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  • Kilchreest
    Photography © 2006
    Knockbeha Mountain
    Knockbeha Mountain

    On May morning, of first flowers.
    To visit Maen-magh [1], but touch not Dar-mhagh [2].
    These are things prohibited to the king
    Of Connacht - let him observe them in his country.

    In a speckled cloak let him not go
    To the heath of Luchaid [3] in Dal Chais.

    [1] Maen-magh - a celebrated plain in the present county of Galway, comprising the lake and town of Loughrea, the townlands of Mayode and Finnure, and all the champaign country around Loughrea. See Tribes and Customs of the Ui Maine, p. 70, note z , and p. 130.
    [2] Dar-mhaghh - This is probably the place sometimes called Darhybrian, in the mountain of Sliabh Echtghe, on the southern boundary of the plain of Maen-magh.
    [3] Luchuid - This place still retains its ancient name among those who speak Irish, but it is anglicized Lowhid. It is situated near the hamlet of Toberreendoney in the barony of Inchiquin and county of Clare, and near the boundary of the barony of Kiltartan, in the county of Galway. Keating, - in the reign of Diarmaid Mac Fearghusa Ceirbheoil, - describes the country of the Dal Cais, which was originally a part of Connacht, as extending from Bearn tri Carbad to Bealach na Luchaide, and from Ath na Borumha (at Killaloe) to Leim Conchulainn (Loophead). p. 20-21.

    "The Book of Rights" (1847)
    Edited and translated by John O'Donovan.

    Source: Internet Archive


    A.D. 1311. William Burke marched with a great army into Munster against de Clare, and a battle was fought in which de Clare was defeated...

    A great war arose in Thomond, and Donogh Mac Namara [1] and his party, namely, the people of Triochad Ced Hy Caisin, [2] gave battle to O'Brien and to the men of Munster, in which Mac Namara was defeated, and himself and Donal O'Grady, lord of Kinel Dungaile, were slain with an immense number of both armies. p. 108

    [1] The Mac Namaras were chiefs of Triocha Cead Hy Caisin, which territory, according to O'Brien and O'Halloran, is now the barony of Tullagh, in the county of Clare; and, according to Mac Geoghegan, (p. 234), contained also part of the barony of Bunratty. The Mac Namaras are also sometimes styled chiefs of Clan Cuileain, which was the tribe name of his family, derived from Cuilean, one of their chiefs in the eighth century.

    [2] Triochad Ced Hy Caishin, that is, the territory or barony of Hy Caisin, now the baronies of Tulla, in the county of Clare, of which the Mac Namaras were chiefs and hereditary marshals to the O'Briens, kings of Thomond. Kinel Dungaile was another territory in Thomond of which the O'Gradys were lords.

    "Riogh thaoiseach na ruathar n-glan
    Mac Conmara o Mhuigh Adhair,
    Criocha na sed thall a thir,
    Ar Triocha Cead Clann Caisin.

    "The princely chief of well fought battles
    Is Mac Namara from Moy Air,
    The land of riches is his country.
    It is the territory of Clan Caisin." p. 151

    "The Annals of Ireland" (1846)
    Michael O'Clery, translated by Owen Connellan, Esq., Irish Historiographer to Their Late Majesties George IV. and William IV. Annotations by Philip Mac Dermot, Est., M.D., and the translator.

    Source: Internet Archive


    A.D. 1204. William Burke [1] plundered the whole of Connaught, both lay and ecclesiastical, but God and the saints visited him with their vengeance, for he died of an uncommon disease, unbecoming to mention. p.31.

    [1] William Burke, whose name occurs so frequently in the Annals at this period, was William Fitz Adelm de Burgo. The family of de Burgo came from Normandy with William the Conqueror, and were earls of Kent in England. William de Burgo was chief governor of Ireland for some time in the reign of Henry II., and obtained extensive possessions in Connaught. He died A.D. 1204, and was buried in the abbey of Athassell, in Tipperary, which he had founded. He was married to Isabella, natural daughter of king Richard I., and his descendants were earls of Connaught and Ulster, and founded many of the most powerful families in Ireland, as the earls of Clanrickard, and many others of the nobility. The name de Burgo was changed to de Burgh and Burke. p. 29 See Lives of Illustrious Irishmen.

    "The Annals of Ireland" (1846)
    Michael O'Clery, translated by Owen Connellan, Esq., Irish Historiographer to Their Late Majesties George IV. and William IV. Annotations by Philip Mac Dermot, Est., M.D., and the translator.

    Source: Internet Archive


    The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred ninety-one. Roderic O'Conor set out from Connaught, and went to Flaherty O'Muldory in Tirconnell, and afterwards passed into Tyrone, to request forces from the north of Ireland, to enable him to recover his kingdom of Connaught; but the Ultonians not consenting to aid in procuring lands for him from the Connacians, he repaired to the English of Meath, and these having also refused to go with him, he passed into Munster, whither the Sil-Murray sent for him, and gave him lands, viz. Tir Fiachrach [1] and Kinelea of Echtge [2]. pp. 90, 91.

    [1] Tir Fiachrach, i. e. Tir Fiachrach Aidhne - The country of the O'Heynes in the south-west of the county of Galway.

    [2] Kinelea of Echtghe, Cenel Aodha na hEchtghe, i.e. the race of Aodh, or Hugh, of Slieve Echtghe, now Slieve Aughtee. This was the tribe name of the O'Shaughnessys and their correlatives, which became also that of their country, for the custom of ancient Ireland was, "not to take names and creations from places and countries, as it is with other nations, but to give the name of the family to the seigniory by them occupied." See O'Flaherty's Ogygia Vindicated, p. 170, and Colgan's Acta Sanctorum, p. 354, note 8. O'Shaughnessy's country of Kinelea comprised the south-eastern half of the diocese of Kilmacduagh, in the county of Galway. - See map prefixed to Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many, printed for the Irish Archæological Society in 1843. For a list of townlands in Sir Dermot O'Shaughnessy's country in the year 1543, see Tribes and Customs of Hy-Fiachrach, printed for the same Society in 1844, pp. 375, 376.

