The Northern Ui Neill were divided into two main branches, Cenel Conaill and
Cenel nEoghain. Cenel Conaill were the more powerful from the late sixth to
the middle seventh century, with Flaithbertach mac Loingsig abdocating the
overkingship of the Ui Neill in 734 A.D. The Cenel nEoghain next dominated
and by the late eighth century had expanded southwards and eastwards from
Inishowen and Derry across the mid-Ulster plain and slowly brought the minor
kingdoms ruled by the Airgialla under their control. The Ulaid in the east
and Cenel Conaill in the west remained bitterly hostile to the dominant
The Southern Ui Neill were divided into two major rival branches, the Sil
nAeda Slaine and Clann Cholmain, and they dominated the lands of Meath, Westmeath
and other parts of surrounding counties. The Sil nAeda Slaine were very
powerful in the seventh century. The annals record the slaying of Finsnechta
Fledach macDunchada, king of the Sil nAedo Slane, by his rivals the Fir Chul
of the Luigne of Brega (Tara). Clann Cholmain managed to take the
overlordship of the Ui Neill in 743. In the mid-ninth century their king
claimed to be king of Ireland.
In the eighth century Leinster (Laigin) was ruled by the Ui Dunlainge. They
had other rivals to the south of them, the Ui Chennselaig. The Ui Neill
pursued a long struggle with the Laigin and by 800 came to dominate
northern Leinster. East Leinster was ruled by the Ui Cellaig Cualann in the
seventh and eighth centuries.
The Eoganacht ruled Munster from the seventh to the mid-tenth century. Prior
to that the Erainn or their descendants, the Corca Loigde, ruled in Munster.
The eastern branches of the Eoganacht, located at Cashel and Glanworth, began
to dominate from about 700 A.D. Eoganacht power began to crumble in the
late ninth and early tenth centuries and their place was taken by the Dal
Cais, whose power rose from north Munster (Thomond) in the mid-tenth century.
The two dominant Connacht dynasties were the Ui Fiachrach and Ui Briuin, and both
claimed to be cousins of the Ui Neill. Ui Fiachrach had two main branches,
one in the north (Muaide) and the other in the south (Aidne). The southern
branch dominated Connacht and much of north Munster in the seventh century.
Ui Briuin emerged in the seventh century, and their expansion in the eighth
century was fast, Ui Fiachrach lost ground rapidly, and by about 725 Ui
Briuin were the dominant dynasty in Connacht. A branch pushed north and
east to establish the kingdom of Ui Briuin Breifne around 766 on the
frontiers of the Ui Neill in the territory of the Conmaicne Rein,
eventually driving a wedge between their two great branches. In the
twelfth century the Ui Briuin were dominant in Ireland.
In the late eighth and early ninth centuries, raids by the Vikings began.
These Vikings were mainly Norwegians and by the mid ninth century had established
a foothold in Dublin. Other Viking raiding camps included Waterford,
Youghal, Wexford, Cork and Limerick. A second period of intensified Viking
raids began in the early-mid tenth century as settlements began to be
Excerpts from the Annals
657 AD -
The first year of Diarmaid and Blathmac, two sons of Aedh Slaine, son
of Diarmaid, son of Fearghus Cerrbheoil, in the sovereignty of Ireland.
660 AD -
A battle was gained at Ogamhain, at Ceann Corbadain, by the people
of Diarmaid, son of Aedh Slaine, namely, Onchu, son of Saran,
Maelmilchon, and Cathasach, son of Eimhin, over Blathmac, son of
Aedh Slaine, in which were slain Conaing, son of Conall, son of Aedh
Slaine; Ulltan, son of Ernaine, chief of Cianachta; Ceannfaeladh, son of
Geirtidi, chief of Cianachta Arda; and Faelchu, son of Maelumha.
Also in this year Maenach, son of Finghin, King of Munster, died.
Maelduin, son of Furadhran, chief of Durlas, died.
Maelfuataigh, son of Ernaine, chief of Cianachta, was slain.
664 AD - After Diarmaid and Blathmac, the two sons of Aedh Slaine, had
been eight years in the sovereignty of Ireland, they died of the same
plague, called the Buidhe Connail, which killed a number of venerable
saints and thousands of people. Seachnasach, son of Blathmac, became
the new sovereign of Ireland.
