The Tribes of Laigen
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Ancient genealogy of Leinster

The ancient annals of Ireland tell us of many relationships among early tribal groups. Though the true genealogical relationship of the older dynasts may in doubt, they do offer our only glimpse into the proto-history of the island prior to the 6th century. Some of these legend stories tell us about the Laigin, a name given to the early tribes of the province of Leinster, and of the sons of Cu Corb who came to rule in southeast Ireland at an early time. Click here for a Physical Map of the Leinster region.

The sons of Chú Chorb included: Nio Corb, Corbmac Losc, Messin Corb, and Cairpre Cluichechair. From these sons derive some of the earliest recorded tribes of Leinster.

(1) Dál Niad Cuirp, the clan of Nio Corb, including his descendants Maine Mál and Cathaír Már. Maine and Cathaír were sons of Fedelmid Fer Aurglas m. Corbmaic Gelta Gáeth m. Niad Cuirb (Nia Corb) m. Con Corb (Cu Chorb).

From Maine Mál descended the tribes of Úa Máil & Úa Téig & Úa Cellaich Cualann.

From Cathaír Már descended the tribes of Úa n-Dúnlainge & Úa Ceinselaich.

Sons of Cathaír Már:
(2) Dál Cormaic Luisc, the clan of Cormac Losc included the Uí Labrada, Uí Gabla Fini, Uí Gabla Roírenn, Uí Buide, Uí Dega Bic .i. Uí Muiredaig, Uí Chuilind, Uí Labrada Cuthraige .i. Síl Fergusa Cuthig, Uí Chuircc, Uí Librén, Uí Ochrai.

(3) Dál Messin Corb, the septs of Messin Corb included the Uí Garrchon, Uí Con Corbb, Uí Con Cainnig, Uí Chúáin, Uí Alténi, Uí Doccomláin, Uí Bróccáin, Uí Garbáin, Uí Chon Galand, Uí Bróccéni, Cenél Ciaráin & Uí Techtaire, Uí Meic Aird Maigne & Uí Moínaig & Uí Conndoith & Uí Feichíne & Uí Cáechtangéni, Uí Noíthig & Uí Follomuin & Uí Forandlo, Uí Dímmae Cirr & Uí Congnaid, Uí Dubchróin & Uí Beraich, Uí Donnáin & Uí Sáráin,

(4) Dál Cairpre Cluichechair, the clan of Cairpre Cluichechair included the Dál Carpri Arad of east Munster.

Other early Tribes on this page include the Osraighe (Ossory), Loígis (Laois), Fothairt (Fotharta of Forth), Benntraige (Bantry).

Some of the original Laiginian tribes included the Uí Failge, Uí Bairrche and Uí Enechglaiss.

Uí Failge

Cathair Mór was the ancestor of the Free Tribes of Leinster: through his son Ross Failge descended the Uí Failge. The Uí Failge dynasty in later times are noted in the three septs of the Ua Conchobair Failghe (O'Connor Faly), the Uí Riacáin (O'Dunne), and the Clann Máellugra (O'Dempsey). The territory of Ua bhfailghe came to be anglicized as Ofaily or Offaley, now commemorated in the modern county Offaly. Under the O'Connor Faly, the Uí Failge are noted in the 16th century as one of the last Gaelic lordships to fall to the English Crown.

The old territory of Offaly is described by O'Donovan in his Ordnance Survey letters. He notes the territory of Ui Failghe or Ophaley comprised the following Baronies: Geshill in the King's Co.; Upper and Lower Philipstown in the King's Co.; Warrenstown and Collestown in the same County; Ophaley or Offaley in the Co. of Kildare; Portnahinch and Tinahinch in the Queen's County. O'Donovan goes on to cite O'Heerin giving that the principality of Ofaley was originally subdivided into seven cantreds, viz.; Tuath Geisille [Geashill], Hy-Regan [Tinahinch], Clann-Maoilughra [ Upper Philipstown & Portnahinch], Clar Colgain [ Lower Philipstown], Tuath-Maighe or Tethmoy [Coolestown and Warrenstown], Magh Aoife or Fearann Ui Murchain [northern half of the Barony of Ophaley in the County of Kildare], and Tuath-Leighe [southern half of the Barony of Ophaley in the County of Kildare].

Keating in his History cites O Conchubhar Failghe with his family branches: i.e. O Caomhanaigh, O Tuathalaigh, O Branaigh, Mac Giolla Phadraig, O Duinn, O Diomasaigh, O Duibhidhir, muinntear Riain.

An early Uí Failge (O'Connor) genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Donnchad mc Con Faifne m. Murchertaig m. Congalaig m. Duind Slébi m. Brógarbáin m. Conchobuir m. Find m. Máel Mórdae m. Conchobuir m. Flannacáin m. Cináeda m. Mugróin m. Óengussa m. Flaind m. Díumasaig m. Forannáin m. Congalaig m. Máel h-Umae m. Cathail m. Éogain Bruidne m. Nath Í m. Rossa Failgi m. Cathaír Máir.

The Annals cite:
Other descended septs of the Uí Failge

Uí Riacáin (e.g. O'Dunne)

The O'Duinn (Dunne) sept were Lords of Uí Riacáin (Iregan, Hy-Regan, or Oregan), naming their territory after their ancestor Riacáin. Riacáin was a son of the Uí Failge over-king Cináed, and a grandson of Mugrón, another Uí Failge king who was slain beside Kildare monastery in 782. By the 11th century the O'Duinn territory was centered in the barony of Tinnahich, the most northern barony of Co Leix (Laois, Queens County).