    "Annala Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the kingdom of Ireland, Vol III" (1856)
    Michael O'Clery, Cucogry O'Clery, Ferfeasa O'Mulconry, Cucogry O'Duigenan, Conary O'Clery. Edited with a Translation, and copious notes by John O'Donovan, LL.D., M.R.I.A.

    Source: Internet Archive


    A.D. 1176. Roderick O'Conor, king of Ireland, marched an army into Munster. He compelled Donal O'Brien to fly from Thomond, and spoiled the country on that expedition.

    The daughter of Roderick O'Conor, king of Ireland, and wife of Flaithbheartach O'Maoldoraidh, was slain by the sons of O'Cairellain. p.10

    A.D. 1178. Morogh, son of Roderick O'Conor, took with him Miles de Cogan, and his knights to Roscommon, to lay waste Connaught, from ill will towards his father. Roderick put out the eyes of his son, Morogh, for having joined the English.

    Mac Awley was slain by the Siol-Anmchadha.[1] p. 13

    [1] The Siol-Anmchadha were the O’Madigans or Maddens.

    "The Annals of Ireland" (1846)
    Michael O'Clery, translated by Owen Connellan, Esq., Irish Historiographer to Their Late Majesties George IV. and William IV. Annotations by Philip Mac Dermot, Est., M.D., and the translator.

    Source: Internet Archive


    Turlogh, after a reign of 25 years, died and was interred at Killaloe, 7th Nov., 1167, leaving his son Murtogh King of Munster, who was slain in 1168, by the people of Clare, at the instigation of Connor O'Brien; for which his brother Donal, on his accession, fined them 3,000 cows.

    110. Donal Mór (d. 1194): son of Turlogh; the last King of North Munster; was m. to Orlacan, dau. of Dermod na Gall MacMorough (by his wife, the dau. of O'Moore, Prince of Leix), and had Mór, who married Cathal Craobh Dearg O'Connor (d. 1224), the 51st Christian King of Conacht, with nine sons: 1. Donogh Cairbreach; 2. Murtogh Dall, ancestor of the Clan Murtogh Dall O'Brien, of Hy-Bloid, in the northeast of the co. Clare; 3. Connor Ruadh; 4. Murtogh Fionn, ancestor of the Clan Turlogh Fionn of the same territory; 6. Donal Conachtach, ancestor of Clan Donal Conaghtaigh, of Echtge, and subsequently of Ara, in the county Tipperary; 7. Brian (surnamed "of Burren"), ancestor of Clan Bhriain Boirnigh; 8. Connor, ancestor of Clan Connor Guasanaigh; 9. Dermod Fiodhnuich, ancestor of the Clan Dermod Fiodhniagh. p. 158

    "Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation." Vol. 1. (1892)
    John O'Hart

    Source: Internet Archive


    From Colla da Chrich were also descended... the O'Kellys, princes of Hy Maine, in the counties of Galway and Roscommon; and the O'Madagans or O'Maddens, chiefs of Siol Anmchadha or Silanchia, now the barony of Longford, in the county of Galway. p.3

    Ibh-Maine or Hy Maine - The principality of the O'Kellys, a large territory comprised within the present counties of Galway and Roscommon, and extending from the Shannon at Lanesborough to the county of Clare, and from Athlone to Athenry in the county of Galway. p.4

    Siol Anmcadha - Now the barony of Longford, in the county of Galway, and the parish of Lusmagh, on the other side of the Shannon in the King's county, of which according to O'Dugan, O'Madagain, (O'Madden,) and O'Huallachain, were chiefs. p.4

    O'Shaughnessy's territory was Kinel Aodh, in the south-west of the county of Galway. p.14

    Hy Fiachrach Aidhne was an ancient territory in the county of Galway, co-extensive with the diocese of Kilmacduach. p.15

    Tuaim Grene, now the parish of Tomgraney, in the barony of Tulla, county of Clare. p.16

    Triochad Cead. A Triochad Cead comprised, according to various authorities, thirty Ballybetaghs, or 120 quarters of land, each quarter containing 120 Irish acres, that is, 14,400 acres, and this quantity of land was considered equivalent to a barony. pp 17.18.

    "The Annals of Ireland" (1846)
    Michael O'Clery, translated by Owen Connellan, Esq., Irish Historiographer to Their Late Majesties George IV. and William IV. Annotations by Philip Mac Dermot, Est., M.D., and the translator.

    Source: Internet Archive


    The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred seventy-eight.

    A violent wind-storm occurred in this year; it caused a great destruction of trees. It prostrated oaks. It prostrated one hundred and twenty trees in Derry-Columbkille.[1] [p.39]

    The River Galliv (Galway) was dried up for a period of a natural day[2]; all the articles that had been lost in it from remotest times, as well as its fish, were collected by the inhabitants of the fortress, and by the people of the country in general. [p.43]

    Awley Mac Awley was killed by the Sil-Anmchadha.[3]. [p.45]

    [1] Derry-Columbkille. - This passage is given in the Annals of Kilronan, as follows : " A. D. 1178. Gaoth adhbhal do thoighecht is in mbliadhain si, co ro trascair bloidh mhoir do choilltibh 7 d’fhidhbhaidhibh, 7 do railghibh ra mhóra fri lár, 7 co trascair fos se fichit ralach, uel paulo plus, a ndoire colaim cille.

    "A.D. 1178. A great wind occurred in this year, which prostrated a great portion of the woods, forests, and great oaks, and prostrated among the rest six score oaks, vel paulo plus, in Roboreto Columbæ Cille."

    The word rail, plur. railghe, signifies an oak tree. The oak wood of Derry-Columbkille, now Londonderry, is specially mentioned in O'Donnell's Life of Columbkille, as an object for which the saint had a peculiar veneration.

