Muircheartach's Circuit of Ireland

Muircheartach 'of the Leather Cloaks'

Cormacan the Poet, son of Maolbrigid,
the Chief Bard, Cecinit.

He died, Anno Dom. D.CCCC.XLVL

[Translator's notes: "Cormacan, the Poet, who died in the year 948, was the chief poet of the North of Ireland, and the friend and follower of Muircheartach or Murtogh, commonly called Muircheartach of the Leather Cloaks, from the circumstance of his having provided coverings of leather for his soldiers on the expedition to which this poem relates. Written in 942 A.D."]

[the following legend was inserted in the Leabhar Gabhala, as a sort of introduction to the poem]

"The Desies were slaughtered by Callaghan, King of Cashel, and by the men of Munster, for their having submitted to Muircheartach, the son of Niall; on which occasion two thousand of them were slain. After this, Muircheartach assembled the races of Conall and Eoghan, and the inhabitants of all the north, at Aileach, so that he selected ten hundred of the chosen champions of the north. This was the manner in which he selected them. he erected a tent on the green, and placed a furious hound at one jamb of the door, and a man with a broad spear at the other jamb; the hound flew from the jamb at the person who passed into the tent, and the man with the spear wounded him from the other jamb. If the man to be chosen shrunk from these two attacks, he was not to go on the expedition, but if he did not, he was chosen and placed aside among the elect. There were found among the entire number assembled but one thousand armed men who did not take fright and dread at this trial of courage.

With these he set out on his expedition, keeping his left hand to the sea; he proceeded first to Ulidia, where he remained three nights, and took their King Loingseach with him as a hostage. He proceeded from thence to Dublin, where he raised tributes from the Danes, and carried off Sitric, King of the Danes, as a hostage. He went next to Leinster, and carried away Lorcan, King of the Province. He went thence to the Momonians, and carried away Callaghan, King of Cashel, in captivity. He afterwards proceeded to Connaught and carried away Conchobhar, the son of Tadgh, King of Connaught, and then returned to Aileach. The Kinel-Owen then advised him to attack the southern Hy-Niall, and to dethrone Donnchadh, who was then King of Tara. No, said Muircheartach, it behooves us not to do so unless by his own consent, and let out hostages, said he, be conveyed to Donnchadh, to Tara. After this the hostages were given to Donnchadh for a while.

Corbmacan Eigeas, who was on this expedition, has spun out the thread of this story, on which he sung the following poem."

         O Muircheartach, son of valiant Niall!
         Thou hast taken the hostages of Inis Fail;
         Thou has brought them all into Aileach,
         Into the stone built Grianan of Steeds,
         Thou didst go forth from us with a thousand heroes
         Of the race of Eoghan of red weapons,
         To make the great circuit of all Erin,
         O Muircheartach of the yellow hair!

                 [Inis Fail: an ancient name for Ireland]

         Whereas no longer lives Cuchullin, the comely,
         The beautiful foster-son of the just Conchobhar;
         On thee has descended the renown of his shield,
         O son of the son of Aedh Finnliath!

                 [Cuchullin:  i.e., the Cuthulllin of Mac Pherson,
                 the most celebrated hero of the Red Branch in
                 [Conchobhar: i.e., Connor mac Nessa, King of Ulster]

         If Fergus Mac Roich were living
         (to whom Meadbh gave respect and honou5r),
         He would not be thy superior in valour,
         O Muircheartach of the great steeds!

                 [Fergus Mac Roich:  King of Ulster]
                 [Meadbh: Queen Meadbh of the Tain bo Cuailgne]

         If Curoi of the oars were living,
         (O good son! O Mariner!)
         He would become subject to thee, with his house,
         Even Curoi Mac Daire of the fair hands.

                 [Curoi:  Curoi Mac Daire, King of the Deagads, of Munster;
                 celebrated in the ancient tales for his travels into foreign

         The day that thou didst set out from us eastwards,
         Into the fair province of Conchobhar,
         Many were the tears down beauteous cheeks
         Among the fair-haired women of Aileach.

                  [Province of Conchobhar: i.e., Ulster, from Connor mac
                   Nessa, King of Ulster]

         We were a night at Oenach-cros;-
         (Not more delightful to be in Paradise),-
         We brought Loingseach of Line
         From the midst of that land of promise.

