Irish Sagas at UCC University College Cork



Scéla Cano meic Gartnáin

Background information

References in the Annals of Ulster, the Annals of Inisfallen and the Annals of Tigernach

U558.2 Death of Gabrán son of Domangart

U606.2 Death of Aedán son of Gabrán son of Domangart, king of Albu.

AI646.1 Death of Scandlán Mór son of Cenn Faelad, king of Osraige.

U649.2 The battle of Carn Conaill in which Guaire took flight, and Diarmait son of Aed Sláine was victor.

U653.3 The battle of the Connachta, in which Marcán son of Tomaine fell.

T653.6 The battle of Airther Seola, in which fell Marcán son of Tomán, king of the Uí Maine.

AI656.1 Death of Illann, son of Scandlán.

U663.1 Death of Guaire of Aidne.

U665.1 The great mortality. Diarmait son of Aed Sláine and Blamac … died i.e. of the buide Chonaill.

U668.3 The voyage of the sons of Gartnaid to Ireland with the people of Scí.

U670.4 The sept of Gartnaith came back from Ireland.

U688.2 The slaying of Canu son of Gartnaid.

U690.3 Coblaith, daughter of Canu, dies.

U705.4 The killing of Conamail son of Canu.

The History of Ireland (Geoffrey Keating), Volume 2

pp. 409-411 Now, when Eochaidh was an exile in Alba, some say that the wife of Gabhran, who was called Ingheanach, and the wife of Eochaidh Feidhlim, daughter of Cobhthach son of Dathi, were both pregnant at the same time, and were brought to bed on the same night. The two women were shut up in the same house, no one being with them, but both being together, while there was a guard placed on the outside by Gabhran. As to these women, Gabhran’s wife gave birth to a daughter, and the wife of Eochaidh to twin sons. Now, Gabhran’s wife never brought forth any children but daughters; and as the wife of Eochaidh had brought forth twin sons, she asked her to give her one of them, and Eochaidh’s wife consented to this. When the household, who were on guard, perceived that the women had been delivered, they asked the queen what offspring she had given birth to; she said that she had given birth to a son and daughter, and that the wife of Eochaidh had given birth to a son. All were delighted at this; and this son which the queen got from Eochaidh’s wife had a name given him, and he was called Aodhan son of Gabhran; and Eochaidh’s second son was called Brandubh son of Eochaidh. And after this, Eochaidh and his son came to Ireland, and he himself assumed the sovereignty of Leinster. And a long time after this, Gabhran, chief of Dal Riada, who was king of Alba, died; and Aodhan assumed the sovereignty of Alba after him, and came to spoil and plunder Ireland, and endeavoured to conquer it, as he was of the posterity of Cairbre Rioghfhada. A large company of the men of Anglia, Alba, and Wales came with him; and when they landed in Ireland, they set to plunder Leinster in the first instance. Brandubh son of Eochaidh at that time held the sovereignty of Leinster; and Aodhan sent envoys demanding hostages from him as securities for his paying tribute to him, saying that otherwise he would waste the whole territory of Leinster. While Brandubh was in trouble at this message, his mother told him to take courage, and that she would avert the attack of Aodhan from him. Upon this the mother went to the camp of Aodhan; and when she had reached it, she inquired of Aodhan why he had come to waste Leinster. ‘Thou hag,’ said he, ‘I am not obliged to give thee any information on that matter.’ ‘If I be a hag,’ said she, ‘thy mother is a hag; and I have something to say to thee in secret.’ Thereupon he went with her apart. ‘Aodhan,’ said she, ‘I told thee that thy mother was a hag; and I tell thee now that I am she, and that accordingly Brandubh is thy brother. Therefore, send to Alba for thy supposed mother, and she will confess, in my presence, that I am thy mother; and until we meet, do thou refrain from spoiling Leinster.’ He acted as the woman directed; and when the women came together, the queen of Alba admitted that it was Brandubh’s mother who gave birth to Aodhan; and when he heard this, he bound the women to keep the matter a close secret lest he should lose the sovereignty of Alba at the hands of the Dal Riada should they become aware of the affair. Thereupon, he sent for Brandubh; and they both formed a friendly alliance; and Aodhan left the country without inflicting injury on it.

