Connachta / Cúige Chonnacht
State Ireland Counties Galway
Government – Teachta Dála 12 Fine Gael TDs
3 Fianna Fáil TDs
2 Labour Party TDs
2 Independent TDs
1 Sinn Féin TD
Area – Total 17,788 km2 (6,867 sq mi) Population (2011) – Total 542,039
Connacht /ˈkɒnɔːt/ (Irish: Connachta / Cúige Chonnacht [ˈkɔnəxtə]), formerly anglicised as Connaught, is the western province of Ireland, consisting of the counties Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Its main urban centres are Galway in the south, and Sligo in the north. It is the smallest of the four Irish provinces, with a population of 542,039.
Connacht means "the descendants of Conn" (Conn itself possibly meaning wisdom or chief). The name was derived from the Connachta dynasty, who claimed descent from the mythical king Conn of the Hundred Battles. The present-day senior representative of the dynasty is The O'Conor Don.
In Irish, the province is usually called Cúige Chonnacht. Cúige denotes a portion. Because Ireland had five major kingdoms, the term came to denote a fifth, meaning a territory comprising one fifth of the island. The other fifths were Ulaid, Mide, Laighin and Mumhan. Notable kingdoms such as Aileach, Brega, Osraighe and Ui Maine, never gained the status of fifths, but were recognised as powerful kingdoms within each fifth.
An alternative anglicised spelling which was officially used during English and British rule is Connaught. In 1874 Queen Victoria granted the title Duke of Connaught to her third son, and could trace a descent from the Connachta.
Connacht is composed of five counties: Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. The highest point of Connacht is Mweelrea (814 m), in Mayo. The largest island in Connacht is Achill, also the largest island of Ireland. The biggest lake is Lough Corrib.
Much of the west coast - Connemara, Nephin, Erris - is ruggedly inhospitable, and poorly conducive for agriculture. However it is also very scenic. It contains the main mountainous areas in Connacht, including the Twelve Bens, Maumturks, Mweelrea, Croagh Patrick, Nephin Beg, Ox Mountains, Dartry Mountains.
Connemara National Park is located within Connacht in County Galway.
These areas, together with County Leitrim, have since the 1840s experienced the highest emigration in the province.
Inland areas such as east Galway, Roscommon and Sligo have enjoyed greater historical population density due to overall good agricultural land and better infrastructure.
The largest urban area in Connacht is Galway city with a population of 72,414 in the city proper. There are many large towns including Sligo (pop. 19,402), Castlebar (pop. 11.600) and Ballina (pop. 10,409).
Early Connacht in the Annals of Ulster
Historical references to Connacht are generally accepted from the early 6th century onwards, commencing with the battle of Claenloch between the Ui Fiachrach Aidhne and the Ui Maine. It is though that Claenloch is what is now called Coole Lough, four miles north of Gort, in County Galway.
- 538. The battle of Claenloch, in which Maine son of Cerball fell.
- 543. The battle of Tortu i.e. won by the Laigin, in which Mac Erca son of Ailill Molt fell.
- 544. Tuathal Maelgarb was killed, i.e. in Grellach Allta by Mael Mórda, and Diarmait son of Cerball succeeded him.
- 545. The first mortality called bléfed, in which Mo-Bí Clárainech died.
- 547. The battle of Slicech in which fell Eógan Bél, i.e. king of Connacht; and Domnall and Forgus, two sons of Muirchertach Mac Erca, and Ainmire son of Sétna son of Fergus son of Conall of Gulbu son of Niall Naígiallach, were victors.
- 548. Cluain Moccu Nóis (Clonmacnoise) was founded.
- 549. The falling asleep of the son of the wright, i.e. Ciarán, in the 33rd year of his age or in the 7th after he had begun to build Cluain Moccu Nóis.
- 550. The battle of Cúil Conaire in Cera, in which Ailill Inbanda, i.e. king of Connacht and Aed Fortobol, i.e. his brother, fell. Forgus and Domnall, i.e. two sons of Muirchertach Mac Erca, were victors.
Up to the early historic era, Connacht then included County Clare, and was known as Cóiced Ol nEchmacht. It is said that the Fir Bolg ruled all of Ireland right before the Tuatha Dé Danann arrived. When the Fir Bolg were defeated, the Tuatha Dé Danann were so touched by the courage of their enemy that they would give them a quarter of Ireland. They chose Connacht.
Enigmatic artifacts such as the Turoe stone and the Castlestrange stone, whatever their purpose, denote the ambition and achievement of those societies, and their contact with the La Tène culture of mainland Europe.
In the early historic era (c. 400-c.500), Ol nEchmacht was not a single unified kingdom. It instead comprised dozens of major and minor túath; rulers of larger túath (Maigh Seóla, Uí Maine, Aidhne and Máenmaige) were accorded high kingly status, while peoples such as the Gailenga, Corco Moga and Senchineoil were lesser peoples given the status of Déisi. All were termed kingdoms, but according to a graded status, denoting each according the likes of lord, count, earl, king.
Some of the more notable peoples included the following:
- Auteini - County Roscommon/County Galway
- Conmaicne - west coast, and northern areas of, County Galway
- Dartraige - north-west County Leitrim
- Delbhna - south County Roscommon, and both sides of the Corrib[disambiguation needed ]
- Erdini - County Leitrim/County Cavan
- Fir Craibe - County Clare (then part of Connacht) and south-west Galway
- Fir Domnann - west coast of Mayo
- Gamhanraigh - North Mayo
- Nagnatae - County Mayo/County Galway
- Soghain - most of east-central County Galway
- Tuatha Taiden - east Galway and south Roscommon
For an extensive list of nations known to have resided in Connacht during this era, see Cóiced Ol nEchmacht.
By the 5th century, the pre-historic tribal polities were giving way to dynasties. Older nations such as the Auteini and Nagnatae - recorded by Ptolemy (c. AD 90–c. 168) in Geography - gave way to dynastic hereditary rule. This is demonstrated in the noun moccu in names such as Muirchu moccu Machtheni, which indicated a person was of the Machtheni people. As evidenced by kings such as Mac Cairthinn mac Coelboth (died 446) and Ailill Molt (died c. 482), even by the 5th century the gens was giving way to kinship all over Ireland, as both men were identified as of the Uí Enechglaiss and Uí Fiachrach dynasties, not of tribes. By 700, moccu had been entirely replaced by mac and hua (later Mac and Ó).
The name Connacht arose from the most successful of these early dynasties, The Connachta. By 1050, they had extended their rule from Rathcroghan in north County Roscommon to large areas of what are now County Galway, County Mayo, County Sligo, County Leitrim. The dynastic term was from then on applied to the overall geographic area containing those counties, and has remained so ever since.
- Cath Maige Mucrama - epic concerning a battle that took place between Athenry and Clarenbridge
- Goidelic substrate hypothesis - concerning pre-Gaelic languages of Ireland
- Esker Riada - used as one of the principal prehistoric Irish roadways, the Sli Mor,
- Hibernia - Ireland in Greek and Roman accounts
- Insular art - post-Roman native art of Ireland and Great Britain
- Medb - legendary Queen of Connacht
- Táin Bó Cúailnge - Irish epic, partly set in Connacht
- Táin Bó Flidhais - Irish epic, set in Erris
- Trícha cét - Gaelic territorial unit
- Túath - Gaelic social/political division
Connacht in the Annals of Ulster, 925-1039
- 925. Cathal son of Conchobor, king of Connacht, died in penitence. Domnall son of Cathal, with other distinguished men of Connacht, was treacherously killed by his kinsman, i.e. by Tadc.
- 931. Cernachán son of Tigernán, king of Bréifne, died.
- 935. Abundance of oak-mast.
- 936. Cluain Moccu Nóis was plundered by the foreigners of Áth Cliath, and they remained two nights in it—something unheard of from ancient times.
- 939. Críchán son of Mael Muire, king of Uí Fiachrach, dies.
- 941. Severe frost so that the ice on lakes and streams was passable.
- 945. Abnormally severe frost so that the lakes and rivers were passable on foot. Aurchath son of Murchad, king of the west of Connacht, died.
- 949. Aedán of Tuaim da Gualann rested in Christ.
- 950. An abnormally great mast-crop.
- 951. A mortality of bees.
- 952. Flann ua Cléirig, king of the south of Connacht ... died.
- 954. A great murrain of cattle throughout Ireland.
- 956. Tadc son of Cathal, king of Connacht, died.
- 960. Muiredach son of Fergus made a great circuit of Connacht.
- 961. Erchad's son, king of Uí Briúin Sheóla, died.
- 965. Great and intolerable famine in Ireland, so that the father was wont to sell his son and daughter for food. Domnall ua Néill, king of Temair, made an expedition and plundered Connacht, taking hostages from ua Ruairc.
- 969. Eógan son of Cleirech, bishop of Connacht, rested.
- 970. Ualgarc ua Ruairc was defeated and killed with very many others by Conchobor son of Tadgh.