                  [Oenach-cros: or Aonach cros, the Fair of Crosses; a celebrated
                  place in the county of Antrim]
                  [Loingseach:  the chieftain of Line or Magh Line, the Plain of Line,
                  in the county of Antrim; seized as a hostage by Muircheartach]

         We were a night at Dun-Eachdach,
         With the white-handed warlike band;
         We carried the King of Uladh with us
         In the great circuit we made of all Ireland.

                  [Dun-Eachdach: Dunaghy, a townland and parish on the banks of the
                   river Fregabhail (now Ravel) in the county of Antrim]
                  [Uladh: counties of Down and Antrim]

        We were a night at the level Magh Rath;
        A night at the bright Glinn Righe;
        A night at Casan Linne;
        It was a hard night of good light.

                   [Magh Rath: now Moira, a parish and town in the county of Down]
                   [Glinn Righe: the vale of the Newry river which divides the
                   counties of Down and Armagh]
                   [Casan Linne: the ancient name for the Rive Lagan, in the county
                   of Down]

        A night at the clear Ath Gabhla;
        On the morrow we passed over Breagh-mhagh.
        We found frost on the snow,
        On the delightful fair Magh n-Ealta.

                   [Ath Gahla:  the ford of Gabhla, on the Rver Boyne, near
                    Knowth, in the County Meath]
                   [Breagh-mhagh: otherwise called Magh Breagh, the country between
                    Dublin and Drogheda]
                   [Magh n-Ealta: the ancient name for the territory lying between
                    Dublin and the Hill of Howth (Clontarf was said to have been
                    within Magh n-Ealta]

         We were a night at fair Ath-cliath;
         (It was not pleasing to the Galls,)-
         There was a damsel in the strong fortress
         Whose soul the son of Niall was;
         She came forth until she was outside the walls,
         Although the night was constantly bad.

                   [Ath-cliath: the Irish name for Dublin; the ford of hurdles or the
                    town of the ford of hurdles]
                   [the Galls: i.e, the Danes; a word originally applied to the Gauls,
                    a colony of whom, from the coast of France, settled in Ireland
                    under Labhra Loingseach; came to signify foreign invaders, later
                    applied to the English]

         A plentiful supply from an abundant store was given,
         to Muircheartach, the son of Niall,
         Of bacon, of fine good wheat,
         Together with penalties for bloodshed in red gold.

         Joints of meat, and fine cheese, were given
         By the very good, the very beautiful Queen;
         And there was given with liberality
         A coloured mantle for every chieftain.

         We carried off with us Sitric the wealthy;
         To me was assigned the duty of keeping him;
         And there was not put upon him a manacle,
         Nor polished tight fetter.

                     [Sitric: possibly the brother of Godfrey, King of Dublin in 948,
                      and the son of Sitric, King of Dublin, who slew Muircheartach's
                      father, Nial Glundubh, in 919]

        We were a night at Liamhain;
        There were many in pursuit behind us,
        The Lagenians who assembled at Glen-Mama,
        and the comely race of Kennsealach.

                      [Liamhain: Dun Liamhna, an ancient seat of the Kings of
                       Leinster (now Dunlavan, in the county of Wicklow, 21 miles
                       S.W. from Dublin]
                      [Glen-Mama: the name of a valley near Dunlavan, in the county
                       of Wicklow]
                      [race of Kennsealach: descendants of Enna Kennsellach, King of
                       Leinster in the 4th century; their territory comprised
                       the county of Wexford, part of Wicklow, and a portion of Carlow]

         A conspiracy ws formed against us at Glen-Mama,
         By the Lagenians very boldly,
         But they durst not approach us,
         When the bright day came.

         We were a night at the cold Aillinn;
         The snow came from the north-east;
         Our only houses, without distinction of rank,
         Were our strong leather cloaks.

                      [Aillin: Another seat of the Kings of Leinster, in the county
                       of Kildare]
         Lorcan, descendant of Bresal of the cows,
         We carried off with us; - I speak no falsehood, -
         A rought bright fetter was fastened
         Upon that Arch-king of populous Leinster.

                      [Lorcan: the King of Leinster in 943 A.D.]

         A night we passed at Beallach Mughna;
         We did not wet our fine hair;
         The snow was on the ground before us
         In the noisy Bealach Gabhran.

                      [Beallach Mughna: now Ballaghmoon, the the south of the county
                       Kildare, near Carlow]
                      [Beallach Gabhran: the road or pass of Gabhran, now Gowran, in
                       the east of the county of Kilkenny]

         We were a night at the clear Fliodais;
         We received food and ale,
         And hogs were sent to our camp,
         By the hospitable chiefs of Ossory.

