Extracts from the Annals of Ireland


For the first five hundred years or so of its existence the ecclesiastical centre at Derry in Northwest Ireland was usually known as Daire Calgaich; Daire or Doire (modern Derry) means the �oak grove� of Calgaich. Brian Lacey has suggested the second element of the name �Calgaich� is the genitive form of the personal name �Calgach�, an uncommon name, rarely found in ancient Ireland . In the Annals of Ulster, we find the name of Tipraite son of Calgaich, whose death is recorded under the year 597. He has been tentatively identified with �Tipraite of Mag Ratha� commemorated in the Martyrology of Gorman on 27th December . It has been suggested �Calgach of Derry� may have been the father Tipriate son of Calgach and if correct, it is possible, this Calgach was first to found a site at the old oak grove near the Foyle river. In the annals, a retrospective entry for the year 546 has �Daire Coluim Cille was founded�, a date that is too early for a Columban foundation and therefore unreliable.

If the Chronicon Scotorum and the Annals of Tignerach are correct a second foundation took place under Fiachra son of Ciar�n son of Ainmire son of S�tna, when the Cenel Conaill held the over-lordship of Daire Calgaich. Fiachra�s death is recorded as taking place in 620, about 25 years after the death of Coluim Cille of Iona, and points to Fiachra�s founding a church dedicated to Coluim Cille, a near kinsman and son of the Cenel Conaill. With the exception of one other reference, the death of Caech Scuili, scribe of Daire Calgaich in 724, Daire Calgaich is not mentioned again until 788, when it was burned. The annalist leaves us none the wiser as to the person(s) responsible, but it could be inferred it had been attacked and burned by Aed Oirdnide, king of the Cenel Eogain, who the following year in 789, defeated the Cenel Conaill at the battle of Cl�itech in the territory of Magh Itha. The Cenel Conaill and their king were probably driven from the area, and as Brian Lacey has suggested driven out over the Barnesmore Gap into the southern part of Donegal.

Unlike his father, Niall Frossach, who died in Iona Column Cille in 778, Aed Oirdnide appears to have given his support and backing to the community of St Patrick at Armagh. In 806, he had St. Patrick�s law promulgated presumably throughout the territory he controlled, an act that seems to have met some opposition from within the community of Coluim Cille. The annals record that in 817, Mael Duin son of Cenn Faeland, superior of Raith Both (Raphoe), a member of the Coluim Cille�s community, was slain and it seems we can say with confidence, he was slain at the instigation of Aed. He was subsequently excommunicated by a delegation of Columban clergy. Despite this, there is evidence to show the kings of the Cenel Eogain, whose power-base was located at Ailech, five miles northwest of Derry, for the rest of the ninth century continued to support the Columban church. In 833, Aed�s son, Niall Caillie and his nephew, Murchad, routed the Norse in Daire Calgaig. Forty nine years later, when Daire is mentioned again, the annals record �Muirchertach son of Niall�, abbot of Daire Calgaich and other unnamed monasteries, died in 882. This Muirchertach might well have been a younger son of Niall Callie and brother of Aed Findlaith, king of Ailech.


AU = Annals of Ulster 431-1541
FM = Annals of the Four Masters 123-1616
LC = Annals of Loch Ce 1014-1648

AU 546

Daire Coluim Cille was founded.

AT 619

The death of Fiachra son of Ciar�n son of Ainmire son of Setna, that is, of the other founder of Derry.

CS 620

The death of Fiachra son of Ciar�n son of Ainmire son of S�tna i.e. a second founder of Daire Calgaigh.

AU 724

Caech Scuili, scribe of Daire Calgaig, rested.

AU 778

The law of Colum Cille promulgated by Donnchad and Bresal.

Note: Donnchad son of Domnall (733-797), king of Clann Cholmain and king of Tara. He continued his father, Domnall�s support for the Columban churches in Ireland and Iona in Scotland.

AU 778

Niall Frosach son of Fergal in � Choluim Chille, died.

Aed Finn son of Echaid, king of D�l Riata�all died.

Note: Niall Frosach became king of the Cenel Eogain in 743.

AU 788

The burning of Daire Calgaid.

AU 789

The battle of Cl�itech between Cen�l E�gain and Cen�l Conaill in which Cen�l Conaill were overthrown, and Domnall escaped�i.e. the battle of Cl�itech won by Aed Oirdnide.

AU 793

The profanation of Faendelach by Gormgal son of Dindanach. Ard Macha was entered and invaded, and people were slain in it by the U� Chremthainn. Faendelach was received again in Ard Macha.

