Irish Sagas at UCC University College Cork



Geneamuin Chormaic

Background information

References in the Annals of the Four Masters

M5084.1 Eochaidh Aireamh, after having been fifteen years in the sovereignty of Ireland, was burned by Sighmall, at Freamhainn.

M122.1 Cathaeir Mor, after having been three years king over Ireland, was slain by Conn, and the Luaighni of Teamhair, in the battle of Magh hAgha.

M195.1 After Art, the son of Conn of the Hundred Battles, had been thirty years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he fell in the battle of Magh Mucruimhe, by Maccon and his foreigners.

M196.1 The first year of Lughaidh, i.e. Maccon, son of Maicniadh, in the sovereignty of Ireland.

M225.1 After Lughaidh, i.e. Maccon, son of Macniadh, had been thirty years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he fell by the hand of Feircis, son of Coman Eces, after he had been expelled from Teamhair [Tara] by Cormac, the grandson of Conn.

M226.1 Fearghus Duibhdeadach, son of Imchadh, was king over Ireland for the space of a year, when he fell in the battle of Crinna, by Cormac, grandson of Conn, by the hand of Lughaidh Lagha … In the army of Cormac came Tadhg, son of Cian, and Lughaidh, to that battle; and it was as a territorial reward for the battle that Cormac gave to Tadhg the land on which are the Ciannachta, in Magh Breagh.

M227.1 The first year of Cormac, son of Art, son of Conn of the Hundred Battles, as king over Ireland.

M240.2 The fleet of Cormac [sailed] across Magh Rein (i.e. across the sea), this year.

M241.3 The massacre of the girls at Cleanfearta, at Teamhair, by Dunlang, son of Enna Niadh, King of Leinster.

M262.2 The battle of Crionna Fregabhail [was fought] by Cormac against the Ulstermen, where fell Aenghus Finn, son of Fearghus Duibhdeadach [i.e. the Black Toothed], King of Ulster, with the slaughter of the Ulstermen about him.

M265.2 The eye of Cormac himself was destroyed with one thrust [of a lance] by Aenghus Gaibhuaibhtheach, son of Fiacha Suighdhe, son of Feidhlimidh the Lawgiver. Cormac afterwards [fought and] gained seven battles over the Deisi, in revenge of that deed, and he expelled them from their territory, so that they are [now] in Munster.

M266.1 Forty years was Cormac, son of Art, son of Conn, in the sovereignty of Ireland, when he died at Cleiteach, the bone of a salmon sticking in his throat on account of the siabhradh [genii] which Maelgenn, the Druid, incited at him, after Cormac had turned against the Druids, on account of his adoration of God in preference to them. Wherefore a devil attacked him, at the instigation of the Druids, and gave him a painful death.

The History of Ireland (Geoffrey Keating), Volume 2

p. 281 He was called Oilill Olom because he had intercourse with Aine daughter of Eoghabhal, and as she slept with Oilill, she bit his ear off his head in retribution for his rape of her and for his having slain her father. Hence he was called Oilill Olom, that is ear-cropped.<

p. 283 Lughaidh son of Maicniadh was called Mac Con because Oilill Olum had a hound called Eloir Dhearg, and when Mac Con was an infant in the house of Oilill, the child used to creep on his hands to the hound, and the hound used to take him to her belly, and he could not be prevented from going constantly to visit her, whence he was called Mac Con.

p. 289 Fearghus Duibhdheadach … held the sovereignty of Ireland a single year. He was called Fearghus Duibhdheadach, as he had two large black teeth.

