLAHERTY] defeated the Dal-Riada, Ulidians, and the Cinel Eoghain; deposed 734 and retired into a monastery where he died 765.
734-743 31. AEDH IV "ALLAN" ["THE HANDSOME"] campaigned for three years against Flaithbertach, King of Ireland, his predecessor, whom he deposed and succeeded on the throne; after which the Cenel Eoghain alone represented the Northern Ui Neill in the alternating high-kingship. He defeated Aedh Roin, King of Ulster, in the Battle of Fochart, in Magh Muirtheimhne, and, afterwards executed him in revenge for the profanation of a church at Cill Cunna by one of his relatives [Ua Seghain], 736. He avenged his own father's death by routing the Leinstermen at Ath-Seanaith, where he slew their king, Aedh [II], in single combat, 738; and, slew his successor, Faelan [II], King of Leinster, during the march, as well as his successor, Bran [II] Becc, King of Leinster, that year in another battle. He was killed in the Battle of Magh Seirigh against Domnall, King of Meath, 743, who succeeded him on the throne.
743-763 32. DOMNALL III "MIDI" slew Cathal Maenmaighe, Lord of Ui Maine; slew Blathmac, Lord of Muscraighe [Muskerry], and slew Anmchaid, Lord of Ui Liathain, 745; too, defeated and killed Cathasach, King of Ulster, in the Battle at Rath Bethech, 749; died a natural death.
763-770 33. NIALL [II] "FROSSACH" ["OF THE SHOWERS"], whose reigned opened with three months of rain and continued with seven years of famine, earthquakes, and pestilence. He took this as a bad omen and abdicated in 770, and became a monk at Iona, where he died 778.
770-797 34. DONCHAD I "MIDI" was King of Ireland when the Vikings began their raids in the isle.
797-819 35. AEDH V "OIRDNIDE" ["THE DIGNIFIED"] devastated Meath, 798; devastated Leinster, 804; punished Ulster for profaning St. Patrick's shrine, 805; and, subdued Connacht, 808. He exchanged ambassadors with Charlemagne. He defeated the Vikings in two battles: one, in Co. Mayo, and, the other, in Co. Kerry, 812. He was wounded in battle at Magh Conaille fighting the Vikings, and died at Athada-Fearta in the act of penance.
819-833 36. CONCHOBAR was occupied his whole reign fighting the Vikings, whose raids steadily increased in frequency and intensity over the years.
833-838 37. NIALL III "CAILLE", routed the Vikings who landed from Lough Foyle, 833; defeated Danish and Norse invaders twice, 835; defeated by the Vikings under their leader, Turgeis, 838, upon which his regime collapsed and he became "resistance-leader" against the invaders; routed the Vikings in another battle, 843; won still another victory over the Vikings in 846, but during the pursuit drowned in the River Callain, while trying to rescue one of his bodyguards who had fallen from his horse into the swollen river.
----------- interim: 838-846: the country was overrun by the Vikings, TURGEIS [THORGEST] "THE VIKING", proclaimed "King of Ireland" by the Vikings.
846-862 38. MAEL SECHNAILL I [MALACHY] organizes resistance against the Vikings; defeats the Vikings in Battle at Skryne, 848.
862-879 39. AEDH VI "FINDLIATH" ["WHITE-HAIR"] plundered all the Viking settlements in Ireland, defeated them in battle near Lough Foyle, 866; won a great victory against heavy odds at Killaderry, defeating the men of Meath and Leinster who were allied to the Dublin Vikings, 868; was killed in the Battle of Druim Inesclainn against the Vikings.
879-916 40. FLANN "SINNA" ["THE FOX"] drove the Vikings out of Ireland, 902, however, the Vikings returned a decade later and began a second series of raids.
916-919 41. NIALL IV "GLUNDUB" ["BLACK-KNEE"] revived the ancient "Fair of Talitiu", 916; campaigned repeatedly against the Vikings in Ireland, 917, raised a great army and besieged Dublin, and was mortally wounded in battle outside Dublin against their king, Sigtrygg.
919-944 42. DONCHAD II "DONN" fought the Vikings his whole reign.
944-950 43A. RUAIDRI I, rival king "with opposition"
944-956 43B. CONGALACH "CNOGBA", usurper, seized the high-kingship by force of arms.
956-980 44. DOMNALL IV "ARDMACHA" raided Viking settlements, 962, and again, 969; but made little gains against them. He defeated Muiredach II, King of Meath, 970; slew Gillacoluin, King of Tir Conaill, 977, who had allied themselves with the Vikings. He adopted the quasi-title "O'Neill" [which implied rightful inheritance to the Irish throne], which came to be the dynasty's hereditary surname. Domnall died while doing penance at Armagh.