    [2] Natural day, laithe aiceanta. - The word aicnedh is used in ancient Irish writings to denote nature, and aiceanta, natural.

    [3] Sil-Anmchadha. This was the tribe name of the O'Maddens, and was also applied to their country, which in latter ages comprised the barony of Longford in the county of Galway, and the parish of Lusmagh in the King's County, on the east side of the Shannon. - See Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many, published by the Irish Archaeological Society in 1843, p. 69, note x

    "Annala Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the kingdom of Ireland, Vol III" (1856)
    Michael O'Clery, Cucogry O'Clery, Ferfeasa O'Mulconry, Cucogry O'Duigenan, Conary O'Clery. Edited with a Translation, and copious notes by John O'Donovan, LL.D., M.R.I.A.

    Source: Internet Archive


    The Ui Fiachrach[1] of the great plain,
    The Cineal Aedha[2], - not unjust,
    They are not liable to rent or tribute,
    To give to the king of Connacht. [p.109]

    Three drinking-horns to the king of Ui Fiachrach,
    Three swords for the overthrow of battles,
    Three steeds in Aidhne of the ale,
    Ten rings, ten chess-boards.

    Entitled is the king of Ceneal Aedha
    To seven women, seven enslaved bondmen,
    Three drinking-horns and three swords
    And three hounds for his forest hunting-shed[3]. [p.117]

    [1] The other Ui Fiachrach of Connaught, the Ui Fiachrach Aidhne (south Ui Fiachrach), were seated in the south-west of the county of Galway, and their territory was exactly co-extensive with the diocese of Cill Mhic Duach (Kilmacduagh), as we learn from the Life of St. Colman Mac Duach (H. 2, 16, p. 495), who was their patron, and all whose territory was placed by Guaire Aidhne, king of Connacht, in his bishopric about the year 610. " So that in that place was founded Cill Mic Duach, so that all Aidhne, and the race of Guaire, son of Colman, belong to him [Mac Duach] for ever." The principal families of this tribe after the establishment of surnames, were those of O'h-Eidhin (O'Heynes), O'Clerigh (O'Clerys), and Mac Giolla Ceallaigh (Kilkellys), who were descended from king Guaire Aidhne, and of O'Seachnasaigh (O'Shaughnessys), who sprung from Aedh, the uncle of king Guaire. St. Colman, the patron saint of this tribe, was the son of Duach, who was the son of Ainmire, son of Conall, son of Eoghan Aidhne, the ancestor of the Ui Fiachrach Aidhne.

    [2] Cineal Aedha, i.e. the tribe of Aedh. This was the tribe-name of O'Seachnasaigh, a subsection of the Ui Fiachrach Aidhne. Most modern writers have spoken of the Cineal Aedha and Ui Fiachrach Aidhne as if they were a different race, but the most ancient pedigrees make the Cineal Aedha a subdivision of the Ui Fiachrach Aidhne. This incorrectness became general among the Irish writers. After the English invasion O'h-Eidhin and O'Seachnasaigh became independent of each other, when the former, being the senior, and of the race of Guaire, took the title of chief of the Ui Fiachrach Aidhne, and the latter the title of chief of Cineal Aedha.

    [3] Hunting-shed - Dumha is sometimes applied to a shed or hut, in which the king or chief sat whilst his huntsmen and hounds were put up in a wood engaged around him in the chase. - Vide - duma sealga, in the Dinn-Seanchus.

    "Leabhar Na G-ceart - The Book of Rights" (1847)
    John O'Donovan, Esq., M.R.I.A. (Edited with translation and notes)

    Source: Internet Archive


    Chill Winter
    'Tis bitter cold to-night the mountain o'er,
    Yet still the ungovernable stag bells forth his cry.

    To-night laid not his side upon the ground
    The deer of Slievecarn of the hundred fights;
    He, with the stag of Echtge's frozen heights,
    Caught the wolves' snarl, and quivered at the sound. p. 92

    From the "Poem-book of Fionn" in "The poem-book of the Gael" (1913)
    Eleanor Hull

    Source: Internet Archive


    And Finn went looking for the sons of Morna in every place to do vengeance on them. They were doing robbery and destruction one time in Slieve Echtge, that got its name from Echtge, daughter of Nuada of the Silver Hand, and Finn and the Fianna were to the west, at Slieve Cairn in the district of Corcomruadh. And Finn was in doubt if the sons of Morna were gone southward into Munster or north into Connacht. So he sent Aedan and Cahal, two sons of the King of Ulster, and two hundred fighting men with them, into the beautiful pleasant province of Connacht, and every day they used to go looking for the sons of Morna from place to place.

    But after a while the three battalions of the Fianna that were in Corcomruadh saw the track of a troop of men, and they thought it to be the track of the sons of Morna; and they closed round them at night, and made an end of them all. But when the full light came on the morrow, they knew them to be their own people, that were with the King of Ulster's sons, and they gave three great heavy cries, keening the friends they had killed in mistake. pp. 421–422

    "Gods and Fighting Men: The Quarrel with the Sons of Morna" (1905)
    Arranged and put into English by Lady Gregory with a preface by W. B. Yeats

    Source: Internet Archive


    ...Clancullen return out of Echtge's hospitable borders; fall to
    exercise de Clare and his company with desultory onsets and predatory
    incursions that, whether by day or by night, never give them
    respite...p. 8.

    Turlough the chief, in short, tarried but a little anywhere until he
    reached that which in all time of his sore sickness [dire extremity]
    was his nook of shelter and place of recuperation: the heart of
    freeborn populous Clancashin, where for a while he bided and with
    ceaseless vigilance was kept.