                       [Fliodais: the name of a river in Ossory, the name now
                       [Ossory: Muircheartach received this attention from the people
                        of Ossory because he was married to Dubhdara, the daughter of
                        the chief of that territory]

         The reward of their hospitality was given to them,
         To the men of Ossory in the Assembly; -
         Not a man of them returned to his house
         Without a beautriful present of dress.

         We were a night at the cold Magh Airbh,
         At the wells of the long-lived Britan;
         A night at the plain of Doire-mor,
         Where we received our due honour.

                        [Magh Airbh: a plain in Ossory, in the N.W. of the county
                         of Kilkenny]
                        [Britan: the wells or springs of Britan, now Tuddbridbritain,
                         in the county of Kilkenny]
                        [Doire-mor: the plain of Doire Mor; in the territory of Ely,
                         not far from Roscrea, in the King's County, part of the
                         territory of Ely O'Carroll]

         Coigny and tribute were offered,
         With cheerfulness and with willingness,
         By the Desies and the good men of Munster;
         Their upright chieftains waited on us.

                         [coigny: a feast or refection]

         We were a night in Magh Feimin,
         Assuredly and certainly,
         A night at Cashel of Munster;
         There the great injury was inflicted on the men of Munster.

                         [Magh Feimin: a plain in the S.E. of the county of
                         [injury: i.e, the men of Munster sustained a great injury
                          in giving up their prince, who considered himself a greater
                          man than Muircheartach, since he was King of all the south
                          of Ireland, and Muircheatach's enemy]

         There were arrayed against us three batalions brave,
         Impetuous, red, tremendous,
         so that each party confronted the other,
         In the centre of the great plain.

                          [great plain: the great plain of Cashel]

         We cast our cloaks off us,
         As became the subjects of a good king;
         The comely, the bright Muircheartach was at this time
         engaged in playing his chess.

         The hardy Callaghan said, -
         (And to us it was victory), -
         "O men of Munster! men of renown!
         Oppose not the race of Eoghan.

                          {Callaghan: Callaghan 'the just', King of Munster]

         Better that I go with them, as a hostage,
         Than that we should all be driven to battle;
         They will kill man for man,
         The noble people of Muircheartach."

         We took with us therefore Callaghan the just,
         Who received his due honour,
         Namely, a ring of fifteen ounces on his hand,
         And a chain of iron on his stout leg.

         We were a night all together
         In the plain of the Hy-Cairbre;
         Our only shelter, our only woods
         Were our strong leather cloaks.

                         [Hy-Cairbre: the plain extending from the River Shannon
                          towords Kilmallock, in the county of Limerick]

         Music we had on the plain and in our tents,
         Listening to its strains we danced awhile
         There methinks a heavy noise was made,
         By the shaking of our hard cloaks.

         A night at the barren of Cill-Da-Lua;
         We next turned our faces towards Leath-Cuinn;
         A night at the strong Ceann-Coradh;
         A night at Luimneach of the azure stream.

                         [Cill-Da-Lua: the church of St. Dalua or Luanus, now the town
                         of Killaloe, on the Shannon, in the county of Clare]
                         [Leath-Cuinn: Conn's Half, i.e., the north of Ireland]
                         [Ceann-Coradh: now Kincora, the name of a hill in the present
                         town of Killaloe - the site of the palace of Brian Boru, monarch
                         of Ireland]
                         [Luimneach: the Irish name for the City of Limerick - originally
                         the name of that part of the River Shannon extending from the
                         city of Limerick to its mouth]

         We were a night at Ath-Caille,
         On the very brink of the Shannon:
         I did not meet, since I left my home,
         A pass like unto Cretshalach.

                          [Ath-Caille: i.e, Woodford.  probably the ancient name of some
                           place near Dunass or O'Brien's Bridge, between Limerick and
                          [Cretshalach: now Cratlagh, in the county of Clare, 4 miles
                           N. and W. of the city of Limerick; the ancient road or pass
                           of Cratlagh ran over a steep hill]

         A night at Sliabh-Suidhe-an-riogh,
         Where we put away all our anxiety;
         We were unable to warm ourselves
         On the beautiful cold Magh-Adhair.

