The History of Ireland - XVII.

XVII.

Conchubhar, son of Donnchadh, son of Domhnall, son of Murchadh, son of Diarmaid, son of Airmeadhach Caoch, son of Conall Guithbhinn, son of Suibhne, son of Colman Mor, son of Diarmaid, son of Fearghus Ceirrbheoil, son of Conall Creamhthaine, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland fourteen years. It was in the reign of this Conchubhar over Ireland that Ceannfaolaidh, bishop of Ath Truim, died, and Eochaidh O Tuathail, bishop of Lughmhagh; and Inis Daimhli and Corcach were plundered by the Lochlonnaigh; and Patrick's tribute was imposed on Munster by Feidhlimidh son of Criomhthann, and by Airtre son of Conchubhar, and Patrick's tribute was imposed on Connaught by the same Airtre; and Beannchair and Dun Leathghlaise were plundered by the Lochlonnaigh; and they burned Magh Bile and its penitential cells. About this time Muireadhach, son of Eochaidh, was king of Ulster, and Conchubhar, son of Donnchadh, king of Ireland, inflicted the Defeat of Aonach Tailltean on the Gaileanga, wherein many of them fell; and the Lochlonnaigh inflicted a great defeat on the Leinstermen at Drom Connla, where Conuing, son of Cu Choingiolt, king of the Forthuath, fell, and several others with him. After that Ard Macha was plundered by the Lochlonnaigh, and a month afterwards Lughmhagh and Fine Chiannachta and Lios Mor with all their churches were plundered by them.

Now up to this time there were four chief schools in Ireland, to wit, a school at Ard Macha in which there were seven thousand students according to an old scroll which was found in Oxford, and a school at Cashel, a school at Dun da Leathghlais and a school at Lios Mor, together with numerous colleges as well. But they were now broken up. After this Conchubhar son of Donnchadh, king of Ireland, died.

Niall Caille, son of Aodh Oirndighe, son of Niall Frasach, son of Fearghal, son of Maolduin, son of Maolfithrigh, son of Aodh Uairiodhnach, son of Domhnall, son of Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach, son of Eoghan, son of Niall Naoighiallach, of the race of Eireamhon, held the sovereignty of Ireland fifteen years. Meadhbh, daughter of Innreachtach, son of Muireadhach, king of Connaught, was the mother of this Niall. And he is called Niall Caille, for one day when Niall with a large host of calvalry approached the river which is called Callann, and there was a great flood in the river at that time, a youth of the king's party went before them to explore the river and was drowned. The king asked the party to go to his relief and he got no one to go. The king himself went on his horse to relieve him, and as the horse's feet touched the bank of the river, the bank gave way and the river carried away the king, and he was drowned, as it was foretold him that he would die by being drowned at Callann. For this reason he is called Niall Caille.

It was in the reign of this Niall that Diarmaid, son of Tomaltach, king of Connaught, died, and Loch Bricirnne was plundered against Conghalach, son of Eochaidh, and he himself was slain by the Lochlonnaigh; and Niall Caille, king of Ireland, went with a large host to Leinster to appoint a king over them, that is Bran, son of Faolan. After that Fearna Maodhog was plundered by the Lochlonnaigh and Mungairid and many churches in Urmhumha were burned by them; and similarly Cill Dara was plundered by the Lochlonnaigh. It was about this time that the crews of sixty ships came from Normandy to the Boyne, and forty ships to the river Lithfe, and that fleetful plundered Magh Lithfe, that is the county of Ath Cliath, and Magh Breagh, that is Fine Ghall, their churches, fortresses and dwellings.

After this the Lochlonnaigh won a battle over the Ui Neill at Inbhear na mBarc, between the Sionainn and the sea, wherein many fell though only their chief leaders are mentioned; and Inis Cealltra and Cluain Mic Nois and all the churches of Loch Eirne were burned by the Lochlonnaigh.

It was about this time that Feidhlimidh, son of Criomhthann, was king of Munster and archbishop of Leath Mogha, and he went to plunder Leath Cuinn from Biorra to Teamhair Bhreagh, and he was detained at Teamhair; and Innreachtach, son of Maolduin, was slain by Feidhlimidh's party at Teamhair, and soon after that Feidhlimidh, son of Criomhthann, died, having been then twenty seven years king of Munster; and the character the Leabhar Irsi gives of him is: "the excellent, wise man and anchorite of the Scots, rested in peace."[503] From this it is to be inferred that Feidhlimidh, son of Criomhthann, was a wise and pious man in his own time.

This Feidhlimidh made the circuit of Leath Cuinn, and paid the rents that by law its kings were entitled to from the king of Cashel -- while they gave the food-supply that they were bound to give in exchange for them -- and the wages that the kings of Cashel were bound to pay to the kings of Leath Cuinn and to the kings of Leinster, and to the chief territorial lords that were under them, as St. Beinen, son of Seiscnen, primate of Ireland, sets it down in the Book of Rights in the poem which begins: Every king is entitled to get from the king of Cashel. Now the following are the rent and wages of these kings from the king of Cashel, and his circuit amongst them and his seasons for getting provisions from them on the occasion of it; a hundred swords, a hundred goblets, a hundred steeds and a hundred mantles for the king of Cruachain, and provision for two quarters from the king of Cruachain for the king of Cashel, and that he should escort him to Tir Chonaill; twenty bracelets or rings, twenty chess-boards, twenty steeds for the king of Cineal Conaill, and provision for a month from the king of Cineal Conaill, and that he should escort him to Tir Eoghain; fifty goblets, fifty swords for the king of Oileach, and provision for a month, and that he should escort him to Tulach Og; thirty goblets, thirty swords for the prince of Tulach Og, provision for twelve days from him for the king of Munster, and that he should escort him to Oirghialla; eight coats of mail, three score tunics and three score steeds for the king of Oirghialla, and provision for him for a month in Eamhain, and that he should escort him to Ulster to the clann Rudhruighe; a hundred goblets, a hundred mantles, a hundred swords, a hundred steeds and ten ships for the king of Ulster and provision for two months from the clann Rudhruighe for him, and that he should escort him to Tara; thirty coats of mail, thirty rings, a hundred steeds and thirty chess-boards for the king of Tara, and provision for a month from the king of Tara for him and the four tribes of Tara to escort him to Ath Cliath; ten women, ten ships, ten steeds for the king of Ath Cliath and provision for a month for him from the king of Ath Cliath, and that he should escort him to Leinster; thirty cows, thirty ships, thirty steeds, thirty female slaves or maidens for the king of Leinster, and provision for two months for him from Leinster, to wit, a month from Upper Leinster and a month from Lower Leinster; thirty steeds, thirty coats of mail, thirty swords for the chief for Lower Leinster from the king of Cashel.

Understand, O reader, that I am not the author of these things, but St. Beinen, as is plain from the Book of Rights.[504]

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