    Next, he journeyed into Connacht to seek out Teigue O'Kelly and
    William Burke, who used him honourably and with consideration. In the
    following autumn's beginning he brought back with him the noble de
    Burgo's route, the fighting men of the O'Kellys under Teigue O'Kelly,
    and the O'Maddens commanded by Melachlin O'Madden. p.9

    "Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh - The Triumphs of Turlough" (1929)
    Sean Mac Ruaidhrí Mac Craith, translated by Standish Hayes O'Grady

    Source: CELT: The Corpus of Electronic Texts


    With their combined forces, Brian Roe and de Clare marched to the attack of Clonroad, the stronghold of Turlogh. Its owner was absent, having gone to Corcabaskin to obtain aid from Teige Buidhe MacMahon, from Rory MacMahon, and from the O'Gradys, and O'Hehirs. Thus reinforced, he attacked and wasted Ui Cualachta and Ui Fearmaic, the patrimony of the O'Quins, O'Hehirs, and O'Deas. Thence he invaded Ui Caisin, but the MacNamaras, to escape from him, temporarily removed their cattle to Sliave Echtghe. About that time (1277), De Clare built the Castle of Bunratty, and after conquering the old families of Tradraighe, he bestowed that district upon his own followers.

    In the meanwhile, Turlogh was busy seeking support for himself. He was joined by the MacMahons, that is, by Donogh son of Rory; and by Bryan, son of Teige Buidhe; by Cumeadha MacGorman; by Donald, son of Teige Alainn O'Brien of Tromraidh (Tromroe); and by Donald Mantach O'Connor Corcomroe; by the MacNamaras of Clancullein; and finally by the de Burgos and O'Kellys of Connaught. All these being ready, in the following autumn, they ravaged Moynoe and Tomgraney, and encountering Brian Roe and his auxiliaries at Moygreasan utterly defeated them in a pitched battle. pp. 213-214.

    "The history and topography of the county of Clare, from the earliest times to the beginning of the 18th century" (1893)
    James Frost, M.R.I.A.

    Source: Internet Archive


    Turlough O'Brien passed from the MacMahon territory into Burren, and then northward into Galway; and, having secured help from William de Burgho (Bourkes), he proceeded to join Clancuilein in the woods of Echty, and the combined force then commenced offensive warfare against De Clare, and the other Anglo-Normans who had settled in the district of Tradree. So constant were these attacks that the foreigners constructed a wall and trench across the northern part of their lands, in hopes of preserving them from the Irish; but defences of this kind were useless as means of protection against a race of active light-footed creatures like the men of Clancuilein. p. 104

    "The story of an Irish sept: their character & struggle to maintain their lands in Clare" (1896)
    N. C. Macnamara

    Source: Internet Archive


    ...we are told in the "Annals of Clonmacnoise" that the churches of Connaught were plundered, A.D. 1204, by William de Burgo. Amongst those referred to are the churches of Fiachrach. Can we assume that in such a raid the churches and religious community at Kilmacduagh were spared? A few years later, in A.D. 1207, the bloodshed and sacrilegious plunder were repeated by Murtagh, son of Turlogh Mór O'Brien. And we are expressly told by our annalists that his devastating raid extended from Kilmacduagh to Athenry. Yet a few years later still, in A.D. 1225, we find this carnival of carnage repeated by Murtagh, son of Donal O'Brien. The "Annals of Lough Cé" tell us: "They plundered and killed everyone they caught." p. 231

    "Kilmacdough and its Ecclesiastical Monuments" (The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1905)
    The Very Rev. J. Fahey, D.D., P.P., V.G.

    Source: Internet Archive


    The age of Christ one thousand one hundred seventy nine.

    Clonfert-Brendan with all its churches, were burned. [1]
    Disert-Kelly... burned. [2]
    Melaghlin Reagh O’Shaughnessy, Lord of half the territory of Kinalea, was killed by the son of Donough O’Cahill. [3] p.51

    [1] Clonfert-Brendan, Cluain ferta brenainn. The church of Clonfert, the head of an ancient bishop's see, in the barony of Longford, and county of Galway.
    [2] Disert-Kelly, Disert Ceallaigh, - The name is now corruptly anglicised Isertkelly, and is applied to an ancient church and parish in the diocese of Kilmacduagh, situated to the south-west of the town of Loughrea, in the county of Galway. - See Ordnance Map of the county of Galway, sheet 114.
    [3] O'Cahill, ua cathail. - O'Shaughnessy shortly afterwards became lord of all the territory of Kinelea, and the O'Cahills sunk into comparative insignificance. This territory comprised the now southern half of the diocese of Kilmacduagh, in the south-west of the county of Galway, and contained the churches of Kilmacduagh, Beagh, and Kilbecanty, and the castles of Gort, and Ardmulduane.

    "Annala Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the kingdom of Ireland." (Vol. 3, 1856)
    Michael O'Clery, Cucogry O'Clery, Ferfeasa O'Mulconry, Cucogry O'Duigenan, Conary O'Clery.
    Edited with a Translation, and copious notes by John O'Donovan, LL.D., M.R.I.A.

    Source: Internet Archive


    A.D. 1170. Diarmaid O'Quin, chief of Clann-Ifernain, was slain by the Cinel Aedha (O'Shaughnessys) of Echtghe, i.e. that part of Echtghe in the Co. Galway, now called Kinelea. p. 211.

    [Clancullen] Recte Clann-Colein. Probably co-extensive before A.D. 1276, with the Deanery of Ogashen (i.e. Ui-Caisin), consisting of the following nine parishes: Quin, Tulla, Kiltoolagh, Clooney, Doora, Kilraghtis, Templemaley, Inshicronan, and Kilmurrynagall. At this time, however, Quin, and probably Kilmurrynagall, were in possession of De Clare, and so could not be included in Mac Conmara's territory. p. 222.

    Part of Cinel-Aedha, O'Shaughnessy's country, adjoining county Clare. From this it would appear that Mahone O'Brien's territory included a small part of the present county Galway, and well shows the great power he had become in Thomond. p. 223

    "The journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland." (1900)
    Dr. Geo. U. Macnamara
    Inchiquin, County Clare.

    Source: Internet Archive


    Clanna Dedad. Who were the Clanna D.? The name occurs frequently as a synonym for the Érainn.