665 AD -
Maelcaeich, son of Scannal, chief of the Cruithne of Dal Araidhe of the
race of Ir, died; Eochaidh Iarlaidh, King of the Cruithne, also died!
Maelduin, son of Scannal, chief of Cinel Coirbre, died. Duibhinnreacht,
son of Dunchadh, chief of Ui Briuin, died. Faelan, son of Colman, King
of Leinster, died.
666 AD -
The battle of Aine, between the Aradha and Ui Fidhgeinte, where
Eoghan, son of Crunnmael, was slain. In this year Bran Finn, son of
Maelochtraigh, chief of the Deisi of Munster, was slain.
668 AD -
Maelfothartaigh, son of Suibhne, chief of Cinel Tuirtre, died. In the
following year Bran Finn, son of Maelochtraigh, chief of Deisi Mumhan died.
669 AD -
After Seachnasach, son of Blathmac, had been five years in sovereignty
over Ireland, he was slain by Dubhduin, chief of Cinel Cairbre. He
was succeeded by Ceannfaeladh, son of Blathmac, in the sovereignty of
670 AD -
Dungal, son of Maeltuile, chief of Cinel Boghaine,
was slain by Loingseach, son of Aenghus, chief of Cinel Conaill.
Two year later Scannlan, son of Fingin, chief of Ui Meith, died.
673 AD -
After Ceannfaeladh, son of Blathmac, son of Diarmaid, had been four
years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain by Finnachta Fleadhach,
in the battle of Aircealtair, at Tigh Ua Maine. He was succeeded by
Finnachta Fleadhach, son of Dunchadh, in sovereignty over Ireland.
678 AD -
Fianamhail, son of Maeltuile, King of Leinster, was mortally wounded by
Foicseachan, one of his own people, at the instigation of Finshneachta
679 AD -
Dunghal, son of Scannal, chief of the Cruithni, and Ceannfaeladh, son of
Suibhne, chief of Cianachta Glinne Geimhin, were burned by Maelduin,
son of Maelfithrigh, at Dun Ceithirn.
680 AD -
Ceannfaeladh, son of Colgan, King of Connaught, was slain.
Ulcha Dearg Redbeard Ua Caillidhe, one of the Conmaicne Cuile, was
the person that killed him. The battle of Rath Mor Maighe Line was
gained over the Britons, wherein were slain Cathasach, son of Maelduin,
chief of the Cruithni Dal Araidhe, and Ultan, son of Dicolla.
683 - The devastation of Magh Breagh, both churches and territories, by
the North Saxons, in the month of June precisely; and they carried off with
them many hostages from every place which they left, throughout Magh
Breagh, together with many other spoils, and afterwards went to their ships.
Also.. Breasal, son of Fearghus, chief of Cobha, died.
686 AD -
The battle of Imleach Phich was fought by Niall, son of Cearnach Sotal,
against Congalach, son of Conaing, wherein were slain Dubhdainbher,
chief of Ard Cianachta, and Uaircridhe Ua Oisene, chief of Conaille
Muirtheimhne; and the battle was afterwards gained over Congalach.
689 AD -
Fearghus, son of Lodan, King of Ulidia, was slain by the Ui Eachdhach
people of Iveagh.
693 AD -
After Finachta Fleadhach, son of Dunchadh, had been twenty years in
the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain by Aedh, son of Dluthach, son of
Ailill, son of Aedh Slaine, chief of Feara Cul, and Congalach, son of
Conaing, son of Congal, son of Aedh Slaine, in a battle at Greallach
Dollaith. Breasal, son of Finachta, also fell in this battle along with his
father. Finachta was succeeded by Loingseach, son of Aenghus, in the
sovereignty of Ireland.
694 AD -
Fearghal Aidhne, King of Connaught, died; he was the son of Guaire
695 AD -
The devastation of Magh Muirtheimhne by the Britons and Ulidians.
696 AD -
A battle was fought at Tulach Garraisg, in Fearnmhagh, wherein were
slain Conchobhar Macha, son of Maelduin, chief of the Airtheara
Oriors, and Aedh Aired, chief of Dal Araidhe.
698 AD -
Fianamhail Ua Dunchadha, chief of Dal Riada, and Flann, son of
Ceannfaeladh, son of Suibhne, chief of Cinel Eoghain, were slain.
