-244-until Doom. Here is a proof from the Amhra repeating the words of Colum in thisstanza:Let her become a heron,Said the cleric in a great rage,And let her handmaid exactly beA heron in her company.And the reason why he ordered that the handmaid become a heron togetherwith the queen was that it was she who came with a message from the queen toConall, telling him not to show any reverence to the heron-cleric or to his company.And I hear from many people that ever since two herons are usually seen on the fordwhich is beside Drom Ceat.As to Columcille, when he arrived at the convention the party of Conall, sonof Aodh, son of Ainmire, was the nearest to him in the assembly, and when Conallsaw the clerics he incited the rabble of his party against them, thrice nine theirnumber, and they pelted them with clods of clay, and they bruised and hurt the clerics.And Colum asked who were thus beating them. Colum was told that it was Conall,son of Aodh, who was inciting them to do this deed, and he ordered that thrice ninebells be rung on the spot against Conall, whom he cursed and deprived of royalty, ofauthority, of senses, of memory, of his understanding. And from these bells that wererung against him he is called Conall Clogach.After this Colum went to the party of Domhnall, son of Aodh, and Domhnallwent to meet him and bade him welcome, and kissed his cheek and seated him in hisown place. Colum gave his blessing to Domhnall, son of Aodh, and prayed God thathe might attain the sovereignty of Ireland; and it happened ultimately that he held thesovereignty of Ireland for thirteen years before he died.Colum, accompanied by Domhnall, proceeded thence to the king’s party, andwhen he had come into the king’s presence the latter welcomed him – the kingdreaded him greatly on account of what he had done to Conall, to the queen, to herhandmaid, as we have said. “My welcome is compliance with my wish,” said Colum.“It shall be granted thee,” said the king. “Then,” said Colum, “what I wish is this: Imake three requests of thee, namely, to keep the filés whom thou art banishing fromIreland, and to free Scannlan Mor, son of Ceannfaolaidh, king of Osruighe, from thebondage in which thou keepest him, and not to go to impose a tribute on the DalRiada in Alba.” “I do not wish to keep the filés,” said the king, “so unjust are theirdemands and so numerous are they. For there are usually thirty in the train of anollamh, and fifteen in that of an anroth, and so on for the other grades of the filé downto the lowest.” Each of them used to have a separate train of attendants according tohis degree, so that nearly the third of the men of Ireland followed the bardicprofession.Columcille said to the king that it was right to set aside many of the filés, asthey were so numerous. But he advised him to maintain a filé as his own chief ollamh,after the example of the kings who went before him, and that each provincial kingshould have an ollamh, and, moreover, that each lord of a earthed or district in Irelandshould have an ollamh, and Columcille proposed this plan and Aodh assented to it;and it was to celebrate this benefit which Columcille conferred on the filés thatMaolsuthain composed this stanza:The filés were saved by this meansThrough Colum of the fair law;
GEOFFREY KEATING-245-A filé for each district is no heavy charge.It is what Colum ordained.From this regulation, which was made by Aodh, son of Ainmire, andColumcille, it followed that the king of Ireland and every provincial king and everylord of a cantred had a special ollamh, and that each of these ollamhs had free landfrom his own lord, and, moreover, the lands and worldly possessions of each of theseollamhs enjoyed general exemption and sanctuary from the men of Ireland. It was alsoordained that a common estate should be set apart for the ollamhs where they couldgive public instruction after the manner of a University, such as Raith Cheannait andMasruidhe Mhuighe Sleacht, in Breithfne, where they gave free instruction in thesciences to the men of Ireland, as many as desired to become learned in seanchus andin the other sciences that were in vogue in Ireland at that time.The ardollamh of Ireland at that time was Eochaidh Eigeas, son of Oilill, sonof Earc, and it was he who was called Dallan Forgaill, and he sent out ollamhs and setthem over the provinces of Ireland, namely, Aodh Eigeas over the district of Breaghand over Meath, Urmhaol chief eigeas over the two provinces of Munster, Sanchan,son of Cuairfheartach, over the province of Connaught, and Fear Firb, son ofMuireadhach, son of Mongan, in the ollamhship of Ulster; and, moreover, an ollamhin every cantred in Ireland under these high ollamhs, and they were to have free landfrom their territorial chiefs, as well as sanctuary, as we have said; and each of themwas to get certain rewards for their poems and compositions.The second request Colum asked of Aodh was to set Scannlan Mor, king ofOsruighe, free, and let him go to his own country. This the king refused. “I shall notpress it further,” said Colum, “if it be God’s will may Scannlan untie my thongs ortake off my shoes to-night when I am at matins.”“The third request I make of thee,” said Columcille, is to grant a respite to theDal Raida and not to go to Alba to plunder them with a view to laying a tribute onthem, for you have a right only to a head-rent from them and a levy of forces on landand sea." “I shall not grant them respite, but shall pay them a visit,” said Aodh.“Then,” said Colum, “they will have a respite from thee for ever,” and so it was.Thereupon Columcille, with his clerics, took leave of the king and of theconvention, and the Book of Glendalough states that Aodhan, son of Gabhran, son ofDomhanghurt, king of Alba, was at that convention, and that he took his leave of theking and of the assembly along with Columcille. The same book says that theconvention of Drom Ceat sat for a year and a month instituting laws and regulatingtributes and forming friendly alliances between the men of Ireland.