    According to McNeill the name Érainn, or Érna, indicates one of the oldest population-groups in Ireland. (Proc. R.I.A. XXIX, C, 4). p. 5.

    "The country where Dál Cais are to-day, and that was their division where Clanna Deaghaidh were, was changed in defining the boundaries of their territories and lands. They exchanged fosterage between them, Fionnabair, daughter of Oilill and Medb, Ciar and Concradh, two sons of Fergus mac Róigh, and these were the fosterlings taken north; Gainne son of Déaghadh, and Corrann, daughter of Comann son of D., and Geiscneisgael, daughter of Conaingoneis, son of D. On account of that fosterage they gave the land, on which the old tribes of the Fir Bolg were formerly, to Clanna D. with the fosterage, viz.: from Áthadh na Bóiroimhe (Ford of Killaloe) to Léim Con (Loop Head) and from Fiódhbhaidhe Céadinis (an island in the Shannon) and Eísgir Riada (ridge north of Co. Clare) to Luimnech (Shannon estuary). And after that the Clanna D. became exhausted." (23. N. 30, pp. 75, 76 ; H. 4, 13, 30; Annals, Inisfallen).

    These passages show a definite tradition as to the furthest extension of Clanna D. while at the height of their power. As Clare fell subsequently to descendants of Fergus mac Róigh they cannot have held it long, but the name "Sliabh Echtge" being traced to a daughter of D. points to settlements of the Clann in Clare. It is also clear that they were in close alliance with central Connaught. The links between them and Oilill and Medb were many and fast. p.21

    "Side-lights on the Táin age and other studies" (1917)
    Margaret E. Dobbs

    Source: Internet Archive


    The Cenél Aeda with whom Imar an tSléibe lived was of course quite distinct from Cenél Fiachach of Mide, though both names are sometimes Englished alike, Kinalea... p.XXI

    Subdivisions of the country have also distinctive epithets, as Leath Cuinn for the northern portion of Ireland, Leath Mogha for the southern, a reminiscence of the division attributed to Conn the Hundredfighter and Eóghan Mór. Munster may be Magh Maicniadh, from Maicnia, a Munster chief; Connacht, fonn Oilill, from Oilill, husband of Meadhbh, or Clár Meadhbha, from Medhbh herself. The people of Munster may be referred to as aicme, etc Bloid, Briain, Cais, Meic Con, Táil, etc; those of Connacht as Clann Chuinn, etc, and so on. Similarly each family provides in its geographical situation and its genealogical tree opportunity for many allusive epithets. p. LIX.

    "A bhfuil aguinn dár chum: idir mholadh agus marbhnadh aoir agus ábhacht iomarbháigh agus iomchasaoid. The Bardic Poems of Tadhg Dall Ó Huiginn (1550-1591)"
    Eleanor Knott (1922)

    Source: Internet Archive


    Grend Muman ó Charn co Cliu
    immot breith assa leith adíu;
    Grend Connacht a hEchtge úair,
    Grend fer nhÉrenn ra hóen-úair.

    The challenge (?) of Munster from Carn to Cliu
    About carrying thee hence.
    The challenge of Connaught from cold Slieve Aughty[1],
    The challenge of the men of Ireland at the same time. p.131.

    A servant of the King of Munster and an old woman of Leinster made this dispute at the abode of the woman at the end of Magh Dala; for she was there in hospitallership to the King of Leinster...p.133

    [1] Echtge, now Slieve Aughty, or Baughta, Co. Clare.

    "The Quarrel about the loaf. Ériu: Journal of the School of Irish Learning." Vol I.
    T P. O'Nowlan. M.A. (1904)

    Source: Internet Archive


    The Age of Christ, 531.

    The fourth year of Tuathal. The battle of Claenloch, in Cinel-Aedh [1], by Goibhneann [2], chief of Ui-Fiachrach-Aidhne, where Maine, son of Cearbhall, was killed, in defending the hostages of Ui-Maine [3] of Connaught. p.177

    [1] Claenloch, in Cinel-Aedha - The name Claenloch is now obsolete. Cinel-Aedha, anglice Kinelea, was the name of O'Shaughnessy's country, lying around the town of Gort, in the barony of Kiltartan, and county of Galway.

    [2] Goibhneann - This Goibhneann was the great grandfather of the celebrated Guaire Aidhne, King of Connaught, who died in the year 662. He was the son of Conall, son of Eoghan Aidhne, son of Eochaidh Breac, who was the third son of Dathi, the last Pagan monarch of Ireland. He is the ancestor of the Ui-Fiachrach-Aidhne, whose country was coextensive with the diocese of Kilmacduagh. See Genealogies, Tribes, and Customs of Hy-Fiachrach, pp. 373, 374, and the large genealogical table in the same work.

    [3] Ui-Maine, of Connaught - The people of Hy-Many, seated in the present counties of Galway and Roscommon. These were an offset of the Oirghialla or Clann-Colla, and are here called "of Connaught" to distinguish them from the Ui-Maine of Teffia in Westmeath who were descended from Maine, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. After the establishment of surnames O'Kelly was chief of Ui-Maine in Connaught, and O'Catharnaigh, now Fox, chief of Tir-Many, or Teffia.

    "Annals of The Kingdom of Ireland, by The Four Masters, From the Earliest Period to The year 1616." Vol I.
    Translation and Notes by John O'Donovan (1856)

    Source: Internet Archive


    "Cold the winter and the wind is risen; the high-couraged, unquelled stag is on foot. Bitter cold to-night is the whole mountain, yet for all that the ungovernable stag is belling. The deer of Slievecarn of the gatherings lays not his side to the ground; no less than he, the stag of frigid Echtge’s summit catches the chorus of the wolves. I, Caolite, with brown Dermot and with keen light-footed Oscar, we, too, in the nipping night's waning end would listen to the music of the pack." p. 27.