An early Uí Riacáin genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Cerball & Mac Tíre dá m. Con Bladma m. Con Allaid m. Fidallaid m. Duinn m. Duibgilla m. Máel Finne m. Riacáin m. Cináeda m. Mugróin m. Flaind.

The Annals cite:

Clann Máellugra (e.g. O'Dempsey).

The O'Dempsey family derive their name from Diummasach, an 11th century Uí Failge prince of the Clann Máel Ugra, aka Cenél Maoilughra. The Clann Máel Úgra, in turn, took their name from Máelaugrai, an Uí Failge chieftain who flourished in the middle of the 9th century. The center of their territory, anglicized Clanmalier, was near Ballybrittas in northeast Co. Leix. Their power later extended into the barony of Upper Phillipstown. O'Donovan, in his Ordnance Survey letters, places Clann-Maoilughra in the present Barony of Upper Philipstown in the King's County and the Barony of Portnahinch in the Queen's County.

An early Uí Failge Iarmothá genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Flann m. Máel Ruanaid m. Cellaich m. Máel Augra m. Conchobuir m. Áeda m. Tomaltaich m. Flaind m. Díumasaich m. Congaile m. Forannáin m. Congaile m. Máel h-Umai m. Cathail m. Bruidge m. Nath Í m. Rosa Failgi.

The Annals cite:

Clann Colgcan

Septs of Clann Cholgaín noted in northern Offaly (centered in the barony of Lower Philipstown, Co. Offaly) were the septs of Ua hUallachain (O'Holohan or O'Houlihan) and Ua hAonghusa (O'Hennessy). Other Clann Colgcan septs noted in the ancient genealogies included the Uí Rotaidi, the Uí Muricáin, the Uí Bróen and the Uí Cholgan. MacLysaght (Irish Families) mentions that a branch of Clan Cholgain was located nearer to Dublin, the head of it being chief of Gailenga Beg on the north side of the River Liffey on the borders of Counties Meath and Dublin, before being displaced by the Anglo-Norman invasion (late 12th century). For reference, also see O'Hennessy of Gailenga Bec, and of Uí Mac Uais. MacLysaght also mentions the Offaly O'Hennessys spread into Tipperary and Clare - in the latter county they are now called Henchy, formerly Hensey.
The Book of Ballymote mentions the descent of Clann Colcan from Colgu, son of Maelduin, however the genealogies in Rawlinson B502 seem to indicate Clann Colgcan in descent from Colgcan son of Mugróin.

An early Clann Colgcan (Ua hUallachain) genealogy   (Rawlinson):
Mac Tíre Úa h-Uallacháin m. Cuiléoin m. Conchobuir m. Meic Thíre m. h-Uallacháin m. Fogartaich m. Cumascaig m. Colgcan m. Mugróin m. Flaind Dá Chongal m. Díumasaich m. Forannáin m. Congaile m. Máel h-Umai m. Cathail [m. Éogain] m. Bruidge m. Nath Í m. Rosa Failgi m. Cathaír Máir.

An early Clann Colgcan (Ua hAonghusa) genealogy   (Rawlinson):
Domnall Úa Óengusa m. Áeda m. Uallacháin m. Taidgc m. Uallacháin m. Taidgc m. Domnaill m. Óengusa m. Cummascaig m. Colgcan m. Mugróin m. Flaind Dá Chongal m. Díumasaich m. Forannáin m. Congaile m. Máel h-Umai m. Cathail [m. Éogain] m. Bruidge m. Nath Í m. Rosa Failgi m. Cathaír Máir.

The Annals cite:

Uí Bairrche

Through Cathair Mor's son, Daire Barrach, is claimed to descend the Uí Bairrche (e.g. O'Gorman, Ua Treasigh). The original Uí Bairrche are said to be related to the Brigantes tribe of northern Britain, and that they ruled southern Leinster from the earliest centuries A.D. until their power was broken by the Uí Cheinnselaig. At that time they were split into at least two major groups, the Uí Bairrche of northern Carlow (Uí Bairrche Maighe, aka of Maige hAilbe) and those of southern Wexford (Uí Bairrche Tire, of the barony of Bargy). The Uí Chritain of Uí Bairrche Maige Indergraith, and the Uí Dimmatain of Uí Bairrche Tíre are noted in the Book of Leinster. The Book of Ballymote cites the Uí Bairrch Maige hAilbe (Carlow/Kildare?), and the Book of Lecan cites the Uí Bairrche of Mag Argetrois (Laois/Kilkenny?).

An early genealogy of the Uí Bairrche:   (Rawlinson)
Gussán mc Muiredaig m. Meic Raith m. Gormáin m. Muircherdaig m. Donnchada m. Áeda m. Tressaig m. Luachdaib m. Gussáin m. Dúnacáin m. Gormáin m. Echach m. Coibdenaig m. Máel h-Umae m. Suibne m. Domnaill m. Cormaicc m. Diarmata m. Echach Guinig m. Óengussa m. Meicc Ercca m. Breccáin m. Féicc m. Dáire Barraig m. Cathaír Máir.