                          [Slabh-Suidhe-an-riogh: a mountain; called the mountain of
                           the death of the king; now called the Cratlagh Mountain]
                          [Magh-Ahdair: a place in Thomond where the Dalcassian 
                           Princes were inaugurated, in the county of Clare]

        We were a night at the bright Loch Riach,
        With Muircheartach the son of Niall;
        A night at Meadha Seola,
        With Muircheartach the ever-vigorous.

                           [Loch Riach: now Loughrea, a town in the county of Galway]
                           [Meadha Seola: Now a very conspicuous hill near Castle-Hackett,
                           in the county of Galway]

        We found at Ath-Mac-Cing
        The Kings of Connaught awaiting us;
        Gold and silver were given
        to the handsome great band of many coloured garments.

                           [Ath-Mac-CIng: ancient Irish name for the town of Headford,
                           in the county of Galway]

       Conchobhar the son of Tadhg, the bull-like,
       The arch-king of Connaught, exceeding brave,
       Came with us, as a hostage, without a bright fetter,
       Into the gren palace of Aileach.

                          [Conchobhar: the ancestor of the O'Connors of Connaught]

       A night on the green Magh-Ai;
       Another night at Rath-Guaire;
       Delightful was the night, - I will not conceal it,
       On which we were at Srath-an-fhiren.

                          [Magh-Ai: a plain in the county of Roscommon]
                          [Rath-Guaire: Irish name of Rathwire, a village in the county
                           of Westmeath]
                          [Srath-an-fhiren: the strath, or meadow, of the just man.
                           location now unknown]

      We were a night at the rapid Suil Daimh,
      With Muircheartach the son of Niall;
      And we were not defeated,
      through the valour with which we fought.

                           [Suil Daimh: Suil, a circular whirlpool in a river; location
      We were a night at Ath-Seanaigh,
      Without treachery, and without guile;
      Dinner sufficient for an hundred, to be distributed  to every twenty,
      We received from the brave race of Conall.

                           [Ath-Seanaigh: the ford of Seanach, now Ballyshannon, a town
                           on the River Erne, in the county of Donegal]
                           [race of Conall: descendants of Conall Gulban, son of Nial
                            of the Nine Hostages, the ancient chiefs of which were
                            the O'Muldorrys and the O'Canannanns, and later the

     We were a night at the everlasting Bearnas,
     And it was delightful to out army:
     We were a night, before reaching our home,
     At Lig Inghine Laoidhigh.

                           [Bearnas: a gap, or chasm, still the name of a gap in a
                            mountain about five miles to the east of the town of
                           [Lig Inghine Laoidhigh: unknown]

     We were a night at the green Magh-glas;
     On the morrow we reached our home to drink the goblets,
     There was noise of rejoicing, with glory,
     In they great house O Muircheartach.

                            [Magh-glas: the green plain, a name of a level tract
                             in the barony of Raphoe and county of Donegal]

     From the green Lochan na n-each
     A page was despatched to Aileach
     To tell Dubhdiare of the black hair,
     To send women to cut rushes.

                            [Lochan na n-each: the small lake of the horses, location
                             now unknown]
                            [to cut rushes: lit., to send women into the rushes; to cut
                             rushes to strew the floors, and perhaps to make beds for
                             the soldiers]

    "Rise up O'Dubhdiare," (spake the page),
    "Here is company coming to thy house,
    Attend each man of them
    As a monarch should be attended."

    "Tell to me," what company comes hither,
    To the lordly Aileach-Rigreann,
    Tell me, O fair page,
    That I may attend them."

                             [Aileach-Rigreann: the palace of Aileach was so called
                              from Rigreann, or Frigreann, the architect, by whom it was
                              erected towards the latter end of the third century]

    "The kings of Erin in fetter,"
    "With Muircheartach son of warlike Niall,
    Ten hundred heroes of distinguished valour
    Of the race of the fierce fair Eoghan."

    The Son of the living God was pleased
    With Muircheartach, the son of Niall;
    Long in possession of the sovereignty of Banba
    Be the descendant of Naill Frasach, the most valiant.

                              [Banba: an ancient name for Ireland]

    The noble kings were attended
    According to the pleasure of the race of Niall,
    Without sorrow, without gloom in the house,
    As if they had been clerics.

    Ten score hogs - no small work, -
    Ten score cows, two hundred oxen,
    Were alughtered at the festive Aileach,
    For Muircheartach of the great fetters.