    [Author Unknown]
    "Ossian and the Ossianic literature" (1910)
    Alfred Nutt

    Source: Internet Archive


    1137 — The annals of Tigernach

    Dall Find edha .i. Gilla Muire, o coin allta mortuus est.
    ["The Blind one of... that is, Gilla Maire, was killed by wolves"].

    Condachta. didiu do fasugud o Eas Ruaidh co Sinaind 7 co hEchtaigh Muman, 7 a cur fén a n-íarthur Condacht.
    ["Connaught, then, was laid waste from Assaroe to the Shannon and to Echtach (Slieve Aughty?) of Munster, and the people themselves were driven into the west of Connaught"] p.156

    "The annals of Clonmacnoise [being annals of Ireland, 807 B.C. to A.D. 1178], Revue Celtique, Vol. XVIII. - No. 1" (1897)
    Whitley Stokes; Tigernach, Abbot of Clonmacnoise, d. 1088

    Source: Internet Archive


    "Moenmhagh, sometimes anglicised Moinmoy, and sometimes corruptly Menevy," —p 37. note f., "Tribes and Customs of Hy Many" ed by Dr. John O’Donovan.

    "Moenmhagh [Moinmoy] the ancient patrimony of the Clanna Moirne, which had been in the occupation of strangers . . . was again restored to Hy Many and divided among their septs." — ibid., p. 7. note f.,

    O'Donovan, on p. 66 of the work referred to, quotes "Marasgalacht a shluaig ag na saerclannaibh o Charaid co Luimnech a laignib, ocus a laech Mhumhain = The marshalling of the forces of all Hy Many from Caradh to Luimnech, on all expeditions into Leinster and into heroic Munster, belongs to the noble tribes." And he has the following footnote: "The place called Caradh formed the northern or north-eastern boundary of Hy Many, and Grian its southern, and Luimnech was an old name for the river Shannon." Dr. O'Donovan throughout the whole of the work in question, seems generally to have taken Grian to mean the river Grian, tho' it is just as probable that he ought to have said the district called Grian. This volume was edited in 1843, and four years previously, in Clare Ordnance Survey Letters, O'Donovan wrote from Tulla: "I have not the slightest shadow of a shade of a doubt that Grian was the name of a district in Sliabh Eichtghe, forming the southern boundary of that part of ancient Hy Many called Moinmoy." pp. 115,116.

    "Cúirt an Mheadhon oidhche" (Brian Merriman)
    Risteárd Ó Foghludha, Piaras Béarslaí (1912)

    Source: Internet Archive


    On the extreme eastern side of the territory of Hy Fiachrach Aidhne there lay a very extensive district, which extended through the Echtge Mountains to the dioceses of Clonfert and Killaloe. Its most fruitful districts lay along the bases of the Echtge range, from the Mac Hubert districts of Roxboro to the Mac Redmond territory in Kilbecanty. It therefore included the Castle Daly and Cappard districts, with most of the fertile valleys and wild moorlands which extend to "Abain da' Loilgheach," the Derrybrien river which flows by Chevy Chase into Lough Cutra lake. These districts, comprising considerable portions of the baronies of Loughrea and Kiltartan, were in the possession of the O'Fahy sept at the beginning of the seventeenth century. p. 254.

    "The history and antiquities of the diocese of Kilmacduagh" (1893)
    J. Fahey, DD., VG.

    Source: Internet Archive


    Aodh, son of Cobhtach.—Aodh, the ancestor of the tribe called Cinel Aodha na h-Echtghe, of whom the O’Cahills and O’Shaughnessys were the chiefs after the establishment of surnames.

    "A. D. 1154. Toirdhealbhach O’Conor [King of Ireland] set out on a predatory excursion into Meath, but returned without a single cow, his son Maelseachlainn and Donnchadh O’Cathail [Donogh O’Cahill], lord of Cinel Aodha na h-Echtghe [Kinelea of Slieve Aughty], being killed."—Four Masters.
    "A. D. 1170. Diarmaid O’Cuinn [Dermot O’Quin], chief of Clann Iffernain [in Thomond], was slain by the Cinel Aodha of Echtghe."—Four Masters.
    "A. D. 1191. Cinel Aodha na h-Echtghe was given to King Roderic O’Conor."—Four Masters.
    "A. D. 1197. Maoileachlainn Riabhach O'Shaughnessy, lord of half the territory of Cinel Aodha, was slain by the son of Donnchadh O'Cathail [O'Cahill]."—Four Masters.
    "A. D. 1221. The sons of Gillenenewe macconn [recte Cromm] O'Seaghnossa, took house upon Gille Mochoynne O'Cahall, prince of Kynelhagh, who killed him after his coming foorth." — Ann. Clonmacnoise, translated by Connell Mageoghegan.
    "A. D. 1222. Giolla Mochoine O'Cathail, lord of Cinel Aodha, East and West, was slain by Seachnasach, the son of Giolla na Naomh O'Shaughnessy, at the instigation of his own people."—Four Masters.
    "A. D. 1224. Seachnasach, the son of Giolla na naomh O'Shaughnessy, was slain by the Clann Cuilen [the Mac Namaras] and the bachall mor [large crozier] of St. Colman of Kilmacduagh, was profaned by this deed.''—Four Masters. p.374.

    "The genealogies, tribes, and customs of Hy-Fiachrach, commonly called O'Dowda's country" (1844)
    Translation and Notes by John O’Donovan

    Source: Internet Archive


    The Age of Christ, 1505.

    O'Donnell, Hugh Roe, the son of Niall Garv, son of Turlough of the Wine, Lord of Tirconnell, Inishowen, Kinel-Moen, and Lower Connaught, died; a man who had obtained hostages from the people of Fermanagh, Oriel, Clannaboy, and the Route, and from the O'Kanes, and also the English and Irish of Connaught, with the exception of Mac William of Clanrickard, who, however, did not go unrevenged for his disobedience, for O'Donnell frequently entered his territory, and left not a quarter of land from the River Suck upwards, and from Sliabh O n-Aedha [1] westwards, which he did not make tributary to him.