An early Ui Bairrche mac Niad Coirb (Osraighe) genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Dub Lenna m. Conaill m. Siadail m. Máelhuidir m. Concellaich m. Mencosaich m. Conamla m. Faílbe m. Bairrche m. Niad Cuirb m. Buain m. Lóegaire Birn Buadaig m. Óengusa Osfríthi.

The Annals cite:

Uí Enechglaiss

Through Cathair Mor's son, Bressal Enechglass, descended the Uí Enechglaiss (e.g. O'Feary). During the ascendancy of the Uí Dúnlainge in th 5th and 6th centuries, the Uí Enechglaiss were driven across the Wicklow mountains, to south of Arklow in county Wicklow, from their original holdings near the plains Brega and the river Liffey. A similar fate appears to have transpired for the Dál Messin Corb who moved to an area just north of the Uí Enechglaiss about this same time. In the 12th century the sept of Ua Fiachrach is given as kings of Uí fEnechglais.

An early Uí Enechglais genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Dúnlang m. Fiachrach m. Fínnsnechtae m. Cináeda m. Cathail m. Fiachrach m. Dúnchada m. Dúnlaing m. Dúngalaig m. Thuamín m. Máel Doborchon m. Dícolla m. Éogain [m. Beraig] m. Muiredaig m. Amalgada m. Nath Í m. Bressail Enechglais (a quo Uí Enechglais) m. Cathaír Máir.

The Annals cite:

Enna Nia, son of Bressal Bélach, son of Fiachu Baicced, son of Cathir Mor, was the progenitor of the northern Leinster septs of the Uí Dúnlainge, the Uí Briúin Cuallan (e.g. Cosgrave), and the Uí Fergusa.

Uí Dúnlainge

The rise of the Uí Dúnlainge in Leinster appears to coincide with that of the rise of the southern Uí Neill in Meath and Westmeath, indicating perhaps a defeat of former dominant tribes by the southern Uí Neill, or perhaps indicating an earlier Uí Dúnlainge connection in that area to the north. The Uí Dúnlainge dynasty branched out into the three powerful septs of Uí Muiredaig (e.g. O'Toole), Uí Dúnchada (e.g. Fitz Dermot), and Uí Fáeláin (e.g. O'Byrne). From the 6th to the 9th centuries, the Uí Dúnlainge monopolized the kingship of Leinster. With their principal stronghold at Naas, they also dominated northern Leinster (excluding Brega and Mide) from at least the 8th century to the time of the Norman Invasion.

An early Uí Dúnlainge genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Ailill and Illann mac Dunlainge m. Enna Niadh m. Breasail Belaigh m. Fiachach Baicced m. Cathaír Máir.

The Annals cite:

Uí Muiredaig (e.g. O'Toole)

The Uí Muireadhaigh, later represented by the Ua Tuathail (O'Tooles) are said to descend from Ughaire, a King of Leinster (died 956). They were chiefs of what is now the southern half of County Kildare. This area has been cited, in Crede Mihi (written circa 1270, ed. Gilbert) as comprising the baronies of Kilkea and Moone, Narragh with Reban East and West, and parts of Connell, in co. Kildare, plus the plus west half of Uí Mail, in co. Wicklow. They were later driven from this territory following the Anglo-Norman invasion, afterwards retiring to the mountain fastness of the Wicklow mountains, like their Uí Faeláin kinsmen.

An early Uí Muiredaig genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Tadc m. Dúnlaing mc Augaire m. Donnchada m. Lorccáin m. Augaire m. Thuathail m. Dúnlaing m. Thuathail m. Augaire m. Ailella m. Dúnlaing m. Muiredaig m. Bráen [Ardchenn] m. Muiredaig m. Murchada m. Bráen (d. 693)

The Annals cite:

Uí Dúnchada (e.g. Mac Gilla Mo-Cholmóg, FitzDermot)

The traditional lands of the powerful Uí Dúnchada sept of the Uí Dúnlainge were on the borders of counties Kildare and Dublin (and perhaps Wicklow), between the river Liffey and the 'Dublin' mountains. Descendants of one of their early kings, Mac Gilla Mo-Cholmóg of the mid 11th century, are said to have taken on the surname Fitz Dermot.

An early Uí Dúnchada genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Donnchad m. Murchertaig m. Gillai Chéile m. Gillai Mo Cholmóc m. Cellaich m. Dúnchada m. Lorccáin m. Fáeláin m. Muiredaig m. Bróen m. Fáeláin m. Cellaich m. Dúnchada m. Murchada.

The Annals cite:

Uí Fáeláin (e.g. O'Byrne and Mac Keogh)

Prior to the 12th century, Uí Faeláin centered on present-day Naas in northern County Kildare, lands which corresponded to the baronies of North Naas, North and South Salt, Clane, Ikeathy and Outhternany, and portions of adjoining ones. The Ó Broin (O'Byrnes), a branch of Uí Faeláin, were forced from their Kildare patrimony of Uí Faelain into the Wicklow mountains, beginning perhaps in the 11th century. The Ua Fergaile's twelfth-century kingdom of Uí Garrchon, in modern county Wicklow, became the cradle of the later medieval Uí Broin lordship. Their territory in these times was known as Crioch Bhranach, and included the barony of Newcastle with parts of the baronies of Ballinacor and Arklow. The MacKeoghs were hereditary bards of the O'Byrnes.
Note: Not to be confused with Ua Faeláin (O'Phelan), king of the Déisi.

