Ireland's History in Maps


        500         700
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Reference:   Old Irish Kingdoms and Clans -- Old Irish Surnames


Ireland's 'golden age' began in the sixth century and lasted well into the ninth century. Ireland was known as an 'Island of Saints and Scholars' whose wandering missionaries and teachers were a beacon for the rest of Europe when the continental countries were said to languish in their 'Dark Ages'. Did the Irish carry the torch of learning to Europe during these centuries? The documentary evidence places the scholars of Irish monastic schools at an academic pinnacle, and there seems to be little doubt of the contributions made by the scribes and monks in preserving the West's written heritage. The flowering of literature and learning in early Ireland is firmly linked with the rise of Christian monastic schools which came into prominence in the latter half of the sixth century. From these monastic centers Irish missionaries were to establish religious centers of learning in other parts of Europe.

Who were some of the early missionaries? Colum Cille (Columba) went to Iona, off the coast of Scotland, around 563 to convert the Picts. Columbanus went to Gaul (France) around 591, and later into other parts of Europe, to establish monastic schools. Fursa went to East Anglia (England) and Gaul around 633 to establish Irish foundations of learning. Aidan became the first bishop of Lindisfarne in Northumbria about 635.

Political Influence in Ireland

By the beginning of the 7th century the dominant power in Ulster were the Dal Fiatach, over their rivals the Cruithin, i.e. the Dal nAraide of south Co. Antrim and the Ui Eachach Cobo of west Co. Down. At the same time the Northern Ui Neill began to extend their territory further into Co. Derry and Tyrone.

The Southern Ui Neill, represented in particular by Clann Cholmain and Sill nAedo Slaine, established dominance in northern Leinster province with their new territories on the plains of Meath/Westmeath (Midhe and Brega). They eclipse the power of (probably) the Dal Messin Corb, Ui Failge and Ui Enechglaiss of Leinster.

In Connacht, the Ui Briuin and Ui Fiachrach become dominant. By the 630s the Ui Dunlainge emerged as the most powerful in northern Leinster, whose borders have been taken further south by the Southern Ui Neill. The Ui Dunlainge began to eclipse the former power held by the Dal Messin Corb, represented principally by the Ui Garrchon. In southern Leinster the Ui Cennselaig began their dominance, while the Ui Bairrche were strong in the eastern part of the province.

In Munster the Eoghanachta begin their push into Co. Cork and eastern Co. Kerry pushing aside the wide population groups of the Mairtine and Erainn.

Excerpts from the Annals

551 AD - The death of Eochaidh, son of Connlo, King of Ulidia, from whom are the Ui Eathach Uladh.---Tighernach.

552 AD - The killing of Colman Mor, son of Diarmaid, in his chariot, by Dubhshlat Ua Treana, one of the Cruithni.

554 AD - Curnan, son of Aedh, son of Eochaidh Tirmcharna, i. e. the son of the King of Connaught, was put to death by Diarmaid, son of Cearbhall, in violation of the guarantee and protection of Colum Cille, having been forcibly torn from his hands, which was the cause of the battle of Cul Dreimhne.

555 AD - The battle of Cul Dreimhne was gained against Diarmaid, son of Cearbhall, by Fearghus and Domhnall, the two sons of Muircheartach, son of Earca; by Ainmire, son of Sedna; and by Ainnidh, son of Duach; and by Aedh, son of Eochaidh Tirmcharna, King of Connaught. It was in revenge of the killing of Curnan, son of Aedh, son of Eochaidh Tirmcharna, while under the protection of Colum Cille, the Clanna Neill of the North and the Connaughtmen gave this battle of Cul Dreimhne to King Diarmaid.

556 AD - The battle of Cuil Uinnsenn, in Teathbha, was fought against Diarmaid, by Aedh, son of Breanainn, chief of Teathbha; and Diarmaid was routed from the field of battle.

557 AD - The battle of Moin Doire Lothair was gained over the Cruithnigh, by the Ui Neill of the North, i. e. by the Cinel Conaill and Cinel Eoghain, wherein fell seven chieftains of the Cruithnigh, together with Aedh Breac; and it was on this occasion that the Lee and Carn Eolairg were forfeited to the Clanna Neill of the North.

558 AD - After Diarmaid, the son of Fearghus Cerrbheoil, had been twenty years in sovereignty over Ireland, he was slain by Aedh Dubh, son of Suibhne, King of Dal Araidhe, at Rath Beag, in Magh Line. His head was brought to Cluain Mic Nois, and interred there, and his body was interred at Connor.

