A Faked Pedigree?
99 Aedh Finleith | 100 Neill Glundubh +919 | 101 Muirchertach na gCochall gCraicinn +943 | 102 Domnall Ard Macha +980 |_____________________________________________ | | | 103 Muirdoch Aedh 'of Craeb Tulcha 103 Muirchertach | +1004 d. 977 | | 104 Lochlan 104 Flaithbertach 'an Trostain' | +1036 | | 105 Ardgar MacLochlainn 105 Aedh Athlaman d. 1064 d. 1033 | | 106 Domnall MacLochlainn 106 Domhnall an Trogdam Ua Neill d. 1121 | | | 107 Nial MacLochlainn 107 Flaithbertach Locha Hodha Ua Neill d. 1119 | | | 108 Muirchertach MacLochlainn 108 Conchobhar na Fiodhbhadh Ua Neill sl. 1166, b. at Armagh | |__________________________ | | | | 109 Muirchertach MacLochlainn Nial 109 Tadhg an Glinne s. 1196 1167 | | (divided Tyrone | | with Aedh Ua Neill) | | | 110 Domnall MacLochlainn 110 Muirchertach Magh Line (Lughadh) sl. 1241 Caim Eirge +1160 sl. 1241 Battle of Caim Eirge | | 111 Aedh an Macaomh Toinleasc Divided Tyrone with Nial MacLochlainn 1167 | 112 Neill Ruadh O'Neill 1223 | | 113 Brian Catha Duinn 1241 Battle of Caim Eirge +1260 Battle of Druim Dearg
Aodh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill, the competitor to Nial MacLochlainn with whom the kingdom of Tryone was divided in 1167, appears two generations later than Nial in the pedigrees. Brian of Catha Duinn, the competitor to Domnall MacLochlainn at the Battle of Caim Eirge in 1241, appears three generations later than Domnall in the pedigrees.
O Ceallaigh points out as well that according to the Lebor Eoghanach, this Aodh 'the lazy youth' could only have been about six or seven years old when he managed to break into the MacLochlainn succession of the kingdom of Aileach in 1167. According to the L.E., Aodh was born after the death of his father in 1160 A.D.
His father's death is probably evidenced by the annal entry of 1160:
1160[AU] The defeat of Magh-Lughad was inflicted by the Cenel-Eogain
of Telach-og upon Ua Gailmredhaigh and upon Domnall Ua Cricain
and upon the Ui-Fiacrach, so that a large party of them were
killed. And it is on that occasion Muircertach Ua Neill fell
innocently [i.e., undesignedly] by Lochlann Ua Lachlainn, but
so that in revenge of him Lochlann fell afterwards by the son
of Ua Neill.
In the pedigrees Aodh's father is called 'Magh Line', spelled Magh Lughan in the L.E. O Ceallaigh himself is puzzled by the description.
"The Magh Line of Muircheartach's designation is spelt Magh Lughan by L.E. - with confusing results, for there was a district in the older Ui Thuirtre, west of the Bann, called Magh Lughad."
But the nickname probably should be "Magh Lughad," after the battle in which Muirchertach was killed in 1160.
O Ceallaigh actually says Aodh was sixteen years old at the time of his succession to power - but the partition of Aileach occurred in 1167, which would make him instead 6 or seven years old at the time. O Ceallaigh probably based his statement on when Aodh was recognised as the King of the Cinel Eoghainn in the Annals, which occurred in 1176 just prior to his death in 1177.
The L.E. persists in making Aodh 'the lazy youth' a very young child in 1160. It also contains a brief story of how he obtained his nickname after being visited by Muirchertach MacLochlainn, who died in 1166.
"There is more relish in the story told in L.E. as to how Aodh got his nick-name. His father (killed by MacLochlainn in 1160) was called of Magh Line. The father was married to the daughter of O Floinn Line, ruler of Ui Thuirtre, which, by now, was on the eastern side of the Bann, and extended from Tuaim towards Carraic Fearghuis. This is where Magh Line and Rath Line were. The child Aodh was born after his father's death. MacLochlainn came questing afterwards to O Floinnn's house, and met the boy, who did not show due respect to the visitor by leaving his chair. "Is toinleasg an macaomh," said MacLochlainn - "Oh! thou tardy to arise" (but perhaps, as was common, he got the name, by antiphrasis, by reason of his sense of dash and despatch). Howbeit, O Floinn secreted his grandson and saved him, and (following L.E.) the latter can only have been 16 years of age when he broke down the MacLochlainn jurisdiction and established possibilities for his own family."
Aodh could have been no older than five or six years old in this tale - which is plausible - except for the fact that a year or so later we are supposed to believe that he shared the partitioned kingdom of Ailech with Nial MacLochlainn in 1167.
The dating of Aodh's birth in the L.E. was probably a clumsy attempt to reconcile the difference in the generations all too apparent in the pedigrees of Muirchertach MacLochlainn and the O Neills.
If we now examine the generation given for Brian 'catha duinn' O Neill - the competitor of Domnall 'of Caim Eirge' in 1241 - the results are even more outlandish. If Domnall MacLochlainn and Brian Catha Duinn had been in the same line, their relationship would have been one of a son to his great-grandfather! It is incomprehensible how these two pedigrees could be so far off in the time span covered. O Ceallaigh speculated that a few extra names, perhaps of brothers, had crept into the pedigree of the O'Neills by mistake.
The pedigreees are in reasonable alignment as late as line 105, i.e,. Ardgar MacLochlainn and Aodh Athlaman, 1064 vs. 1033. Aodh Athlaman died before his father in 1033. But within a hundred years (1064 to 1167) the pedigrees have diverged by two to three generations. Assuming a genealogical average of 3 generations per hundred years, this is statistically almost impossible. The pedigree of the O'Neills is fully traceable from Aodh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill, so if there are added names in the pedigree, as O Ceallaigh speculates, they should be found within the stretch of the earlier O'Neill ancestors who do not appear in the Annals.
O Ceallaigh also pointed out other major problems with the pedigree of the O Neills. According to O Ceallaigh, the Lebor Eoghanach states that Aodh Athlaman was the "last of his race."
"Of the four persons carrying the family back to Flaithbertach's son, Aedh Allan, not one, as far as I can see, is mentioned in the annals. Not even their orbits are recorded. This fact in itself would arouse misgivings. For six generations in sequence the family depends upon a single individual to maintain the succession; no brothers or uncles are mentioned, and L.E. expressly states that Aodh was the last of his race."