980-1002 45. MAEL SECHNAIL II [or MALACHY II "THE GREAT"], 1st time; fought the Viking invaders; challenged by Brian Boru, 1001, and, finding no support, cedes the high-kingship to him, 1002.
1002-1014 46. BRIAN "BORU" obtains to the kingdom of Munster, 978; conquered Leinster, 984; joined forces with the Irish High-King, Mael Sechnaill II, and defeated the Vikings at Glenmama, Wicklow, 1000; turned against his master, overthrew Mael Sechnaill II, and usurped the Irish high-kingship, 1001; officially recognized by Irish chieftains, 1002; after which he proceeds to make a triumphal tour of Ireland but interrupted when the Vikings begin again to make trouble. Brian Boru repelled the Vikings under Sihtric of Dublin [and his allies, Brodir of the Isle of Man, Thorstein Hallsson of Iceland, and Sigurd of the Orkneys], and saved Ireland from Viking conquest by his victory at the Battle of Contarf, 1014, though he was himself murdered in his tent by a Viking assassin following the battle.
1014-1022 (45) MAEL SECHNAILL II, 2nd time, resumed the high-kingship of Ireland following the death of Brian Boru and reigned a second time; fought Viking invaders who overrun the country
-------------- interregnum: 1022-1072: civil wars among claimants
1022-1023 X. CUAN O'LOCHANN, an Irish prince, along with the cleric CORCORAN, the Irish Primate, headed a provisional government which soon collapsed with the disintegration of the central government
1022-1063 47. DONCHAD III [of Munster], anti-king, claimed the high-kingship but was not recognized by the Irish "provincial kings", gained some acceptance but was eclipsed by a rivaling claimant, was overthrown, then, went on a pilgrimage to Rome where he entered a monastery and died the following year (1064).
1063-1072 48. DIARMAIT III "MAC MAEL" [of Leinster], anti-king
1072-1086 49. TURLOGH I [TOIRDELBACH; TIRDELVAGH] defeated the Vikings and was recognized as high-king by the Irish "provincial kings".
1086-1119 50. MURTOUGH II [MUIRCHERTACH] bribed the "provincial kings", essentially buying the office of the high-kingship; and, was faced with a rebellion of the Irish chieftains, who had been at enmity with one another over the Irish succession since the time of Brian "Boru", when the high-kingship had passed from the O'Neills to the O'Briens and the O'Conors. The tribal chiefs and clan captains of Ireland gathered in an assembly in 1092 and drew up a document of grievances and sent it to the Pope along with the royal Irish regalia, including the ancient crown of the Irish high-kings itself [which was made of gold and embedded with emeralds] authorizing the Pope to appoint a successor. This was to have far-reaching results, unforeseen at that time.
1119-1121 51. DOMNALL V [DONALD O’LOUGHLIN], killed in battle
1121-1150 52. TURLOGH II, deposed, d1156
1150-1166 53. MURTOUGH III [MUIRCHERTACH]
1166-1183 54. RUAIDRI II [RORY O’CONNOR], the last one. His reign began with Tiernan O'Rourke, Lord of Breifne, appealing for redress to the High-King to force King Dermot MacMurrough of Leinster, who had eloped with his wife, Derbforgaill, with whom she had been involved in an illicit affair for many years, to return her to him. The Irish High-King Ruaidri II mustered an army and marched against King Dermot of Leinster. The news that Ruaidri was on the march against him obliged Dermot to flee to King Henry II of England [who was then in France] to gain his support, 1166. HENRY II of England, whose grandmother was descended from the royal O'Neills of Ireland, was granted Ireland by the Pope in 1154, hence, when Dermot of Leinster came to him in 1166 he felt like it was his duty to demand amends or satisfaction for the injury done to Dermot. The authorization by which The Holy See had given Ireland to King Henry II in 1154 was based on a document drawn up by an assembly of Irish chieftains in 1092 which had entrusted the Irish crown to The Holy See; and, from 1092 to 1154Ireland was technically a fief of The Holy See. The Pope in 1154 even sent Henry II the royal Irish regalia, which had been entrusted to The Holy See since 1092. Henry II gave Dermot of Leinster the necessary letters that gave permission to any of the English nobles who wished to go with Dermot to Ireland to help him recover his kingdom. It was at this time that Dermot of Leinster met Richard de Clare, called "Strong-Bow", the Earl of Pembroke. He made a pact with him to give him his daughter, Aoife, in marriage, and, with her the inheritance of Leinster after his own death. Dermot returned to Ireland with a Norman force under the leadership of Richard Fitz-Godebert, 1167. They were joined by forces under Maurice Fitz-Gerald, Robert Fitz-Stephen, Maurice Prendergast, Hervey de Montmarish, Raymond Fitz-William "Le Gros", Miles de Cogan, William Fitz-Adelm, Philip de Braose, John de Courcy, Robert de Bermingham, William de Barri, and others, 1169, who landed with Norman, Welsh, and Flemish forces. "Strong-Bow" finally arrived in Ireland himself in 1170, and conquered the Viking-Kingdom of Dublin. The next year, in 1171, "Strong-Bow" succeeded Dermot as King of Leinster on his death in right of his wife, the late