- 973. Conchobor son of Tadc, king of Connacht, dies. A battle between Murchad ua Flaithbertaig and the Connachta, in which fell Cathal son of Tadc, king of Connacht, and Géibennach son of Aed, king of Uí Maini, and many others. Mael Muire, superior of Dairmag, was drowned in Es Ruaid.
- 975. Very bad weather in the above year.
- 980. Comaltán ua Cléirig, king of Uí Fiachrach Aidni, dies.
- 981. An abnormal mast-crop in the above year.
- 982. Aed ua Dubdai, king of the north of Connacht, dies an untroubled death.
- 985. Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall had an army in Connacht, and he reduced Mag Aí to ashes. The Connacht made a covert(?) foray to Loch Aininn, and they burned the country and killed the king of Fir Chell. (Mael Sechnall son of Domnall ravaged Connacht, plundered its islands, and killed its chiefs.)
- 992. An expedition was made by Mael Sechnaill in Connacht, and he brought away great spoils. A remarkable manifestation on St. Stephen's night, the sky appearing blood-red.
- 993. A great mortality of people, cattle, and bees throughout Ireland this year.
- 998. Mael Sechnaill made an expedition into Connacht and ravaged it. Brian made an expedition also in Laigin and ravaged it.
- 1001. The causeway of Áth Luain was made by Mael Sechnaill and by Cathal son of Conchobor.
- 1002. Brian brought an army to Áth Luain and took the hostages of the Connachta and of the men of Mide. The raiding of Connacht by Aed son of Domnall.
- 1004. Gilla Cellaig son of Comaltán, king of Uí Fiachrach Aidni, and Brian son of Mael Ruanaid were killed.
- 1006: Brian brought an army on a circuit of Ireland into Connacht, over Es Ruaid into Tír Conaill, through Cenél Eogain, over Fertas Camsa, into Ulaid, into the assembly of the Conaille; and at Lammas they came to Belach Dúin, and the full demand of the community of Patrick and of his successor i.e. Mael Muire son of Eochaid, was granted: It is remarkable that Sliab Cua has no troop/That foreigners do not row around Eidnech/That a lone woman crosses Luachair/That cows are without a herdsman, lowing — That is in Brian's time.
- 1007. Cú Chonnacht son of Dúnadach, chief of Síl Anmchada, was treacherously killed by Brian alias by Murchad son of Brian and by Ua Dúngalaig, king(?) of Múscraige Tíre, in the vicinity of Lothra.
- 1008. Severe frost and snow from the sixth of the Ides 8 January to Easter 28 March.
- 1009. A defeat was inflicted on the Connachta by the men of Bréifne. The Connachta however afterwards defeated the men of Bréifne. Dub Chablaig, daughter of the king of Connacht, i.e. wife of Brian son of Ceinnéitig, died.
- 1010. Cathal son of Conchobor, king of Connacht, dies in penitence. A very hot summer, a fruitful autumn. Der bFáil, daughter of Tadc son of Cathal, died.
- 1013. A defeat was inflicted on the Connachta by ua Mael Doraid, in which fell Domnall son of Cathal i.e. the Cat, heir designate of Connacht.
- 1014. ...two kings of Uí Maine, Ua Cellaig .... and Mael Ruanaid ua hEidin, king of Aidne kiled at Battle of Clontarf.
- 1015. Aed ua Ruairc, king of Bréifne, was wickedly slain by Tadc, king of Connacht, i.e. at Loch Néill in Mag Aí despite being under the safeguard of the Bachall Ísu. It was this which deprived his seed of kingship, save only his son Aed.
- 1023. A lunar eclipse on the fourteenth day of the January moon, that is, on Thursday the fourth of the Ides 10 of January. A solar eclipse, moreover, a fortnight afterwards on the twenty-seventh of the same moon, Thursday the ninth of the Kalends of February 24 Jan. Domnall ua hEgra, king of the Luigne of Connacht, was killed by Ua Conchobuir, king of Connacht.
- 1024. The battle of Áth na Croise in Corann was fought between Ua Maíl Doraid and Ua Ruairc. Ua Ruairc was defeated and a slaughter was inflicted upon him -At the battle of Áth na Croise/Men fought mercilessly/Corann was filled with corpses/Cenél Conaill has its glory.
- 1025. Niall ua Conchobuir, heir designate of Connacht, and Gerr Gaela, king of Brega, were killed.
- 1027. Tadc son of Gilla Pátraic was blinded by Donnchad son of Gilla Pátraic, king of Osraige. Brian's son led an expedition into Osraige, and the Osraige inflicted a slaughter on his followers, including Dogra son of Dúnadach, king of Síl Anmchada, Domnall son of Senchán, and a great number besides.
- 1028. Brian ua Conchobuir and Scorn ua Ruairc, Flaithbertach ua Erudáin and Conchobor son of Eochaid were killed.
- 1029. Brian ua Conchobuir, heir designate of Connacht, was killed by his own people. Aed ua Ruairc and Aengus ua hAengusa and the superior of Druim Cliab and three score people with them were burned in Inis na Lainne.
- 1030. Tadc ua Conchobuir, king of Connacht, and In Got, king of Mide, were killed.
- 1034. Gilla Sechnaill son of Gilla Mo-Chonna was killed. Dub Daingen, king of Connacht, was killed by his own people.
- 1036. All these were killed ... Murchad grandson of In Capall, and Niall son of Muirgius, two heirs designate of the west of Connacht.
- 1037. Cathal son of Ruaidrí, king of the west of Connacht, went on his pilgrimage to Ard Macha. Very wet stormy weather this year.
- 1038. A defeat was inflicted on the Uí Maine by the Delbna in the middle of Cluain Moccu Nóis on Friday, the feast of St. Ciarán 9 Sept., and many were slain there.
- 1039. All these were killed ... Donnchad Derg ua Ruairc by the Uí Chonchobuir;
Vikings in Connacht
Tor and Crioslach and Usban and Gotmann and Allgot [settled] in Connacht, according to Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh (768.4, pp.44-45, volume III, leabhar na nGenealach). The Annals of Ulster have the following references concerning Viking activities:
- 807 - The heathens burned Inis Muiredaig and invade Ros Comáin. (sic; for Ros Comáin is meant Rosscam, County Galway). A slaughter was made of the foreigners by the men of Umhall.
- 808 - A battle between the men of Umhall and the foreigners, in which the men of Umhall were slaughtered, and Cosgrach, son of Flannabhrat, and Dunadhach, lord of Umhall, were slain.
- 812 - A slaughter of the heathens by the men of Umaill. A slaughter of the Conmaicne by the heathens.
- 836 - A most cruel devastation of all the lands of Connacht by the heathens. The heathens inflicted a slaughter in a battle won over the Déis Tuaisceirt.
- 837 - The heathens won a battle at Inber na mBárc against the Uí Néill from the Sinann to the sea, in which an uncounted number were slaughtered, though the principal kings escaped. Inis Celtra was plundered by the heathens. The churches of all Loch Éirne, including Cluain Eóis and Daiminis, were destroyed by the heathens.
- 838 - The heathens won a battle against the Connachta, in which Mael Dúin son of Muirgius and many others fell.
- 842 - Cluain Moccu Nóis was plundered by heathens from Linn Duachaill. Biror and Saiger were plundered by heathens from Duiblinn.
- 844 - Cluain Ferta Brénainn was burned by heathens from Loch Rí.
- 845 - There was an encampment of the foreigners i.e. under Tuirgéis on Loch Rí, and they plundered Connacht and Mide, and burned Cluain Moccu Nóis with its oratories, and Cluain Ferta Brénainn, and Tír dá Glas and Lothra and other monasteries.
- 846 - Baislec (in County Mayo) was plundered by the heathens. The foreigners won a battle against the Connachta, in which fell Rígán son of Fergus, Mugrón son of Diarmait and Aed son of Cathrannach and many others.
- 849 - A naval expedition of seven score ships of adherents of the king of the foreigners came to exact obedience from the foreigners who were in Ireland before them, and afterwards they caused confusion in the whole country.
- 922 - The fleet of Luimnech, that is, of Ailche's son, went on Loch Rí, plundered Cluain Moccu Nóis, and all the islands on Loch Rí, and took great booty in gold, silver and much treasure.
- 923 - Tomrar, son of Tomralt, was slain by the Conmaicni-mara. (Four Masters)
- 927 - The foreigners of Luimneach went upon Loch Oirbsen, and the islands of the lake were plundered by them.A new fleet was launched upon Loch Ribh, between Conmaicne and Tuath-nElla, where Cathal Ua Maele, and Flaithbheartach, son of Tuathghal, and some others along with them, were slain. (Four Masters)
- 928 - A slaughter was made of the foreigners who were on Loch Oirbsen by the Connaughtmen. The foreigners of Luimneach encamped in Magh-Roighne.The foreigners of Luimneach took up their station upon Loch Ribh. (Four Masters)
- 929 - A fleet [of Vikings] on Loch Oirbsen in Connacht.