It's difficult to see how the O'Neills could have been descended from someone who was the last of his race!
The key question here is of course: Did Aedh Athlaman have a son named Domnall an trogdam Ua Neill, as the O Neill pedigree states?
The traditional pedigree of the O Neills makes its first appearance in the Books of Ballymote and Lecan, both written ca. 1400 A.D. The Rawlinson B.502 MS. does have a pedigree for Flaithbertach an Trostain; the purported ancestor of the O Neills - but the pedigree mentions only Neill as a son of Flaithbertach.
Rawlinson B.502 (1120 AD)
Genelach Clainne Domnaill Aed item: m. Neill Aed m. Mael-Sechnaill m. Neill m. Mael-ruanaidh m. Flaithbertaich [an trostain] m. Flaind m. Murchertaich m. Domnaill m. Domnaill m. Aeda Findleith m. Murchertaich m. Neill Caille m. Neill Glunduib m. Aeda Findleith Book of Lecan 1390 A.D. Neill oig (1397-1403) m. Neill Mor (1364-97 abd; d. 1398) m. Aodh (1345-64) m. Domnall (1283-86 dep; 1290-91 dep; 1295-1325) m. Brian (1238-60) m. Neill ruadh (d. 1223) m. Aodh (d. 1177) m. Muirchertach (s. 1160) m. Tadg m. Concobar m. Flaithbertach m. Domnall m. Aodh (ATHLOAN m. Flaithbertach m. Muirchertach* m. Domnall m. Muirchertach m. Neill glundubh Book of Ballymote 1390 A.D. Neill Mor m. Aeda m. Donaill m. Brian Cata m. Neill m. Aeda m. Muirchertaigh m. Tadg GL. m. Concobar na fiod m. Flaithbertach L.A. m. Donaill m. Aeda Atloan m. Flaithbertach m. Muirchertaigh m. Donaill m. Muirchertaigh na cc m. Neill GL.Until recently the above pedigrees of the O'Neills in the Books of Ballymote and Lecan have been our only examples of the O'Neill pedigree in Irish manuscript. This has made it difficult or impossible to analyse the pedigree, given the lack of corroborating annal entries. A recent find from the G2 manuscript in the National Library alters the equation in significant fashion. It is dated to c. 1350 A.D., earlier than or at worst contemporary with Ballymote and Lecan, and equaly authoritative. The pedigree ends with Aeda Mor (1345-64).
G2 MS fol. 9v (National Library)Aeda Mor
briain [d. 1260]
aeda risinabairti in mc am toinlesg [d. 1177]
murcertaigh muighi lughan
concobair na figdha
flaithbertqich locha hadha
domnaill .i. intogdhamh
Murceartach na co^coll criceann
There are several oddities in this pedigree, the first of which is that the O'Neills are made to descend from Aedh Mor, son of Domnall 'of Armagh', no doubt Aedh 'of Craebh Tulcha', who died in 1004. Secondly, Domnall 'of Armagh' is described as an t-ogdam, or 'the young oxe,' an appelation we find in other manuscripts reserved for Domhnall, the son of Aedh Athlaman. Thirdly, the pedigree also contains the names of Flaithbertach an Trostain and his son, Aedh Athlaman, neither of whom descend from Aedh 'of Craebh Tulcha.'
There is some support for the idea that the O'Neills were descendants of Aedh 'of Craebh Tulcha' in Irish manuscripts.
The Poems of Giolla Brigdhe MacCon Midhe
Giolla Brigdhe MacCon Midhe, the bard of first the MacLochlainns and later the O'Neills after 1241, wrote a poem commemorating the death of Brian Catha Duinn Ua Neill, beheaded in the Battle of Downpatrick in 1160. He was a contemporary witness to the events of 1160 and his account predates the Books of Lecan and Ballymote by 140 years.
One stanza of the poem appears below:78. Beloved was both trunk and branch: great O Neill and his son;
alas, they were a noble pair, Domhnall and Aodh of Aileach.
This stanza can only refer to Domnall 'of Armagh' and his son, Aedh 'of Craeb Tulcha.' It describes Aedh as a branch of the Ua Neills in descent from Domnall 'of Armagh' (the trunk.)
Can we take this trunk and branch statement from this poem as a possible indication of Brian O'Neill's descent? In not why would the poet have bothered to include it in his poem to Brian Ua Neill?
The Poem of 1425Excerpts from a poem written by Tuathal O hUiginn (O'Hogan)
shortly after 1425 for Enri O Neill (+1484), in the line of
Brian Catha an Duinn (+1260).
23. Brian of bright cups, ever to the front in fight with Goill - 'twas
in the desire to ruin him that Aodh O Neill advanced claims
on him: he thought he was doing nothing rash in that.
24. Aodh said: "This Brian Boraimhe - his charter promises
not that he rule in Art's House; he has no right to it;
better is my right to this Steading of Niall."
25. Fierce-hearted Brian said he would agree to Aodh's proposals,
but his promise to Aodh did not represent his real intention;
his wrath was stored deep in his heart.
26. Said Brian: "His (Aodh's) land he has not yet put under
cess - though he (seems to) think this of no moment!
Until he has secured possessionof it why need I say anything?
27. (Brian) O'Neill's not keeping his troops back from fighting
(the Goill) until he would have them all (i.e., all the Ui Neill
including Aodh's followers) united under his command was the
reason why his march to the South did not result in
peace-heralds coming to him (from the Goill).
Note: Brian O'Neill in line 27 is a reference to Brian Catha an Duinn,
slain in 1260 at the Battle of Down. The earlier reference to an
Aodh O'Neill in lines 23-26 seem to refer to the same Aodh mentioned
in lines 28-33. This was Aodh, son of Domnall 'of Armagh', slain
in 1004 at the Battle of Craobh Tulcha. The Poet seems to be warning
the current O'Neill not to make the mistakes his ancestors did in
going to battle without first securing his position in the North of
28. (Once too) famous Eochaidh, Ardghal's son, when pride had
swelled up in his heart, imagined himself a match for Aodh
(O Neill), and set himself up against his prince (Aodh).
29. "If Eochaidh son of Ardghal yield not up to me part of all he
has, both plain and hills, he shall not have leave from me to
keep them; tell him that from me," so spake Aodh.
30. "This is my answer," said (Eochaidh) the straight-judging
hero: let Aodh choose to meet me in battle or else that
we both rule."
31. Sad to tell, Eochaidh - he deserved it - and Aodh his rival too
were slain side by side at Craobh Tulcha in the North.