The History of Ireland (Geoffrey Keating), Volume 3

p. 81 Thrice then did the men of Ireland cast off the filés, and the Ulstermen retained them on each of these occasions. The first time they were banished they numbered a thousand; and Conchubhar and the nobles of Ulster maintained them seven years. On their second banishment, Fiachna, son of Baodan, king of Ulster, maintained them a year, and seven hundred was their number under Eochaidh Righeigeas, as the poet says:

Eochaidh Righeigheas of noble laws,
Went to Fiachna, son of Baodan;
He gave him great welcome,
And he retained the filés.

The third time they were banished, when Maolcobha, king of Ulster, retained them, they amounted to twelve hundred, under Dallan Forgaill and Seanchan.

p. 95 The ardollamh of Ireland at that time (i.e., the convention of Drom Ceat) was Eochaidh Eigeas, son of Oilill, son of Earc, and it was he who was called Dallan Forgaill, and he sent out ollamhs and set them over the provinces of Ireland, namely, … Sanchan, son of Cuairfheartach, over the province of Connaught…

p. 105 Columcille’s age when he died was seventy-seven years, as Dallan Forgaill says in Amhra Choluim Chille itself, which was written by Dallan soon after the death of Columcille.

p. 135 The Battle of Carn Conaill was fought by Diarmaid, son of Aodh Slaine.

p. 137 Blathmac and Diarmaid Ruanuidh, two sons of Aodh Slaine, … held jointly the sovereignty of Ireland seven years. … Diarmaid Ruanuidh and Blathmhac died of the plague called the Buidhe Conaill.

Related text online: The Bodleian Amra Choluimb Chille (Stokes), Revue Celtique, 20, 1899

p. 37 Its (Amra Choluimb Chille) author was Dallán (called) ‘son of testimony’ (mac forgaill) of the Masraige of Mag Slecht from Brefne of Connaught.

p. 43 Now the men of Ireland rejected the poets thrice, but the Ulaid, from their generosity, retained them. Twelve hundred was their number at the first proscription, when Conchobar (mac Nessa) and the nobles of the Ulaid kept them for seven years. The second proscription was when Eochaid the king-poet (rigeces) with his seven hundreds was refused; but Fiacha, son of Baetán, retained them. Now the third time was the great proscription of the twelve hundred poets, including Eochaid the king-poet, and Dallán and Senchán, when Mael-coba, king of Ulaid, retained them for three years.

p. 133 Now at that time (i.e., the Convention of Druim Cetta) Dallán, the chief-poet (ardollam) of Ireland, came to parley with Columba.

pp. 133-135 Dallán and Columba.

p. 139
Thrice fifty men, severe, acute,
of Erin’s poets in one retinue,
including Senchán, comely Dallán
and Eochaid the king-poet.

pp. 435-436 Dallan’s death and burial.

Related saga online: Cath Cairnd Chonaill (The Battle of Carn Conaill)

Whitley Stokes (ed. & tr.), Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie, 3, 1901, pp. 203-219, 572-573.
Digital Edition at Part 1 (pp. 203-219); Part 2 (pp. 572-573); Irish text at CELT; English translation at CELT; Irish text at (pp. 288-292); Irish text at CELT; Irish text at CELT

Standish H. O’Grady (ed. & tr.), Silva Gadelica, (London: Williams and Norgate, 1892), Volume 1, pp. 396-401; Volume 2, pp. 431-437.
Irish text at (pp. 396-401); English translation at (pp. 431-437 (466-472))

Related poem online: The Song of Créde, Daughter of Guaire
Kuno Meyer (ed. & tr.), The Song of Créde, Daughter of Guaire, Ériu, 2, 1905, pp. 15-17.
Digital Edition at (pp. 15-17 (27-29)); Digital Edition at JSTOR

Kuno Meyer (tr.), The Song of Crede, Daughter of Guare, in: Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry, (London: Constable and Company, 1911), pp. 63-64.
Digital Edition at (pp. 63-64)

Gerard Murphy (ed. & tr.), The Lament of Créide, Daughter of Gúaire of Aidne, in Early Irish Lyrics, eighth to twelfth century, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956), pp. 86–89.
Irish text at CELT