-246-XI.As to Columcille, when he had taken his leave of the assembly he proceededto Duibheaglais, in Inis Eoghan, and on the next night, after nightfall, a brilliant flameof fire came upon the guards at the convention, who kept the cell in which Aodh hadScannlan Mor confined, bound by twelve iron chains, so that the guards put theirfaces to the ground because of the greatness of the blaze which they saw. And a brightdazzling flame came to Scannlan in the place where he was, and a voice in the flamesaid to him, “Arise, O Scannlan, and quit thy chains and thy cell, and come forth andfollow me, and place thy hand in mine.” After this Scannlan came forth with the angelin front of him. His guards observed him, and asked who was there. “Scannlan,” saidthe angel. “If it were he, he would not tell,” said they. Thereafter the angel andScannlan went after Columcille; and when Colum was at matins, as he was passingthrough the sanctuary railing it was Scannlan who was taking off his shoes; andColumcille asked who was there, and he replied that he was Scannlan. WhenColumcille asked news of him, he answered “a drink,” so great was his thirst, for itwas salted meat they gave him in the cell, with no drink after. From the frequencywith which he gave that answer to Columcille, the latter left an impediment in speechon every king of his progeny who should rule in Osruighe. Now Columcille directedBaoithin to give three drinks to Scannlan, and then Scannlan told his story to Colum,as we have said above. Columcille directed Scannlan to proceed to Osruighe. “Icannot,” said Scannlan, “through fear of Aodh.” “Thou needest have no fear,” saidColum; “take my staff with thee as a protection, and leave it with my community atDurmhagh, in Osruighe.” Upon this Scannlan proceeded to Osruighe, and ruled overhis own country during his life; because fear of Columcille prevented Aodh fromtroubling him thereafter.In return for his liberation in this manner, Scannlan imposed a yearly tax of ascreaball, or threepence, on every household in his country from Bladhma to the sea,to be paid to the community of Columcille at Durmhagh, in Osruighe, as we read inthe Amhra Choluim Chille, which quotes the promise which Scannlan made toColum:Thy share of my lands, of my house,Be they numerous as rushes or herbs,It is screaball from each house,The portion from Bladhma to the sea.Columcille, moreover, gave his blessing to all the Ossorians on condition thatthey and their king should be obedient to himself and to his community at Durmhaghin succeeding times as regards the payment of the tax which Scannlan imposed onthemselves and on their posterity, as we read in the Amhra:A blessing from me on the Ossorians,On their pure-handedness and wisdom;A blessing on sea and on landFrom me, because of their king’s submission to me.Criomhthann was the baptismal name of the Columcille we are treating ofhere, and Axal was the name of his guardian angel, and Demal was the name of thedemon that specially troubled him, as we read in the Amhra. Thus it speaks:
GEOFFREY KEATING-247-Criomhthann Ua Cuinn, fair consummation,Was the baptismal name of Columcille;Axal the name of his angel, without fault,And Demal his demon.Now Columcille clung to him as a name, because when he was a child underinstruction at Dubhghlaise, in Tir Luighdheach, in Cineal Conaill, he was permitted togo out into the village one day each week to play with his equals in age as a privilege,as he was of the royal blood. And as he was wont to go out thus a day in each week,the children of the district used to assemble to meet him-on the day on which he waswont to go out, and, being together waiting for him, when they beheld him comingtowards them from the monastery, they used to lift their hands for joy, and say withone voice, “Here comes the Colum or dove of the Church,” and when the teacherheard that the children were in the habit of calling him Columcille he deemed it to beGod’s will that he should be always called by that name which was in the mouths ofthe innocent children, and that his baptismal name, to wit, Criomhthann, should lapse.And a change of name of this kind has often been the lot of the saints, witness the caseof Mochuda, who was first called Carrthach, and of St. Caomhan, a disciple ofPatrick, who was first called Mac Neise, and of Patrick himself, whose baptismalname was Sochet, and whom Germanus called Magonius, when he imposed hands onhim, and whom Pope Coelestinus called Patrick on the occasion of his sending him toIreland to propagate the Faith, and that of Fionnbharr, of Cork, whose baptismal namewas Luan, and of the bishop of Iobhar, whose name was Loichead, and who lived andblessed in Beigeirinn, in the lower part of Leinster, and of St. Connlaoch, bishop ofCill Dara, whose first name was Roincheann, and of Moling, whose first name wasDairchill, and similarly of many others like them; so that it cannot be doubted thatCriomhthann was the baptismal name of Columcille, notwithstanding that Columcilleclung to him as his common name for the above reason.Know, O reader, that Columcille was a genuine Irishman on his father’s andmother’s side, and not an Albanian, as some Albanians say. For it is evident that hewas Irish on his father’s side, as we read in the history of the saints of Ireland thatFeidhlimidh, son of Fearghus Ceannfhoda, son of Conall Gulban, son of NiallNaoighiallach, who was high king of Ireland, was father to Columcille. Here is theseancha’s statement of this, as we read in the poem which begins: The sacred historyof the saints of Inis Fail:Columcille, of the land of Conn,Son of Feidhlimidh, over every tribe,Son of Fearghus, of the fierce action,Son of the very noble Conall Gulban.It is also certain that Columcille was Irish on his mother’s side, according tothe account given in the Amhra, where it states that Eithne, daughter of Dioma, son ofNaoi, of the race of Cairbre Nia Fear, king of Leinster, was his mother. Thus speaksthe Amhra:Eithne, who is mighty,The queen out of the Dal Cairbre,Mother of Colum, who was thence pious,Was daughter of Dioma, son of Noe.Columcille mortified his body by fasting and prayer and prostration to such adegree that he grew so emaciated through pious austerity that when he lay in the sand
-248-in his cell as the wind rushed in through the roof his ribs were distinguishable throughhis habit, as the Amhra says in this stanza😛lain he used to lie on the sand,In his bed was great suffering;The form of his ribs through his dressWas distinct as the winds blew.Columcille’s age when he died was seventy-seven years, as Dallan Forgaillsays in Amhra Choluim Chille itself, which was written by Dallan soon after the deathof Columcille:While Colum was in the fair worldHis body laboured beneath the yoke,He went to angels out of his bodyAfter seven and seventy years,namely, forty-three years of his life he spent in Ireland, and after that thirty-four yearsin Alba, as the Amhra says in this stanza:He was three years and forty of themIn Ireland, without anxiety,Four and thirty strong yearsIn Alba after Erin.The three places in which Columcille used to dwell are in I in Alba, in Derry,in Dun da Leathghlas where he was buried, as he says himself in this stanza, in whichhe reveals his love for these three places:My happiness in I, without fault,And my soul in Derry,And my body beneath the stoneUnder which are Patrick and Brighid.When Columcille said Mass or sang psalms or preached, his voice was heardat a distance of a mile and a-half, and a demon could not endure his voice, but fledbefore it, as the Amhra says in this stanza:The sound of his voice, of Columcille’s,High its melody above every company;As far as fifteen hundred paces,Mighty courses, was it distinct.There was a priest in Tir Chonail in the time of Columcille who built orerected a church of precious stones, and he made an altar of glass therein, and he hadimages of the sun and moon set up in the church. Soon afterwards this priest fell into adeep swoon, after which a demon came to him and took him with him into the air.And when they came near Columcille overhead, he caught sight of them and made thesign of the cross above him in the air, and thereupon the priest fell down. And for thatreason the priest made an offering of the church he had built to Columcille on accountof his having rescued him from the hands of the demon, and he joined an order ofmonks himself, and led a good life thenceforward.There was a saint in Ui Faircheallaigh, in Osruighe, called Coisfhionn, andColumcille went on a certain occasion to see him in the hope that he might let him seehis books, for he was a very learned man and had many books. And he refused to letColumcille see them. And Columcille prayed God to grant that no person alive mightbe able to read any one of these books; and from that time not a word of them couldbe read, and they decayed.
GEOFFREY KEATING-249-Baoithin saw in a vision three chairs in heaven, namely, a chair of gold, a chairof silver, and a chair of glass; and Columcille explained to him that the chair of goldwas for Ciaran mac an tSaoir for his great hospitality to guests, "and the chair of silveris for thyself, O Baoithin, for the purity of thy piety; but the chair of glass is for me,for though my piety be pure, I am often frail and worldly."The following are the four rules of Ireland, to wit, the rule made by Patrickforbidding the killing of clerics; the rule of Adhamnan forbidding the killing ofwomen; the rule of Doire Choluim Chile, forbidding the killing of milch cows; andthe rule of Sunday forbidding a journey on that day.