32. If Enri like Niall Og, hero quick to wrath at disobedience
march against the Greek Goill, may his course have the same
fortune (as Niall's).
Note: Niall Og O'Neill (1397-1403) was the grandfather of Enri O'Neill.
Eoghan (1456) in line 34 was his father.
33. Aodh had not considered carefully enough his plans (i.e. in
attacking Eochaidh); they miscarried though they were
bold; Enri is not going to do this; before he marches Westward
he will be full king (of Ui Neill).
34. Fruit-branch of royal flesh and blood, smooth-browed son of
Eoghan, Ox of Re from the Fort of the Hostages, he springs
from the noblest of the Nialls and the Aodhs.
35. The noble spirit of the Aodhs makes bright his breast; (by his
deeds) he shows the Aodhs to be in the lineage of O Neill;
(the kingship of) the seven Nialls with this wavy-haired hero
comes out in the curling of his locks.
The most interesting oddity about this poem from a genealogical standpoint is that the supposed ancestors of the O'Neills, Flaithbertach an Trostain and Aedh Athlaman, are not mentioned at all! The poem contains a line reminiscent of the trunk-branch description of the earler Giolla Brigdhe MacCon Midhe poem ("fruit-branch of royal flesh and blood" vs. "the trunk and the branch") The poem then goes on to state that Enri O'Neill sprang from the "noblest of the Nialls and the Aodhs" and in the last line here quoted states the "noble spirit of the Aodhs makes bright his breast."
It is quite clear from the earlier verses that the Aodh referred to in these passages was Aodh Ua Neill 'of Craeb Tulcha,' who died in 1004 A.D, not Aedh Athlaman.
Lastly, there is an odd statement in Keating's Pedigrees that may have soem bearing on the subject.107 Flaithbheartach an trostain, son of
106 Muircheartach Midheach, son of
105 Domhnall of Ard Macha. Brother to this Domhnall was
Aodh son of Muircheartach of the leather-cloaks, from
whom are Clann Aodha Buidhe; son of
104 Muircheartach of the leath-cloaks, son of
103 Niall Glundubh, son of
102 Aodh Fionnliath, son of
According to Keating, the Clann Aodha Buidhe descended from an Aedh, brother of Domnall 'of Armagh.' This can only be the Clanna Aodha Buidhe or 'Clannaboy', a branch of the O'Neills. But according to genealogical manuscripts, Muirchertach 'of the Leather Cloaks' did not have son named Aodh.
Laud 610Cethri Maic Murchertaig mic Neill Glunduib .i. Domnall ri Herend
7 Flaithbertach ri Ailig 7 Murchad 7 Flann. Cethri Maic Domnaill:
da hAed 7 Muiredach.
Or - Muirchertach 'of the Leather cloaks, son of Neill Glundubh, had four sons, Domnall 'of Armagh', King of Ireland, Flaithbertach, King of Aileach, Murchadh and Flann. The four sons of Domhnall 'of Armagh' were two Aedhs and Muiredach. A similar passage in the Book of Ballymote adds the name Muirchertach to the sons of Domnall 'of Armagh.'
The Aodh intended in this passage in Keating can be none other than one of the two sons of Domnall 'of Armagh' named Aodh - and probably Aedh 'of Craebh Tulcha,' given the references to him in the poems above quoted.
All of these pedigrees for the O'Neills are corrupt; that much is obvious. But if we take the G2 pedigree and remove the names that do not belong in the line of Aedh 'of Craebh Tulcha' (Flaithbertach an Trostain and his son, Aedh Athlaman) we arrive at an interesting result:
99 Aedh Finleith | 100 Neill Glundubh +919 | 101 Muirchertach na gCochall gCraicinn +943 | 102 Domnall Ard Macha +980 |_____________________________________________ | | 103 Muirdoch Aedh 'of Craeb Tulcha | +1004 | | 104 Lochlan 104 Domhnall an Trogdan Ua Neill | | | | 105 Ardgar MacLochlainn 105 Flaithbertach Locha Hodha d. 1064 | | | 106 Domnall MacLochlainn 106 Conchobhar na Fiodhbhadh d. 1121 | | | 107 Nial MacLochlainn 107 Tadhg an Glinne d. 1119 | | | 108 Muirchertach MacLochlainn 108 Muirchertach Magh Line sl. 1166, b. at Armagh +1160 |__________________________ | | | | 109 Muirchertach MacLochlainn Nial 109 Aedh an Macaomh Toinleasc s. 1196 1167 (Divided Tyrone with Nial | (divided Tyrone MacLochlainn, 1167) | with Aedh Ua Neill) | | | 110 Domnall MacLochlainn 110 Neill ruadh O'Neill sl. 1241 Caim Eirge d. 1223 sl. 1241 Battle of Caim Eirge | | 111 Brian Catha Duinn 1241 Battle of Caim Eirge + 1260 Battle of Druim Dearg
Suddenly O Ceallaigh's objections that the pedigree of the O'Neills is too long by two generations are overcome. The pedigrees are now in perfect synch.
It appears that the G2 pedigree for O'Neill is indeed the earliest version we possess; and the versions in Ballymote and Lecan were derived from this pedigree by removing Flaithbertach an Trostan and his son Aedh Athlaman from the pedigree and attaching them where they belong: to Muirchertadh son of Domnall 'of Armagh.' In the process the appellation 'the young oxe' has been transfered from Domnall'of Armagh' to a later Domhnall in the pedigree.
How could this have happened and why? The O'Neills were completely eclipsed by their close kin the MacLochlainns from 1036 to 1167; entries in the annals for the O'Neills during this period are sparse and inconclusive; the major pedigree sources ignore the O'Neills completely. In short the Irish scribes had almost nothing to go on in terms of sources when compiling the O'Neill pedigree; and this they seem to have fudged a bit, including a few extra Kings of Aileach in the pedigree that did not belong there (Flaithbertach an Trostain and Aedh Athlaman.
Evidence from the Annals
There are a number of Ua Neill entries in the Annals which cannot be easily identifed as belonging to one line or another.
Muirchertach s. Aedh 1012
Domnall s. Aedh 1024
These first two were probably sons of Aedh of Craeb Tulcha; although there is the possibility that Domnall was a son of Aedh Athlaman, as is claimed in the O'Neill pedigrees. Many O Neill supporters have cited this entry for Domnall as proof of the O Neill pedigree. But it is not at all clear which Aedh was the father of Domnall. The probability is that the Aedh referred to in this passage was Aedh 'of Craeb Tulcha' and not Aedh Athlaman.