- 931 - The victory of Duibhthir (barony of Athlone, County Roscommon) was gained by Amhlaeibh Ceanncairech of Luimneach, where some of the nobles of Ui-Maine were slain. The foreigners of Luimneach plundered Connaught as far as Magh-Luirg to the north, and as far as Badhbhghna to the east. (Four Masters)
- 932 - A fleet [of Vikings] on Loch Rí.
- 934 - Cluain-mic-Nois was plundered by the foreigners of Ath-cliath; and it was plundered again by Ceallachan Caisil and the men of Munster. Amhlaibh Ceannchairech, with the foreigners, came from Loch Eirne across Breifne to Loch Ribh. On the night of Great Christmas they reached the Sinainn, and they remained seven months there; and Magh-Aei was spoiled and plundered by them. (Four Masters)
- 936 - Cluain Moccu Nóis was plundered by the foreigners of Áth Cliath, and they remained two nights in it—something unheard of from ancient times. (Annals of Ulster) Amhlaeibh, son of Godfrey, lord of the foreigners, came at Lammas from Ath-cliath, and carried off as prisoners Amhlaeibh Ceanncairech from Loch Ribh, and the foreigners who were with him (i.e. with Cairech), after breaking their ships. The foreigners of Athcliath left their fortress, and went to England. (Four Masters)
- 938 - Aralt, grandson of Imhar, i.e. the son of Sitric, lord of the foreigners of Luimneach, was killed in Connaught by the Caenraighi of Aidhne. (Four Masters).
- 942 - Cluain Moccu Nóis and Cell Dara were ravaged by the heathens of Áth Cliath.
- 946. Cluain Moccu Nóis was plundered by the foreigners of Áth Cliath, and also the churches of the men of Mide.
- 951 - Cluain-mic-Nois was plundered by the men of Munster, and the Danes of Luimneach along with them. (Four Masters)
- 953 - Cluain Moccu Nóis was plundered by the men of Mumu, accompanied by foreigners.
- 971 - Cellach ua Nuadat abbot of Roscommon was killed by foreigners in front of the refectory.
The Kingdom of Connacht
The most successful sept of the Connachta were the Ó Conchobair of Síol Muiredaig. They derived their surname from Conchobar mac Taidg Mór (c.800-882), from whom all subsequent Ó Conchobair Kings of Connacht descended.
Conchobar was a nominal vassal of Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid, High King of Ireland (died 862). He married Máel Sechnaill's daughter, Ailbe, and had sons Áed mac Conchobair (died 888), Tadg mac Conchobair (died 900) and Cathal mac Conchobair (died 925), all of whom subsequently reigned. Conchobar and his sons's descendants expanded the power of the Síl Muiredaig south into Ui Maine, west into Iar Connacht, and north into Uí Fiachrach Muaidhe and Bréifne.
By the reign of Áed in Gai Bernaig (1046–1067), Connacht's kings ruled much what is now the province. Yet the Ó Conchobair's contended for control with their cousions, the Ua Ruairc of Uí Briúin Bréifne. Four Ua Ruairc's achieved rule of the kingdom - Fergal Ua Ruairc (956-967), Art Uallach Ua Ruairc (1030–1046, Áed Ua Ruairc(1067–1087) and Domnall Ua Ruairc (1098-1102. In addition, the usurper Flaithbertaigh Ua Flaithbertaigh gained the kingship in 1092 by the expedient of blinding King Ruaidrí na Saide Buide. After 1102 the Ua Ruairc's and Ua Flaithbertaigh's were subborned and confined to their own kingdoms of Bréifne and Iar Connacht. From then till the death of the last king in 1474, the kingship was held exclusively by the Ó Conchobair's.
The single most substantial sub-kingdom in Connacht was Uí Maine, which at it maximum extant enclosed central and south County Roscommon, central, east-central and south County Galway, along with the territory of Lusmagh in Munster. Their rulers bore the surname Ó Cellaigh.
Though the Ó Cellaigh's were never elevated to the provincial kingship, Ui Maine existed as a semi-independent kingdom both before and after the demise of the Connacht kingship. Notable rulers of Ui Maine included
- Máine Mór (c. 357?-407?)
- Marcán mac Tommáin (died 653)
- Tadhg Mór Ua Cellaigh (reigned 985-1014)
- Conchobar Maenmaige Ua Cellaigh (r.1145-1180)
- Tadhg Ó Cellaigh (died 1316)
- William Buidhe Ó Cellaigh (c.1349-c.1381)
- Maelsechlainn mac Tadhg Ó Cellaigh (reigned c. 1499-1511)
Connacht in the Annals of Ulster 1041-1131
- 1041. The events indeed are numerous, killings and deaths and raids and battles. No one can relate them all, but a few of the many are given so that the age in which the various people lived may be known through them.
- 1043. Cathal son of Ruaidrí, king of the west of Connacht, died in Ard Macha on pilgrimage.
- 1044. The Cleric ua Conchobuir was killed.
- 1046. Art ua Ruairc, king of Connacht, was killed by the Cenél Conaill.
- 1047. A great snowfall this year from the Feast of Mary in the winter 8 Dec. to the Feast of Patrick 17 March, the like of which was never experienced before, and it caused the death of many people and cattle and sea-beasts and birds. Niall ua Ruairc was killed by ua Conchobuir.
- 1048. Mael Fábaill ua hEidinn, king of Uí Fiachrach Aidni, died.
- 1050. (Cluain Moccu Nóis was thrice plundered in one period of three months, once by the Síl Anmchada and twice by the Calraige with the Sinnaig.)
- 1051. Amalgaid mac Cathal, king of the west of Connacht, was blinded by Aed ua Conchobuir.
- 1052. Domnall Bán ua Briain was killed by the Connachta.
- 1053. Mac na hAidche ua Ruairc, heir designate of Connacht, was killed by Diarmait ua Cuinn on Inis Locha Arbach. ... Murchad ua Beolláin, superior of Druim Cliabh—all fell asleep in peace. Lochlainn's son and the men of Mag Itha made a raid on the Cenél Binnig of Loch Drochait, and took away three hundred cows and killed Dub Emna son of Cinaed, prior of Cluain Fiachna, and Cú Macha son of Cleirchén, steward of the Dál Cais.
- 1054. Aed son of Ceinnétig son of Donn Cuan, chief of Clann Tairdelbaig, was killed by the Connachta.
- 1055. Domnall Ruad ua Briain was killed by ua hEidinn.
- 1056. Tadc son of the Cleric ua Conchobuir was killed by the Uí Maine.
- 1057. Domnall Ua Ruairc was killed by Domnall son of Mael Ruanaid, king of Fir Manach.
- 1059. Aed Ua Dubda, king of Uí Amalgada, was killed by his own people. Cathal mac Tigernán, king of the west of Connacht, Congalach ua Riacáin, heir designate of Temair, Duarcán ua hEgra, king of Luigne, Gilla Coeimgein son of Gilla Comgaill, heir designate of Laigin, were killed. Tomaltach Ua Maíl Brénainn, chief of Síl Muiredaigh, died.
- 1061. An army was led by Aed ua Conchobuir to Cenn Corad, and he razed the fortress and stopped up the well.
- 1062. Rúaidhri Ua Flaithbheartaigh, king of the west of Connacht, was killed in battle by Aed ua Conchobuir. Tadg son of Aed ua Conchobuir was treacherously killed by the Clann Choscraigh and the west of Connacht. A raid was made by Ardgar mac Lochlainn into the province of Connacht, and they carried off six thousand cows and a thousand people.
- 1063. A great billeting was imposed by Lochlainn's son from Glenn Suilidhe west to the west of Luigne and to Muaidh Ua nAmalgaidh, where the kings of all Connacht came into his house, including Aed ua Concobuir and Aed grandson of Niall ua Ruairc and the son of Art ua Ruairc. The cave of Aill in Cera was taken by the Connachta against the followers of Aed ua Concobuir, and one hundred and sixty were stifled therein.
- 1065. The son of Tadc ua Cellaigh, king of Uí Mhaine, and ua Flaithbhertaigh, king of the west of Connacht, were killed by Aed ua Conchobuir.
- 1066. Aed ua Ruairc, king of Uí Briúin, died immediately after plundering the shrine of Patrick. Cellach son of Muirchertach ua Cellaigh, Gilla Braite, king of Uí Briúin, the son of Senán, king of Gaileng, Gilla Moninne son of Aed son of the grandson of Ualgarg, were killed. A great harvest of nuts in all Ireland, so that it hindered the rivers.
- 1067. A hosting by Tairdelbach ua Briain to Loch Cime, and ua Conchobuir, king of Ciarraige Luachra, was killed on the hosting. Aed ua Conchobuir i.e. Aed of the gapped spear, overlong of the province of Connacht, valiant steersman of Leth Cuinn, was killed by the Conmaicne in a battle in which many fell, and Aed ua Concenaind, king of Uí Díarmata and many others with them, i.e. by Aed son of Art Uallach ua Ruairc in the battle of Turloch Adhnach.