-250-XII.It was in the reign of this Aodh son of Ainmire that Columcille died.Understand, O reader, that the Colum of whom we have been speaking up to this isColumcille son of Feidhlimid, son of Fearghus. But the Red Book of Mac Aodhaganand the sacred history of the saints of Ireland say that many of the saints, male andfemale, of Ireland bore the same name. For they say that there were twenty-two St.Colums in Ireland, and Columcille was the first Colum of them; and further, it was incommemoration of the sanctity of Columcille that each of them was called Colum.There were twenty-five St. Ciarans in Ireland, and amongst them were Ciaran ofCluain Mic Nois, and Ciaran of Saighir, and Ciaran of Tiobraid Naoi. There werethirty-two St. Aodhans in Ireland. There were seven St. Bairrfhionns in Ireland, andamongst these was Bairrfhionn, or Fionnbharr, of Corcach. And this Fionnbharr wasthe son of Aimhirgin, son of Dubh Duibhne, son of Ninnidh, son of Eochaidh, son ofCairbre Ard, son of Brian, son of Eochaidh Muighmheodhon, who was king ofIreland. And there were seventeen holy bishops and seven hundred religious in thecommunity of Corcach along with Fionnbharr. There were four St. Baoithins inIreland, to wit, Baoithin son of Breanainn, Baoithin son of Fionnach, Baoithin son ofAlladh, and Baoithin son of Cuanaidh. There were fifteen St. Brighids in Ireland, andamongst them was Brighid, daughter of Dubhthach, of Leinster, who is celebratedthroughout Europe; and it is clear that she is of the stock of Eochaidh Fionn FuathnArt; and that Eochaidh Fionn was brother to Conn Ceadchathach, who was king ofIreland. Here is the testimony of the sacred history of Ireland on this point, as we readin the poem which begins: The sacred history of the saints of Inis Fail:Brighid, daughter of Dubhthach Donn,Son of Dreimhne, son of Breasal Borr,Son of Dein, son of Connla, son of Art,Son of Cairbre Nia, son of Cormac,Son of Aonghus Mor, of high dignity,Son of Eochaidh Fionn, hated of Art,Son of Feidhlimidh Reachtmhar the noble,Son of Tuathal Teachtmhar, the excellent.The following are the fourteen St. Brighids who were in Ireland besides theBrighid spoken of above: Brighid, daughter of Dioma; Brighid, daughter of Mianach;Brighid, daughter of Moman; Brighid, daughter of Eanna; Brighid, daughter of Colla;Brighid, daughter of Eachtar Ard; Brighid of Inis Brighde; Brighid, daughter ofDamhar; Brighid of Seanbhoth; Brighid, daughter of Fiadhnat; Brighid, daughter ofAodh; Brighid, daughter of Luinge.It was in the time of Aodh son of Ainmire, of whom we are treating, and ofAodhan son of Gabhran, king of Alba, who was very old at the time, that the Gaelslost Manainn.It was, moreover, in the time of Aodh son of Ainmire, that St. Cainneach, ofAchadh Bo, died, aged eighty-four years; and this Cainneach was of the stock ofFearghus, son of Rogh. It was about this time that Colman Rimhidh fought the Battleof Sleamhain, in which Conall, son of Aodh, was defeated, and the Battle of CuilCaoil against Fiachaidh, son of Baodan, in which Fiachaidh, son of Deman, wasdefeated and his people slaughtered.
GEOFFREY KEATING-251-After that Conall son of Suibhne defeated in battle the three Aodhs in one day,namely, Aodh Slaine, and Aodh Buidhe, king of Ui Maine, and Aodh Roin, king of UibhFailghe. It was at Bruighean da Choga he defeated them, as the poet says in thisstanza😃readful was the bloody stateOf the kings of all Ireland,Aodh Slaine with a host,Aodh Roin and Aodh Buidhe.Now there was constant dissension between the two Fiachaidhs we have justmentioned, to wit, Fiachaidh, son of Baodan, and Fiachaidh, son of Deaman, andthrough the prayer of St. Comhghall the son of Baodan often got the upper hand; andwhen the son of Deaman charged the saint with this, Comhghall asked him in turnwhether he preferred heaven and to be slain to gaining a victory and living for a timeand hell in the end. The son of Deaman said he preferred to gain a victory over hisenemy so that his slaughter of them and exploits against them might be recited atgeneral assemblies from age to age. Comhghall disapproved of the choice he made,and the other Fiachaidh chose heaven and defeat in battle, and this he obtainedthrough the prayers of Comhghall.Indeed every great tribe of the nobles of Ireland had an attendant guardiansaint. In testimony of this take the following tribes: For the Tuathalaigh and theBranaigh had Caoimhghin of Glenn da Loch; the Ui Cinnsealaigh had Maodhog ofFearna; the Caomhanaigh had Moling; the siol Mordha had Fionntain of CluainEidhneach; the Ossorians had Cainneach of Achadh Bo; the siol gCinneidhidh hadRuadhan of Lothra; the Deise had Deaglan; the clann Briain of Eatharla had Seanna;Gobnuid was for Muscraidhe Mic Diarmada; Colman for Ui Mac Coille; and similarlythere was no district or tribe in Ireland without the special protection of a male orfemale saint, whom they venerated and honoured. But there are other saints moregenerally known than those we have mentioned, such as Columcille, Finnen of MaghBile, Ciaran of Cluain, Comhghall of Beannchair, Brighid of Cill Dara, Ailbhe ofImleach, and St. Patrick, as Aonghus Ceile De says in the book which is calledPsaltair na Rann. Thus does he speak:The Ui Neill, all protected by Colum,Are not in the shade of a bramble;Protected by Finnen of Magh BileAre all the Ultonians;The tribes of Connaught are protected by Ciaran,Though it be not an equal division;The Dal nAruidhe, the noble, the amiable,Are protected by Comhghall;The Leinstermen are protected by Brighid,Fame and riches;All Munster, with its produce,Is protected by Ailbhe.The chief saints of Ireland, with her monks,It is their care,Whatever path they walk in, to be all under the shieldOf Patrick.It was while Aodh son of Ainmire, held the sovereignty of Ireland thatBrandubh, son of Eochaidh, son of Muireadhach, son of Aonghus, son ofFeidhlimidh, son of Eanna Cinnsealach, was king of Leinster for one year. And he andthe Leinstermen slew Aodh son of Ainmire, in the Battle of Bealach Duin Bolg. It isalso said that it was the Leinstermen themselves who slew Brandubh in the Battle of
-252-Camcluain, or that it was by Saran Saobhdhearg, the airchinneach of Seanbhoth Sine,he fell, as the poet says in this stanza:Saran Saobhdhearg, noble guide!The airchinneach of Seanbhoth Sine,'Tis no falsehood, though he was seldom in battle,He slew Brandubh, son of Eochaidh.It was about this time that St. Colman of Eala died.Aodh Slaine, son of Diarmaid, son of Fearghus Ceirr bheoil, son of ConallCreamhthainne, son of Niall Naoighiallach, and Colman Rimhidh, son ofMuircheartach Mac Earca, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland.They were six years in joint sovereignty. Mughainn, daughter of Cucharainn, son ofDuach, a Connaught-woman, was the mother of Aodh Slaine; and Eithne, daughter ofBreanainn Dall, a Connaughtwoman, was his wife; and she bore him six sons, to wit,Diarmaid, Donnchadh, Maolbreasail, Maolodhar, Comhghall, and Oilill. He wascalled Aodh Slaine, for it was on the river which is named Slaine he was born. It wasin the reign of this pair that Gregory the Great of Rome sent St. Augustine, the monk,together with a community of holy clerics, to propagate the Catholic Faith in Britain.Colman Rimhidh fell by Lochan Diolmhain. Aodh Slaine was slain by ConallGuithbhinn, son of Suibhne.Aodh Uairiodhnach, son of Domhnall, son of Muircheartach, son ofMuireadhach, son of Eoghan, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon,held the sovereignty of Ireland twenty-seven years. Brigh, daughter of Orca Mac Eire,son of Eochaidh, was the mother of Aodh Uairiodhnach. And he is called AodhUairiodhnach, for he was subject to cold fits of pain, and if he owned the wealth of theworld he would give it to get a moment’s relief. Now uara eidhnigh means readhgfuar, or ‘a cold pang,’ and hence he was called Aodh Uairiodhnach. It was in the reignof this Aodh that Aonghus, son of Colman, fought the Battle of Odhbha, in whichConall Laoghbhreagh, son of Aodh Slaine, fell. And Aodh Uairiodhnach, king ofIreland, fell in the Battle of da Fhearta.Maolcobha, son of Aodh, son of Ainmire, son of Seadna, son of FearghusCeannfhoda, son of Conall Gulban, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of the race ofEireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland four years. Croinseach, daughter of AodhFionn, king of Osruighe, was the wife of this Maolcobha. Maolcobha fell by, SuibhneMeann in the Battle of Sliabh Bealgadain.