Muirchertach s. Muirdaigh 1015
This Muirdaigh may have been the ancestor of the MacLochlainns, although most manuscripts state Muirdaigh had only one son named Lochlan.
the son of Aedh Ua Neill 1021
Domnall s. Flaithbertach 1027
Muirdaigh s. Flaithbertach (rigdomnai) 1046
These two men were probably sons of Flaithbertach an Trostain.
Muirdaigh s. Flaithbertach 1039
This listing indicates there was another Flaithbertach Ua Neill besides Flaithbertach an Trostain at this period. It's impossible to tell in to what line he belonged though. One Flaithbertach had a son Muirdaigh slain in 1046, a rigdomnai (royal heir) of Aileach. The other had a son Muirdaigh slain in 1039. They therefore could not be the same man.
Muirchertach Ua Neill 1044 & 1045
Muirchertach Ua Neill (K. Teloch Og) 1064
No fathers are listed for either of these Muirchertachs. Neither can be placed in the traditional pedigree of the O'Neills.
It is fairly obvious from these enigmatic listings in the Annals that there were several lines of Ua Neills in descent from Domnall 'of Armagh.' Some of these unknown Ua Neills may have been descendants of Aedh Ua Neill of Craeb Tulcha. Others may have been in the line of Flaithbertach an Trostain.
From 1064 until 1160 A.D., the MacLochlainns were the only branch of this extended dynastic family mentioned in the Annals. The last Ua Neill named in the Annals (Muirchertach in 1064) was identifed as the King of Teloch-og. This is probably the kingdom held by the O'Neills during their long period of eclipse by the MacLochlainns.
The True History of the O'Neills 1036-1177
There is little one can do to trace the pedigree of the O'Neills in the Annals. Four of their ancestors are not named in the Annals at all, from Domnall an Trogdam Ua Neill to Tadgh an Glean, and we learn nothing of these gentlemen in the Lebor Eoganach except that each was a King of Ulster with opposition and that each was slain by MacLochlainn. But as O Ceallaigh noted, the Lebor Eoghanach is hardly an unbiased source and an early 17th century composition without particular historical significance. It is appended to the Leabhar Cloinne Aodha Buidhe (written about 1630 AD). The manuscript is online at the ISOS (Irish Script Onscreen) site (Royal Irish Academy; MS. 24 P. 23; p. 247-269). A transcription of the Leabhar Cloinne Aodha Buidhe was printed in 1931 by the Irish Manuscripts Commisssion, editor Tadhg O Dunchadha. The CELT site lists the manuscript as captured but as yet unpublished.
Unfortunately the Lebor Eoghanach is the source quoted by most popular writers on the history of the O'Neills.
After their disappearance from the Annals in 1036, the O'Neills suddenly reappear in 1160 when Muirchertach Ua Neill was slain accidentally by Lochlain MacLochlainn at the Battle of Magh Lughadh. Lochlain was then slain in revenge by the son of Ua Neill. This was not a battle between MacLochlainn and Ua Neill; both men were on the same side, and the slaying was, according to the annalist, "accidental" ("slain undeservedly"). Nor is the Muirchertach Ua Neill identified as a king of the Cinel Eogain as the Lebor Eoganach implies. He simply appears in this entry as a member of the Cinel Eogain of Teloch-oc. We do not know who led this battle, described as a hosting by the Cinel-Eogain of Teloch-oc, but it was probably a MacLochlainn, not an Ua Neill.
This Muirchertach of 1160 is probably the father of Aedh an Macaomh Toinleasc ('the Lazy Youth'), but it is impossible to be sure of this fact based on the Annals alone (he appears in the pedigree of the O'Neills as Muirchertach 'of Magh Line', which probably should be 'Magh Lughadh', after the battle).
The next entry for the O'Neills occurs in 1167 in the Annals of the Four Masters, which describes the partitioning of Tyrone between Niall MacLochlainn and Aedh Ua Neill.
"They afterwards arrived in Tir-Eoghain, and Ua Conchobhair
divided the territory into two parts, i.e., gave that part
of Tir-Eogain north of the mountain, i.e., Callainn,
to Niall Ua Lochlainn, for two hostages, i.e., Ua Cathain of
Craebh, and Macan-Ghaill Ua Brain, and that part of the country
of the Cenel to the south of the mountain to Aedh Ua Neill, for
two other hostages, i.e., Ua Maelaedha, one of the Cenel-Aedghusa,
and Ua hUrthuile, one of the Ui-Tuirtre Ua Neill's own foster-
This partitioning in effect gave most of what is now considered Tyrone County to the O'Neills; and the Inishowen peninsula in Donegal and Londonderry County to the MacLochlainns. From 1167 to 1177, only MacLochlainns appear in the Annals as "Kings of the Cinel Eogain. But in the Lebor Eoganach, the reign of Aodh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill is given as 50 years!
This entry for the O'Neills is followed in 1177 by the death of Aodh 'the lazy youth' at the hands of Maelsechlainn and Ardgal MacLochlainn, Aodh is described as the "king of the Cinel Eogain for a time" and a "rigdomna Erren", or a royal-heir of Ireland. This is the first notice in the Annals since the death of Flaithbertach an Trostain, the King of Aileach, that the O'Neills had held a kingdom since 1036, but, as the annals state, only for a time.
We might here relate an interesting story told about this Aodh 'the lazy youth' in the Lebor Eoganach. According to O Ceallaigh, Aodh's father Muirchertach was married to the daughter of O Floinn Line, ruler of Ui Thuirtre. Aodh was born after his father's death in 1160. Muirchertach MacLochlainn, the High King of Ireland, came to the house of O Floinn and met the boy, who did not rise from his chair in respect. "Oh! thou tardy to arise," Muirchertach is supposed to have said ("Is toinleasg an macaomh").
This story may well be true, at least in part. In the Annal entry of 1176, Aodh Ua Niell is described as the Ui-Tuirtre Ua Neill, and we learn he had a foster brother named Ua Maelaedha. But if Aodh Ua Neill was born after his father's death in 1160, then he received his partitioned kingdom from Rory O'Connor at the age of 16 in 1176; and was slain at the age of 17 as leader of the Cinel-Eogain in 1177, all of which is highly doubtful. The story does place Aodh 'the lazy youth' in the generation behind Muirchertach MacLochlainn, which is exactly where he should appear in the pedigrees but does not.