Aurthuile Ua Crunnmaeil, chief of Cinel Eoghain, was driven from his
chieftainry into Britain.
700 AD - Muireadhach of Magh Aei, King of Connaught, son of Fearghus, from
whom are the Sil Muireadhaigh, died.
701 AD -
After Loingseach, son of Aenghus, son of Domhnall, had been eight
years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain in the battle of Corann,
by Ceallach of Loch Cime, the son of Raghallach. There were slain also his
three sons along with him, Artghal, Connachtach, and Flann Gearg. There
were also slain there the two sons of Colcen, and Dubhdibhearg, son of
Dunghal, and Fearghus Forcraith, and Conall Gabhra, and other noblemen
besides them. Loingseach was succeeded by Congal of Ceann Maghair, son
of Fearghus of Fanaid, in sovereignty over Ireland.
702 AD -
A battle was fought at Claen Ath by Ceallach Cualann, against
Fogartach Ua Cearnaigh, who was afiterwards King of Ireland, wherein
Bodhbhchadh of Meath, son of Diarmaid, was slain, and Fogartach was
705 ad -
Inreachtach, son of Dunchadh Muirisce, King of the tripartite Connaught,
was slain by Fearghal, son of Maelduin, and Fearghal, son of
Loingseach, son of Aenghus, and Conall Meann, chief of Cinel Cairbre.
In this year The battle of Leathairbhe was gained by Congal, son of Fearghus
Fanad, over the Cinel Eoghain, where Maelduin, son of Maelfithrigh,
Lord of the Cinel Eoghain, was slain.
Cucuaran, King of the Cruithni and of Ulidia, was killed by Finnchu hUa
708 AD -
After Congal of Ceann Maghair, son of Fearghus Fanad, had been seven
years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he died of one hour's sickness. He
was succeeded by Fearghal, son of Maelduin, son of Maelfithrigh, in
sovereignty over Ireland.
710 AD -
The battle of Carn Fearadhaigh by the northern Des, wherein Cormac,
son of Finghin, King of Munster, was slain.
A battle was fought between the two sons of Beg Boirche and the sons
of Breasal, chiefs of Ui Eathach Uladh Iveagh; and the victory was
gained over the sons of Breasal.
713 AD -
Murchadh, son of Diarmaid, son of Airmeadhach Caech, chief of Ui
Neill of Clann Colmain, was slain by Conall Grant Ua Cearnaigh.
717 AD -
A battle was fought between the Connaughtmen and the Corca
Baiscinn, wherein the son of Talamhnaigh was slain.
718 AD -
After Fearghal, son of Maelduin, son of Maelfithrigh, had been ten years
in sovereignty over Ireland, he was slain in the battle of Almhain, by
Dunchadh, son of Murchadh, and Aedh, son of Colgan, an heir
presumptive to the sovereignty. The number which the race of Conn
brought to this battle was twenty one thousand, and the number brought
by the Leinstermen was nine thousand.
The following were the chieftains and leaders of Leath Chuinn who fell in
this battle together with Fearghal: Conall Menn, chief of Cinel Cairbre;
Forbasach, chief of Cinel Boghaine; Fearghal Ua Aitheachdae; Fearghal,
son of Eochaidh Leamhna, chief of Tamhnach; Connalach, son of
Conaing; and Egnech, son of Colgan, chief of the Airthera (the Oriors);
Coibhdeanach, son of Fiachra; Muirghius, son of Conall; Leathaitheach,
son of Concarat; Anmchaidh, son of Concharat; Aedhgen Ua
Mathghamhnae; Nuada, son of Eirc, chief of Gull and Irgull; and ten of
the race of Maelfithrigh. These were the losses of the chieftains and
leaders of the North. The losses of the South were: Flann, son of
Raghallach; Aileall, son of Fearadhach; Suibhne, son of Congalach;
Aedh Laighean Ua Cearnaigh; Nia, son of Cormac; Dubhdachrich, son
of Dubhdainbher; Aileall, son of Conall Grant; Flaitheamhail, son of
Dluthach; Fearghus Ua Eoghain. One hundred and sixty of Fearghal's
satellites, and numbers of others, were slain besides these nobles. Nine
was the number of persons that died with panic and lunacy from this battle.
Seven thousand was the number that fell on both sides between them.
Inrachtach, son of Dunchadh Muirisce, King of Connaught, died in that
battle of Almhain, if true.