559 AD - The first year of the two sons of Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach, in the kingdom of Ireland, i.e. Domhnall and Fearghus.

560 AD - Daimhin Damhairgitr, i.e. Cairbre, died. From him are the Airghialla.

561 AD - After Domhnall and Fearghus, the two sons of Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach, son of Eoghan, son of Niall, had been three years in the sovereignty of Ireland, they both died.

562 AD - The first year of Eochaidh, son of Domhnall, son of Muircheartach, and of Baedan, son of Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach, in the sovereignty of Ireland.

563 - After Eochaidh and Baedan had been two years in the sovereignty of Ireland, they were slain by Cronan, chief of Cianachta Glinne Gemhin.

564 AD - The first year of Ainmire, son of Sedna, son of Fearghus Ceannfhoda, in the sovereignty of Ireland.

565 AD - Deman, son of Cairell, King of Ulidia, son of Muireadhach Muindearg, was killed by the shepherds of Boirenn. Also in this year A sea fleet was brought by Colman Beg, son of Diarmaid, son of Fearghus Cerrbheoil, and by Conall, son of Comhgall, chief of Dal Riada, to Sol and Ile, and they carried off many spoils from them.

566 AD - After Ainmire, son of Sedna, was three years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain by Fearghus, son of Nellin.

567 AD - After Baedan, son of Ninnidh, son of Fearghus Ceannfhoda, had been one year in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain at Leim An Eich, in a battle, by the two Comains; i.e. Comain, son of Colman Beg, son of Cearbhall, and Comain, son of Libren, son of Illadhan, son of Cearbhall. It was at the instance of Colman Beg they perpetrated this deed.

568 AD - The first year of Aedh, son of Ainmire, over Ireland.

571 AD - The battle of Tola, by Fiachna, son of Baedan, son of Cairell, against the people of Osraighe and Eile; and they were defeated. Tola is the name of a plain situated between Cluain Fearta Molua and Saighir. Also in this year was the battle of Feimhin, by Cairbre, son of Creamhthann, King of Munster, against Colman Beg, son of Diarmaid; and Colman was defeated.

572 AD - The battle of Doete, which is called Bealach Feadha, by Aedh, son of Ainmire, against the men of Meath, where fell Colman Beg, son of Diarmaid.

574 AD - The killing of Aedh, son of Eochaidh Tirmcharna, by the Ui Briuin.

576 AD - Colman, son of Cairbre, King of Leinster, died at Sliabh Mairge.

579 AD - The battle of Druim Mic Earca, was gained by Aedh, son of Ainmire, over the Cinel Eogain, where was slain Colga, son of Domhnall, son of Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach.

580 AD - Fearghus Scannal, King of Munster, was slain.

581 AD - Aedh, son of Suibhne, chief of Maenmagh, died.

582 AD - Fearadhach, son of Duach, Lord of Osraighe, was slain by his own people.

585 - Breanainn, son of Brian, chief of Teathbha Teffia, died. It was he that had, some time before, granted Dearmhagh to God and to Colum Cille. Also in this year Baetan, son of Cairell, King of Ulidia, died.

586 AD - Feidhlimidh, son of Tighernach, King of Munster, died. Also in this year the battle of Magh Ochtair was gained by Bran Dubh, son of Eochaidh, over the Ui Neill, at the hill over Cluain Conaire, to the south.

590 AD - The battle of Eadan Mor was gained by Fiachna, son of Baedan, son of Cairell, son of Muireadhach Muindearg, over Gerthidhe, son of Ronan, Lord of Cianachta.

591 AD - Aedh Cerr, son of Colman, son of Cairbre, King of Leinster, died.

592 AD - Aedh Dubh, son of Suibhne, King of Ulidia, was slain by Fiachna, son of Baedan. It was by this Aedh Dubh Diarmaid Mac Cearbhaill had been slain.

594 AD - After Aedh, son of Ainmire, son of Sedna, had been twenty seven years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain by Bran Dubh, son of Eochaidh, in the battle of Dun Bolg, in Leinster, after Aedh had gone to exact the Borumha, and to avenge his son Comusgach upon them. Some nobles fell in this battle of Bealach Duin Bolg, together with Beg, son of Cuanach, Lord of Oirghialla.

595 AD - The first year of both Aedh Slaine, son of the son of Diarmaid, son of Fearghus Cerrbheoil; and of Colman Rimidh, in the sovereignty of Ireland.