So this whole section of the pedigree of the Ua Neills is probably largely fictional. The names may be right; we have no way of checking them; but the "kings of Ulster with opposition" fiction is clearly disguised to hide the fact that their kinsmen the MacLochlainns were firmly in control of the kingdom of Aileach and Ireland itself while the O'Neills were at best simply kings the minor kingdom of Teloch-oc.
One of the more ludicrous assertions of the Lebor Eoghanach is that Aodh Athlaman was slain by MacLochlainn. According to annal entries, he died a peaceful death at a ripe old age (Tigernach).
1033 [AT] Aedh, son of Flaithbertach Ua Neill, king of Ailech, departed at a ripe age, after penance for his misdeeds.
1033 [AU] Aedh, son of Flaithbertach Ua Neill, King of Ailech, and royal heir of Ireland, died after penitience, on the night of Andrew's festival.
Aodh Athlaman Ua Neill
reigned 20 years
Slain by MacLochlainn
Domhnall an Trogdam Ua Neill
King of Ulster with opposition 5 years
Slain by MacLochlainn
Flaithbertach Locha Hodha Ua Neill
King of Ulster with opposition 3 years
Slain by NacLochlainn
Conchobhar na Fiodhbhadh Ua Neill
King of Ulster with opposition 10 years
Slain by MacLochlainn
Tadhg an Glinne
King of Ulster with opposition 7 years
Slain by MacLochlainn
Muirchertach Magh Line (Lughadh)
King of Cinel Eoghainn +1160
sl. by Lochlan Ua Lochlainn
Aedh an Macaomh Toinleasc
Tyrone divided between Aedh Ua Neill and Nial MacLochlainn 1167
slain 1177 by Maelsechlainn and Ardgal MacLochlainn
King of the Cinel Eogain for a time
MacLochlainn vs. O'Neill 1177-1241
In contrast to the fictional statements which have every O'Neill King of Ulster slain by an MacLochlainn in this portion of their pedigree, the next 64 years did witness an increasing escalation of hostilities between the MacLochlainns and Ua Neills, as each vied for control of the Cinel-Eogain. Although the MacLochlainns after 1177 are occasionally described as "kings of Aileach, they are (as are the Ua Neills) more often described as "kings of the Cinel-Eogain", indicating a new political reality was taking shape in the north of Ireland. The northern chiefs were facing constant inroads from the Anglo-Norman invaders. Gone was the old importance of the kingdom of Aileach with its subkingdoms of Tuloch-oc, Inishowen, Magh-Ith, the Craeb and Cinel- Conaill, swept away by the partitioning of Tyrone by Rory O'Connor and the gains of the Anglo-Normans.
Until 1241, neither the MacLochlainns nor the Ua Neills managed to gain supremacy within the Cinel-Eogain, in contrast to the claims of the Lebor Eoghanach, who treat the MacLochlainns as "usurpers" of the traditional rights of the O'Neills during this period.
For the next twenty-two years, MacLochlainns alone are named as leading the Cinel-Eogain, with the exception of two interlopers, Rory Ua Flaithbertach (1186) and Ua Maeldoraidh (1197). The next entry for the O'Neills occurrs in 1199, when Aodh Ua Neill (Aodh Meith) appears leading the Cinel Eogain. In 1201, he was deposed by Conor 'the little' MacLochlainn, but Conor was soon slain, and in 1212 Aodh Meith again is named as King of the Cinel Eogain, a position he held until his death in 1230.
We might note here that according to the Irish tradition of derbfine, the O'Neills were ineligible by the time of Aodh 'the lazy youth' Ua Neill to contend for the kingship of Aileach. This Aodh Ua Neill was 7th in descent from the last King of Aileach in his line, Aodh Athlaman. Like the Ua Flaithbertachs and the Ua Maeldoraidhs, Aodh Ua Neill was therefore an interloper in the succession of the Cinel-Eogain when Rory O'Connor partitioned the Kingdom in 1167; and it was this partitioning that revived their nearly dormant hopes of again obtaining the leadership of the Cinel Eogain.
After the death of Aodh Meith Ua Neill in 1230, the MacLochlainns and the O'Neills bitterly contested the kingship of the Cinel Eogain. From 1232 to 1238, the MacLochlainns held the kingship of the Cinel Eogain. But in that year, the Anglo-Normans marched into Tyrone under Mac Maurice, the Lord Justice of Ireland, and Hugh de lacy, and deposed Domnall MacLochlainn in favor of Brian Ua Neill, and the O'Neills thus again became kings of the Cinel Eogain. Then a year later, Domnall MacLochlainn won the decisve Battle of Carn-Siadhail against Domnall 'of Tamnach' Ua Neill and reclaimed the kingship for the MacLochlainns.
Then a fateful event occurred for the MacLochlainns. The O'Neills joined forces with the O'Donnells and engaged the MacLochlainns in battle at Caim Eirge in 1241. In this battle Domnall MacLochlainn was slain along with 10 of his derbfine and most of the nobles of the Cinel Eogain. Afterwards Brian Ua Neill took the leadership of the Cinel Eogain and the MacLochlainns, nearly decimated in this defeat, were never again able challenge the O'Neills for supremacy within the Cinel Eogain. The Annals do not state the O'Donnells used gallowglasses in this battle; but the extreme carnage which resulted and the devastating loss of MacLochlainn life indicates they probably did.
What a different tale we find written in the Annals and the Lebor Eoghanach!
We have already encountered one branch of the O'Neills in the Annals; that led by Aodh meith Ua Neill, who died in 1230. His grandson, Aodh buidhe O'Neill, is said to be the founder of the O'Neills of Clanna Aodh buidhe, or Clannaboy. There is no proof in the Annals that this Aodh was the son of Aodh 'the lazy youth' as the pedigrees assert; nor is there any proof that Aodh 'the lazy youth' was the son of Muirchertach of the Battle of Magh Lugadh in 1160. But this is what the pedigrees state and we can probably accept these genealogical statements as true.
The second branch of the O'Neills, headed by Neill ruadh Ua Neill, is more difficult to identify in the Annals. In 1223, there is a vague reference to a Neill Ua Neill, who "violated the daughter of O'Cahane" and as a consequence had his life shortened. Is this the Neill ruadh of the pedigrees? He may be, but there is little evidence of this in the Annals. His son, Brian Ua Neill, was the competitor to Domnall MacLochlainn of Caim Eirge in 1241. We do know, however, from the poems of Giolla Brigdhe MacCon Midhe, that this Brian's father's name was Neill, so this identification may be correct.