    Three score vats of curds,
    Which banished the hungry look of the army,
    With a sufficiency of cheering mead
    Were given by the magnanimous Muircheartach.

    Twelve vats of choice mead
    Were given to the kings of Eren,
    The dinner of an hundred of each kind of food, nobly
    Was given gratuitously to them from the Queen.

    Sabia of Ballagh-Gabhran, district of glens,
    Has surpassed the women of Erin,
    In chastity, in wisdom, in purity,
    In giving, in bestowing.

                         [Sabia of Ballagh-Gabhran: i.e., the road or pass of Gowran
                          in Ossary; probably the mother of Dubhdara, Queen of Aileach;
                          the name is anglicised Sarah, or Sally]

    The blessing of every man with a tongue
    Be on the good, great daughter of Kellach;
    And the blessing of the pure and glorious Christ
    Be on the daughter of the King of Ossory.

                         [Kellach: the King of Ossory; slain in 908 A.D.]

    I have not seen in South or North,
    Throughout all Erin of red weapons,
    I have not seen in "WEst or East
    A woman like thy wife O Muircheartach.

    While the kings of battles were detained
    In the lordly Aileach Frigreann,
    They receiverd no coigne from any one else
    Except from the good Dubhdiare the black-haired.
    O Dubhdaire, it is not better
    That any other youth than myself should be thankful;
    God and man go thankful from the house
    Of Dubhdaire, descendant of Tighernach.

    The reward of her penteous ale was given
    To the lovely, modest-faced Dubhdaire,
    Out of the plunder of the cold Dalaradia,
    In gold, in oxen, in good cows.

    Twenty cows for every cow, nobly,
    Twenty oxen for every one ox,
    Twenty hogs for every hog, - a good return, -
    Were given to Dubhdaire, by Muircheartach.

    At the end of five months, - a noble work, -
    The kings were led out on the plain,
    To be brought to Donnchadh, the son of Flann,
    To the great and splendid King of Meath.

                   [Donnchadh, son of Flann:  at this time the Monarch of Ireland,
                    although here called the King of Meath]

    "Here are the noble kings for thee."
    Said Muircheartach, the son of Niall,
    "For thou, O Donnchadh, it is certain to me,
    Art the best man of the men of Erin."

    "Thou art better now thyself, O King!
    With thee no one can vie;
    It is thou who didst take captive the noble kings,
    O Muircheartach, son of great Niall!"

    "Thou art better thyself, O Donnchadh the black-haired!
    Than any man in our land,
    Whoever is in strong Tara
    He it is that is monarch of Erin."

    "Receive my blessing, nobly,
    O son of Niall Glundubh, bright, pure,
    May Tara be possessed by thee,
    O prince of the bright Loch Feabhail!

                     [Loch Feabhail: Lough Foyle, in the county of Donegal]

    "May thy race possess Magh Breagh,
    May they possess white-sided Tara,
    May the hostages of the Gael by in thy house,
    O good son, O Muircheartach!

                     [Magh Breagh: to get possession of Magh Breagh is another mode
                      of saying to become Monarch of Ireland; for the regal palace of
                      Tara was situated in the plain of Magh Breagh]

                     [Tara: Tara was not inhabited at this period, nor had it been
                      since the sixth century; but the chiefs of the southern Hy-Niall
                      family when they became monarchs continued to be styled kings of
                      Tara, because that was a phrase understood to mean Monarch of
           Extracts from the Annals

921        A fleet of the Foreigners in Loch-Febhail (Lough Foyle),
           viz., Acolb with thirty-two ships.  Cen-rig in Inis-Eogain
           was abandoned by them quickly and entirely; a few
           remaining there, through laziness.  Fergal son of Domnall,
           King of the Fochla, in enmity towards them, so that he killed
           the crew of one of the ships, and broke the ship, and took
           its spoil.  Another fleet in Cenn-Maghair, on the coast
           of Tir-Conaill, i.e., the son of Uathmaran son of Barith,
           with twenty ships.  The plunder inf Ard-Macha on the 4th
           of the Ices of November, by the Foreigners of Ath-cliath,
           viz., by Gothfrith grandson of Imar, with his army, on the
           Saturday before the feast of St. Martin.  And the houses
           of prayer, with their company of Celi-De and of sick, were
           protected by him, and the church besides, except a few houses
           in it which were burnt through negligence.  An extensive
           devastation by them on every side, i.e., westwards to Unis-
           Ui-Labhradha; eastwards to the Bann; northwards to Magh-
           Nillsen.  But Muirchertach Mac Neill, and Aignert son of
           Murchad, met the army [that went] northwards, who were
           defeated and lost a great many, a few escaping by the aid
           of the glimmering of night.