596 AD - Suibhne, son of Colman Beg, Lord of Meath, was slain by Aedh Slaine, at Bridamh.

597 AD - The battle of Sleamhain, in Meath, was fought by Colman Rimidh against Conall Cu, son of Aedh, son of Ainmire; and Conall was defeated. Also in this year Brenainn, son of Cairbre, son of Fechine, Lord of Ui Maine, died. Also in this year Uata, son of Aedh, son of Eochaidh Tirmcharna, King of Connaught, died.

598 AD - The battle of Eachros, in Muirisc, by Colman, chief of Cinel Cairbre, against Maelcothaigh, chief of Cinel Fiachrach, of Muirisc; and the battle was gained over Maelcothaigh.

600 AD - After Aedh Slaine, son of Diarmaid, and Colman Rimidh, son of Baedan, son of Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach, son of Eoghan, son of Niall, had been six years in the sovereignty of Ireland, Colman Rimidh was slain by Lochan Dilmana, and Aedh Slaine was slain by Conall Guithbhinn, son of Suibhne, son of Colman Mor, or Beg, son of Diarmaid, son of Cearthall, at Loch Semhedidhe. Aedh Gustan, the foster brother of Conall, and Baethghal Bile, wounded him.
Also in this year Conall, son of Suibhne, slew Aedh Roin, chief of Ui Failghe, at Faithche Mic Mencnain, and Aedh Buidhe, chief of Ui Maine, on the same day on which Aedh Slaine was slain by him. Also in this year Cui Gan Mathair, King of Munster, died - and Conall Cu, son of Aedh, son of Ainmire, died.

601 AD - The first year of Aedh Uairidhnach, son of Domhnall Ilchealgach, son of Muircheartach, son of Muireadhach, son of Eoghan, in the sovereignty of Ireland.
Also in this year The battle of Slaibhre was gained by the Ui Neill over Bran Dubh, son Eochaidh, King of Leinster; and Bran Dubh, i.e. son of Eochaidh, was killed by the Airchinneach of Senboithe Sine, and his own tribe. Also in this year Colman, son of Fearadhach, chief of Osraighe Ossory, died.

605 AD - Seachnasach, son of Garbhan, chief of Cinel Boghaine, was slain by Domhnall, son of Aedh, son of Ainmire. Also, Conall of the Red Dart, son of Daimhin, was killed by the Ui Meith Macha.

606 AD - Aedh, son of Colgan, chief of Oirghialla and of all the Airtheara, died on his pilgrimage, at Cluain Mic Nois (Clonmacnoise). Also, Maelduin, son of Ailen, chief of Mughdorn Maighean, died.

607 - After Aedh Uairidhnach had been seven years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he died at Ath Da Fearta. He was succeeded by Maelcobha, son of Aedh, son of Ainmire, in the sovereignty of Ireland.

610 AD - After Maelcobha, son of Aedh, son of Ainmire, had been three years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain by Suibhne Meann, in the battle of Sliabh Toadh. He was succeeded by Suibhne Meann, son of Fiachna, son of Fearadhach, in sovereignty over Ireland.
Also in this year Ronan, son of Colman, King of Leinster, died - and Gorman, one of the Mughdhorna, from whom are the Mac Cuinns, and who was a year living on the water of Tibraid Fingin, on his pilgrimage at Cluain Mic Nois, died.

613 AD - Fearghus, son of Colman Mor, Prince of Meath, was slain by Anfartach Ua Meascain, of Muintir Blaitine. In the following year Aedh Beannan, King of West Munster, died.

616 AD - Aenghus, son of Colman Mor, chief of the Southern Ui Neill, died.

620 AD - Ronan, son of Tuathal, Lord of the Airtheara, died. And Cathal, son of Aedh, King of Munster, died.

622 AD - The battle of Carn Fearadhaigh was gained by Failbhe Flann over the Connaughtmen, wherein were slain Conall, chief of Ui Maine, Maeldubh, Maelduin, Maelruain, Maelcalgaigh, and Maelbreasail, and other nobles and plebeians besides them; and Guaire Aidhne was routed from the battle field.
Also... The battle of Lethed Midinn, at Drung, was fought by Fiachna, son of Deman, Lord of Dal Fiatach, against Fiachna, son of Baedan, King of Ulidia. The battle was gained over Fiachna, son of Baedan, and he fell therein.

623 AD - After Suibhne Meann had been thirteen years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain at Traigh Brena, by Congal Claen. He was succeeded by Domhnall, son of Aedh, son of Ainmire, in the sovereignty of Ireland.

624 AD - The battle of Ard Corainn was gained by Connadh Cerr, Lord of Dal Riada, where Fiachna, son of Deman, King of Ulidia, was slain.