O'Neill entries in the Annals of Ulster
977 [AU] Muirchertach, son of Domnall Ua Neill, and Congalach, son of Domnall, two royal heirs of Ireland, were killed by Anlaimh, son of Sitriuc. Gilla-Coluim Ua Canannain was killed by Domnall Ua Neill. This Muirchertach is presumed to be Flaithbertach an Trostain's father. [AU] In this year Flaithbertach son of Muirchertach was born. [Flaithbertach an Trostain] 979 [AU] Domhnall Ua Neill, Arch-King of Ireland, died in Ard-Macha, after penitence. The following entries pertain mostly to Flaithbertach an Trostain 1006 [AU] A hosting by Flaithbertach Ua Neill into Ulidia, when he brought seven hostages from them, and killed the King of Leth-Cathail, i.e., Cu-Ulad, son of Oenghus. 1008 [AU] Donnchadh Ua Ceile was blinded by Flaithbertach [Ua Neill], in Inis-Eoghain; and he was killed afterwards. A preying expedition by Flaithbertach Ua Neill to the men of Bregha, when he took a great cattle spoil. 1010 [AU] Flaithbertach Ua Neill, (King of Oilech, with the warriors of the Fochlan, and Murchad son of Brian, with the men of Munster and Leinster, and the Ui-Neill of the South), ravaged Cinel-Conaill, and carried of 300 captives, and many cows. [AU] A hosting by Flaithbertach Ua Neill to Dun-Echdach, when he burned the dun, and broke down the town, and brought pledges from Niall son of Dubhtuinne. 1011 [AU] A hosting by Flaithbertach son of Muirchertach, King of Ailech, into Cinel-Conaill, until he reached Magh-Cetne, when he took a great cow-spoil, and returned safe. A hosting by Flaithbertach again into Cinel-Conaill until he reached Druim-cliabh and Traig-Eothaili, when they killed the son of Gillapatraic son of Fergal, i.e., Niall; and they inflicted a defeat on Maelruaniadh Ua Maeldoraidh; but no one was lost there. [AU] Another hosting by Flaithbertach as far as Ard-Ulad, when he plundered the Ard, and brought off the greatest spoils that a King had ever borne, between prisoners and cattle, though they are not reckoned. 1012 [AU] A hosting by Flaithbertach, King of Ailech, as far as Ed by the side of Cenannas, when Maelsechlainn abandoned the hill to him. [AU] Muirchertach, son of Aedh Ua Neill, was slain by the Dal-Riata. 1015 [AU] Flaithbertach Ua Neill came into Midhe, to aid Maelsechlainn. [AU] Muircertach, son of Muiredach Ua Neill, was slain by the Ui-Tuirtre. 1017 Muiredhach Ua Duibheoin, King of Ui-Mic-Uais of Bregha, was killed by Flaithbertach Ua Neill. 1019 Flaithbertach Ua Neill came into Tir-Conaill, and plundered Tir-Enna and Tir-Lughdach. This entry describes the death of Aedh, royal heir of Aileach; some believe this is a reference to Aedh, the second son of Domnall 'of Armagh' (da Aedh). However, he is probably in the line of Clann Domnall, since the surname "Ua Neill" is not used by the annalist. The son of Ua Neill in 1021 was probably Domnall, son of Aedh Ua Neill, who died in 1024. 1021 [AU] a preying expedition by the son of Aedh Ua Neill, across the Ui-Dorthain who were in Magh-itechta, and they killed the Lethderg in the pursuit; (but the greater part of the Airghialla came together behind him and before him. Or thus it is narrated in the Book of Dubhdaleithe "but the Ui-Meith met him &c."). but the Ui-Meith, and the Mughdorna, and the Sajthni, and the men of Fernmagh, and the Ui-Dorthain, with their Kings, met him. Ua Ceilechan and Ua Lorcain, with the Ui-Bresail and Ui-Niallain, were before him in Aenach-Macha, where they all surrounded him. But the son of Aedh carried his prey through them all; and he had only twelve score good warriors. And a great number fell between them in the middle of Aenach-Macha. [AU] Aedh, i.e., royal-heir of Ailech, and Domnall Ua Murchada, were slain. 1024 A preying expedition by the son of Ua Neill, when he plundered Ui-Meith and Ui-Dorthain. [AU] Domnalll, son of Aedh, royal-heir of Ailech, was killed by Gillamura son of Ocan. 1025 [AU] A hosting by Flaithbertach Ua Neill into Bregha, and to the Foreigners, when he brought the hostages of the Gaedhil from the Foreigners. 1026 [AU] A hosting by Flaithbertach Ua Neill into Midhe, when he took their pledges, and went upon the ice into Inish- Mochta, which he plundered. 1027 [AU] Domnall, son of Flaithbertach Ua Neill, died. 1030 [AU] Flaithbertach Ua Neill went to Rome. [AU] Ruaidhri Ua Canannain was killed by Aedh Ua Neill. This is a reference to Aodh Athlaman, the son of Flaithbertach an Trostain. He had a brother Domnall, slain in 1027. 1031 [AU] Flaithbertach Ua Neill came from Rome. [AU] A hosting by the son of Eochaid to Telach-oc, but h e obtained nothing. Aedh Ua Neill passed round him eastwards, and carried off three thousand cows, and one thousand two hundred captives. [AT] A hosting by Mac Eochada to Telach Oge, and he obtained nothing. Aedh Ua Neill got round him eastwards and carried off a thousand cows and twelve hundred human beings. [AU] The 'snow-depredation' by Aedh Ua Neill, in Tir-Conaill, when he killed Ua Canannin, King of Cinel-Conaill. 1033 [AT] Aedh, son of Flaithbertach Ua Neill, king of Ailech, departed at a ripe age, after penance for his misdeeds. [AU] Aedh, son of Flaithbertach Ua Neill, King of Ailech, and royal heir of Ireland, died after penitience, on the night of Andrew's festival. The death of Aodh Athlaman Ua Neill. 1036 [AT] Flaithbertach, son of Murchadh Ua Neill, king of Aileach, died. This entry in the Annals of Tigernach identifies Flaithbertach an Trostain as the son of Moroch or Murchadh; but is probably an error; the Annals of Ulster name Muirchertach as his father. See the entry for the year 1011 in the Annals of Ulster. [AU] Flaithbertach Ua Neill, chief King of Ailech, after the most perfect penitence, rested in Christ. 1039 [AT] Muirdach, son of Flaithbertach Ua Neill, was killed by the Ua Labrada. [AU] Muiredach, son of Flaithbertach Ua Neill, was killed by the Lethrenna. 