Related saga online: Tochmarc Becfhola (The Wooing of Becfhola)
Standish H. O’Grady (ed. & tr.), Silva Gadelica, (London: Williams and Norgate, 1892), Volume 1, pp. 85-87; Volume 2, pp. 91-93.
Irish text at (pp. 85-87); English translation at (pp. 91-93 (125-127); English translation at

Máire Bhreathnach (ed. & tr.), A New Edition of Tochmarc Becfhola, Ériu, 35, 1984, pp. 59-91.
Digital Edition at JSTOR

Related saga online: Tromdámh Guaire (Guaire’s Burdensome Company)
Owen Connellan (ed. & tr.), Imtheacht na Tromdháimhe, Transactions of the Ossianic Society, for the year 1857, 5, 1860, pp. 1-129.
Digital Edition at (pp. 1-129); English translation at Celtic Texts

Maud Joynt (ed.), Tromdámh Guaire, (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1931).
Digital Edition at; Digital Edition at; Irish text at CELT

Related saga online: Gein Branduib maic Echach ocus Aedáin maic Gabráin (The Birth of Brandub son of Eochu and of Aedán son of Gabrán) 
Kuno Meyer (ed. & tr.), Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie, 2, 1899, pp. 134-137.
Digital Edition at (pp. 134-137); Irish text at CELT; English translation at CELT

Related historical tract online: Senchus fer n-Alban (The History of the men of Alban)
William F. Skene (ed. & tr.), Chronicles of the Picts and Chronicles of the Scots, (Edinburgh: H. M. General Register House, 1867), pp. 308-317.
Digital Edition at

pp. 309-310 Domangart had two sons, viz., Gabran and Comgall …
Gabran, moreover, had five sons, viz., Aedan, Eoganan, Cuildeach, Domnall, Domangart.
Aedan had seven sons, viz., the two Eochos, viz., Eocho buide and Eocho find, Tuathal, Bran, Baithine, Conaing, Gartnait. …
Four sons of Gartnait, son of Aedan, …

 p. 316 Congus, son of Consamla, son of Cano the fierce, son of Gartnait, son of Aedan, son of Gabran.

Life of Columba (Reeves)
St. Columba consecrates Aidan mac Gabráin king (See Section 5), Book 3, Chapter 5
Brecan’s whirlpool (See Section 18), Book 1, Chapter 5

Betha Colaim Chille (O’Kelleher/Schoepperle)
St. Columba consecrates Aidan mac Gabráin king (See Section 5), §243, pp. 247-249 (336-338)
Coire Brecain (See Section 18), §352, pp. 378-379 (pp. 467-468)

Sanas Chormaic: Cormac’s Glossary (O’Donovan/Stokes)
Senchán Torpéist (See Section 12), pp. 135-138 (153-156)
Coire Breccáin (See Section 18), pp. 41-42 (59-60)

Bóroma (Stokes)

Scéla Cano, Section 18, q. 2

Bóroma, p. 94, Section 120, q. 1

A mu Búach

A mBuach

feras in tond frisin mbrúach,

fhearus in tond risin mbruach.

in mend ad-fét, ciaso scíth:

adfed scela chises scith

Illand mac Scannláin ro-bíth.

Aed mac Ainmireach adbith.

Lectures of the Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish History (O’Curry)
List of Historic Tales in the Book of Leinster includes:
Echta Aedain mic Gabrain (The Adventures of Aedhan, son of Gabhran), p. 589 (625)

Airec Menman Uraird Maic Coise (Byrne), Anecdota from Irish Manuscripts, Volume 2
List of the gnathscela Herenn includes:
Serc Crede do Canann mac Gartnain, p. 46 (142), §7, lines 3-4