719 AD -
Fogartach, son of Niall, son of Cearnach Sotal, was in the sovereignty of
Ireland this year, until he fell in the battle of Delgean, by Cinaeth, son of
Irgalach. He was succeeded by Cinaeth, son of Irgalach, son of Conaing
Cuirri, in the sovereignty of Ireland. The next year Ulidia was taken
possession of by Cinaeth, son of Congalach.
721 AD -
The battle of Druim Fornocht was fought by Flaithbheartach, son of
Loingseach, and the Cinel Conaill, against Aedh Allan, son of Fearghal,
and the Cinel Eoghain. Aedh Allan was defeated. These chieftains were
slain on the side of Aedh, namely Flann, son of Erthaile, and Snedgus
Dearg Ua Brachaidhe.
722 AD -
After Cinaeth, son of Irgalach, had been three years in sovereignty over
Ireland, he fell in the battle of Druim Corcrain, by Flaithbheartach,
son of Loingseach. Flaithbheartach, son of Loingseach, son of Aenghus,
succeeded in sovereignty over Ireland.
727 AD -
A battle was fought between Aedh, son of Fearghal, and the Cinel
Conaill, at Magh Itha, where Conaing, son of Congal, son of Fearghus,
and many others of the Cinel Eoghain, were slain. The following
year a battle was fought in Magh Itha, between the sons of Loingseach, son
of Aenghus, and the sons of Fearghal, son of Maelduin, where numbers
of the Cinel Eoghain were slain.
728 AD -
Flaithbheartach sent for a marine fleet of Dal Riada to Ireland, and on
their arrival they made no delay till they arrived in Inis hOinae; and there
was a battle fought between Flaithbheartach with his guards and the
Cianachta, and others of the Ulidians and the Cinel Eoghain; and a
countless number of the Ulidians, Cinel Eoghain, and Cianachta, were
cut off, together with Conchubhar, son of Loichene, and Branchu, son of
Bran; and a countless number of them was drowned in the Banna, after
their having been defeated.
Also... Taichleach son of Cenn Faeladh, Lord of Luigne, died. And
Reachtabhra grandson of Cathasach, Lord of Ui Thuirtre, died.
729 AD -
After Flaithbheartach, son of Loingseach, son of Aenghus, had been
seven years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he died at Ard Macha
Armagh, having resigned his kingdom for a monastic life. He was succeeded
by Aedh Allan, son of Fearghal, son of Maelduin, over Ireland.
730 AD -
The battle of Bealach Ele was fought between Cathal, son of Finguine,
King of Munster, and the Leinstermen, where many of the Leinstermen
were slain. There fell of the Munstermen here Ceallach, son of Faelchair,
chief of Osraighe (Ossory), and the two sons of Cormac, son of Rossa,
chief of the Deisi, with three thousand along with them.
Also in this year Airechtach, grandson of Dunchadh Muirsce, chief of
Ui Fiachrach, died.
732 AD -
A battle was fought between two parties of the race of Aedh Slaine,
wherein Cathal, son of Aedh was slain, on the east side of Lic Ailbhe, by
Conaing, son of Amhalgaidh.
Also.. The battle of Fochart, in Magh Muirtheimhne was fought by Aedh Allan
and the Clanna Neill of the North, against the Ulidians, where Aedh
Roin, King of Ulidia, was slain; and his head was cut off on Cloch An
Chommaigh, in the doorway of the church of Fochard; and Conchadh,
son of Cuanach, chief of Cobha, was also slain, and many others along
with him. The cause of this battle was the profanation of Cill Cunna by
Ua Seghain, one of the people of Aedh Roin, of which Aedh Roin
himself said: `I will not take its Conn from Tairr,' for Ceall Cunna and
Ceall Tairre are side by side.
Also.. Fiangalach, son of Murchadh, chief of Ui Mail, died.