1044 [AU] A depredation by Niall, son of Maelsechlainn, King of Ailech, upon the Ui-Meith and Cualnge, when he carried off 1,200 cows and a great many prisoners, in revenge of the profanation of 'clocc-ind-edechta.' Another depredation, also, by Muirchertach Ua Neill upon the Mughdorna, when he carried off a cattle-spoil, and prisoners, in revenge of the same bell. 1045 [AU] A predatory expedition by Muirchertach Ua Neill to the men of Bregha. But Gairbhedh Ua Cathasaigh, King of Bregha, overtook him at Cassan-linne when the tide was full before him; and Muirchertach and many others fell there. 1046 [AU] Muiredach, son of Flaithbertach Ua Neill, royal-heir of Ailech, and Aiteidh Ua hAiteidh, King of Ui-Echach-Ulad were burned in a house set on fire, by Cu-Ulad, son of Congalach, in Uachtar-tire. Neither of these last two Ua Neills named in the Annals appear in the pedigree of the O'Neills. Some of these unidentified Ua Neills may have been descendants of Aodh Ua Neill of Craeb Tulcha, who died in 1004. Then follows a 104 year period in which not a single Ua Neill is mentioned in the Annals. Domnall 'of Armagh' d. 979 | Muirchertach Ua Neill d. 977 | Flaithbertach an Trostain d. 1036 | Aodh Ua Neill d. 1033 (Aodh Athlaman) None of the following names in the O'Neill pedigree are named in the Annals: | Domnall an trogdam Ua Neill [this may be the Domnall Ua Neill s. 1024] | Flaithbertach Locha Hodha | Conchobhar na Fiodgha | Tadgh an Glinne The O'Neill line resumes in the Annals with the death of Muirchertach Ua Neill at the Battle of Magh Lugad in 1160, where he is said to have been slain unjustly (i.e., accidentally) by Lochlan Ua Lochlan. Lochlan was in turn slain by the son of Ua Neill, presumably Aodh 'the lazy youth.' Muirchertach's nickname is said to be "Magh Line," but probably should be "Magh lugad," based on the battle in which he fell. | Muirchertach Ua Neill of Magh Line d. 1160 Battle of Magh Lugad | Aodh Ua Neill d. 1177 (i.e., 'the lazy youth') |_______________________ | | Aodh meith Ua Neill Neill Ua Neill 1199-1230 1222 In 1164 a Muirchertach Ua Neill is named in the Annals as the King of Teloch-og. This is probably the kingdom they continued to hold throughout their long period of obscurity during which the MacLochlainns held the Kingship of Aileach. 1160 [AU] The defeat of Magh-Lughad was inflicted by the Cenel-Eogain of Telach-og upon Ua Gailmredhaigh and upon Domnall Ua Cricain and upon the Ui-Fiacrach, so that a large party of them were killed. And it is on that occasion Muircertach Ua Neill fell innocently [i.e., undesignedly] by Lochlann Ua Lachlainn, but so that in revenge of him Lochlann fell afterwards by the son of Ua Neill.-A hosting by Muirchertach Ua Lachlainn along with the Cenel-Eogain and the Airgialla, until they came to Magh-dula, to expel Ua Gairmleghaidh. But Ua Gairmleghaidh fell in treachery by Domnall Ua Maelruanaigh, by direction of Ua Lochlainn, after the dishonouring of the clergy of Ireland and of his oaths by him. And his head was carried to Ard-Macha, in reparation to Patrick and Collumcille. 1064 [AU] Muircertach Ua Neill, King of Telach-og, was slain by the Ui-Cremthain. 1167 [AM] A hosting and mustering of the men of Ireland, with their chieftains, by Ruaidhri Ua Conchobhair. Thither came Diarmaid, son of Cormac, lord of Desmond; Muirchertach Ua Briain, lord of Thomond; Diarmaid Ua Maeleachlainn, King of Meath; Donnchadh Ua Cearbhaill, Lord of Oirghialla; and all the chieftains of Leinster. They afterwards arrived in Tir-Eoghain, and Ua Conchobhair divided the territory into two parts, i.e., gave that part of Tir-Eogain north of the mountain, i.e., Callainn, to Naill Ua Lochlainn, for two hostages, i.e., Ua Cathain of Craebh, and Macan-Ghaill Ua Brain, and that part of the country of the Cenel to the south of the mountain to Aedh Ua Neill, for two other hostages, i.e., Ua Maelaedha, one of the Cenel-Aedghusa, and Ua hUrthuile, one of the Ui-Tuirtre Ua Neill's own foster- brothers. 1177 [AU] Aedh Ua Neill (namely, "The lazy youth"), king of Cenel-Eoghain for a time and royal heir of all Ireland, was killed by Mael-Sechlainn, son of Mac Lochlainn and by Ardgal, son of Mac Lochlainn (that is, son to that Mael-Sechlainn). But Ardgal himself was killed by Ua Neill at his being killed there. The following listings describe Aodh meith Ua Neill, the son of Aodh 'the lazy youth', and his brother, Niall. In the Ceart Ua Neill (Rights of O'Neill) Aodh meith is described as "the first of the Ui Neill to establish Lordship." 1199 [AU] A hosting by John De-Courcy into Tir-Eogain through the churches: namely, Ard-sratha and Rath-both were destroyed by him until he reached Daire, so that he was there two nights over a week, destroying Inis-Eogain and the country besides. And he would not have gone there from for a long time, had not Aedh Ua Neill, with a force of five ships, reached Cell in Latharna, so that he burned a part of the town and killed twenty, wanting two, therein. Then the Foreigners of Magh-Line and Dal-Araidhe were, three hundred strong, both in mail and without mail, in front of him and they noticed not, until the Foreigners poured against them, burning the town. Thereupon they gave battle in the centre of the town and it went against the Foreigners. And the Irish gave five defeats to them thenceforward, until they went into their ships and only five of the people of Ua Neill were lost. Thereafter John went away, when he heard that.-Great war between Cenel-Conaill and Cenel-Eogain, so that Cenel-Conaill gave the kingship to Ua Eicnigh. Then he came to meet them to the Termonn of St. Dabeoc. Ua Neill with the Men of Magh-Itha came against him, to prevent him, so that each of them saw the other. And Ua Eicnigh was defeated and left pledges. From here Aedh Ua Neill and the Cenel-Eogain went on the same day, until they harried Cenel-Conaill around the Plain of Magh-Itha and took countless cattle-spoil away with them. And it is on that foray Niall Ua Duibhdirma was killed on a surprise party. After that, a hosting was made by Aedh Ua Neill and by the Cenel-Eogain to the Plain of Magh-Itha, to give battle to the Cenel-Conaill, so that the Cenel-Conaill abandoned the camp and they made a kind of peace then. 1200 [AU] The Foreigners of Ulidia made three forays into Tir-Eogain and the thrid foray they made, they made a camp at Domnach-mor of Magh-Imclair. They sent a large foray abroad. Aedh Ua Neill came to rescue the prey, until himself and the Foreigners met and defeat was inflicted upon the Foreigners and countless slaughter was put upon them and they stole away in the night, until they went past Tuaim. 