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prominent place, being honoured by the title of " chief poet of Ireland," besides being the friend and chief antiquary of Brian Boroimhe. He was the son of Conkeartach, a doctor or professor of some eminence, and early became a favourite with his royal master, whose“ fifty battles” he enthusiastically commemorates, and whose triumphant fall on the plains of Clontarf, he so pathetically, but proudly details. His chief writings are “ the Munster Book of Battles,” which gives the most authentic detail of the encounters with the Danes, down to the battle of Clontarf; a life of Brian Boroimhe; a poem of an hundred and sixty verses upon the descendants of Cas, son of Conal Each Luath, king of Munster ; and one of nearly the same length, on the twelve sons of Kennedy, father of Brian Boroimhe; also three separate poems, lamenting the fall of Brian, and strongly expressive of his own personal grief on the event ; one beginning, “ Oh Cinn-coradh, where is Brian;" another, “ Westward came the fall of Brian;" and the last, which was written in the Hebrides, where Mac Liag went after the death of Brian, begins, “ Long to be without delight," and bitterly mourns over his own lost happiness, and the desolation of Cinn-coradh. His death took place, according to the Four Masters, in 1015.
Erard Mac Coisi.
DIED A.D. 1023.
ERARD Mac Coist, one of the historians of Ireland, and “ chief chronicler of the Gaels,” carried on a literary contest of some length with Donough, son of Brian Boroimhe, in the course of which Donough asserts the superiority of his father, and the Munster troops over Maolseachlainn, in a poem
hundred and ninety-two verses, while Erard, who was secretary to the Leinster king, contends with equal warmth for the more doubtful pre-eminence of his own master. He died in Clonmacnoise in the
DIED A.D. 1024.
Cuan O’LOCHAIN, who was considered the most learned antiquarian and historian of his time, was made joint regent of Ireland with Corcran, a clergyman, on the death of Maolseachlainn. His virtues and talents were of a very high order, and he was the author of various poems ; one of them descriptive of the splendour of the royal palace of Tarah, in the time of Cormac Mac Art, monarch of Ireland; another, on the rights and privileges of the monarch, and provincial kings of Ireland: the first of an hundred and eighty verses, and the next of an hundred and forty-eight; besides a poem of fifty-six verses, on the origin of the name of the river Shannon. The annals of Tighernach, Innisfallen, and the Four Masters state his having been killed in Teathbha, in 1024.
DIED A. D. 1065.
DUBDALETHY OR DUDLEY, archbishop of Armagh, was son of Mælbury, senior lecturer of divinity in that city. He wrote annals of Ireland, beginning at 962, and ending 1021, which are quoted both in the Ulster Annals, and by the Four Masters. He was highly esteemed for his learning both in Ireland and Scotland; and when in the year 1050, he made a circuit of cineal conaill, he obtained three hundred cows from the people of that country. Colgan says, that he also wrote an account of the archbishops of Armagh down to his own time. He died the 1st of Sept., 1065.
DIED A. D. 1072.
GIOLLA CAOIMHGHIN, one of the most celebrated poets and historians of his time, has left a variety of historical and chronological writings in verse, some of them upwards of six hundred verses in length. One commences with the creation, and is carried down to the year in which he died. He divides his chronology into different eras, and gives the names of several memorable persons who lived in each period. There is fine
of this in the possession of Sir Wm. Betham. Another poem gives the names of the ancestors of the chief line of the Gaels, from the dispersion at Babel to their establishment in Spain. Copies of this are in the books of Ballimote and Leacan, in the library of the royal Irish academy. He has also written a poem of six hundred and thirty-two verses, which was one of the chief documents on which O'Flaherty founded his technical chronology. This poem gives an account of the first colonization of Ireland, and enumerates all the monarchs that reigned until the time of Laoghaire, A. D. 432, when St Patrick first introduced Christianity into Ireland. Copies of this, are also in the books of Ballimote and Leacan. A poem on the Christian kings of Ireland, of an hundred and fifty-two verses has been attributed to him, but some authorities give it to Conaing O'Maelconaire. In another poem he gives the names and number of the Milesian monarchs that reigned in Ireland, specifying from which of the sons of Golamh each king descended. In the same poem he gives the names of the kings who ruled in Ireland of the Fir-Bolg and Tuatha-de-Danan races, Giolla died 1072,
DIED A.D. 1072.
TIGERNACH, abbot of Clon-mac-noise, wrote the Annals of Ireland, partly in Latin, and partly in Irish, from the reign of Cimbaeth, king of Ulster, and monarch of Ireland, A. M. 3596, to his own time. They were continued by Angustin M‘Grath to the year of our Lord, 1405, when he died. A copy of these annals are in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, and are amongst the most valuable of the existing materials for Irish history. Tigernach died in 1072.
DIED A. D. 1136.
TANAIDHE O’MULCONAIRE wrote two historical poems, one giving an account of the kings of the race of Firbolg, who possessed Ireland before the arrival of the Tuatha-de-Danan, and whose descendants retained a great part of the island until after the introduction of Christianity; the other gives the names of the seven kings of the Tuatha-deDanan race, who ruled Ireland for an hundred and ninety-seven years: it also mentions the arrival of the Milesians, A. M. 2935. There are copies of both these poems in the book of Invasions by the O’Clerys. Tanaidhe died in 1136.
Giolla Modhuda O'Cassidy.
DIED A. D. 1143.