An early Uí Fáeláin genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Domnall mc Cerbaill m. Murchada m. Máel Mórda m. Cerbaill m. Fáeláin m. Murchada m. Find m. Máel Mórda m. Muirecain m. Diarmata m. Rhuadri m. Fáeláin m. Murchada m. Bráen (d. 693)

The Annals cite:

Uí Fergusa

Descended Fergus son of Dúnlang, son of Enna Nia, son of Bressal Bélach, son of Fiachu Baicced, son of Cathir Mor. The Uí Fergusa were a sub-sept of the Uí Dúnlainge with their traditional territory immediately west of Dublin prior to the arrival of the Vikings. The Book of Leinster, Book of Ballymote, and other sources give their territory between the river Liffey and Fir Cualand (Cuallan). The genealogies of Rawlinson B502 mention Fergus m. Dúnlaing, a quo Úi Fergusa eter Liphi, again referring to their presence by the river Liffey.

The Annals cite:

Uí Briúin Cualand (e.g. Cosgrave)

Descended from Brian, son of Enna Nia, son of Bressal Bélach, son of Fiachu Baicced, son of Cathir Mor. Traditional lands of this sub-sept of the Uí Dúnlainge were in southeast County Dublin and into northern co, Wicklow. The sept of Cosgrave, or Cosgrove, were cited as lords of Uí Briúin Cuallan, with their power center at Powerscourt in County Wicklow prior to the Anglo-Norman invasion. The Ui Ceallaig Cualand (O'Kelly), descended from Maine Mail, were noted either between Tallaght and Britas in the Dublin hills (Hogan and Mills), or in co. Wicklow (Henessy and O'Donovan). The O'Tooles and O'Byrnes became dominant in this area after the arrival of the Anglo-Normans.
The historian O'Donovan (Four Masters) says Crích Cualu was included in the present co. of Wicklow, and coextensive with the half barony of Rathdown in northern Wicklow, and adjoining county of Dublin. He also describes the territory of Ui Einechlais Cualann in the barony of Arklow, co. Wicklow. MacCarthy (Annals of Ulster) says Cualand is coextensive with the baronies of Ballinacor North and Rathdown, in co. Wick., and the south half of the barony of Rathdown, in co. Dublin.

The Annals cite:

In the 9th century the chief dynasties which controlled all of the southern and central regions of Laigen were the Uí Cheinnselaig, the Uí Dega, and the Uí Dróna.

Uí Cheinnselaig

Descended from Labraid Laidech, son of Bressal Bélach, son of Fiachu Baicced, son of Cathair Mór. The Uí Cheinnselaig dynasty branched out into the powerful sept of the Sil Fáelchán (Mac Murrough), as well as the septs of the Uí Felmeda Thes (Murphy), the Uí Felmeda Tuaid (O'Garvey), the Sil Chormaic, the Sil Máeluidir (Hartley), the Uí Fergusa of Wexford, the Clann Guaire, and the Clann Fiachu meic Ailella.

Alfred Smyth (Celtic Leinster) provides an interesting theory on the rise of the Uí Cheinnselaig. He cites an early center of power of Uí Cheinnselaig based at Rathvilly in Carlow, as shown by early tradition in the Vita Tripartita of St. Patrick, as well as by earlier documents in the Book of Armagh. The monastery of St. Mullins in southern Carlow had earlier claims to Uí Cheinnselaig patronage than did the house of Ferns in Wexford, which by the 11th century became the overall center of their dynastic power. He speculates the Uí Cheinnselaig 'invaded', not earlier than the 5th century, through the pass of Gowran from Ossory, in order to explain how St. Mullins had earlier connections to the group, as well as to explain how the Uí Cheinnselaig broke the power of Uí Bairrche by seizing the Slaney valley from Rathvilly to Tullow, thereby separating the Uí Bairrche of north Carlow from those of southern Wexford. In addition, the Foathirt, allies of Uí Bairrche, shared the same fate and were separated into two groups. Smyth goes on to speculate the Uí Cheinnselaig expanded into Wexford down the Slaney valley through a pass between the Balckstairs and the Wicklow Mountains.

An early Uí Cheinnselaig genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Énna m. Donnchada m. Murchada m. Diarmata m. Donnchada qui fuit Máel na m-Bó m. Diarmata m. Domnaill m. Cellaig m. Cinaída m. Carpre m. Diarmata m. Rudgaile m. Áeda m. Onchon m. Fáelchon Taulchatait m. Fáeláin m. Síláin m. Éogain Cáech m. Nath Í m. Crimthaind m. Énnai Ceinnselaig m. Labrada m. Bresail Bélaig m. Fiachach Ba Aiccid m. Cathaír Máir.

The Annals cite:

Síl Fáelchán

The Mac Murchadha sept (MacMurrough, Kinsella) of Síl Fáelchán came into prominence in the middle of the 11th century. As kings of Leinster they were descended from the Síl Mella, a clan founded by Éogan Cáech, son of Nath Í, and great-grandson of Énna Ceinnselach the namesake for the Ua Ceinnselaigh. The Ua Finntighearn (Finneran) sept were also descended from Síl Mella and occupied north-east Wexford when the Normans arrived in the late 12th century. The Gahan's of Síl Ealaig are descended from the Síl Fáelchán, and gave their tribal name to the barony of Shillelagh in County Wicklow.