- Seven and sixty years, no trifle/And a thousand, a great virtue/From the birth of Christ, no perverse sway/Until Aed king of Connacht fell.
- 1076. An army was led by Tairdelbach into Connachta, and the king of Connacht, i.e. Ruaidrí ua Conchobuir, came into his house.
- 1078. Domnall grandson of Tigernán, king of Conmaicne ... killed.
- 1079. Cellach ua Ruanada, chief ollav of Ireland ... the son of Conn, head of the poor of Cluain Moccu Nóis, rested in peace.
- 1082. Gilla Críst Ua Maelfabhaill, king of Carraic Brachaidhe, Finnchad son of Amalgaidh, chief of Clann Bresail, Domnall son of Conchobor ua Briain, Cathal son of Aed ua Conchobuir, Flaithbertach ua Maeladúin, king of Lorg, Uidrín son of Mael Muire, chief of Cenél Feradaigh—all were killed. (Domnall son of Tadc ua Conchobuir, heir designate of Connacht, was treacherously killed by Cathal ua Conchobuir. Cathal ua Conchobuir, with a great company, fell in battle by Ruaidrí ua Conchobuir.)
- 1084. Donnchad ua Mael Ruanaid, harrier of the churches, was killed, both body and soul, by the men of Lurg. The defeat of Móin Cruinneoici was inflicted by Leth Moga on Donnchad ua Ruairc, and in it fell ua Ruairc, i.e. Donnchad son of Cailech ua Ruairc and Ceinnétigh ua Briain and many others on the fourteenth of the Kalends of November 19 Oct.
- 1085. Murchad ua Maeldoraid, king of Cenél Conaill, Domnall son of Mael Coluim, king of Scotland, Muiredach son of Ruaidrí ua Ruadacán, Ualgarc ua Ruairc, heir designate of Connacht, Aengus ua Caíndelbáin, king of Loegaire, ended their life unhappily.
- 1087. A battle i.e. in Corann between Ruaidrí ua Concobuir, king of Connacht, and Aed ua Ruairc, king of Conmaicne, in which fell Aed, king of Conmaicne, and the nobles of Conmaicne. A sea expedition by the grandsons of Ragnall and by the son of the king of Ulaid into Man, and in it fell the grandsons of Ragnall. A great harvest of mast in this year.
- 1088. An army was led by Domnall grandson of Lochlainn, king of Ailech, into Connacht, and Ruaidrí gave the hostages of Connacht to him, and they went together into Mumu and burned Luimnech and the plain as far as Dún Ached, and they brought away the head of the son of Cailech, and they razed Cenn Coradh and so on. Tigernach ua Broein, superior of Cluain Moccu Nóis, rested in Christ. In this year was born Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir, king of Ireland.
- 1090. Taithlech ua hEgra was taken prisoner.
- 1091. The son of Aed son of Ruaidrí, king of the west of Connacht, died. This was a fruitful year with good weather.
- 1092. The pious man ua Fallomhain of the Connachtmen was drowned. Cluain Moccu Nóis was ravaged by the men of Mumu. Ruaidrí ua Conchobuir, over-king of Connacht, was blinded by Flaithbertaigh Ua Flaithbertaigh in treachery. Connmach ua Cairill, noble bishop of Connacht, rested.
- 1093. The Síl Muiredaigh were expelled from Connacht by Muirchertach ua Briain. The Síl Muiredaigh were back in Connacht without permission. A great harvest of mast in this year.
- 1094. A defeat was inflicted by the Síl Muiredaigh on Tuadmumu, in which fell three hundred or a little more. Extremely bad weather throughout Ireland, which gave rise to want. The battle of Fidnach in which half of the west of Connacht fell and half of Corcomruad, by Tadc son of Ruaidrí ua Conchobuir.
- 1095. Great snow fell the Wednesday 3rd after the first of January, and killed men and birds and beasts. Gilla Ciarán grandson of Ualgarg, chief of Uí Duibinnrecht, was killed by his own people. A great sickness in Ireland that killed many people, lasting from the first of August until the following May Day—i.e. the year of the mortality.
- 1096. Great fear seized the men of Ireland before the feast of John in this year, and God protected them through the fasts of the successor of Patrick and the other clerics of Ireland. Matudán ua Matudán, king of Síol Anmchadha, died. Gilla Ossén grandson of Cortén, king of Delbna, was killed.
- 1097. Tadc son of Ruaidrí ua Conchobuir, heir designate of Connacht, was killed by his own people. Flannacán Ruadh, superior of Ros Comáin, rested in peace. A great harvest of nuts in this year: thirty years since the other harvest of nuts to this harvest i.e. the year of the white nuts, i.e. a ‘sixth’ of nuts could be had for one penny.
- 1098. Flaithbertach ua Flaithbertaigh, king of the west of Connacht, was killed by the Síl Muiredaigh. In this year Aed ua Maeileoin, successor of Ciarán of CIuain Moccu Nóis, was born.
- 1099. A great epidemic throughout all Ireland.
- 1102. Domnall son of Tigernán ua Ruairc, king of Conmaicne, was killed by the Conmaicne themselves.
- 1103. A great war between the Cenél Eogain and the Ulaid, and Muirchertach ua Briain came with the men of Mumu[disambiguation needed ] and Laigin and Osraige and with the nobles of Connacht and the men of Mide with their kings to Mag Coba to assist the Ulaid.
- 1104. Mac na hAidche ua Ruairc was killed by his brothers.
- 1105. Niall Odar ua Conchobuir was killed. Muirgius ua Conchenaind died.
- 1107. Snow fell for a day and a night on the Wednesday 13 March before the feast of Patrick, and inflicted slaughter on beasts in Ireland. Much wet and bad weather in this year, and it ruined the corn.
- 1108. Cellach, successor of Patrick, was on a visitation of Connacht for the first time, and brought away his full dues. Aengus ua Cléirchén, steward of Dál Cais ... died. A great wind came on the third of the Nones 3rd of September. A great harvest of oakmast throughout all Ireland. A fruitful year with good weather and plenty of corn and mast this year.
- 1110. Flann Ua Aedha, successor of Énna of Ára, died. A raid was made by Domnall ua Lochlainn into Connacht, and he brought away a thousand prisoners and many thousand cows or cattle. The defeat of Ros facing Cruachain was inflicted by the Síl Muiredaigh on the Conmaicne, and in it fell the three ua Fergaile and many nobles also. A defeat was inflicted by the Conmaicne on the Síl Muiredaigh, i.e. the defeat of Mag Brengair.
- 1111. Very bad weather in the form of frost and snow, and it inflicted slaughter on domestic and wild beasts.
- 1113. A ball of fire came on the night of the feast of Patrick 17 March on Cruachain Aighle, and destroyed thirty of those fasting.
- 1114. Mael Coluim Ua Cormacán, successor of Énna of Ára ... rested in peace. An army was brought by Domnall Ua Lochlainn to Rath Cennaigh, and Eochaid ua Mathgamna with the Ulaid came into his house, and Donnchad ua Loingsigh with the Dal Araidhe and Aed Ua Ruairc with the men of Bréifne and Murchad ua Mael Sechlainn with the men of Mide. They went thereafter together over Áth Luain to Dún Leodha, and Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir with the Connachta, and Niall ua Lochlainn, his own son, with the Cenél Conaill, joined his assembly. They all went thereafter to Telach ua nDedaigh in Dál Cais, and they and the men of Mumu made a year's truce. Domnall ua Lochlainn returned home through Connacht.
- 1115. Extremely bad weather in the form of frost and snow from the fifth of the Kalends of January 28 Dec. to the fifteenth of the Kalends of March 15 Feb., or a little longer, and it inflicted slaughter on birds and beasts and men, and from this great want arose throughout all Ireland, and particularly in Laigin. An attack was made on the grandsons of Aed son of Ruaidrí including Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir, king of Connacht, i.e. at Áth Bó, and they were maimed, and he was dangerously wounded. A great raid was made by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir and the Connachta, and they plundered as far as Luimnech, i.e. Tuadmumu, and brought away countless cattle and many captives.
- 1116. Cellach, successor of Patrick, was on a visitation of Connacht for the second time, and brought away his full visitation. There was a great pestilence; hunger was so widespread in Leth Moga, both among Laigin and Munstermen, that it emptied churches and forts and states, and spread through Ireland and over sea, and inflicted destruction of staggering extent.
- 1117. Cathusach Ua Cnaill, noble bishop of Connacht, fell asleep in Christ. Mael Brigte son of Rónán, coarb of Cenannas, was killed by Aed ua Ruairc and the Uí Briúin, with a slaughter of the community of Cenannas, on the vigil of Domnach Crom Duban. ‘The face of the Lord be against those committing these wickednesses, that He may wipe out their memory from the earth.’ Ps. 33, 17. A battle, i.e. the battle of Lecan, was fought by Brian son of Murchad and the grandsons of Cathal ua Conchobuir with the Connachtmen against Tairdelbach son of Diarmait and the Dál Cais, and the Dál Cais were defeated and slaughter inflicted on them. Cathusach ua Cnaill, noble bishop of Connacht ... Muiredach Ua hÉnlainge, bishop of Cluain Ferta of Brénainn ... all fell asleep in Christ.