GIOLLA MODHUDA O’CASSIDY, otherwise called Dall Clairineach, abbot of Ardbracean in Meath, was a very learned man, a good historian, and a poet. As usual at that time, he wrote his histories in verse. In one of them he gives a catalogue of the Christian monarchs of Ireland, with the number of years that each king reigned, from the time of Leogaire, A. D. 428, to the death of Maelseachlin II., 1022. In a poem of two hundred and forty-four verses, besides enumerating the kings, he shows how many of each name reigned; and in another, of three hundred and seventy-four ranns* of irregular verses, he gives the names of the wives and mothers of the kings and chiefs of Ireland of the Milesian race. Giolla died, according to the best authorities, iņ 1143, though in one of the verses of the last mentioned poem (which is to be found in the book of Leacan), it is stated that it was written in 1147.
DIED A. D. 1160.
GIOLLA O’Dunn, chief bard to the king of Leinster, wrote many poems which are preserved in the books of Leacan and Ballimote, chiefly connected with Leinster, which he calls “the province of the
• Each rann consists of four verses,
tombs of kings." One of his poems describes the tribes that
sprung from the sons of Milesius, and from Lughaid, and the districts possessed by them; and another gives an account of the chief tribes descended from the three Collas sons of Cairbre, monarch of Ireland, who was killed near Tara in Meath, 286, after a reign of seventeen years. Giolla died 1160.
DIED A. D. 1171.
Amongst the writers of this period, Maurice O’Regan takes a prominent place, from the importance of the events with which his life and writings are connected. He was a native of Leinster, and was employed by Dermod MacMurrough, king of that province, to whom he was secretary and interpreter, as ambassador to Strongbow, Robert Fitzstephen, and other English nobles, to entreat their aid for the recovery of his kingdom, from which, as we have before related, he was expelled by Roderick O'Connor, and other Irish chiefs, for the abduction of Devorgoil, the wife of O'Rourke. O’Regan wrote with much accuracy, a history of the affairs of Ireland during his own time, in his native tongue, and this composition was translated by a friend, into French verse. In the reign of Elizabeth it was again translated into English by Sir George Carew, president of Ireland, and afterwards earl of Totness. O'Regan was sent by Dermod and Strongbow to demand the surrender of Dublin, when they were on their way to besiege it, and all his details are given with the animation of an eyewitness. His history embraces the events of about three years, from the invasion of Strongbow, in the year 1168, to the siege of Limerick, in 1171, about which period it is supposed, that he either died, or was killed, as his history ends abruptly at this event.
DIED A.D. 1171.
MURRAY OR Marian O'GORMAN, abbot of Knock, near Loutli, was contemporary with Regan. He wrote a martyrology in verse, respecting which the statements of Ware and Colgan are rather at variance. The former says that he published a supplement to the martyrology of Angus, in 1171, while Colgan states that O'Gorman wrote a martyrology in most elegant Irish verse in the time of Gelasius, archbishop of Armagh, about the year 1167, which is held in great esteem, and ever will be so, for the beauty of the style, and great fidelity of the performance. This (he continues) is, for the most part, collected out of the Ængusian martyrology, as an old scholiast, in his preface to that work, says; and further, that O'Gorman does not confine himself to the principal saints of Ireland alone, but takes in promiscuously those of other countries.
DIED A. D. 1220.
CONOR O’KELLY wrote a metrical history of his own tribe, the O’Kellys, chiefs of Hy-maine, an ancient district now comprehended in the counties of Galway and Roscommon. It is preserved among the Irish manuscripts in the Marquis of Buckingham's library at Stowe.
Gtolla Tosa Boe O'Reilly.
DIED A. D. 1330.
On the death of Matthew O'Reilly, in the year 1293, his brother, Giolla Tosa Roe O'Reilly, succeeded him in the government of the principality of East Brefny. He was learned, prudent, brave, and victorious, and he extended his territory from Drogheda to Rath Cruachan, now the county of Roscommon. In the year 1300, he built and endowed the monastery of Cavan, in which he erected a chapel, and marble monument as a place of sepulture for himself and family. He was recognised by Edward the Second, as one of the chief princes of Ireland, who addressed him, “dilecto sibi Gillys O'Reilly Duce Hibernicorum de Breifeney,” &c., when he wrote a circular letter to the Irish princes requesting their aid against the Scotch. Giolla appointed his nephew Maelsachlain as his successor, and resigned his principality to him in the year 1326, when he retired to the monastery of Cavan, where he continued for the remainder of his life, venerated for his wisdom and sanctity. He died in 1330.
He wrote two poems, one of them on the death of his brother Matthew, and the other, extolling the power and extent of territory possessed by his nephew and successor.
DIED A. D. 1372.
John O’DUGAN, chief poet of O'Kelly of Ibh Maine, wrote a poem of five hundred and sixty-four verses, giving an account of the kings of Ireland, from Slainge of the Fir-Bolgian race, who in conjunction with his four brothers, began to reign over Ireland, A. M. 2245, to Roderick O'Conor, last monarch of Ireland. A copy of this poem is in the possession of Sir William Betham.
He also wrote a topographical and historical poem of nearly nine hundred verses, giving the names of the principal tribes of Ulster, Connaught, and Meath, with their chiefs at the time of Henry II.; but left this work unfinished. It was completed by Giolla na Naomh O'Huidbrin, who wrote the entire of the history of Munster and its chieftains, and nearly the whole of that relative to Leinster.