926        A victory by Muirchertach Mac Neill over Foreigners at
           Snamh-Aignech, where 200 were beheaded.

           The fleet of Loch-Cuan took up [a position] at Linn-Uachaill,
           viz., Alpthann son of Gothfrith, the day before the Nones
           of September.  A victory gained by Muirchertach Mac Neill,
           at the bridge of Cluain-na-Cruimther, on Thursday, the 5th
           of the Kalends of Janurary, where Alpthann son of Gothfrith
           was killed with a great slaughter of his army.  Half of them
           were beseiged for a week at Ath-Cruithne, until Gothfrith, 
           King of the Foreigners, came from Ath-claith to their aid.

927        Goach, the son of Dubh-Roa, lord of Cianachta Glinne Gehin, was
           slain by Muircheartach, the son of Niall.

           Donnchadh, the grandson of Maoileachlainn, was prevented from
           celebrating the fair of Taillteann by Muircheartach, the son of
           Niall, in consequence of a challenge of battle which was between
           them; but God separated them without slaughter or bloodshed.

929        A hosting by Donnchad to Liath-druim, against the son of Niall.

                Let some one say to Donnchad the brown,
                To the bulwark of plundering clans,
                That though Liath-druim is before him,  
                There is an angry fellow there.

932        Earl Torulb was killed by the son of Nial.

933        A victory by Fergal, son of Domnall, son of Aedh, and by
           Sichfridh son of Uathmaran, i.e., the son of Domnall's
           daughter, over Muirchertach son of Nial, and over Conaing,
           in Magh-Uatha, where was slain Maelgarbh, King of Derlas,
           and Conmal, King of Tuaith-achaidh, and 200 others.

           A victory by Conaing, son of Niall, over the Ulidians at
           Rubha-Conchongalt, in which 300 persons or more were
           slain.  Matudhan son of Aedh, with the Province of Ireland,
           and with the Foreigners, when they plundered as far as
           Slibh-Betha westwards, and southwards to Mucnamh; but
           Muirchertach son of Niall met them, and defeated them;
           and they left 240 heads, and their spoils.

938        Fergal son of Domnall, King of Ailech, died.  A challenge
           of battle between Donnchad son of Flann, and Muirchertach 
           son of Niall, until God pacified them.

           A hosting by Donnchad Ua Maelsechlainn, King of Temhair, 
           and by Muirchertach son of Niall, King of Ailech, to besiege 
           the foreigners of Ath-cliath, when they devastated from 
           Ath-cliath to Ath-Truisten.

939        Demolition of Ailech against Muirchertach son of Niall,
           who was carried off to the fleet; but he was afterwards
           redeemed.  A hosting by Donnchad into Bregh, when
           Finnabhair-abha was plundered, and the priest slain on 
           the floor of the church, and others besides.

940        A hosting by Donnchadh and Muirchertach to the Leinstermen
           and Munstermen, whose pledges respectively they brought. 

           Niall, son of Fergal, was wounded and drowned, i.e., by
           Muirchertach son of Niall.  Flann, daughter of Donnchad,
           queen of Aileach, died.  A depredation by Donnchad in
           Bregh, when he destroyed Lann-lere.

942       A hosting by Muirchertach, when he ravaged Midhe and 
           Ui-Failghi, and went into Osraighi, and obtained
           his demand from them; and he ravaged the Deisi, and 
           brought with him Cellachan, King of Caisel, in subjection
           to Donnchad.  Maelruanaigh, son of Flann, (i.e., royal-heir
           of Ailech), was killed by the Cinel-Conaill.

943        Muircertach, son of Naill (i.e., Muircertach, "of the 
           Leather cloaks"), King of Ailech, and the Hector of the
           West of the World, was killed by Gentiles, on a Sunday,
           the 4th of the kalends of March (i.e., by Blacair son of
           Gofraidh, King of the Dubh-Gail, at Glas-Liathain, by the
           side of Cluain-cain of Fera-Rois).

                Vengeance and ruin have fallen
                On the Race of Clann-Cuinn for ever.
                As Muircertach does not live, alas!
                The country of the Gaedhil will ever be an orphan.