1201 [AU] A hosting by Aedh Ua Neill in aid of Cathal Red-Hand with the Men of Magh-Itha and with the Airghialla, until they came to Tech-Baithin of Airtech. They turned there until they came to Es-dara and Cathal Carrach with the nobles of Connacht and William de Burgh with the Fireigners of Limerick along with him overtook them. And the North of Ireland was defeated and Ua Eienigh, arch-king of Airgialla and many others were lost. [AU] Aedh Ua Neill was deposed by the Cenel-Eogain and the coronation of Conchobar Mac Lachlainn was effected by them. And he made a foray into Tir-Ennai, so that he took away cows innumerable and killed people. Then came Eicnechan Ua Domnaill with the fleet of Cenel-Conaill and with their host on land, so that they formed a camp at Gaeth-in-cairrgin. Thereafter came the Clann-Diarmata to Port-rois on the other side, to act against the fleet. After that, there were sent against them the thirteen ships full of the host, so taht the battle went against the Clann-Diarmata. Thereupon MacLachlainn (namely, Conchubhur the Little) came to their aid, until his horse was wounded and he fell of that fall by the Cenel-Conaill, in reparation of St. Colum-cille and of his successor and of his Shrine that he dishonoured. And through the same miracle Conchobur killed Murchadh Ua Crichain, king of Ui-Fiachrach. 1202 [AU] Maghnus, son of Diarmait Ua Lachlainn, was killed by Muircertach Ua Neill. Muircertach Ua Neill, however was killed at the same time. 1207 [AU] A hosting by Hugo de Lacy with the Foreigners of Meath and of Leinster into Telach-oc, so that churches and crops were burned. And they took not thepledges or hostages of Aedh Ua Neill on that occasion. 1209 [AU] A foray-hosting by Aedh ua Neill into Inish-Eogain and Ua Domnaill overtook him, so that they gave battle, wherein were killed a countless number of persons on each side. Here was killed Domnall Mac Murchadha of the Cenel-Eogain; also Ferghal Ua Baighill and Cathbarr Ua Domnaill and Cormac Ua Domnaill and David Ua Dochurtaigh, with a multitude of the nobles of Cenel- Conaill along with them. 1211 [AU] The Foreigners came to Narrow-Water, until Aedh Ua Neill assembled Cenel-Conaill and Cenel-Eogain and the Airghialla, so that they [the foreigners] were killed by him. 1212 [AU] Aedh Ua Neill, king of Cenel-Conaill and of Cenel-Eogain and of the Airghialla overtook them and defeat was inflicted upon the Fireigners, wherein were killed a countless number of them. 1214 Aedh Ua Neill gave a defeat to the Foreigners and stark slaughter of the Foreigners was inflicted therein and Carrlongport was burned, both people and effects, on the same day. [AU] Bean-Midhe, daugher of Ua Einigh, wife of Aodh Ua Neill, king of Aileach, rested in good penance. - A hosting by Aedh Ua Neill into Ulidia and he inflicted great defeat upon the Foreigners of Ulidia. 1220 [AU] Fonachtan Ua Bronain, successor of Colum-cille, rested in peace. And there ensued contention between the Community of Daire and the Cenel-Eogain, respecting the selection in his stead. It is this was done then: the Community of Diare chose Mac Cathmail into the succession and Aedh Ua Neill and the Cenel-Eogain chose Flann Ua Brolcain. After that, moreover, there ensued contention between the Community of Daire and O'Brolcain and O'Brolcain was put out of the succession. 1222 [AM] The son of Hugo de Lacy came to Ireland, without the consent of the King of England, and joined Aedh Ua Neill. Both set out to oppose the English of Ireland, and first went to Coleraine, where they demolished the castle. They afterwards went into Meath and Leinster, and destroyed a great number of persons on that occasion. The English of Ireland mustered twenty-four battalions at Dundalk, whither Aedh Ua Neill, and the son of Hugo de Lacy, came to oppose them with four great battalions. The English upon this occasion gave his own demands to Ua Neill. [AM] Niall Ua Neill violated Derry with the daughter of O'Kane, but God and St. Columbkille were avenged for that deed, for he did not live long after it. This Niall Ua Neill is believed to be Niall roe Ua Neill, the brother of Aodh meith Ua Neill. 1225 [AU] A great hosting was made by Aedh Ua Neill into Connacht, by invitation of the sons of Ruaidhri Ua Conchobair and by invitation of all Sil-Muiredhaigh, save Mac Diarmata alone, namely Cormac, son of Tomaltach, so that he went through the length of Connacht eastwards to the woods of Ath-luain, so that he was a night at the Heights of Uana. And they pillaged Loch-nen and he brought the treasures of Ua Conchobair with him there-from. He came after that to Carn-fraich and Tairrdhelbach, son of Ruaidhri, was crowned there. And he went on a quick march to his house, on hearing that a large force of Foreigners and of Momonians [was making] towards him, under Donnchadh Cairbrech Ua Briain and under Geoffrey Mares, led by Aedh Ua Conchobair and by Mac Diarmata. And when they did not catch Ua Neill, they followed the sons of Ruaidhri until they drove them to the protection of Ua Neill again. The Momonians on that occasion killed Echmarcach Mac Branain, chief of Corco-Achlann, at Cell-Cellaigh. 1230 [AU] Aedh Ua Neill, king of the North of Ireland and king of all the Half of Conn and worthy future arch-king of all Ireland and the person of the Gaidhil that most killed and pillaged the Foreigners and destroyed castles, died. And the person that it was least thought would find eath otherwise than by the Foreigners rested in Christ.