- 1118. An army was brought by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir, king of Connacht, and Murchad ua Mael Sechlainn, king of Temair, along with him, and Aed ua Ruairc, into Mumu until they reached Glenn Maghair, and they gave Desmumu to Mac Carrthaigh and Tuadmumu to the sons of Diarmait; and took the hostages of both. Another army was brought by him to Áth Cliath and he brought away the son of the king of Temair who was in the possession of the foreigners, and the hostages of the foreigners themselves, and the hostages of the Laigin and Osraige. Ruaidrí ua Conchobuir, king of Connacht for a long time, died on pilgrimage in the twenty-sixth year after being blinded.
- 1119. Cenn Corad was razed by the Connachta.
- 1120. An army was brought by Domnall ua Lochlainn to Áth Luain to assist Murchad ua Mael Sechlainn against Connacht, and Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir made a false peace with them. Conchobor son of Flannacán son of Donnchuan, chief of Muinter Birn, was wounded in Sliab Fuait by the Uí Chremthainn, and died of it.
- 1121. An army was brought by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir and the province of Connacht into Desmumu and they plundered from Mag Feimin to Tráigh Lí, both laity and churches, i.e. seventy churches or a little more. A plundering army was brought by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir into Desmumu also and he plundered the termon of Lis Mór and brought away a countless spoil of cattle, and left behind dead Muireadhach Ua Flaithbheartaigh, king of the west of Connacht, and Aodh Ua hEidhin, king of Uí Fiachrach.
- 1121. A great wind came on the Nones 5th of December and cast the cone from the bell-tower of Ard Macha and wrought great destruction of woods throughout all Ireland.
- 1122. Aed ua Ruairc, king of Conmaicne, fell by the men of Mide when taking a spoil from them. An army was led by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir to Loch Silech in Mide, and the son of Murchad, king of the Laigin and the foreigners, came into his house. Mór, daughter of Domnall ua Lochlainn, wife of Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir, died.
- 1124. The hostages of Desmumu were killed by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir, i.e. Mael Sechlainn son of Cormac grandson of Carrthach, king of Caisel, and ua Ciarmaic from Áine, and ua Cobthaigh of the Uí Cuanach of Cnámchaill.
- 1125. An army was led by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir into Mide, and he expelled Murchad ua Mael Sechlainn from his kingship, and set three kings over the men of Mide. Domnall son of Murchad, however, killed one of the three kings within nine days, i.e. Mael Sechlainn son of Donnchad.
- 1126. An army was led by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir into Laigin, and he took their hostages. Mael Ísu ua Coinne, eminent among the Irish in history and law and the order of Patrick, after excellent penitence, rested in Christ. Domnall ua Dubdai was drowned after carrying out a raid into Tír Conaill. The royal journey of Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir to Áth Cliath, and he gave the kingship of Áth Cliath and Laigin to his son, i.e. to Conchobor. A storm of great war in Ireland, so that the successor of Patrick had to be away from Ard Macha for a month and a year pacifying the men of Ireland, and bringing everyone, both laity and clergy, to uprightness and good conduct. A plundering army was brought by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir into Desmumu, and he plundered Glenn Maghair and brought away a countless spoil of cattle.
- 1127. An army was led by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir into Desmumu, and he plundered Corcach Mór of Mumu and brought away the hostages of all Mumu. The men of Mumu and Laigin turned again on Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir and they forfeited the lives of their hostages, and his son was deposed by the Laigin and the foreigners; for he set another king over them, i.e. Domnall grandson of Faelán. Tailltiu, daughter of Murchad ua Mael Sechlainn, wife of Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir, died. Gilla Críst ua Maoileoin, successor of Ciarán of Cluain Moccu Nóis, happiness and prosperity of the superiors of the churches of Ireland, rested in Christ.
- 1128. A defeat was inflicted by the horsemen of Conchobor grandson of Lochlainn on the horsemen of Tigernán ua Ruairc, and in it fell ua Ciarda, king of Cairpre, and Cathal ua Roghallaigh, and Sitriuc ua Mael brigte, and the son of Aed ua Dubda, king of Uí Amalgadha, and many others. Muirgius ua Nioc, superior of Tuaim dá Gualann for a time, died in Inis in Ghaill. A detestable and unprecedented deed of evil consequence, that merited the curse of the men of Ireland, both laity and clergy, and of which the like was not previously found in Ireland, was committed by Tigernán ua Ruairc and the Uí Briúin, i.e. the successor of Patrick was insulted to his face, that is, his company was robbed and some of them killed, and a young cleric of his own household that was in a cuilebadh was killed there. The aftermath that came of that misdeed is that there exists in Ireland no protection that is secure for anyone henceforth until that evil deed is avenged by God and man. The insult offered to the successor of Patrick is as an insult to the Lord, for the Lord Himself said in the Gospel: 'He who despiseth you despiseth me, He who despiseth me despiseth Him who sent me.' Luke 10, 4. A raid was made by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir into Laigin, and he plundered Loch Garman; thence he passed around Laigin to Áth Cliath, and destroyed many cattle along that way; from Áth Cliath he went to his house again. The disrepute of that expedition lies on Tigernán ua Ruairc. A raid was made by Maghnus and the men of Fernmag into Tír Briúin, and they took great booty. Tigernán with the Uí Briúin and a number of others overtake them at Áth Fhirdiadh. Battle is given between them, and Tigernán and the Uí Briúin are defeated, and three or four hundred of them are killed, for the honour of Patrick. A year and a half's peace or a little more was made by the successor of Patrick between the Connachta and the men of Mumu.
- 1130. Amhlaíb grandson of Senán, king of Gailenga, i.e. 'Wet Cowl', Aengus ua Caíndelbaín, king of Loegaire, and many other nobles fell by the men of Bréifne at Sliab Guaire. A great harvest of every fruit throughout Ireland generally this year.
- 1131. A raiding expedition was made by Tairdelbach ua Conchobuir and the province of Connacht into Mumu and they plundered Uí Conaill Gabra. An army was brought by Conchobor ua Briain and the men of Mumu into Laigin and they took their hostages, and thence into Mide, and they plundered Inis Locha Seimdide, and their horsemen and the horsemen of Connacht met, and the horsemen of Connacht were defeated.
The years 1132 to 1155 are missing from all extant editions of the Annals of Ulster.
Connacht in Annals of Ulster, 1156-1166
- 1156. Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobuir, archking of Connacht, tower of the splendour and of the principality of all Ireland for prowess and bestowal of treasures and of wealth to laics and to clerics, rested in peace. Great crop in this year throughout all Ireland. Nine years from the other great crop to this year.
- 1159. A hosting by Muircertach Ua Lachlainn along with the nobles of Cenel-Eogain to Ath-Fhirdeadh in aid of the Airghialla. Howbeit, the Connachtmen and the Conmaicni and all the Ui-Briuin and a large battalion of Munstermen came as far as Ath-na-caisberna to give battle to them. On the other side, the Cenel-Eogain and Airgialla under Ua Lachlainn advanced to attack the same Ford. But defeat is inflicted upon the Connachtmen and upon the Conmaicni and upon the Ui-Briuin, as they were [in] all, namely, six large battalions of them and the two other battalions inflict stark slaughter upon them; to wit, slaughter of Connacht men, around Gilla-Crist, son of Diarmaid, son of Tadhg [Mac Diarmata] and around Muircertach, son of Tadhg [Mac Diarmata] and the son of Domnall Ua Flaithbertaigh, that is, the son of the king of the west of Connacht, and Brian Mainech, son of Conchobhar, son of Toirrdhelbach [Ua Conchobair] and Ua Mandachain (namely, Muiredhach), king of Ui-Briuin-na-Sinna and Branan, son of Gilla Crist Mac Branain, that is, king of Corco-Achlann and the son of Finnan Ua Sibhlen, king of the Ui-Echach of Muaidh; and many other nobles [were slain]; and slaughter of the Ui-Briuin, around the son of Tigernan Ua Cumrain and around the son of Gilla-Finnen Ua Rothaigh and the son of Suibne Ua Galain and the son of Cu-buidhe Ua Tormadain and the son of Aedh ‘of the onsets,’ sub-king [?] of Conmaicni and Ua Donnchadha and Finnbharr, son of Finnbharr Ua Gerudhain, chief of Muinnter-Gerudhain. And a large force of [and the son of Gilla-Ciarain Ua Cennetigh. And ‘Son of the Night’ Ua Cernachain was killed on the morrow on a foray. And the Cenel-Eogain took away countless cattle-spoil on that foray. And the Cenel-Eogain returned indeed with great triumph to their homes after that. A hosting by Muircertach Ua Lachlainn with the Cenel-Eogain and with the Airgialla and the Ulidians and Cenel-Conaill into Connacht, so that they burned Dun-mor and Dun-Ciaraidh and Dun-na-nGall and wasted much of the land besides, until they returned to their own country after that, without peace, without pledges. And it is on that occasion they gained over to them Ua Gailmredhaigh and the Cenel-Maien.
