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The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost


Part II. History of Thomond
Chapter 12. History of Thomond before it was formed into an English county: From the earliest times, to the death of De Clare, and expulsion of the English in 1318.

Turlogh succeeded by his son Murtagh More; Quarrelsome character of Murtagh; Dermot O’Brien

Turlogh was succeeded by his second son, Murtagh More, whose first act was to attack the Leinster men. In a battle at Rath Edair he utterly routed them, and compelled them to acknowledge his sovereignty. [18] He subsequently proceeded to invade Connaught, by means of boats on the Shannon and on Lough Ree. There he was repulsed by his brother-in-law, Rory O’Connor, with the loss of his vessels, and, for some time, of his personal liberty. [19] O’Connor afterwards took steps to organise a force for the invasion of Murtagh More’s kingdom. He secured the aid of Donald MacLoghlen O’Neill, King of Ireland, and both repaired with their united forces to Munster. “They burned Limerick, plundered the plain of Munster as far as Emly, Lochgur, Bruree, Dunaiched, and Dromin; they carried off the head of the son of Caileach O’Ruarc from the hills of Singland; and they obtained eight score heroes, foreigners and Irish, as hostages. The chief of these hostages was Madadán O’Kennedy, the son of Congalach O’Hogan (of Ardcrony, four miles to the north of Nenagh), and the son of Eochaid O’Lynch. Cows, horses, gold, silver, and flesh meat were afterwards given in ransom for these young men by Murtagh More.” [20] With a view to the general advantage of the country a meeting was convened, and attended by the provincial kings—namely, by Donald O’Neill, of Ulster; Murtagh More O’Brien, of Cashel; Donald O’Mealachlin, of Meath; and Rory O’Connor, of Connaught. Here it was agreed that O’Neill, comformably to the ancient institutions, should be the sole King of Ireland. After so deciding they parted in perfect harmony. Their good accord was not of long duration, as we find O’Brien very soon afterwards invading the territory of Meath, and suffering a signal defeat at Magh Lena. He attacked, in succession, the people of Galway, of Leinster, of Offaly, of the northern parts of Connaught, and of Ulster, with varied results. Indeed, his whole time seemed to have been employed in aggressions on his neighbours of the north and east of Ireland. [21] He carried his arms into the remote north, and demolished the palace of Grainán Aileach, near Derry, the seat of the northern kings. He ordered that his men should bring back with them to Limerick a stone of the ruined building “for every sack of provisions they had,” his object being to avenge the injury done to Ceann-Coradh by Donald Mac Loghlen O’Neill some time before. It is mentioned that these stones were afterwards built into the tower of the existing cathedral of Limerick. [22] Murtagh More combined with his belicose tastes some religious instincts. He made a gift of Cashel, with its buildings, to the bishop, Ua Dunain, and ordered that it should be appropriated to religious uses for ever. [23] On the occasion of a visit to Armagh he presented to the church there, eight ounces of gold and three hundred and sixty cows. [24] He attended the synod convened at Fiad-mic-Aengusa in Westmeath for the reform of abuses, and in various ways showed his devotion to the interests of order and morality. During his reign, the death is recorded of Cormac Ua Finn, chief lector of Dalcais; of Ua Mailcain, chief poet of Dalcais; of Magrath, chief poet of Munster; and of Gilla Patrick O’Duvrata, lector of Killaloe. About the middle of the year 1114 he was seized with a fit of sickness, which reduced him to the condition of a skeleton. Finding that his capacity for prosecuting further acts of turmoil was gone, he resigned the government of his kingdom. His brother Dermot assumed the reigns of power without permission, but was soon deprived of authority by the warlike Murtagh. Advantage had been taken of his inability to fight, and the men of Ulster and Leinster had visited Dalcais for purposes of plunder. They were met by the inhabitants, and a bloody battle was fought at Tulla O’Dea, with no decisive result. Murtagh, although in feeble health, could not permit that any invasion of his territories should be made with impunity, and he accordingly led an army into Leinster; finding himself incapable of acting the part of a general, he resigned his power into the hands of his brother Dermot. The Connaughtmen, taking advantage of his absence, pillaged Thomond, as far as Limerick, but Dermot soon avenged himself by carrying the war in turn into their country. He did not survive his accession to power long, for he died at Cork in 1118, and he was followed to the grave in the following year by his able brother Murtagh. The latter was buried in the church of Killaloe. Dermot O’Brien left six sons, viz., Conor na-Catharac, so called from a cahir built by him in Lough Derg; Turlogh, Teige Glae, Dermot Finn a man of violent character; Dermot Don, of whom we have no account, and Donogh, who became bishop of Killaloe in 1161. [25]

 

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