733 AD -
Aedh Allan, King of Ireland, assembled the forces of Leath Chuinn, to
proceed into Leinster; and he arrived at Ath Seanaith. The Leinstermen
collected the greatest number they were able, to defend his right against
him. A fierce battle was fought between them. The king, Aedh Allan
himself; went into the battle, and the chieftains of the North along with
him. The chieftains of Leinster came with their kings into the battle; and
bloodily and heroically was the battle fought between them both. Heroes
were slaughtered, and bodies were mutilated. Aedh Allan, and Aedh,
son of Colgan, King of Leinster, met each other in single combat; and
Aedh, son of Colgan, was slain by Aedh Allan. The Leinstermen were
killed, slaughtered, cut off, and dreadfully exterminated, in this battle, so
that there escaped of them but a small remnant, and a few fugitives. The
following were the leaders and chieftains of the Leinstermen who fell,
namely: Aedh, son of Colgan, King of Ui Ceinnsealaigh; Bran Beg, son
of Murchadh, the second king who was over the Leinstermen; Fearghus,
son of Maenach, and Dubhdacrich, two lords of Fotharta; the son of Ua
Ceallaigh; the son of Trian; Fiangalach Ua Maeleaithgin; Conall Ua
Aithechdai; the four sons of Flann Ua Conghaile; Eladhach Ua
Maeluidhir; and many others, whom it would be tedious to enumerate.
The people of Leath Chuinn were joyous after this victory, for they had
wreaked their vengeance and their animosity upon the Leinstermen. Nine
thousand was the number of them that was slain.
Ailill, son of Tuathal, Lord of Ui Crimhthainn, died.
The devastation of Cinel Fiachach and of Dealbhna by the Osraighe. In the
same year Flann Feorna, Lord of Corc Modhruadh, died. Also,
Artrach, son of Aitheachda, Lord of Ui Meith, died.
Aedh Allan, son of Maelduin, fell in the battle of Magh Seirigh (i.e.
Ceanannus), between the two Teabhthas, by Domhnall, son of
Murchadh, after having been nine years in the sovereignty of Ireland.
There were also slain in the same battle Cumascach, son of Conchubhar,
Lord of the Airtheara (the Oriors); Maenach, son of Connalach, Lord of
Ui Creamhthainn; and Muireadhach, son of Fearghus Forcraidh, Lord of
In the same year Dubhdothra, Lord of Ui Briuin Cualann, was mortally
739 AD -
The first year of Domhnall, son of Murchadh, son of Diarmaid, over
Ireland; he was the first king of the Clann Colmain.
742 AD -
Aedh Muindearg, son of Flaithbheartach, lord of Tuaisceart, died. Also
Seachnasach, son of Colgan, King of South Leinster, died. Also
Dunlaing, son of Dunchu, lord of Cinel Ardghail, died. A year later
Congal, son of Eigneach, lord of the Airtheara (the Oriors), was slain at
Rath Esclair, by Donnboo, son of Cubreatan.
745 AD -
Cathal Maenmaighe, Lord of Ui Maine, died.
Blathmhac, son of Coibhdeanach, Lord of Muscraighe, died.
Dubhdabhoireann, Lord of Ui Fidhgeinte, died.
Anmchaidh, chief of Ui Liathain, died.
Fiachra, son of Ailene, lord of Mughdhorna, was killed.
746 AD -
Flann grandson of Conghal, Lord of Ui Foilge, died.
Fearghus son of Fogartach, Lord of Southern Brega, died.
Muirghius son of Fearghus, Lord of the Deisi, died.
Flann Foirtrea, Lord of Corco Laigde, died.
747 AD -
Conaing Ua Duibhduin, lord of Cairbre Teabhtha, died.
Foidmeann, son of Fallach, chief of Conaille Muirtheimhne, died.
Flaithbheartach, son of Conall Meann, chief of Cinel Cairbre, died.
Flann, son of Ceallach, lord of Muscraighe (Muskerry), died.
749 AD -
The battle of Ard Naescan, between the Ui Briuin and Cinel Cairbre,
wherein many were slain. Also in this year Flann, son of Conchubhar,
lord of Magh Ai, died. The devastation of Fotharta Fea by the men of
Osraighe (Ossory). Cathasach, son of Ailell, King of Ulidia, was slain
at Rath Bethech.
751 AD -
The battle of Bealach Cro was gained by Crimhthann over the Dealbhna
of Ui Maine, in which was slain Finn, son of Arbh, Lord of Dealbhna, at
Tibra Finn, and the Dealbhna were slaughtered about him. From this are
named Lochan Bealaigh Cro, and Tibra Finn. The Ui Maine were
contending with them for the cantred between the Suca (the River Suck)
and the Sinainn (the River Shannon), for this was called the cantred of