- 1161. Ua hOissein, archbishop of Connacht, passed to Christ. Goeffrey Ua Raghallaigh [lord of Breifni] was killed. A hosting by Muircertach Ua Lochlainn into Tir-Briuin: the way they went [was] past the Confluence of Cluain-Eois, through the length of the country, until Tigernan [Ua Ruairc] abandoned his camp to them. From that to the Well of Messan. The Airgialla and Ulidians [came] to that place to him and Mac Murchadha with the Leinstermen and a battalion of Foreigners [came], so that they all went into the Plain of Tethbha. Then Ua Conchobuir came from the west, across the Shannon and gave pledges to Ua Lochlainn and thereupon Ua Lochlainn gave his entire Fifth [i.e. Province] to him.
- 1162. Mael-Sechnaill Ua Ruairc was slain. The abbey of Boyle was founded this year. The Defender Ua Dubhda was slain.
- 1163. Niall, son of Muircertach, son of Mac Lochlainn, was taken prisoner by the Ui-Maine.
- 1165. War [took place] between the Men of Meath and the Ui-Briuin and it is in that war Sitriuc Ua Ruairc was killed by Ua Ciardhai and by the Cairpri.
- 1166. A hosting by Ruaidhri Ua Concobair into Meath, so that he received the pledges of the Men of Meath. From this, [he marches] to Ath-cliath, so that he received the pledges of the Foreigners and of Mac Murchadha and of all Leinster. From this, to Drochait-atha, to the Airgialla, so that Donnchadh Ua Cerbaill, king of Airgialla, came into his house and gave pledges to him. And he went safe to his house after that, after expelling Diarmait Mac Murchadha, king of Leinster, over sea. A hosting by Donnchadh Ua Cerbaill, with the Airghialla and with the Ui-Briuin and the Conmaicni, into Tir-Eogain, to attack Ua Lochlainn, by direction of the Cenel-Eogain themselves, in consequence of Ua Lochlainn, arch-king of Ireland, being abandoned by them. So that [Ua Lochlainn] came, with a small party of the Cenel-Eogain of Telach-og, to deliver an assault upon them at Fidh-O-nEchtach. And even those very men, they abandoned him. So there fell in that place Muircertach (son of Niall) Ua Lachlainn, arch-king of Ireland. And he was the Augustus of all the North-West of Europe for valour and championship. And a few of Cenel-Eogain were killed there, namely, thirteen men. A great marvel and wonderful deed was done then: to wit, the king of Ireland to fall without battle, without contest, after his dishonouring the successor of Patrick and the Staff of Jesus and the successor of Colum-cille and the Gospel of Martin and many clergy besides [by blinding Mac Duinnsleibhe Ua Eochadha]. Howbeit, his body was carried to Ard-Macha and buried there, in dishonour of the successor of Colum-cille with his Community and Colum-cille himself and the head of the students of Daire fasted regarding it,—for his being carried to [Christian] burial. A hosting by Ruaidhri Ua Conchobair and by Tigernan Ua Ruairc to Essruadh, so that the Cenel-Conaill came into his house [and] gave their pledges to Ua Conchobair [and] he gave them eight score cows, besides gold and clothing. (A hosting by Ruaidhri Ua Conchobair and by Diarmait Ua Mail[-Sh]echlainn and by Tigernan Ua Ruairc into Leinster, [and] into Ossory [and] into Munster, so that the kings of all the Half of Mogh came into the house of Ruaidhri Ua Conchobair [and] made him [arch-]king.
Kings and High Kings
Stone carving of Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair from Cong Abbey
Under kings Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (1088–1156) and his son Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair (c.1120-1198) Connacht became one of the five dominant kingdoms on the island. Tairrdelbach and Ruaidrí became the first men from west of the Shannon to gain the title Ard-Rí na hÉireann (High King of Ireland). In the latter's case, he was recognised all over the island in 1166 as Rí Éireann, or King of Ireland.
Tairrdelbach was highly innovative, building the first stone castles in Ireland, and more controversially, introducing the policy of primogeniture to a hostile Gaelic polity. Castles were built in the 1120s at Galway (where he based his fleet), Dunmore, Sligo and Ballinasloe, where he dug a new six-mile canal to divert the river Suck around the castle of Dun Ló. Churches, monasteries and dioceses were re-founded or created, works such as the Corpus Missal, the High Cross of Tuam and the Cross of Cong were sponsored by him.
Tairrdelbach annexed the Kingdom of Mide; its rulers, the Clann Cholmáin, became his vassals. This brought two of Ireland's five main kingdoms under the direct control of Connacht. He also asserted control over Dublin, which was even then recognised as the national (political).
His son, Ruaidrí, became king of Connacht "without any opposition" in 1156. One of his first acts as king was arresting three of his twenty-two brothers, "Brian Breifneach, Brian Luighneach, and Muircheartach Muimhneach" to prevent them from usurping him. He blinded Brian Breifneach as an extra precaution.
Ruaidrí was compelled to recognise Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn as Ard-Rí, though he went to war with him in 1159. Mac Lochlainn's murder in 1166 left Ruaidrí the unopposed ruler of all Ireland. He was crowned in 1166 at Dublin, "took the kingship of Ireland ...[and was] inaugurated king as honourably as any king of the Gaeidhil was ever inaugurated;" He was the first and last native ruler who was recognised by the Gaelic-Irish as full King of Ireland.
However, his expulsion of Dermot MacMurrough later that year brought about the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169. Ruaidrí's inept response to events led to rebellion by his sons in 1177, and his deposition by Conchobar Maenmaige Ua Conchobair in 1183.
Ruaidrí died at Cong in 1198, noted as the annals as late "King of Connacht and of All Ireland, both the Irish and the English."
Had the Norman invasion of Ireland not occurred, the Ó Conchobair dynasty may well have established themselves as the royal family of Ireland. The senior head of the clan, the O'Conor Don, is still recognised as the presumptive claimant to the throne of Ireland, should it ever be re-established.
Connacht in the Annals of Ulster 1167-1187
- 1167. A hosting by Ruaidhri Ua Concobair with the nobles of Ireland about him to Ard-Macha. From this [they marched] to Belach-grene and from this to Fernach-na-mebhla, until the Cenel-Eogain collected a fighting force around Niall Mac Lochlainn, to deliver a camp attack upon the men of Ireland. Howbeit, God prevented that, through the benediction of Patrick and through the felicity of Ruaidhri Ua Concobair and of the Men of Ireland likewise. For [lit., so that] the Cenel-Eogain closed around a sallow brake that appeared like the [opposing] forces, so that each [of them] proceeded to slaughter the other there, except that persons were not killed. So the hosts after that proceeded under Ua Conchobair to go to pillage and burn Tir-Eogain, until some of the Cenel-Eogain came into his house and gave hostages to him. And they went after that, through the length of Fir-Manach and to Ess-ruadh, safe to their home[s]. Uatu Ua Conchenaind, king of Ui-Diarmata, dies a cleric.
- 1168. A hosting by Ruaidhri Ua Concobuir to Ath-luain, so that Ua Gilla-Patraic, king of Ossory, came into his house and gave four hostages to him on the occasion. And he sent his hosts forward, past Ath-crodha, into Munster and himself [went] past Ath-luain into Magh-Lena, to meet the Men of Ireland, until they reached Grian-cliach, so that Mac Carthaigh came into his house and gave nine hostages to him on the occasion. And Munster was divided in two, between the sons of Cormac [Mac Carthaigh] and Domnall Ua Briain and thrice twelve score cows were levied upon Munster in honour fine [of the killing] of Muircertach Ua Briain. So Ua Conchobair returned to his house.
- 1169. In the same year, Ruaidhri Ua Concobair; king of Ireland, gave ten cows every year from himself and from every kind after him to doom to the lector of Ard-Macha, in honour of [St.] Patrick, to give lectures to students of Ireland and Scotland. Ferchair Ua Niallain, chief of the Clann-Uatach, died. Conghalach Ua Tomaltaigh, lector of Cluain-mac-Nois and eminent priest, died.
- 1170. A hosting by Ruaidhri Ua Conchobair and by Mael-Sechlainn and by Tigernan Ua Ruairc and by Murchadh Ua Cerbuill to Ath-cliath to give battle to Mac Murchadha and to the Earl. When, however, they were face to face preparing for the battle; they noticed no[thing] until they saw the fort on fire, that is, [by] fire of lightning. Howbeit, after that Ua Conchubair turned back, after refusal of battle was offered to him. Thereafter, Mac Murchadha went into Ath-cliath, after giving his word to the Foreigners of Ath-cliath. And he failed upon his word and many persons were killed there and he expelled the Foreigners. The hostages of Mac Murchadha, namely, his own son and his grandson, that is, the son of Domnall Caemanach and the son of his foster-brother, to wit, the son of Ua Caellaidhe, were killed by Ruaidhri Ua Conchubhair, through suggestion of Tigernan Ua Ruairc.