pp. 347-349 On a certain day, when Cormac was in the house of Cleiteach, the druids were worshipping the golden calf in his presence; and the general body of the people were worshipping it after the manner of the druids. Maoilgheann the druid asked Cormac why he was not adoring the golden calf and the gods like the rest. ‘I will not,’ said Cormac, ‘worship a stock made by my own artificer; and it were better to worship the person who made it; for he is nobler than the stock’ Maoilgheann the druid excited the golden calf so that he made a bound before them all. ‘Dost thou see that, O Cormac?’ said Maoilgheann. ‘Although I see,’ said Cormac, ‘I will worship only the God of heaven, of earth, and of hell.
After this, his food was cooked for the king, and he began to eat a portion of a salmon from the Boinn. Thereupon the demon sprites came, at the instigation of Maoilgheann the druid, and they killed the king. Others say that it was a salmon-bone that stuck in his throat and choked him.
For it was eating fish he was when the sprites, or demons of the air, choked him. When the king was in the throes of death, he directed his officers not to bury his body at the Brugh, where the kings of Tara had been buried up to then. But when the people were conveying his body to the Brugh to be buried, the sprites put it into the greatly swollen river thrice before them; for they did not wish to let his body into the burial place of the idolaters, since he believed in the true God. And the fourth time its bearers carried the body into the river, and it was snatched away from them by the current of the Boinn, and it reached Ros na Riogh and became separated from the fuad, or bier, whence the ford Ath Fuaid on the Boinn is named. They mourned for him there; and his grave was made; and he was buried at Ros na Riogh.

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Related saga online: Scéla Éogain ocus Cormaic (Tidings of Éogan and Cormac)
Kuno Meyer (ed.), The Laud Genealogies and Tribal Histories, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie, 8, 1912, pp. 309-312.
Digital Edition at

Tomás Ó Cathasaigh (ed. & tr.), The Heroic Biography of Cormac mac Airt, (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1977), pp. 119-127.
English translation at

Related saga online: Cath Maige Mucrama (The Battle of Mag Mucrama)
Whitley Stokes (ed. & tr.), The Battle of Mag Mucrime, Revue Celtique, 13, 1892, pp. 434-467.
Digital Edition at (pp. 434-467)

Standish H. O’Grady (ed. & tr.), Silva Gadelica, (London: Williams and Norgate, 1892), Volume 1, pp. 310-318; Volume 2, pp. 347-359.
Irish text at (pp. 310-318); English translation at (pp. 347-359 (382-394))

Máirín O Daly (ed. & tr.), Cath Maige Mucruma: the Battle of Mag Mucrama, (Dublin: Irish Text Society, 1975), pp. 38-63.
English translation at

R. I. Best and M. A. O’Brien (ed.), The Book of Leinster, (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1967), Volume 5, pp. 1252-1261.
Digital Edition at CELT

Related saga online: Cath Crinna (The Battle of Crinna)
Standish H. O’Grady (ed. & tr.), Silva Gadelica, (London: Williams and Norgate, 1892), Volume 2, pp. 491-493; 540-542.
Irish text at (pp. 491-493 (531-533)); English translation at (pp. 540-542 (580-582))

Standish H. O’Grady (ed. & tr.), Silva Gadelica, (London: Williams and Norgate, 1892), Volume 1, pp. 319-326; Volume 2, pp. 359-368.
Irish text at (pp. 319-326); English translation at (pp. 359-368 (393-404)); English translation at

Related poem online: Cnucha cnoc os cionn Life (Cnucha, a hill above the Liffey)
Maura Power (ed. & tr.), Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 11, 1917, pp. 39-55.
Digital Edition at (pp. 39-55 (47-62))
The Death of Cormac, p. 49 (57), verses 34-40

Related saga online: Tairired na nDessi (The Expulsion of the Dessi)
Kuno Meyer (ed. & tr.), The Expulsion of the Dessi, Y Cymmrodor, 14, 1901, pp. 104-135.
Digital edition at (pp. 104-135); English translation at;

Kuno Meyer (ed.), Tucait indarba na nDéssi, in: Anecdota from Irish Manuscripts, Vol. I, (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1907), pp. 15-24.
Digital Edition at Archive/org (pp. 15-24 (27-36); Digital Edition at CDI (PDF) (pp. 15-24)

George Petrie, On the History and Antiquities of Tara Hill, Transactions of Royal Irish Irish Academy, 18, 1939, pp. 25-232.
Digital Edition at (pp. 25-232); Digital Edition at JSTOR
The Claenfearts of Tara (See Section 10), pp. 219-221(199-201)

Airec Menman Uraird Maic Coise (Byrne), Anecdota from Irish Manuscripts, Volume 2
List of the gnathscela Herenn includes:
Compert Chorbmaic hui Cuind, p. 44 (140), §4, lines 11-12