Uí Felmeda Thes - included the Úa Murchadha (O'Murroughe, or Murphy) sept of Offelimy, now the barony of Ballaghkeen, in County Wexford. O'Hart (Pedigrees) cites the septs of O'Murchada or O'Murphy, chiefs of Crioch O'Felme or Hy-Feidhlme [Hy-Felimy], and of the same race as the MacMurroughs, kings of Leinster. Hy-Felimy extended along the sea coast, and was commonly called the "Murrowes;" and comprised the baronies of Ballagheen in the county Wexford.

The Annals cite:
Uí Felmeda Tuaidh - included the O'Garvey sept of the Rathvilly area in County Carlow. The descent of Uí Felmeda Tuaidh is given, in the Book of Leinster, from Oilioll mac Muiredaig, alias Ui Onchon. Tulach Ua Felmedha, aka Tullowphelim, became the namesake for the parish of Tullow.

Sil Chormaic

The Sil Chormaic had held the richest land in the River Slaney basin in County Wexford prior to being usurped by the Mac Murchadha (Mac Murrough) sept by the middle of the 11th century. The area included the MacMurrough royal demesne around Ferns, as well as the barony of Scarawalsh. Mac Firbis cites the parts of Leinster belonging to the Clann Cormaic are Cuthraighe, Ua Trena, Ui Cruinn or Ui Cuinn, Ua Gabla Fine and Ua Gabla Roireann.

An early Sil Chormaic genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Rián m. Bruatair m. Áeda m. Cairpre m. Laidcnén m. Colmáin m. Áeda Róin m. Crunnmaíl m. Rónáin m. Colmáin m. Cormaicc m. Nath Í m. Crimthaind m. Énnai Ceinselaig m. Labrada m. Bresail m. Fiachach m. Cathaír Máir.

Sil Máeluidir

The Sil Máeluidir were a Uí Cheinnselaig sept who left their names on the baronies of Shelmalier in county Wexford, and were represented in the 12th century by Ua hArtghaile (Hartley) of Ferann na Cenél.

The Annals cite:

Uí Dega

Claimed to be descended from Labraid Laidech, son of Bressal Bélach, son of Fiachu Baicced, son of Cathair Mór, the Uí Dega territory was ruled by the family of O'Hay or Hughes i the 12th century. Their main territory was centered at Limerick Hill (Luimnech) in north County Wexford, barony of Gorey, according to Hogan. The early Uí Dega septs were likely genealogically independent of the Uí Cheinnselaig, who in later years took over the kingship of the tribe. However they are given what is probably a synthetic genealogy, descending from Daig mac Enna Cennsélaig. One early genealogy links the tribal name to the Fothairt Maigi Ítha. Also noted with the same tribal name include the Uí Dega Tamhnaige (of Dál Birn) of north Ossory and the Uí Dega Bic (desc. from Daig Bec m. Labrada) of Offaly.

An early Ui Dega Tamnaig (Osraighe) genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Daig m. Máil m. Droído m. Buain m. Lóegaire Birn Buadaich m. Óengusa Osríthe.

The Annals cite:

Uí Dróna

Claiming descent from Labraid Laidech, son of Bressal Bélach, son of Fiachu Baicced, son of Cathair Mór, the sept of O'Ryan were later lords of Uí Dróna. The name Uí Dróna is preserved in the baronies of Idrone East and West in county Carlow. Much of Idrone country belonged early to the Uí Bairrche. An early Uí Dróna genealogy displays their descent from Drón, a brother of Enna Cennseach (progenitor of the Uí Chennselaig), which is cited by some as a politically motivated genealogy. From at least the 10th century, the territory of the Uí Dróna was ruled by a branch of the Uí Chennselaig who later took the name Ua Riain (O'Ryan). The name originates from Rián, who was of the 10th century. The original Uí Dróna, like the original Uí Dega, were likely genealogically independent of the Uí Chennselaig. The sept of Uí Rethe was noted south of of Lethglenn (Leighlin, co. Carlow), in Úi Dróna, according to Félire of Gorman, (ed. by Stokes).

The Annals cite:

Genealogy Lore of the Non-Free Tribes of Laigin

Dál Cairpre Arad

From Cú Corb's son Cairpre descend the Dál Cairpre Arad of Munster. However the location of Dál Cairbre Ara Cliach is disputed, and has been placed in modern co. Carlow by Hogan. Just as the regions names Clíu and Ara Cliach appear in the Tipperary/Limerick of Munster, they are also placed, by the historians O'Donovan and Hennessy in the county of Carlow, in or near the barony of Idrone.

An early Dál Cairpre Arad genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Flaithbertach m. Crunnmaíl m. Commáin m. Fínáin m. Fhaigir m. Eirníne m. Féicc m. Meic Ieir m. Gossa m. Fabrich m. Máil m. Ainmerech m. Fir Roith m. Muine m. Fir Neud m. Fir Lugdach m. Buain m. Argatibair m. Cairpre Cluichechair m. Con Corb.

see also the Kingdom of Munster.

From Cú Corb's son Corbmac descend the Dál Chormaic, Uí Gabla, Uí Labrada, Uí Buide (O'Kealy), and the Cuthraighe. MacFirbis' Book of Genealogiescite the parts of Leinster belonging to the Clann Cormaic as Gabla Fine, Cuthraighe, Ua Trena, Ui Cruinn or Ui Cuinn, Ua Gabla Fine and Ua Gabla Roireann. The Dál Chormaic list from the Book of Leinster includes Ui Gabhla fine, Cutraighi, Hui Tréna, Hui Cuirn, Hui Librein, Hui Lomthuile, Hui Oichtrich, and Hui Cuirc.