GEOFFREY KEATING-253-XIII.Suibhne Meann, son of Fiachna, son of Fearadhach, son of Muircheartach, sonof Muireadhach, son of Eoghan, son of Niall Naoighiallach, held the sovereignty ofIreland thirteen years. It was in the reign of Suibhne Meann that Caoimhghin ofGleann da Loch died, aged six score years. Caoimhghin was the son of Caomhlogha,son of Caoimhfhiodh, son of Corb, son of Fearghus Laoibdheargh, son of Fothach,son of Eochaidh Laimhdhearg, son of Meisin Corb, of the race of LabhraidhLoingseach. It was about this time that Aodh Beannain, king of Munster, died, and St.Adhamnan, son of Ronan, son of Tinne, son of Aodh, son of Colum, son of Seadna,son of Fearghus, son of Conall Gulban, son of Niall Naoighiallach, who was abbot ofI in Alba. Rona, daughter of Dunghal, king of Ui Turtaire, was the wife of SuibhneMeann, king of Ireland. Suibhne Meann, king of Ireland, was slain by Conghal Claon,son of Scannlan Sciathleathan.Domhnall, son of Aodh, son of Ainmire, son of Seadna, son of FearghusCeannfhoda, son of Conall Gulban, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of the race ofEireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland thirteen years. And it was this Domhnallwho won the Battle of Dun Ceitheirn against Conghal Claon, in which he overthrewhim and slew many of his people. It was, moreover, in the reign of Domhnall that thesaint who was called Munna died, and that Carrthach, that is, Mochuda, werebanished from Rathain to Lios Mor. And Mochuda was of the stock of Ciar, son ofFearghus,Now when Mochuda went from Ciarraidhe on a pilgrimage to Rathain he builta monastery there, and he placed a community of monks in the monastery; so thatthere were seven hundred and ten monks with him there, who passed their lives sopiously that an angel used to converse with every third monk of them, and thus itcame to pass that the fame and renown for great sanctity of the community of Rathaingrew apace. For this reason the saints of the clann Neill became very envious, andthey sent word to Mochuda directing him to abandon Rathain and betake himself tohis own country, that is, to Munster. Mochuda replied to the messengers who broughthim these instructions and said that he would not leave Rathain unless he were put outof it by the hand of a bishop or of a king. When this message reached the pious menof the clann Neill they besought Blathmhac and Diarmaid Ruanuidh, two sons ofAodh Slaine, who were of the clann Neill, to go and expel Mochuda from Rathain;and at the instigation of this body, Blathmhac and Diarmaid Ruanuidh, along with acompany of clerics from the northern side, visited Rathain.When Mochuda heard that they had come close to him he sent a lord of thePicts, or Cruitnigh, from Alba, called Constantine, who was a lay-brother in thecommunity, to beseech these nobles to give a year’s respite to Mochuda and to hiscommunity before expelling them from Rathain. And he got this request from them.And when the year passed the same nobles came in a year’s time, along with acompany of the same clerics, and when they had come close to Rathain, Blathmhacsent word to Mochuda asking him to come out of the monastery; and thereuponMochuda sent the same Constantine to beseech them to give him another year’srespite, and they granted this, though unwillingly. And at the end of the third year thesame nobles and the same clerics were incited by the lawless folk of the Ui Neill tocome and expel Mochuda the third year from Rathain; and when that company had
-254-come near the village, they, of one accord, sent Diarmaid Ruanuidh and theairchinneach of Cluain Conghusa, along with a party, to bring Mochuda by the handout of the monastery; and when these had reached the church the airchinneach went inand Diarmaid remained outside at the doorpost. When Mochuda heard that Diarmaidwas at the door he went to welcome him and ask him into the church. “I will not goin,” said Diarmaid. “Is it to carry me off from the monastery thou hast come?” saidMochuda. “It is,” said Diarmaid, “but I dare not do it, and I repent of having come onthis expedition, by reason of thy great sanctity and of the honour God gives thee.”“Honour in heaven and on earth be thine,” said Mochuda, “and power and thesovereignty and the kingdom of Ireland be thine, and may thy progeny prosper afterthee; and when thou shalt have returned to thy company, the youths who are there willgive thee the name Diarmaid Ruanuidh in reproach. But that nickname will redoundto thy honour and to that of thy offspring.” Thereupon Diarmaid returned to thecompany, and when he came before them Blathmhac asked him why he did not layhands on Mochuda and bring him out of the monastery. “I dared not do it,” saidDiarmaid. “That, O Diarmaid, is a bashful behaviour.” And when the company heardthis they dubbed him Diarmaid Ruanuidh. Now ruanuidh means deargthach or’bashful,' so that his descendants are called the descendants of Diarmaid Ruanuidhever since.As to Blathmhac, he went with a party to the monastery and laid hands onMochuda, and brought him and his community out of the monastery against their will.And Mochuda cursed Blathmhac. And Mochua proceeded thence, with hiscommunity of monks, performing wonders and miracles till he arrived at the Deise;and when he arrived there the king of the Deise went to meet him, and reverenced andhonoured him, and commended his body and soul to his protection; and they bothproceeded to Dun Scinne, which is now called Lis Mor. There Mochuda and hiscommunity dwelt, and there they built a church, so that the place has been honouredand celebrated for piety and learning ever since. Thus far the going of Mochuda fromRathain to Lis Mor.It was Domhnall, son of Aodh, son of Ainmire, king of Ireland, who foughtthe Battle of Magh Rath, where Conghal Claon, who had been ten years king ofUlster, was slain, And from the tract called the Battle of Magh Rath it may be readilyseen that the array and order of the Irish troops as they went into conflict or engagedin battle were well regulated. For there was a leader of the entire host, and a leader ofeach division of the host under his charge, and an emblem on the standard of eachleader, from which the divisions of the army were distinguished from one another bythe seanchas, who were bound to be with the nobles whenever they engaged with oneanother in conflict or battle, so that the seanchas might be eyewitnesses of the exploitsof the nobles, and thus be able to give a true account of their deeds on either side. Andhence Domhnall, son of Aodh, king of Ireland, had his own seancha with him whenhe was about to engage in the Battle of Magh Rath. For when Domhnall wasmarching against Conghal, king of Ulster, and they were on either side of the river,and when they were in sight of each other’s host Domhnall asked his seancha to nameevery one of the standards separately, and its emblem, and the seancha told him whatthey were, as we read in the poem which begins: Mightily advance the battalions ofConghal, in which is, this stanza on the king of Ulster’s own emblem:A yellow lion upon green satin,The emblem of the Craobh Ruadh,Such as was held by noble ConchubharConghal now holds.