R = The Rennes Dindshenchas (Stokes), Revue Celtique, 15-16, 1894-95
M = The Metrical Dindshenchas (Gwynn)
B = The Bodleian Dinnshenchas (Stokes), Folklore, 3, 1892
E = The Edinburgh Dinnshenchas (Stokes), Folklore, 4, 1893
S = Silva Gadelica (O’Grady), Volume 2
R: Cerna §115 (See Section 10), Part 3, pp. 66-67, (‘Cerna’)
M: Cerna (See Section 10), Volume 3, pp. 203-209, p. 430
B: Cerna §48 (See Section 10), p. 512, (‘Cerna’)
R: Coire mBreccáin §145 (See Section 18), Part 4, pp. 157-159, (‘Coire mBreccáin’)
M: Coire Breccáin (See Section 18), Volume 4, pp. 81-87, pp. 395-397
E: Coire mBreccáin §58 (See Section 18), pp. 478-479, (‘Coire mBreccáin’)
R: Inber Colptha (in Áth Cliath Cualann §28) (See Section 20), Part 1, pp. 328-329, (‘Inber Colptha’)
R: Loch Andind §128 (See Section 10), Part 3, pp. 80-81, (‘Loch Andind’)
M: Loch Aindind (See Section 10), Volume 4, pp. 231-235, p. 438
R: Loch Cuan (in Benn Boirchi §98) (See Section 20), Part 3, pp. 49-50, (‘Loch Cuan’)
M: Loch Cuan (in Bend Boirche II) (See Section 20), Volume 4, p. 147, p.413
R: Mag mBreg §111 (See Section 10), Part 3, pp. 62-63, (‘Mag mBreg’)
M: Mag Breg (See Section 10), Volume 4, pp. 191-193, p.427
B: Mag mBreg §2 (See Section 10), pp. 470-471, (‘Mag mBreg’)
S: Mágh mBregh (See Section 10), p. 517 (552)
M: Mag Muirthemne (See Section 10), Volume 4, p. 295, p.454
R: Moenmag §63 (See Section 11), Part 2, p. 461, (‘Moenmag’)
M: Moenmag (See Section 11), Volume 3, p. 335-337, pp. 538-539
B: Mag Main (= Moenmag) §25 (See Section 11), pp. 491-492, (‘Mag Main’)
S: Maenmhágh (See Section 11), p. 525 (560)
R: Sinann §59 (See Section 11), Part 2, pp. 456-567, (‘Sinann’)
M: Sinann I (See Section 11), Volume 3, pp. 287-291, pp. 529-530
M: Sinann II (See Section 11), Volume 3, pp. 293-297, p. 530
B: Sinann §33 (See Section 11), pp. 497-498, (‘Sinann’)
R: Sliab n-Echtga §60 (See Section 14), Part 2, pp. 458-459, (‘Sliab n-Echtga’)
M: Sliab nEchtga I (See Section 14), Volume 3, pp. 299-303, pp. 530-531
M: Sliab nEchtga II (See Section 14), Volume 3, pp. 305-313, pp. 531-535
B: Sliab nEchtga §21 (See Section 14), pp. 488-489, (‘Sliab nEchtga’)
S: Sliabh Echtga (See Section 14), p. 525 (560)

Cóir Anmann: Fitness of Names (Stokes), Irische Texte, Ser. III.2
Aed Sláine §133 (See Section 5), pp. 343-345, p. 417
Connachta §76 (See Section 11), p. 325, p. 414
Corco-Láigdi (in Dáire Doimthech §70) (See Section 15), pp. 317-319, p. 413
Muma §1 (See Section 14), p. 289, p. 412
Senchán Toirpéist §272 (See Section 12), p. 403, p. 424
Ulaid §245 (See Section 5), pp. 387-389, p. 422

Yellow Book of Lecan
Cycles of the Kings
Scéla Cano meic Gartnáin
Senchus fer n-Alban
Áedán mac Gabráin (d. 606); Kings of Dál Riata; Dál Riata
Blathmac mac Áedo Sláine (d. 665); High Kings of Ireland; Kings of Brega
Diarmait mac Áedo Sláine (d. 665); High Kings of Ireland; Kings of Brega
Gabrán mac Domangairt (d. 558); Cenél nGabráin
Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin (d. 663); Kings of Connacht; Kings of Uí Fiachrach Aidhne; Uí Fiachrach Aidne
Marcán mac Tommáin (d. 653); Kings of Uí Maine; Uí Maine
Senchán Torpéist; Chief Ollamh of Ireland
Dunguaire Castle
Gulf of Corryvreckan
River Tay
River Dee, Aberdeenshire

Back to top