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R = The Rennes Dindshenchas (Stokes), Revue Celtique, 15-16, 1894-95
M = The Metrical Dindshenchas (Gwynn)
B = The Bodleian Dinnshenchas (Stokes), Folklore, 3, 1892
S = Silva Gadelica (O’Grady), Volume 2
R: Boand §19 (See Section 12), Part 1, pp. 315-316, (‘Boand’)
M: Boand I (See Section 12), Volume 3, pp. 27-33, pp. 480-481
M: Boand II (See Section 12), Volume 3, pp. 35-39, pp. 481-482
B: Boann §36 (See Section 12), p. 500, (‘Boann’)
S: Bóann (See Section 12), pp. 519-520 (554-555)
R: Dindgnai in Broga §4 (See Section 12), Part 1, pp. 292-293, (‘Dindgnai in Broga’)
M: Brug na Bóinde I (See Section 12), Volume 2, pp. 11-17, pp. 92-94
M: Brug na Bóinde II (See Section 12), Volume 2, pp. 19-25, pp. 95-96
R: Cloenfertae (in Temair §1 (subsection 35)) (See Section 10), Part 1, pp. 283, Part 1, pp. 287-288, (‘Cloenfertaes’)
M: Cloenfertae (in Temair 3) (See Section 10), Volume 1, pp. 15-27, verse 11, pp. 62- 66 (83-87)
R: Cleitech §114 (See Section 12), Part 3, pp. 65-66, (‘Cleitech’)
M: Cleitech (See Section 12), Volume 4, pp. 201-203, pp. 430-433
B: Cleittech §47 (See Section 12), pp. 511-512, (‘Cleittech’)
S: Cleiteach (See Section 12), p. 534 (569)
R: Corond §77 (See Section 3), Part 2, pp. 477-478, (‘Corond’)
R: Mag Mucraime §70 (See Section 1), Part 2, p. 470, (‘Mag Mucraime’)
M: Mag Mucrime (See Section 1), Volume 3, pp. 383-385, pp. 548-549
S: Mágh Mucramha (See Section 1), pp. 538-539 (573-574)
R: Sinann §59 (See Section 1), Part 2, pp. 456-567, (‘Sinann’)
M: Sinann I (See Section 1), Volume 3, pp. 287-291, pp. 529-530
M: Sinann II (See Section 1), Volume 3, pp. 293-297, p. 530
B: Sinann §33 (See Section 1), pp. 497-498, (‘Sinann’)
R: Temair §1 (See Section 6), Part 1, pp. 277-289, (‘Temair’)
M: Temair 1 (See Section 6), Volume 1, pp. 3-5, pp. 57-58 (78-79)
M: Temair 2 (See Section 6), Volume 1, pp. 7-13, pp. 59-61 (80-82)
M: Temair 3 (See Section 6), Volume 1, pp. 15-27, pp. 62-66 (83-87)
M: Temair 4 (See Section 6), Volume 1, pp. 29-37, pp. 67-74 (88-95)
M: Temair 5 (See Section 6), Volume 1, pp. 39-45, pp. 75-79 (96-100)
B: Temuir §1 (See Section 6), p. 470, (‘Temuir’)
S: Temhuir (See Section 6), p. 514 (549)

Cóir Anmann: Fitness of Names (Stokes), Irische Texte, Ser. III.2
Ailill Ó-lomm §41 (See Section 1), pp. 305-307, p. 413
Art Óenfer §112 (See Section 1), pp. 335-337, p. 415
Connachta §76 (See Section 3), p. 325, p. 414
Conn Cétchathach §111 (See Section 1), p. 335, p. 415
Eochaid Airem §103 (See Section 9), p. 331, p. 415
(Fergus Dub-détach §260) (See Section 12), p. 397, p. 423
Mac Con §71 (See Section 1), p. 323
Ulaid §245 (See Section 12), pp. 387-389, p. 422

Yellow Book of Lecan
Book of Ballymote
Cycles of the Kings
Tuatha Dé Danann
Cath Maige Mucruma
Aengus = Mac Ind Óg
Ailill Aulom; Kings of Munster
Art mac Cuinn; High Kings of Ireland
Conn Cétchathach; High Kings of Ireland
Cormac mac Airt; High Kings of Ireland
Eochu Airem; High Kings of Ireland
Eoghan Mór, son of Ailill Aulom; Kings of Munster
Fergus Dubdétach; Kings of Ulster; High Kings of Ireland
Lugaidh mac Con; High Kings of Ireland
Brú na Bóinne

Voices from the Dawn

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