GEOFFREY KEATING-255-It is a long time since the Gaels began the practice of having emblems, inimitation of the children of Israel, who employed them in Egypt, in the life-time ofGaedheal, when the children of Israel passed through the Red Sea, with Moses as theirchief leader. Now there were twelve tribes of them, and each tribe had a separatedivision of an army and a separate emblem.The tribe of Ruben, a mandrake on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Simeon, a javelin on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Levi, the Ark on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Juda, a lion on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Isacar, an ass on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Zabulon, a ship on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Nephtalem, the figure of a wild ox on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Gad, the figure of a lioness on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Joseph, a bull on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Benjamin, a wolf on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Dan, a serpent on its standard as an emblem;The tribe of Aser, an olive branch on its standard as an emblem.Here follows the seancha’s account of the emblems of the children of Israel, aswe read in the old Book of Leacaoin, in Urmhumha, and in many other old books, inthe poem below:I know each great ensignThat the proud children of Jacob had,Few are the people thereafterWho know their names.The tribe of Ruben, prosperity helped them,Their ensign was a mandrake;The spirited tribe lasted a long time,A good host followed its ensign.The tribe of Simeon asked no ensignBut a stern avenging javelin;Simeon, the guileful wise one,Who was vindictive in the affair of Dionna.The tribe of Levi, the people of the Ark,Numerous their flocks and great herds;It was a guarantee of their welfareTo see the Ark with them.The ensign of the noble tribe of Juda,The figure of a powerful lion;The tribe of Juda, in the hour of wrathProud hosts following a good ensignThe tribe of Isacar, of the pure gold,Had an ensign like an ass;Often a host with ruddy face,Followed the great beautiful ensign.The tribe of Zabulon, of the bright girdles,The figure of their ensign was a laden ship;It was usual on the shallow wavesFor all to be in their laden ships.The figure of a wild ox, short-flanked, swift,Had the tribe of Neptalem, the venemous;Of the tribe that practised the fury of wrathThe warriors round their ready ensign were not few.The ensign of the tribe of Gad, in conflict,Was as the figure of a lioness;Nor have we deemed timorous in the time of wrathful furyEach warrior following the great ensign.
-256-An ensign like a bull with constant strength,In the east had the tribe of renowned Joseph;It is well known that vultures soughtThe bold, glorious race.The tribe of Benjamin, of swift vigour,Its ensign was above ensigns;An ensign like the ravening wolf,Ruddiness in the glorious feast.The tribe of Dan, stubborn the race,A venemous family of a sinister house,Powerful to strike back, as it implies,Like a great serpent, its ensign.The tribe of Aser, not stinted in herds,An ensign they clung to like a garment;Its choice was identical withA beautiful fair olive branch.I have enumerated their tribes above,I have enumerated their ensigns;The enumeration of the abodes of the spirited tribes,How many men are ignorant of? I know.It was in the reign of Domhnall, son of Aodh, king of Ireland, of whom we aretreating, that the following saints died, to wit, Mochua, of the race of Oilill, son ofCathaoir Mor, who lived and blessed in Teach Mochua in Laoighis, and Mochudhaand Maolaise of Leithghlinn, who were of the race of Conall Gulban, son of NiallNaoighiallach and Comhdhan, son of Da Cearda, and Cronan, bishop of Caondrom.And Domhnall, son of Aodh, son of Ainmire, king of Ireland, died.