626 AD - The battle of Leathairbhe between Maelfithrigh, chief of Cinel Mic Earca, and Ernaine, son of Fiachra, chief of Cinel Fearadhaigh, where Maelfithrigh, son of Aedh Uairidhnach, was slain.

628 - The battle of Ath Goan, in Iarthar Liffe, by Faelan, son of Colman; by Conall, son of Suibhne, chief of Meath; and by Failge, or Failbhe Flann, King of Munster, wherein was slain Crimhthann, son of Aedh, son of Seanach, King of Leinster, with many others along with him.

630 AD - The two sons of Aedh Slaine were slain by Conall, son of Suibhne, at Loch Trethin, at Freamhain, namely, Congal, chief of Breagh, ancestor of the Ui Conaing, and Ailill Cruitire i.e. the Harper, ancestor of the Sil Dluthaigh.
Also... Conall, son of Suibhne, chief of Meath, and Maelumha, son of Forannan, were slain by Diarmaid, son of Aedh Slaine.

634 AD - The battle of Magh Rath was gained by Domhnall, son of Aedh, and the sons of Aedh Slaine, over Congal Claen, son of Scannlan, King of Ulidia, where fell Congal, and the Ulidians and foreigners along with him.
Also.. The battle of Saeltire was gained by Conall Cael, son of Maelcobha, over the Cinel Eoghain.

636 AD - Maelodhar Macha, chief of Oirghialla, died.

639 AD - After Domhnall, son of Aedh, son of Ainmire, had been sixteen years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he died at Ard Fothadh, in Tir Aedha, after the victory of penance, for he was a year in his mortal sickness; and he used to receive the body of Christ every Sunday. He was succeeded by Conall Cael and Ceallach, two sons of Maelcobha, son of Aedh, son of Ainmire, over Ireland, in joint sovereignty.
Also... Oilill, son of Colman, chief of Cinel Laeghaire, died.

640 AD - Scannlan Mor, son of Ceannfaeladh, chief of Osraighe (Ossory), died. Also, Cuana, son of Ailcen, chief of Feara Maighe Fermoy, died.

641 AD - Maelbreasail and Maelanfaidh died; and Flann Enaigh was mortally wounded. These were of the Cinel Conaill Gulban.

642 AD - Furadhran, son of Bec, son of Cuanach, chief of Ui Mic Uais, died.

644 AD - Bolgluatha, Lord of Ui Ceinnsealaigh, died.

645 AD - Raghallach, son of Uatach, King of Connaught, was killed by Maelbrighde, son of Mothlachan.
Also... The battle of Carn Conaill was gained by Diarmaid, son of Aedh Slaine against Guaire, wherein were slain the two Cuans, namely, Cuan, son of Enda, King of Munster, and Cuan, son of Conall, chief of Ui Fidhgeinte; and Tolamhnach, chief of Ui Liathain; and Guaire was routed from the battle field. Diarmaid, on his way to this battle, went first through Cluain Mic Nois (Clonmacnoise).

647 AD - Dunchadh and Conall, two sons of Blathmac, son of Aedh Slaine, were slain by the Leinstermen, in the mill race of the mill of Maelodhran, son of Dima Cron. Marcan and Maelodhran mortally wounded the two.

648 AD - The battle of Cuil Corra, by Aeldeith and Onchu, where Cillene, son of Forannan, chief of Ui Failghe Offaly, was slain.

649 AD - The battle of Airther Seola, in Connaught, by Ceannfaeladh, son of Colgan and Maenach, son of Baeithin, chief of Ui Briuin, in which was slain Marcan, son of Toimen, chief of Ui Maine.
Also... Fearghus, son of Domhnall, and Fearghus, son of Raghallach, and Aedh Beathra, son of Cuimin, were killed by the Ui Fiachrach Aidhne. Also... Maeldoid, son of Suibhne, chief of Meath, died.

650 AD - The battle of Fleascach, by Crunnmael, son of Suibhne, chief of Cinel Eoghain, in which was slain Cumascach, son of Oilioll, chief of Ui Cremhthainn. Also... Crunnmael Erbuilg, son of Ronan, chief of South Leinster, died.

656 AD - After Conall and Ceallach, the two sons of Maelcobha, son of Aedh, son of Ainmire, had been seventeen years over Ireland, Conall was slain by Diarmaid, son of Aedh Slaine; and Ceallach died at Brugh Mic An Og. Also... Blathmac, son of Maelcobha, King of Ulidia, died.

Further Reference:
Celtic Christianity
Irish Province History

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