    [1] Sliabh O n-Aedha, i.e. the mountain of the a race of Aedh, i.e. the mountain of Kinel-Aedha. This was the name of that part of the mountain of Sliabh Echtghe, now Slieve Aughty, situated in the territory of Kinelea, on the confines of the counties of Clare and Galway. See Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many, p. 91, note k, and the map to the same work. The stream that called Abhainn-da-loilgheach, i.e. the river of the two milch cows, divided Sliabh O'n-Aedha from the southern portion of Sliabh Echtghe. p.1283

    "Annals of The Kingdom of Ireland, by The Four Masters, From the Earliest Period to The year 1616." Vol V.
    Translation and Notes by John O’Donovan (1856)

    Source: Internet Archive


    The first of the De Burghs who settled in Ireland, was Adelin, uncle of Hubert De Burgh, Earl of Kent, in the reigns of John and Henry III., and one of the greatest subjects in Europe. Richard De Burgh, the descendant of Adelin, was Lord of Connaught, and, dying in 1243, left two sons,—Walter. Earl of Ulster,—and William ancestor of the Marquis of Clanricarde. In 1543, Ulick De Burgh was created Earl of Clanricarde; and in 1644, Ulick the fifth Earl, was advanced to the dignity of Marquis of Clanricarde. At the letter's death in 1657, the Marquisate became extinct, and the earldom was inherited by his cousin-germane, Richard De Burgh. In 1785, the marquisate was restored in the person of Henry, the 12th Earl; but at his death in 1797, it again became extinct, and the earldom devolved, upon the marquis's brother John. In 1825, Ulick the 14th Earl was created the third Marquis of Clanricarde, in the peerage of Ireland; and next year he was made baron of Somerhill in the peerage of the United Kingdom.

    "The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland" Volume III, p.90 (A. Fullarton and Co., 1846)

    Source: Internet Archive


    For a considerable time the O'Clerys held the distinguished rank of Chiefs of Southern Hy Fiachrach. But early in the eleventh century we find that they were superseded in the office by the O'Heynes, another prominent branch of the same sept. Maelruana O'Heyne, Lord of Hy Fiachrach Aidhne, was slain at the battle of Clontarf, A.D. 1014, where he commanded an important wing of the Irish Army.

    It is recorded by our Annalists that the Castle of Ardrahan was seized by Mac-William Burke Earl of Ulster, A.D. 1264. Since the death of Eoghan O’Heyne in A.D. 1253, the chieftaincy of Hy Fiachrach had fallen into weaker hands. The prowess of Walter de Burgo was acknowledged throughout Ireland. He had ravaged the greater part of the kingdom; and like his father the Red Earl, he acknowledged to be the most powerful subject in Ireland. It was therefore not a matter of much surprise that he should have captured the Castle, and retained it, as we are assured, in his own hands; and with it we find that he appropriated the most fertile portions of the tribe-lands of Aidhne, which extend to Hy Maine on the one side, and on the other along the Echtge mountains, to the vicinity of Gort-insi-Guaire. As the expulsion of the O’Clerys from the territory synchronises with this event, and as it is recorded that they were driven out by the Burkes, there can be no doubt that their expulsion may be attributed to Walter De Burgo Earl of Ulster.

    "Some De Burgo Castles in eastern Hy Fiachrach Aidhne"
    (Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol.IV, No.1, June 1905)
    Monsignor J. Fahey, D.D

    Source: Internet Archive


    There is distinct evidence of transfer of half the Geraldine estate in Aidhne to the Earl of Ulster in the note in Inq. C, that the advowson of the church of Ardrahan belonged to him and to the heirs of Richard de Clare alternately. But the land seems to have been let out again for knight service, as it does not appear in the Inquisitions.

    The descendants of Redmond and Hubert, sons of Earl Walter, had large estates along the south-eastern border of Aidhne, from Isertkelly to Kilbeacanty and Kiltartan. Thus they seem to have been provided for in fees held under the FitzGeralds at first. For these seem to have been the lands formerly held by the O’Clerys, and part of those held by the O’Cahills in the eastern part of Kinelea, whereof the greatest part was left in the hands of O’Shaughnessy, the head chief of that division of the Ui Fiachrach. I cannot make out anything more definite regarding the occupation of this part of Aidhne.

    p. 186

    "Occupation of Connaught by The Anglo-Normans after A.D. 1237" (1903)
    H. T. Knox, M.R.I.A., Fellow

    Source: Internet Archive


    The Race of Fiachra, Son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin. — [These are the Hy-Fiachrach of the Muaidh (where we are this day, 1666), the Hy-Amhalgaidh of Iorrus, the men of Ceara, the Hy-Fiachrach Aidhne[1], now called Cineal Guaire[2], Cineal Aodha na h-Echtghe[3], Coill Ua bh-Fiachrach [4], together with other territories not considered as of the Hy-Fiachrach at the present day].

    [1] Hy-Fiachrach Aidhne, i.e. the inhabitants of the diocese of Kilmacduagh, which comprises the entire of the territory anciently called Aidhne—See Map of the Tract on Hy-Many.
    [2] Cineal Guaire, i.e. the descendants of the celebrated Guaire Aidhne, King of Connaught, in the seventh century.
    [3] Cineal Aodha, na h-Echtghe.—This was the tribe name of the O'Shaughnessys of Gort Inse Guaire, in the south-west of the county of Galway, who were called na h-Echtghe, because their country comprised a portion of the mountainous district of Sliabh Echtghe, now called Slieve Aughty, and sometimes corruptly Slieve Baughta.
    [4] Coill Ua bh-Fiachrach. —This name, which is anglicised Killovyeragh, is still well known in the county of Galway, and applied to the north-western portion of the barony of Kiltartan. It appears by an inquisition taken at Galway in 1608, that " Killovyeragh, O'Heyne's contry, being estimated only as forty-five quarters of land, doth consist of 8640 acres, which maketh [in reality] three skore and twelve quarters."