GEOFFREY KEATING-257-XIV.Conall Caol and Ceallach, two sons of Maolcobha, son of Aodh, son ofAinmire, son of Seadna, son of Fearghus Ceannfhoda, son of Conall Gulban, son ofNiall Naoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon, assumed the sovereignty of Ireland.They reigned together for thirteen years. It was in their reign that Cuanna, son ofCailchin, king of Fearmaighe, that is, Laoch Liathmhaine, died, and this Cuanna was acontemporary of Guaire, son of Colman, and there was a rivalry between them inhospitality and charity; and hence the two jesters, Comhdan and Conall, composedbetween them this stanza on their rivalry, in which they say:Everything that is in his handGuaire son of Colman bestows,What each one covets is given himBy the Warrior of Liathmhain.It was, moreover, in their reign that Raghallach, son of Udaidh, who was kingof Connaught twenty-five years, was slain by Maoilbrighde, son of Mothlachan, andby his slaves. It happened thus: this Raghallach was full of hatred and envy towardsthe son of an elder brother, fearing lest he might oppose him and deprive him of thekingdom of Connaught. Still he found no opportunity of slaying his brother’s son, sothat he was wasting away through not taking food because of his envy of his brother’sson. Moreover, he sent a messenger to his kinsman, asking him to come and see him.As to the kinsman, he understood Raghallach’s deceit, and he assembled a companyand went to meet his kinsman Raghallach; and as he went into his presence hedirected his party to wear their swords unsheathed at their waists, and whenRaghallach saw this he said: “It is sad that he whom I love most dearly on earth, andwhom I wish to make my heir, trusts me not, though I am at the point of death.” Now,when his kinsman heard this he was greatly afflicted at heart, and he came alone nextday to see him, and Raghallach’s party sprang upon him and slew him. ThereuponRaghallach got up in health on the spot and set to feasting merrily and mostpleasantly. But Muireann, that is, Raghallach’s wife, inquired of her druid afterRaghallach had slain his kinsman whether there was trouble in store for her. The druidsaid that since Raghallach had slain his kinsman, both their deaths would be speedilybrought about by their own children; and, moreover, that it was the child in her wombwho would bring about their death. She made this known to Raghallach, and he toldher to kill the child immediately after its birth.Muireann gave birth to a daughter, and put her into a bag with a view to givingher to one of her people, a swineherd, that he might kill her. When the swineherd sawthe face of the infant his heart yearned towards it, and he put it in the same bag inwhich he got it from its mother and took it privately to the door of a pious woman,who was near at hand, and left the bag on one of the arms of a cross that was near thepious woman’s house. The pious woman came upon the bag, and when she found theinfant in it she loved it greatly and reared it religiously. And there was not in Irelandin her time a more beautiful girl, so that her fame reached Raghallach, and he sentmessengers asking her of her nurse. But the nurse did not grant this request. After thisshe was brought to him by force, and when he saw her he became greatly in love withher and he had her as a concubine. Now his own wife, Muireann, became jealous, andwent to the king of Ireland to complain of this deed. And the scandal of this evil deedspread through Ireland, and the saints of Ireland were pained thereat, and Feichin
-258-Fabhair came to Raghallach and charged him, and many saints came with him andentreated him to give up this sin. But he did not give it up for them all, though theyfasted on his account. However, as a warning to other people of inordinate desires, thesaints prayed God that he should not be alive the Bealltaine following, and that heshould fall by wicked people, and, moreover, by puny arms and in a squalid spot; andall these things befel him on the approach of Bealltaine. For a wild deer which hadbeen wounded came helter skelter into the island in which Raghallach was, and whichhe was guarding, and as he saw the deer he laid hold of his javelin and made a cast ofit at the animal and pierced it through therewith. The deer swam away from him andhe followed it in a skiff, and the deer went some distance from the lake and cameupon slaves, who were cutting turf, and they slew the deer and divided it betweenthem. Ragallach came up to them and threatened them for having divided the deer,and asked them to give back the venison. But the slaves resolved to slay the king, andthereupon they attacked him with their oars and other implements, and slew him aswas foretold regarding him by the saints. And Muireann, his wife, died throughjealousy of her own daughter.It was about this time that the Battle of Carn Conaill was fought by Diarmaid,son of Aodh Slaine, wherein Cuan, son of Amhalghuidh, who was king of Munsterten years, and Cuan, son of Conall, king of Ui Fidhgheinnte, and Talamonach, king ofUi Liathain, were slain; and it was through the prayer of Ciaran’s community atCluain Mic Nois that Diarmaid won that battle. And when Diarmaid returned toCluain Mic Nois he bestowed land on that church as altar-land. And the name of thatland at this day is Liath Mhanchain, and it was at Cluain Mic Nois that Diarmaidwilled that he should be buried after his death. It was about this time that St. Furs a, ofthe race of Lughaidh Lamha, brother of Oilill Olum, died, and also Moicheallog, thesaint, who lived and blessed at Cill Moicheallog; and this saint was of the race ofConaire, son of Eidirsceol. After this Ceallach fell at the Brugh on the Boyne, andConall Caol was slain by Diarmaid, son of Aodh Slaine.Blathmhac and Diarmaid Ruanuidh, two sons of Aodh Slaine, son ofDiarmaid, son of Fearghus Ceirrbheoil, son of Conall Creamthainne, son of NiallNaoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon, held jointly the sovereignty of Ireland sevenyears; and it was in their reign that Hossa fought the Battle of Pancti, where fell theking of Sacsa and thirty lords of his people. It was about this time that St. Ulltan died,and Maodhog of Fearna, son of Seadna, son of Earc, son of Fearadhach, son ofFiachraidh, son of Amhalghuidh, son of Muireadhach, son of Carrthann, son of Earc,son of Eochaidh, son of Colla Uais, and Cuimin Foda, son of Fiachna the saint, andMaonach, son of Finghin, king of Munster. Diarmaid Ruanuidh and Blathmhac diedof the plague called the Buidhe Conaill.Seachnasach, son of Blathmhac, son of Aodh Slaine, son of Diarmaid, son ofFearghus Ceirrbheoil, son of Conall Creamhthainne, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of therace of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland six years. It was in the reign of thisking that the Battle of Feart took place between the Ulstermen and the Cruithnigh,wherein there were many slain on both sides. It was about this time that Baoithin,abbot of Beannchair, died. After this Seachnasach, king of Ireland, fell by DubhnDuin, of the Cineal Cairbre.Ceannfaolaidh, son of Blathmhac, son of Aodh Slaine, son of Diarmaid, son ofFearghus Ceirrbheoil, son of Conall Creamhthainne, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of therace of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland four years. And it was in his reign