Dál Chormaic

The Dál Chormaic, along with the Dál Messin Corb, were anciently claimed to hold the important plains of Kildare up to the 5th century. In later years their chief center was located in the southernmost barony of County Kildare, that is the barony of Kilkea and Moone.

Uí Gabla

As a branch of the Dál Chormaic, septs included the Uí Gabla Fine and the Uí Gabla Roírenn. The Uí Gabla Roírenn took their name from Roíriu (now Mullaghreelion) a few miles south of Athy in south Kildare. The Uí Gabla Fine were located in the barony of North Salt in northern County Kildare. An Uí Gabla sept was also located near the Figile river on the Offaly/Kildare border.

The Annals cite:

Uí Labrada

The Uí Labrada are said to descend from Labrada, son of Imchad, son of Corbmac, son of Chu Chorb. The Cuthraighe are given of Uí Labrada, their name also given as Ui Cormaic Laighen in the Book of Leinster.

An early Uí Labrada genealogy   (Rawlinson):
Sinchell m. Cenannáin m. Macha mc Cruaich m. Dulge m. Imchada m. Brolaich m. Lugdach m. Labrada m. Imchada m. Corbmaic m. Con Corb.

The Annals cite:

Uí Buide (e.g. O'Kealy).

The traditional lands of the Uí Buide were in the barony of Ballyadams, County Leix. After the coming of the Normans in the late 12th century, this area was set up as a marcher lordship under the cantred name of Oboy (an anglicized form of Uí Buide), and later came under the control of the O'Mores during the Gaelic revival of the 14th century. The surname O'Kealy or O'Kelly in county Leix and Kilkenny is derived from a clan name of the Uí Buide.

An early Uí Buide genealogy   (Rawlinson):
Echthigern m. Donngusa m. Mencossaig m. Máelgairb m. h-Uargusa m. Buide (a quo Uí Buide) m. Laidcnén m. Cuimmíne m. Colmáin Elténe m. Blaithmeic m. Áeda Indén m. Cathbad m. Labrada m. Imchada m. Cormaic m. Con Corb.

The Annals cite:

Uí Máil

Maine Mál was the ancestor of the Uí Máil, which included the septs of the Uí Theig (O'Tighe) and Uí Ceallaig Cuallan (O'Kelly of the Dublin/Wicklow hills). The Uí Máil dominated the kingship of Leinster in the 7th century before being eventually ousted by the Uí Dunlainge. From that time until the early 13th century, the Uí Máil were located along the western foothills of the Wicklow mountains. The Glen of Imaal, named for them, appears to be a center of their power. An O'Tuathail (O'Toole) is noted as a lord of Ui Mail in the 14th century.
Note: Not to be confused with the Ui Mhaille of Connacht.

An early Uí Máil genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Cellaig Cualann (a quo Uí Chellaig, and a King of Laigen) m. Gerthide m. Dícolla Dánae m. Rónáin Craich m. Áeda Díbchíne (king of Laigen) m. Senaich Díbich m. Cárthind Muaich m. Eterscéla m. Óengusa Ailche m. Fergusa Forcraid m. Tuathail Tigich m. Maine Máil m. Feidelmid Fir Aurglais m. Corbmaic Gelta Gáeth m. Niad Cuirb (Nia Corb) m. Con Corb (Cu Chorb).

The Annals cite:

Uí Théig (e.g. O'Teige or Tighe)

A cousin to the Uí Máil, the traditional lands of the Uí Theig were north of Uí Máil territory just west of the Wicklow mountains. By early Anglo-Norman times they may have left their name on the district of Othee (Othec) along the eastern side of the mountains, east of the Vartry river. Their name is also given as Uí teig The surname O'Tighe has been attributed to this sept.

An early Uí Théig genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Murchad m. Duinechda m. Murchada m. Gairbíd m. Duinechda mc Conaill m. Crundmaíl m. Duinechda m. Congaile m. Fáeldobuir, in descent of Fiannamail (king of Laigen) m. Máel Tuile m. Rónáin Chraich m. Áeda m. Senaich Díbich m. Cárthind Muaich m. Eterscéla m. Óengusa Ailche m. Fergusa Forcraid m. Tuathail Tigich m. Maine Máil.

Uí Ceallaig Cualann (e.g. O'Kelly)

Related to the Uí Máil, the traditional lands of the Uí Ceallaig Cualann were on the Dublin/Wicklow border in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains. The region of Cuala was applied frequently to the foot-hills of southern Dublin.

An early Uí Ceallaig Cuallan genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Cathal m. Amalgada m. Thuathail m. Cathail m. Con Lóthur m. Matudáin m. Rogellaich m. Flaind m. Duib Taidrich m. Matudáin m. Cellaich m. Eterscéoil m. Cellaig Cualann (a quo Uí Chellaig, and a King of Laigen) m. Gerthide m. Dícolla Dánae m. Rónáin Craich m. Áeda Díbchíne m. Senaich Díbich m. Cárthind Muaich m. Eterscéla m. Óengusa Ailche m. Fergusa Forcraid m. Tuathail Tigich m. Maine Máil, in descent from Nia Corb, son of Cu Chorb.