king's daughter. This event caused great concern among the Irish, who up until this time felt that the Normans were simply aiding Dermot to recover his kingdom. In reaction the Leinstermen rose up in revolt against "Strongbow" and appealed to the Irish High-King to oust the foreign usurper. Meantime, "Strong-Bow" had returned to England upon hearing that Henry II was jealous that he had taken the title "king", and placated Henry II by dropping the title "king" and adopting the title "earl" [or "lord"], whereupon, Leinster became an English "earldom" or "lordship". He accompanied King Henry II who proceeded to Ireland that year, 1171, with 400 ships carrying 5000 soldiers, to assume control over the Irish campaigns of his Anglo-Norman adventurers. Henry II held court at Dublin, where he received the submission of the Irish "provincial kings" who all made a pact with the English king and pledged to be his vassals. Meantime, the Irish High-King Ruaidri II, after his defeat in the Battle of Dublin against the Anglo-Normans, was about collecting troops from all parts of Ireland to resist the invaders, and to make a stand for the independence of the nation. This show of resistance did not last long, for when the Irish High-King Ruaidri II heard that the Irish "provincial kings" had deserted him and had put themselves under the protection of the King of England he sent messengers to the English king to make peace and acknowledged his overlordship, and, made a treaty with King Henry II whereby he and all future Kings of Ireland would hold the Irish kingdom as a fief "in capite", as vassals of the English crown. Thus, Ruaidri II of Ireland became vassal-king of Ireland with Henry II as overlord, and had to pay tribute annually. And, in a "parliament" or national assembly of the Irish chieftains at Lismore it was solemnly determined that the kings of England would, in all future time, be lords [overlords] of Ireland, whereupon King Henry II of England took the title "Lord of Ireland". Here, Henry II introduced the feudal system of government in Ireland modeled on England's administrative system. Henry II wintered in Ireland. He held a synod of all of Ireland's bishops at Cashel early in 1172 to reform the country's religion from its native brand of Celtic Christianity to Roman Catholicism which was attended by a papal legate, Vivianus, dispatched by the Pope, who made known to the Irish clergy the papal bull, called the "Laudabiliter" [so-called from the first word of its Latin text], granting Ireland to King Henry II and his successors, and, who introduced to Ireland the payment of "Peter's Pence" annually to Rome. By spring, urgent affairs called Henry II back home to England though he had not planned to depart Ireland until summer. However, before his departure, Henry II appointed Hugh de Lacy as the first of a series of English governors of Ireland who were to rule the country in the name of the Kings of England for the next 750 years. The Governor of Ireland sat at Dublin. The city of Dublin and its surrounding counties were called "the English Pale". The authority of the English governors was rarely recognized outside the pale, and the native Irish chiefs, now earls in the English Peerage, continued to govern their ancient estates. Hugh de Lacy quelled an Irish uprising in 1175 that led to the "Treaty of Windsor" (1175), the terms of which obliged the Irish High-King Ruaidri II to designate Henry II of England as his "tanist" [heir]. Ruaidri II, the last native King of Ireland, was deposed in 1183 by his sons, who each contented for the Irish high-kingship in a civil war against their father. It was an ignominious end to Ireland's last native high-king. Ruaidri devoted the last thirteen years of his life to monastic seclusion at Cong Abbey, where he died at the advanced age of 82 in 1198 un-mourned and long forgotten by his former subjects.
1171-1542 the English kings held the title "Lord of Ireland"
1542-1949 the English kings held the title "King of Ireland"
note: in 1541 the Irish Parliament acclaimed Henry VIII of England as king, not just lord, of Ireland, by virtue of his descent from the Irish heiress, Aeoifa, only daughter of Ireland's last native king, Ruaidri II; and Henry VIII of England changed the royal style from "Lord" to "King of Ireland", 1542, and, Ireland, whose political pattern was greatly complicated by its patchwork of tribes, clans, and septs, for the first time in its history was unified as a nation-state.
1171-1921 direct rule by English governors
1922-1949 the Irish Free State, rule of governor-generals appointed by the British Monarch; office of governor-general abolished in 1936; the Sinn Fein [a political party of ruthless gangsters, venomous liars, and treacherous deceivers, who represent the I.R.A., which is an army of diabolic terrorists, homicidal maniacs, and savage murderers, whose whole history is one of malicious destruction, rapacious thievery, and all sorts of demoniacal atrocities] renounced allegiance to the British Crown, 1949, and establish the Irish Republic
1949-XXXX the Irish Republic, rule by presidents
copyright by David Hughes, RdavidH218@AOL.com