GEOFFREY KEATING-259-that Beannchair was burned, and its community slain by foreigners. And the reasonwhy this place is called Beannchair is this, Breasal Breac, king of Leinster, went witha full host to plunder Alba, and brought much cattle and herds with him to Ireland,and when himself and his host came to land they built a camp in the place which isnow called Beannchair, and they killed many of the cows for meat, and many of thecows’ horns, or beanna, remained throughout the plain; and hence the place was giventhe name of Magh Beannchair. And a long time after that, when the holy abbotComhghall built a monastery in the same place he ordered that it be named from theplace in which it was built, and hence it is called the Monastery of Beannchair. Soonafter the foreigners had burned this monastery, Ceannfaolaidh, king of Ireland, wasslain by Fionnachta Fleadhach, son of Donnchadh, in the Battle of Cealltair.Fionnachta Fleadhach, son of Donnchadh, son of Aodh Slaine, of the race ofEireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland seven years; and in his reign manybanquets and feasts used to take place in Ireland, hence he is called FionnachtaFleadhach. It was, too, in his reign that Colman, bishop of Inis Bo Finne, died, andFionan, who lived and blessed in Ard Fionain; and this Fionan was of the race ofFiachaidh Muilleathan; and St. Arannan died. It was Fionnachta who won the Battleof Loch Gabhair against the Leinstermen, wherein many of the Leinstermen fell byhim. It was in his reign that Ceannfaolaidh, the learned, died, and Dunghal, son ofScannal, king of the Cruithnigh, and Ceannfaolaidh, king of Ciannachta GhlinneGeimhean, were burned by Maolduin, son of Maoilfithrigh, in Dun Ceitheirn. It wasin his reign, moreover, that the British made an incursion into Ireland, according toBeda in the 26th chapter of the fourth book. The leader of the host of the king ofSacsa, whose name was Egberthus, the leader’s name being Berthus, came andplundered a large part of Ireland, in the age of the Lord 684. Thus does Beda lamentthis deed: “Berthus plundered deplorably an inoffensive nation and one ever mostfriendly to the people or race of Sacsa.” And they fought the Battle of Raith Mor inMagh Line, wherein they slew Cumascach, king of the Cruithnigh, together with alarge body of Gaels. Moreover, the Britons went thence on an expedition to theOrcades and plundered that island. A company of them also landed in the east ofLeinster, and they plundered churches and country districts, and they returned afterhaving committed much spoiling and plundering. Here is a stanza that Adhamnancomposed for Fionnachta when he remitted the Boraimhe to Molaing:Fionnachta, son of Donnchadh,Remitted much to a saint:Thrice fifty hundred chained cows,And each cow with her calf.Soon after that Fionnachta, king of Ireland, was slain by Aodh, son ofDuitheach, and by Conghalach, son of Conaing, at Greallach Doluidh.Loingseach, son of Aonghus, son of Domhnall, son of Aodh, son of Ainmire,of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland eight years. It was in hisreign that Adhamnan came from Alba to Ireland to preach, and Moling, of Luachair,died, and Magh Muirtheimhne was plundered by the Welsh. It was in the reign of thisking that a great cow-plague existed in Sacsa and in Ireland, and there was a faminefor three years in Ireland, so that the people devoured one another there at this time. Itwas about this time that St. Egberthus went to preach to Alba, and MuireadhachMuilleathan, king of Connaught, died, and the Ulstermen won the Battle of MaghCuilinn over the Britons, where many Britons fell. It was about this time thatAdhamnan, abbot of I, died, aged seventy-seven years, and the Saracens, with a
-260-numerous host, laid siege to Constantinople and built a three years’ encampmentaround it. After this they raised the siege. After this Coibhdhean, bishop of Ard Srath,died. Soon after this the Battle of Corann was fought by Ceallach, son of Raghallach,who was king of Connaught for seven years, wherein he slew Loingseach, son ofAonghus, king of Ireland.Conghal Ceannmhaghair, son of Fearghus Fanad, son of Conall Gulban, son ofNiall Naoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland nineyears. It was this Conghal who burned all Cill Dara, both church and district. But hehimself got a sudden and instant death after this event.Fearghal, son of Maoilduin, son of Maoilfhithrigh, son of Aodh Uairiodhnach,son of Domhnall, son of Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach, son of Eoghan, son ofNiall Naoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Irelandseventeen years. Ceacht, daughter of Ceallach, son of Maolcobha, king of CinealConaill, was this Fearghal’s mother. And it was in his reign that Baodan, bishop ofInis Bo Finne, died, and a battle was fought between the Dal Riada and the Britons inthe place called Cloch Mhionnuirc, and the Britons were defeated there. It was aboutthis time that Neachtain, king of Alba, expelled a community of monks from Britainfor animadverting on his vices.It was in the reign of this king that there fell the three showers from whichNiall Frasach is named, as he was born when these freasa or showers fell; a shower ofhoney on Fothain Bheag and a shower of silver on Fothain Mhor and a shower ofblood on Magh Laighean. It was about this time that the Battle of Almhuin was foughtbetween Murchadh, son of Bran, who was fifteen years king of Leinster, andFearghal, son of Maolduin, king of Ireland; and the host the king of Ireland brought tothat battle amounted to twenty-one thousand, and the host the king of Leinster broughtthere amounted to nine thousand and eight score chosen warriors as a bodyguard tothe king himself when going into the battle. And the king of Ireland was defeated inthe battle, and two hundred and sixty-nine of his people were seized with frenzy, andthree thousand two hundred of them were slain; and others say that seven thousand ofthem were slain. The reason why this disaster befel the king of Ireland was that whenhe was on the point of setting out to fight the Battle of Almhain a party of hisfollowers went to plunder a church called Cillin, and carried off by force the one cowthat the solitary hermit of that church had and the hermit cursed the king and his host,and hence they met reverse in battle; and the king of Ireland fell there with many ofhis people, as we have said above.Fogharthach, son of Niall, son of Cearnach Sotal, son of Diarmaid, son ofAodh Slaine, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland one year, andfell by Cionaoth, son of Iorghalach, in the Battle of Beilge.Cionaoth, son of Iorghalach, son of Conuing Currach, son of Conghal, son ofAodh Slaine, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland four years. Itwas in the reign of this king that the relics of Adhamnan were brought from Alba toIreland. After that the Battle of Drom Corrain was won by Flaithbhearthach, son ofLoingseach, against Cionaoth, son of Iorghalach, where Cionaoth, king of Ireland,fell, and many of his people along with him.Flaithbhearthach, son of Loingseach, son of Aonghus, son of Domhnall, son ofAodh, son of Ainmire, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland sevenyears. Muireann, daughter of Ceallach, was the mother of this Flaithbhearthach. It was
GEOFFREY KEATING-261-in the reign of this king, according to Beda, that the Battle of Drom Dearg, in Alba,was fought between Drust and Aonghus, two kings of the Cruithnigh, for the masteryof the country, and Drust and many of his people fell there.And soon after that was fought the Battle of Murbholg between the Dal Riadaand the Picts, that is, the Cruithnigh, wherein many of the Picts were killed. It wasabout this time that the Battle of Fotharta, in Muirtheimhne, was won by Aodh Ollanand by the clann Neill against the Ultonians, wherein Aodh Roin, who was thirtyyears king of Ulster, and Conchadh, son of Cuana, king of Cobha, were slain. Afterthis Flaithbhearthach, son of Loingseach, king of Ireland, died at Ard Macha.Aodh Ollan, son of Fearghal, son of Maolduin, son of Maoilfithrigh, son ofAodh Uairiodhnach, son of Domhnall, son of Muirchearthach, son of Muireadhach,son of Eoghan, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon, held thesovereignty of Ireland nine years. Brige, daughter of Orca, son of Carrthann, wasmother of Aodh Ollan. It was in the reign of this Aodh that the Battle of Bealach Feilewas fought between Munster and Leinster, wherein fell many Munstermen andLeinstermen, together with Ceallach, son of Faolchur, king of Osruighe. It was Cathalson of Fionghaine, king of Munster, who won that battle.After