- 1171. Peter (Ua Mordha), bishop of Ui-Maine of Connacht (otherwise, bishop of Cluain-ferta of [St.] Brenann), a devout monk and authoritative man, was drowned in the Sinand (namely, at Port-da-Chaineg), namely, on the 6th of the Kalends of January [Dec. 27].
- 1172. Tigernan Ua Ruairc, king of Breifni and Conmaicni, a man of great power for a long time, was killed by the same Saxons and by Domnall, son of Annadh [Ua Ruairc] of his own clan along with them. He was beheaded also by them and his head and his body were carried ignominiously to Ath-cliath. The head was raised over the door of the fortress,—a sore, miserable sight for the Gaidhil. The body was hung in another place, with its feet upwards. Tigernach Ua Mael-Eoin, successor of Ciaran (of Cluain-mac-Nois), rested in peace. The full circuit [cess] of the Fifth of Connacht [was carried] for the fourth time by Gilla Mac Liac, successor of Patrick, namely, by the Primate of Ireland, to Ard-Macha. Gilla-Crist, son of the successor of Ciaran of Cluain-mic-Nois, rested.
- 1173. Mael-Mochta Ua Fiadhra (or Ua Mael- [Sh]echlainn), abbot of Cluain-mac-Nois, rested. Mael-Isu Mac-in-Baird, bishop of Cluain-ferta of [St.] Brenann, rested.
- 1174. The battle of Durlus [was gained] by Domnall Ua Briain and by Conchobur Maenmhaighi upon the people of the son of the Empress (namely, of the king of the Saxons. Mael-Isu Ua Connachtain, bishop of Sil-Muirethaigh [Elphin], rested. Muirguis Ua Dubhthaigh, first abbot of Boyle, rested.
- 1175. Meath was wasted from Ath-luain to Drochait-atha.
- 1176. The daughter of Ruaidhri Ua Conchobair, wife of [F]laithbertach Ua Maeldoraidh, was killed by the sons of Ua Cairella[i]n. Fabor and Cenannus were wasted by the Foreigners and by the Ui-Briuin. The castle of Slane, wherein was Ricard Fleming with his host, wherefrom the Airgialla and Ui-Briuin and Fir-Midhe were being pillaged, was destroyed by Mael-Sechlainn, son of Mac Lochlainn, king of Cenel-Eogain and by the Cenel-Eogain themselves and by the Airgialla; where were killed one hundred or more of the Foreigners, besides women and children and the horses of the castle that were killed, so that no person escaped alive out of the castle. And three castles in Meath were razed on the morrow for fear of the Cenel-Eogain, namely, the castle of Cenannus and the castle of Calatruim and the castle of Daire of [St.] Patrick.
- 1177. Milo Cogan with his knights was taken by the son of Ruaidhri (namely, Murchadh) Ua Conchobhuir to Ros-Comain to destroy Connacht, for evil towards his father. The Connachtmen, however, immediately burned Tuaim-da-gualann and the churches of the country besides, for evil towards the Foreigners and they inflicted defeat upon the Foreigners and drove them by force out of the country. Moreover, Ruaidhri Ua Conchobuir blinded that son (namely, Murchadh) afterwards, in revenge of that expedition. Conchubar Maenmhaidhe was taken prisoner by his father, namely by Ruaighri Ua Conchobhair.
- 1178. It is in that year also there came a wonderful, violent wind which prostrated a very large portion of woods and forests and very great oaks full flat on the ground. It prostrated also six score oaks, or a little more, in Daire of Colum-cille. Gilla-Crist Ua hEodhaigh, bishop of Conmaicni [Ardagh], rested. Amhlaibh Ua Domnalla[i]n, ollam of Connacht, rested.
- 1179. Tuathal Ua Connachtaigh, bishop of Tir-Briuin [Enaghdune], rested. ‘The snow of the destruction’ [fell] this year).
- 1180. The battle of the Conchubhars: namely, Conchubhar Maenmhuidhe, son of Ruaighri Ua Conchubair and Conchobur Ua Ceallaigh, wherein fell Conchobuir Ua Ceallaigh and his son, that is, Tadg and his brother, namely, Diarmuid and the son of Diarmuid, namely, Mael-Sechlainn and the son of Tadg Ua Chonchobuir, that is, the son-in-law.
- 1181. In this year also Flaithbertach Ua Maeldoraidh, namely, king of Cenel Conaill, gained a battle upon the sons of the kings of Connacht, that is, on the Saturday of Pentecost [May 23] and there were killed indeed sixteen sons of kings of the sons of kings of Connacht and [there was] stark slaughter of Connacht besides. Tomaltach Ua Conchobair assumed the succession of Patrick and the circuit of Cenel-Eogain was made by him, so that he took away large circuit [cess] and gave a blessing to them. Donnsleibe O'Gadhra, king of Sliab-Lughu, was slain. Domnall Ua Concenainn, king of Ui-Diarmata, was slain. Acan Ua Fallamhain, chief of the Clann-Uadach, dies. The battle of the royal-heirs, wherein fell two sons of Toirrdelbach Ua Concobair, namely, Briain of Luighni and Magnus and three sons of Aedh, son of Toirrdelbach Ua Conchobuir, that is, Mael-Secnaill and Muirethach and Muircertach and others.
- 1182.A defeat [was inflicted] by Ruaidhri Ua Conchobuir and by Concobur Maenmuighi upon Donnchadh, son of Domnall the Midian and upon Ua Maeldoraidh, where many fell.
- 1182. A defeat [was inflicted] by Ruaidhri Ua Conchobuir and by Concobur Maenmuighi upon Donnchadh, son of Domnall the Midian and upon Ua Maeldoraidh, where many fell.
- 1184. Mael-Isu Ua Cerbaill [bishop of Clogher] took the succession of Patrick, after it was laid aside by Tomaltach Ua Conchobair. Another castle was destroyed by Mael-Sechlainn and by Conchobur Maenmaighi Ua Conchobair, with a large number of Foreigners therein. Donnchadh, son of Domnall the Midian, was slain. Gilla-Isu Ua Mailin, bishop of Magh-Eo, dies. Great war between Ruaidhri Ua Conchobair and his son, namely, Concobur Maenmuighi. Brian of Breifni, son of Toirrdelbach Ua Concobair, dies. Flann Ua Finnachta, chief of Clann-Murchadha, dies.
- 1185. Great crop (namely, oak-crop) generally in this year. Wars between Ruaidhri Ua Conchobuir and his son, Concobur Maenmuighi. Domnall Ua Briain [went] in aid of Ruaidhri, so that he destroyed and burned and pillaged the churches of the West of Connacht [and] killed the inhabitants. Cathal Carrach, son of Conchobar Maenmuighi, plundered and burned Cell-da-lua in revenge of those evils. The kingship of Connacht was assumed by Concobur Maenmaighi.
- 1186. Expulsion of Ruaidhri Ua Conchobair by Conchobur Maenmaige, his own son and destruction of Connacht [ensued] between them. Conchubhar Ua Flaithbertaigh was killed by Ruaidhri Ua Flaithbertaigh, by his own brother, in Ara.
- 1187. The Rock of Loch Ce was burned at mid-day, where was drowned and burned the daughter of Ua Eidhin, wife of Conchobair Mac Diarmata, king of Magh-Luirg. And seven hundred, or something more, both men and women, were burned and drowned in the space of one hour therein. Druim-cliabh was pillaged by the son of Mael-Sechlainn Ua Ruairc (namely, by Aedh), king of Ui-Briuin and Conmaicni and by the son of Cathal Ua Ruairc and by the Foreigners of Meath along with them. But God wrought a wonderful deed for Colum-cille therein,—that is, the son of Mael-Sechlainn Ua Ruairc (namely, Aedh) was killed (in Conmaicni) before the end of a fortnight thereafter. And the son of Cathal Ua Ruairc, with whom came the hosting into the house of Ua Maeldoraidh, was blinded in reparation to Colum-cille. And six score of the minions of the son of Mael-Sechlainn were killed throughout the length of Conmaicni and Cairpri of Druimcliabh, through miracle of Colum-cille. Muirghius, son of Tadhg Ua Mailruanaigh, king of Magh-Luirg, died.
High medieval era
Connacht was first raided by the Anglo-Normans in 1177 but not until 1237 did encastellation begin under Richard Mor de Burgh (c. 1194–1242). New towns were founded (Athenry, Headford, Castlebar) or former settlements expanded (Sligo, Roscommon, Loughrea, Ballymote). Both Gael and Gall acknowledged the supreme lordship of the Earl of Ulster; after the murder of the last earl in 1333, the Anglo-Irish split into different factions, the most powerful emerging as Bourke[disambiguation needed ] of Mac William Eighter in north Connacht, and Burke of Clanricarde in the south. They were regularly in and out of alliance with equally powerful Gaelic lords and kings such as Ó Conchobair of Síol Muiredaig, Ó Cellaigh of Ui Maine and Mac Diarmata of Moylurg, in addition to extraprovincial powers such as Ó Briain of Thomond, FitzGerald of Kildare, Ó Domhnaill of Tír Chonaill.