    "The genealogies, tribes, and customs of Hy-Fiachrach" (1844)
    John O'Donovan

    Source: Internet Archive


    Dá righ Ceneóil Aodha ann (an?)
    O'Seachnasaigh na seachnam
    As diobh O'Cathail na gcliar
    Min a achaidh 'sa úirsliabh.

    Two kings o'er Kinel-Aodha, the noble,
    O'Shaughnessy, whom we do not avoid [1]
    And O'Cahill of the clergy
    Smooth his fields and fertile mountain (úir sliabh) [2]

    [1] O'Seachnasaigh na seachnam. This is a play upon the name Seachnasach which seems to signify one that shuns or avoids, being apparently formed from the verb seachnaim.
    [2] (Mín a Achaidh 'sa Úrsliabh) Kinelea comprises a part of the mountain Echtghe. We do not agree with O'Dugan that the fields and mountain of Kinel Aedha na h-Echtghe are at all smooth; for we never saw a surface so craggy, rocky, stony, rugged, uneven! Perhaps the Bard was joking! Why has he not told us a word about the scenery of Lough Cutra and the Devil's Punch Bowl?

    "Topographical Poem" (14th century)
    Shane O'Dugan (translation & notes by John O'Donovan, 1838)

    Source: Ordnance Survey Letters of Galway


    Hy-Maine signifies Maine's territory; Hy or I being the plural of Ua or O, a grandson, and is frequently prefixed to the name of any remarkable progenitor of a family, as well to particularize the family as the lands they possess.

    Deirgdeirc, generally called Loch Deirgdheirc, in the best Irish authorities; it is now called Lough Derg, and sometimes Lough Dergart, and is a large and beautiful lake formed by an expansion of the Shannon, between Portumna and Killaloe.

    Grian is the name of a river which rises on the confines of the counties of Clare and Galway, and falls into Lough Greine, in the parish of Feakle, barony of Upper Tullagh, and county of Clare, whence it issues, and flowing in a S. E. direction, passes through Lough O'Grady, and through the village of Scarriff, and disembogues itself into an arm of Lough Derg, near the old church of Moynoe.

    "The Tribes and customs of Hy-Many, commonly called O'Kelly's country." (1861)
    John O'Donovan

    Source: Internet Archive


    Lough Derg (which the tourist must not confound with Lough Derg in Donegal co.) is an expansion of the Shannon of about 25 m. in length and from 2 to 3 m. in breadth, running in a direction from N.E. to S.S.W.

    On the northern shore is Mountshannon, nestling at the foot of Knockeven, 1242 ft., and adjoining the village are the prettily wooded grounds of Woodpark (Philip Reade, Esq).

    At the head of the bay is Scariff, a very charmingly situated little town, at the junction of 2 important roads: 1. From Woodford and Mount Shannon to Killaloe; 2. to Tulla and the co. Clare. The range of hills which have been accompanying us for so many miles, here experience a check, but rise again almost immediately to the S. between Scariff and Killaloe; the result is a pretty mountain valley through which flows the river Graney, rising in a considerable tarn called Longh Graney, and, when near Scariff, passing through Lough O'Grady, from whence it emerges as the Scariff river. Advantage has been taken of this valley to form a line of road to the little town of Tulla.

    "Handbook for travellers in Ireland" (1866)
    John Murray

    Source: Internet Archive


    The road passes over the edge of the hill below the great Cratloe Forest, once famous for its oaks. Over this pass King Muircheartach "of the leather coats," crossed in the winter of A.D. 941. His historian expresses horror at the pass of Cratshallagh in his poem on "The Circuit of Ireland"; they camped on the "cold Magh Adhair" afterwards. In May, 1318, King Murchad O’Brien, after his fruitless peace conference with Sir Richard de Clare at Limerick, marched by Cratloe into Ui Aimrid, and on "past hazel woody Ballymulcashel" and Cullaun to Tulla, while de Clare returned to Bunratty on the high tide in bright moonlight, a statement which Dr Joly (the late Astronomer Royal) verified by calculation and found to be correct...

    On January 26th, 1276, King Edward I. of England, out of his bounty, graciously granted to Sir Thomas de Clare, younger son of Richard, Earl of Gloucester, the whole of Thomond, to be held in tail.

    "The antiquities of Limerick and its neighbourhood" (1916)
    T.J. Westropp, R.A.S. Macalister & G.U. Macnamara

    Source: Internet Archive


    From Dublin To Tullo. At Killaloe, as in most other places, we have occasion to mention, are the remains of some once considerable buildings; there is also a bridge over the Shannon; the town standing on the west side of that river; near a mile on the L. of the town, is the seat of the Lord Bishop.

    From Killaloe to Broadford, the road winds in various directions among a number of very considerable hills; 2 miles beyond Killaloe, on the L. is Ross, the seat of Mr. Pearce; and 4 miles, is the village of Bridgetown, where you turn to the R.; a mile further, is Ballyquin, the seat of Mr. Arthur, on the L.; and half a mile beyond it, the village of Ballymalony.

    At Broadford, the road to Tullo again turns to the R. leaving the seat of Mr. Bentley, on the L.; and the church, near a mile, also on the L.

    I mile beyond Broadford, is Doon, the seat of Mr. Massey, on the L.; near a small lake, beyond which, more to the L. are Killyderry, Mr. Even's, and Woodfield, Mr, Lock's; near 3 miles from Broadford, are considerable mills; and on the R. of them, separated by a small lake, is the seat of their proprietor, Mr. Callaghan; I mile beyond the mills, where the road divides, keep on the L. to go to Tullo; on the R. at some distance, are Fort Ann and Lismeaghan, the seats of the Mr. Westrops; within half a mile of Tullo, on the R. is Garurah, the seat of Mr. Harrison; and on the R. of Tullo, is Gregane, that of Mr. Malony.

    "The traveller's guide through Ireland; being an accurate and complete companion to Captain Alexander Taylor's map of Ireland" (1794)
    George Tyner

    Source: Internet Archive