this Aonghus, son of Fearghus, king of the Picts, routed and defeated theDal Riada in Scotland, and he plundered and robbed them and burned Dun Creige;and he seized Donnghal and Fearghus, two sons of Sealbhuidhe, king of Dal Riada,and put them in prison. It was about this time that a meeting took place between AodhOllan, king of Ireland, and Cathal, son of Fionghaine, king of Munster, at Tir Daghlas,in Urmhumha, where they imposed Patrick’s rule and law and tribute on Ireland. Soonafter that the Battle of Ath Seannaigh, that is, the Battle of Uchbhadh, was foughtbetween Aodh Ollan, king of Ireland, and Aodh, son of Colgan, king of Leinster,wherein Aodh Ollan, was severely wounded, and wherein fell Aodh, son of Colgan,and Bran Beag, son of Murchadh, half-king of Leinster, together with many Leinsternobles, and nine thousand Leinstermen fell there. After that Flann, son ofCronnmhaol, bishop of Reachruinne, and Cathal son of Fionnghaine, king of Munster,and Aodh Balbh son of Innreachtach, who was the king of Connaught seven years,died; and Aodh Ollan, king of Ireland, was slain in the Battle of Seiridmheadh, that isat Ceanannus, by Domhnall son of Murchadh.Domhnall, son of Murchadh, son of Diarmaid, son of Airmeadhach Caoch, sonof Conall Guithbhinn, son of Suibhne, son of Colman Mor, son of Diarmaid, son ofFearghus Ceirrbheoil, son of Conall Creamhthainne, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of therace of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland forty-two years. Ailpin, daughterof Comhghall, of the Dealbhna Mor, was mother of Domhnall, son of Murchadh, kingof Ireland. It was in his reign that Colman, bishop of Laosan, was slain by the UiTurtaire, and Cormac, bishop of Ath Truim, died. It was about this time that the formof a serpent was seen in motion in the air; and Seachnasach, son of Colgan, king of UiCinnsealaigh died; and Caitheasach, son of Oilloll, king of the Cruithinigh, was slainat Raith Beitheach by the Leinster-men. It was in the reign of this king thatSuairleach, bishop of Fobhar, died, also Osbhran, bishop of Cluain Chreamhuidh.After that was fought the Battle of Bealach Cro by Criomhthann, son ofEanna, where fell Fionn, son of Arb, at Tiobraid Fhinn, and the Dealbhna wereslaughtered around him; and it is from this event that the lake in that place is calledLoch an Bhealaigh Chro, and the well that is in the same place is called Tobar Finn. Itwas about this time that Cumascach, king of Ui Failghe, fell by Maolduin, son of
-262-Aodh Beannan, king of Munster, and Aonghus, king of Alba, died; and MacCoinchearca, king of Osruighe, won the Battle of Bealach Gabhran against Dungal,son of Laidhghein, king of Ui Cinnsealaigh, wherein Dunghal was slain, together withmany of the Leinster nobles. And Muirchearthach, son of Murchadh, king of Leinster,died. After this Domhnall, son of Murchadh, first king of Ireland of the clannColmain, died.Niall Frasach, son of Fearghal, son of Maolduin, son of Maoilfithrigh, son ofAodh Uairiodhnach, son of Domhnall, son of Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach, sonof Eoghan, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereigntyof Ireland four years. Aithiochta, daughter of Cian O Conchubhair king of Ciannachta,was the mother of Niall Frasach. And the reason why he is called Niall Frasach is thatthere fell three showers in Ireland when he was born – a shower of honey on FothainBheag and a shower of silver on Fothain Mhor and a shower of blood on MaghLeighean. And frais means a shower. It was in the reign of this Niall thatDuibhionnracht, son of Cathal, son of Muireadhach Muilleathan, who was five yearsking of Connaught, died; and there was an earthquake and a great famine in Ireland,and Dunghal, son of Ceallach, king of Osruighe, died. After that was fought the Battleof Achadh Liag between Ui mBriuin and Ui Maine, where many fell on either side,and Cronnmhaol, bishop of Cill Mhor, and Ailpin, king of the Picts, and Aolgnat,bishop of Ard Breacain, died. Soon after that Artghaile, son of Cathal, went on apilgrimage to I Columcille, in Alba, and Fearghus, bishop of Daimhliag, died; and atCorann there was a battle fought between Cineal Conaill and Cineal Eoghain, whereinMaolduin, son of Aodh Ollan, king of the Fochla, was victorious, and Domhnall, sonof Aodh Muindearg, was defeated and many of his people slain there. After this NiallFrasach, king of Ireland, died in I Columcille, in Alba.
GEOFFREY KEATING-263-XVI.Donnchadh, son of Domhnall, son of Murchadh, son of Diarmaid, son ofAirmeadhach Caoch, son of Conall Guithbhinn, son of Suibhne, son of Colman Mor,son of Diarmaid, son of Fearghus Ceirrbheoil, son of Conall Creamhthaine, son ofNiall Naoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland twenty-seven years, and it was on his pillow he died.Aodh Oirndighe, son of Niall Frasach, son of Fearghal, son of Maolduin, sonof Maoilfithrigh, son of Aodh Uairiodhnach, son of Domhnall, son of Muircheartach,son of Muireadhach, son of Eoghan, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of the race ofEireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland twenty-four years. Dunlaith, daughter ofFlaithbheartach, son of Loingseach king of Cineal gConaill, was the mother of AdohOirndighe. And he is called Aodh Oirndighe, for when he was weaned from hisnurse’s breasts he set to suck his fists as if he were sucking his nurse’s breasts; hencehe was called Aodh Oirndighe or Aodh Doirndighe.It was in the reign of Aodh Oirndighe that the Lochlonnaigh first came toIreland in the year of the Lord 820. And twelve years after that the tyrant Turgesiuscame to Ireland, and it was Olchobhar, son of Cionaoth, son of Conghal, son ofMaolduin, son of Aodh Beannain, who was king of Munster at that time according tocertain chroniclers. But the Policronicon where it treats of Ireland in its chronicle saysthat it was when Feidhlimidh, son of Criomhthann, reigned in Munster that theLochlonnaigh first came to Ireland. Thus it speaks: “From the coming of Patrick to thetime of Feidhlimidh, son of Criomhthann, king of Munster, thirty-three kings held thesovereignty of Ireland during the period of the four hundred years that elapsed fromthe coming of Patrick to Ireland till Feidhlimidh assumed the sovereignty of Munster;and in the time of Feidhlimidh came the Norwegians with their leader Turgesius toconquer that country,” that is, Ireland. Others say that it was when Airtre, son ofCathal, reigned in Munster, the Lochlonnaigh began to come to plunder Ireland. Andin this they are right. However, they did not get a grip of Ireland though they harassedthe country. Moreover what the Policronicon states is true where it says that it was inthe reign of Feidhlimidh, son of Criomhthann, over Munster that the tyrant Turgesius,who reduced Ireland to slavery, came. True also is the statement of those who assertthat the Lochlonnaigh came to Ireland in the reign of Olchobhar over Munster, but thetribe who came hither then were the Dainfhir or Danes from Dania, that is Denmark,and it is these are called Duibhgheinnte or Dubhlochlonnaigh in the old books of theseanchus, while the Norwegians are called Finngheinnte or Fionnlochlonnaigh.Understand now, O reader, that Lochlonnaigh in Irish is not a specific namefor any particular tribe, but Lochlonnach means a man who is strong at sea; for lonnmeans strong and loch means the sea; and since the inhabitants of those countries ofthe north of Europe held for a time powerful sway over Ireland, as we shall hereafterrelate, the Irish called them Lochlonnaigh, that is men strong at sea, because of thegreat sway they acquired over the Gaels as we shall show below on the authority ofthe book which is called Cogadh Gall re Gaedhealaibh. Here follows a short summaryof the history.While Aodh Oirndighe reigned over Ireland and Airtre son of Cathal was kingof Munster, the foreigners came to Caoin-inis O bhFathaidh, their number being themanning of sixty ships, and they ravaged the country and plundered and burned Inis