Lesser lords of both races included Mac Donnchadha, Mac Goisdelbh, Mac Bhaldrin, Mac Siurtain, Ó hEaghra, Ó Flaithbeheraigh, Ó Dubhda, Ó Seachnasaigh, Ó Manacháin, Seoighe, Ó Máille, Ó Ruairc, Ó Madadháin, Bairéad, Ó Máel Ruanaid, Ó hEidhin, Ó Finnaghtaigh, Ó Fallmhain, Breathneach, Mac Airechtaig, Ó Neachtain, Ó hAllmhuráin, Ó Fathaigh.
Independent from both Gael and Gall was the town of Galway, the only significant urban area in the province. After expelling the Burkes of Clanricarde, its inhabitants governed themselves under charter of the king of England. Its merchant families, The Tribes of Galway, traded within Ireland, as well as Britain, France and Spain till it was reckoned one of Ireland's most eminent towns. It was something of an oddity as it was ruled by a merchant middle class of elected freemen, whereas both Gaelic-Irish and Anglo-Irish lordships were inherited by those of noble blood, or violently seized. Its mayor enjoyed supreme power but only for the length of his office, rarely more than a year. Galway's inhabitants were of mixed descent, its families bearing surnames of Gaelic, French, English, Welsh, Norman and other origins. In contrast to much of the rest of the province, they were literate and multi-lingual and actively sought the protection of the English Crown. They however remained devout Catholics, which displeased the Anglo-Irish administration, and later, the House of Stuart.
Connacht was the site of two of the bloodiest battles in Irish history, the Second Battle of Athenry (1316) and the Battle of Knockdoe (1504). The casualties of both battles were measured in several thousand, unusually high for Irish warfare. A third battle at Aughrim in 1691 resulted in an estimated 10,000 deaths.
All of Connacht's lordships remained in states of full or semi-independence from other Gaelic-Irish and Anglo-Irish rulers till the late 16th century, when the Tudor conquest of Ireland (c. 1534–1603) brought all under the direct rule of King James I of England. The counties were created from c. 1569 onwards.
The Arts c.1100 to 1700
Literary and historical works were produced in Connacht during these centuries included the Book of Ballymote (c.1391), the Great Book of Lecan (between 1397 and 1418), An Leabhar Breac (c. 1411), Egerton 1782 (early 16th century), and The Book of the Burkes (c.1580). Writers and learned people of the times included:
- Aindileas Ua Chlúmháin, poet, died 1170
- Muireadhach Albanach, Crusader, fl. 1213-1228
- Flann Óge Ó Domhnalláin, ollamh of Connacht, died 1342
- Aed mac Conchbair Mac Aodhagáin, bard, 1330–1359
- Seán Mór Ó Dubhagáin, historian, died 1372
- Murchadh Ó Cuindlis, scribe, fl. 1398–1411
- Giolla Íosa Mór Mac Fhirbhisigh, historian, fl. 1390-1418
- Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn, poet, murdered 1591
- Baothghalach Mór Mac Aodhagáin, poet, 1550–1600
- Nehemiah Donnellan Archbishop of Tuam, translated New Testament into Irish, died 1609
- Flaithri Ó Maolconaire, theologian, 1560-18 November 1629
- Peregrine Ó Duibhgeannain, scribe of the Annals of the Four Masters, fl. 1627-1636
- Patrick D'Arcy, author of the constitution of Confederate Ireland, 1598–1668
- Mary Bonaventure Browne, religious writer and historian, born after 1610
- Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh, compiler of Leabhar na nGenealach, fl. 1643-1671
- Daibhidh Ó Duibhgheannáin, scribe, compiler, poet, died 1696
- Thomas Connellan, composer, c. 1640/1645–1698
Confederate and Williamite Wars
During the 17th century representatives from Connacht played leading roles in Confederate Ireland and during the Williamite War in Ireland. Its main town, Galway, endured several sieges (see Sieges of Galway), while warfare, plague, famine and sectarian massacres killed about a third of the population by 1655.
One of the last battles fought in pre-20th century Ireland occurred in Connacht, the Battle of Aughrim on 12 July 1691.
Early modern era
Connacht was mainly at peace between 1691 and 1798. A population explosion in the early 18th century was curbed by the Irish Famine (1740–1741), which led to many deaths and some emigration. Its memory has been overshadowed by the Great Famine (Ireland) one hundred years later.
The Republic of Connaught had a brief existence in 1798 with French military support.
Learned people from the province in this era included the following:
- Richard Lynch (Jesuit), theologian (1611–1676)
- Ruaidhrí Ó Flaithbheartaigh, chronology and antiquarian (1629-c.17180
- Francis Martin, Professor of Greek and theologian (1652–1722)
- John Fergus (scholar), member of Ó Neachtáin literary circle (c.1700-c.1761)
- Tomás Ó Caiside, soldier and poet (c.1709-1733?)
- Charles O'Conor (historian) (1710–1791)
- Count Patrick D'Arcy, mathematician and soldier (1725–1779)
- Richard Kirwan, scientist (1733–1812)
- Riocard Bairéad, poet (1740–1819)
- William James MacNeven, physician and scientist (1763–1841)
- William Higgins, chemist (1763–1825)
- Antoine Ó Raifteiri bard (1784–1835)
- James Hardiman, folklorist and historian (1792–1855)
- Joseph Patrick Haverty, painter (1794–1864)
- James Curley (astronomer), astronomer and mathematician (1796–1880)
- Colm de Bhailís, songwriter (1796–1906)
- William Cunningham Blest, medical pioneer (1800–1884
- John Birmingham (astronomer), Astronomer and geologist (1816–1884
- William Larminie, poet and folklorist (1849–1900)
- Augusta, Lady Gregory, dramatist and arts patron (1852–1932)
- George Moore (novelist) (1852–1933)
- Louis Brennan, inventor (1852–1932)
- Percy French, songwriter, (1854–1920)
- William Butler Yeats, poet (1865–1939)
- Violet Florence Martin, novelist and short story writer (1862–1915)
- Grace Rhys, writer (1865–1929)
- Eva Gore-Booth, dramatist (1870–1926)
- Margaret Burke Sheridan, Opera singer (1889–1958)
The Famine to World War One
War of Independence to the Tiger economy
- Paul Connaughton
- Eamonn Gilmore
- Mary Harney
- Michael D. Higgins
- Enda Kenny
- Michael P. Kitt
- Éamon Ó Cuív
- Seán Ó Neachtain
- Eamon Scanlon
Sport in Connacht
- Connacht GAA
- Connacht Rugby
- Connaught plc
- Sligo Rovers F.C.
- Galway United F.C.
- Mervue United A.F.C. in the League of Ireland First Division
- Salthill Devon F.C. in the League of Ireland First Division
- Castlebar Celtic F.C. in the A Championship
The Irish language is spoken in the Gaeltacht areas of Counties Mayo and Galway, the largest being in the west of County Galway covering Cois Fharraige (Irish meaning 'by the sea'), and parts of Connemara, and Dúithche Sheoigeach (Joyce Country).
- Grace O'Malley
- Kings of Umaill
- Kings of Ui Fiachrach Muaidhe
- Kings of Ui Maine
- Kings of Luighne Connacht
- Kings of Sliabh Lugha
- Kings of Airtech
- Kings of Tir Tuathail
- Corca Fhir Trí
- Uí Ailella
- Kings of Ciarraighe Locha na nÁirne
- Kings of Ciarraige Áei
- Coin of Connaught
- The Connaught Rangers
- Mayo Peace Park Castlebar,Mayo
- Duke of Connaught
- Kings of Connacht
- Lords of Connaught
- Provinces of Ireland
- ^ John Wells
- ^ The spelling Connaught reflects the former English practice — in Ireland, though not in Scotland — of representing the Gaelic voiceless velar fricative /x/ as gh (compare lough for loch), gh having been used in Middle English for the same sound. Although this sound later disappeared from standard English, the spelling of words like "thought" and "caught" remained unaltered -- and in a further anglicisation the "new" English pronunciation of -aught was even applied in Britain to titles like that of the Duke of Connaught. In Ireland, the original pronunciation remained intact, the Gaelic-style spelling Connacht now used more often in English. It may have gained currency by mistranslation of the Irish name into English: in Irish, the form Cúige Chonnacht 'province of Connacht' is almost always used, and this may have led to people misunderstanding genitive case Connacht as the Gaelic version instead of nominative case Connachta.
- ^ Genealogical link via the O'Neills of Tyrone
Counties of IrelandThe counties are listed per province Connacht Munster Leinster Ulster
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