The Annals cite:

Uí Crimthainn Áin (e.g. O'Duff)
From Cathair Mór's son Crimthann Án descended the Uí Crimthainn Áin (aka Cremthannáin). Dún Masc (the rock of Dunamase) was the center of Uí Crimthainn Áin power, as Alfred Smyth describes, in the Dark Ages. Dunamase passed under the control of the kings of Loígis by the 10th century.

An early Uí Crimthainn Áin genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Cenn Fáelad m. Dúngalaich m. Congaile m. Duib Dá Chrích m. Máel Ochtraig m. Éogain m. Cobthaich m. Cormaicc m. Nannida m. Nastáir m. Crimthaind Bic m. Echach m. Óengusa m. Crimthaind Áin m. Cathaír Máir

The Annals cite:

Uí Cheithig of northern county Kildare, their tribal name preserved in the old barony of Ikeathy, on the border of Meath. Ikeathy is now part of the barony of Ikeathy and Oughterany.

Through Cathair Mór's son Ailill Cétach (Céthech) descended the Uí Chéthig, aka Uí Ceataigh. Their territory included Cenel n-Ucha and Uachtar Fine (an ancient form of the old barony of Oughterany in north-central County Kildare). The old genealogies cite Céthech, son of Cathaír, from whom descend the Crích na Cétach. The territories of Crích na Cétach, on the Offaly/Meath border, and the traditional lands of Uí Cheithig, are separated by the Ui Cairbri territory, perhaps indicating an ancient relationship of Uí Chéthig to Crích na Cétach. Also see Crích na Cétach.

MacFirbis' Book of Genealogies cites Cenél Ucha comprised the Uí Fithcellaigh, Uí Maili Derir, Uí Bóetain, Uí Broscai and Uí Folaing. The Book of Leinster mentions Uí Mainchin of Tír Cenél nUcha, and Cenél Ucha of Uí Fhine, near the Clann Manchine at the Liffey, as well as Ui Faebrannáin Uachtair Fine (of Ui Fine), the genealogy of the Ui Mainchin of Tír Cineil nUcha and Life. It also mentions the Ui Fine, of and near Clane, barony of Oughteranny, co. Kildare. The Book of Ballymote cites Cilline mór, son of Coirpre, ancestor of the Ua Meimre and the Ui Foebraind of Uachtar Fine.

The Annals cite:

Fortuatha - the Alien Tribes

Dál Messin Corb

The Dál Messin Corb were once a dominant dynasty of Leinster along with the Dál Chormaic prior to the ascendancy of the Uí Dúnlainge (5th and 6th centuries) and the Uí Cheinnselaig. The Dál Messin Corb were driven across the Wicklow mountains, to north of Arklow in county Wicklow, from their original holdings on the plains of the river Liffey. A similar fate appears to have transpired for the Uí Enechglaiss who moved to an area just south of the Dál Messin Corb about this same time.

Uí Garrchon

The Uí Garrchon were a chief sept of the Dál Messin Corb and were later represented by the Ua Feghaile clan (O'Farrell or O'Farrelly) of County Wicklow. The Book of Leinster mentions Ui Saráin of Ui Meisincorp and Ui Brain Deilgine of Ui Garrchon; while the Book of Lecan mentions Ui Saráin Chimbeada of Ui Garrchon and Ui Cholmain Fordobuil of Ui Garrchon.

An early Uí Garrchon genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Domnall m. Fergaile m. Flaithnia m. Máel Kalland m. Gormáin m. Fáebuirdatha m. Dúngaili m. Cethernaig m. Fáeburdatha m. Dúngaile m. Cethernaig m. Fáebuirdatha m. Marcáin m. Cillíne m. Rónáin m. Sinill m. Conaill m. Con Chongalt m. Finnchada m. Garrchon m. Fothaid m. n-Echach Lámdeirg m. Mesin Corb mc Con Corbb.

The annals cite:

Non-Laiginian Tribes

The Loígis (O'More), the Benntraige (O'Coskry), the Fotharta Fea (O'Nolan), the Fotharta in Chairn (O'Larkin), are considered to have non-Laigin origins.


The Loígis, Laígsi or Laoighisi, were mercenary tribes of the Laigin and possibly of Cruithin (Pict) origin. The Loígis claim descendancy from Lugaid Loígsech, son of Conall Cernach. From Conall's line also descend the Dál n-Araide of Ulster. Beginning in the 11th century, the Annals cite the Ua Mórdha (O'More, Moore) as chiefs of Laíghisi. They are later represented by the 'Seven Septs of Leix', i.e. O'Moore, O'Kelly, O'Deevy, O'Doran, O'Lalor, O'Dowling and McEvoy. As legend and history cite, this confederation began after the 3rd century CE, when the family group that would become the O'Mores came from Ulster to Leinster under the leadership of Laoighseach Cean More, son of Connall Cearnach of the Red Branch, and helped to defend Leinster under the kingship of Cu chorb, and expelled the Munster forces from the region. They continued to hold principality over what became Leix (Laois), so named after Laoighseach, and this confederation continued through the Elizabethian wars of the 1500's.

O'Donovan in the Ordnance Survey letters cites that "Laoighis really contained about half the Queen's County. Take away the Baronies of Upper Ossory, Portnahinch and Tinahinch, and the remaining part of the Queen's County will be Laoighis or Leix."

An early Laígsi genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Fachtna m. Milige a quo Baccán m. Brain m. Eircc h-Ubulchind m. Feidelmid mc Findchada m. Fiachach Uanchind m. Dáire m. Rossa m. Ogomain m. Fergusa Múlcheist m. Fachtna m. Milige m. Intait m. Lugdach Loíchsi m. Conaill Cernaich.

The annals cite:


The Fothairt, or Fotharta, were mercenary tribes of the Laigin and possibly of Cruithin (Pict) origin. They were likely allies of the Ui Bairrche, explaining why they were also split into two major groups: the Fothairt in Chairn (alias Fothar Tíre, barony of Forth, Co. Wexford) and the Fothairt of Mag Fea (barony of Forth, Co. Carlow).

An early genealogy of the Fothairt:   (Rawlinson)
Sétna, the son of Artt Cerp, son of Cairbre Niad, son of Cormac Már, son of Óengus Mend, son of Eochaid Find Fuath n-Airtt, son of Feidhlimidh Reachtmhar, son of Tuathal Teachtmhar, and the ancestor of the Fothairt Fili, Fothairt Tuile, Fothairt Maige Ítha, Fothairt Imchlár oc Ard Macha & Fothairt Bile.
The Fothairt Fea (barony of Forth, Co. Carlow) descend from Adnach, son of Artt Cerp. The Fothairt Airthir Liphi descend from Fergus Tarb Ráe, son of Artt Cerp. Other Fothairt tribe names included Fotharta Airbrech fri Brí Ele aniar, and Fotharta Fer Cúl.

MacFirbis' Book of Genealogies also mentions the various Fotharta. From Aengus and Cían Cúldub, sons of Eochaidh Finn are descended the Fotharta Fer Cúl, Fotharta Airthir Liphe, Fotharta Airbrech fri Brí Ele aniar, Fotharta Bile alias Fotharta File, Fotharta Fea, Fotharta Maige Itha, Fotharta Tuile, and Fotharta Imchlair (or in cláir), i.e., Cland Corpri in Ard Macha. The Book of Ui Maine mention the Fothar Breg; alias Fothar Mac nDeichill of Bregia.

The Book of Lecan mentions the Fothar Maigi Itha (centered near at L. Suileach, in Ulster) have 7 Aicme (tribes), viz., Ui Deaga, Ui Setna, Ui Dimai, Ui Eircc, Ui Chormaic, Ui Niath and Ui Duirrtheacht.

An early Fothairt Fea genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Dub Indrecht m. Fergusa m. Moínaig m. Fínáin m. Rónáin m. Echach m. Báeth m. Nannida m. Féicc m. Ier m. Cathbath m. Adnaich (a quo Fothairt) m. Airt Chirp m. m. Coirpri Niad, in descent from Cormac Már m. Óengusa Mind m. Eochaid Find Fuath n-Airtt m. Feidelmid Rechtada m. Thuathail Techtmair.

The Annals cite:

Benntraige is cited by Alfred P. Smyth on the plain of western County Wexford, an area which included Clann Cosgraigh (O'Coskry, Cosgry, Coskerry, Cosgrave) in the mid-12th century.

An early Benntraige genealogy:   (Rawlinson)
Cillíne m. Dochartaich m. Eóin m. Feromuin m. Aildíne m. Oirenn m. Mágach m. Cellaich Croto m. Nechta m. Lugna m. Inomuin m. Benta a quo Bentraige nominantur nó Benta filius Conchobuir m. Nessa ut alii dicunt m. Máil m. Formáil m. Sírnae m. Forich m. Rochada m. Clothnai m. Coirbb m. Sethrann m. Loga m. Cethnenn.


The Osraighe are said to descend from the line of Óengus Osríthe. Although considered to be part of Mumhan (Munster) around the 8th century, the Osraighi have ancient ties to Laigen (Leinster) as documented in the very early genealogies. The common ancestor of the Laigin tribes was purported to be Bressail Bricc. Bressail's son Condla was progenitor of the Osraighi, while another son, named Lugdach Luathfhind (Lugaid Luath), was ancestor of the Laiginian tribes. The ancient territory of the Osraighe was later named Ossory, and at one time comprised much of the modern diocese of Ossory. This included most of County Kilkenny and a portion of southern County Laois (Leix). By the 11th century the surname Fitzpatrick (Gilla Pátraic) came to be applied to the main line of the kings of Ossory. The Costigans (Mac Oistoghín) were a branch of the Fitzpatrick sept.
See a separate article on Osraighe.

Other Leinster Notes:
  • For 851, Oenghus, son of Niall, lord of Ui Berchon, died.
  • For 855, Bran, son of Scannlan, lord of Gabhra, died.
  • For 861, Muiregan, son of Diarmaid, lord of Nas and Airther Life, was slain by the Norsemen.
  • For 876, A victory was gained by Cearbhall, son of Dunghal, and by the Deisi, over the men of Munster, at Inneoin, where fell Flannabhra, lord of Gabhra, and many others along with him.
  • For 879, Ailill, son of Finncheallach, chief of Ui Trena, in the territory of Ui Ceinnsealaigh, died.
  • For 1026, Cu Duiligh ua Beargdu, tigherna Ua n-Duach, was slain.
  • For 1041, Muirchertach mac Giolla Phattraicc do mharbhadh do Uibh Caolluidhe i meabhail.

    Further Leinster Reference: Laigin * Ossory * Kings of Leinster * Leinster Annals Annals of the Kings

    Further Province Reference: Index * Connacht * Leinster * Mide * Munster * Ulster

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