AU 795

Faendelach son of Maenach, abbot of Ard Macha, died suddenly.

AU 797

Death of Donnchad son of Domhall, king of Temair, and of his brother, Innrechtach son of Domnall.

AU 799

Patrick's law promulgated in Connacht by Gormgal son of Dindathach (abbot of Ard Macha).

AU 801

Bresal son of S�g�ne, abbot of �, fell asleep in his 31st year as superior.

AU 804

Cenannas was given without battle to the melodious Colum Cille this year.

AU 806

Gormgal son of Dindathach, abbot of Ard Macha and Cluain E�is, died.

AU 806

Patrick's law promulgated by Aed son of Niall.

AU 807

Building of the new monastery of Colum Cille at Cenannas.

AU 809

The invasion of Ulaid by Aed son of Niall, as a result of the profanation of Patrick's shrine to the dishonour of D�nch�.

AU 811

Nuadu, abbot of Ard Macha, went to Connacht with Patrick's law and his casket.

AU 812

Daire's law promulgated in Connacht.

AU 813

Daire's law promulgated among the U� N�ill.

AU 817

Mael D�in son of Cenn Faelad, superior of R�ith Both, a member of Colum Cille's community, was slain.

Note: The slaying of Mael Duin son of Cenn Faelad was instigated by Aed Oridnide probably because of Mael D�in�s resistance towards the laws and rites of St. Patrick of Armagh imposed by Aed in 806. The church of Raphoe is believed to have been dedicated to Adamnan (pronounced Athovnawn) called in Irish Eunan.

AU 817

Colum Cille's community went to Temair to excommunicate Aed [Oirdnide].

AU 818

Artr�, superior of Ard Macha, went to Connacht with the shrine of Patrick.

AU 823

Murchad son of Mael D�in was deposed by Niall son of Aed and the Cen�l E�gain.

AU 826

Daire's law was brought to Connacht again.

AU 833

Niall of the Calann begins to reign.

AU 833: CS 833

Niall and Murchad routed the foreigners in Daire Calgaig.

Note: Niall Caillie son of Aed Oirdnide son of Niall Frosach son of Fergal, and Murchad son of Mael Duin son of Aed Allan son of Fergal.

The next reference to Daire Calgaig is not until 882

AU 870

D�lach son of Muirchertach, chief of Cen�l Conaill, was killed by his own people.

AU 873

Flaithbertach son of Muirchertach, superior of D�n Caillen, died.

AU 878

The shrine of Colum Cille and his other halidoms arrived in Ireland, having been taken in flight to escape the foreigners.

AU 882

Muirchertach son of Niall, abbot of Daire Calgaig, and other monasteries, rested.

Note: Murichertach could have been a son of Niall Caillie son of Aed Ordinide.

AU 908

Diarmait, superior of Daire Calgaig, rested in peace.

AU 921

Cinaed son of Domnall, superior of Daire Calgaig and Druim Thuama, and chief counsellor of Cen�l Conaill of the North, died.

Note: Druim Tuama is modern Drumholm also spelt Drumhome, a parish in the old barony of Tirhugh in County Donegal.

FM 925

Maelbrighde, son of Tornan, successor of Patrick, Colum Cille and Adamnan, head of the piety of all Ireland, and of the greater part of Europe, died at a good old age, on the 22nd of February.

AU 927

Mael Brigte son of Torn�n, successor of Patrick and Colum Cille, rested in happy old age.

Note: He was promoted to the coarbship of Armagh in 885.

FM 927

Caen Comhrac, son of Maeluidhir, Abbot and Bishop of Doire-Chalgaigh, and steward of Adamnan's law.

FM 936

Dubhthach, successor of Colum Cille and Adamnan in Ireland and Alba.

AU 938

Dubthach, successor of Column Cille and Adamn�n, rested in peace.

AU 939: CS 939

F�nnechta son of Cellach, coarb of Daire, rested in Christ.

FM 948 (AU 950)

Maelfinnen, learned bishop of Doire-Chalgaigh; died.

FM 950 (AU 952)

Adhlann, son of Egneach, son of Dalach, comharba of Doire-Choluim-Cille, the Guaire Aidhne of the clergy of Ireland, died.

Note: Adhlann was the son of �icnech�n son of D�lach, king of Cen�l Conaill, who died in 906. He was therefore the brother of Domnall son �icnech�n, who gave rise to the Ua Domnaill.

AU 950 (FM 948)

Cleirch�ne son of Conall�n, superior of Daire Calgaig, rested in peace.

AU 954: FM 952

Robartach, successor of Colum Cille and Adamn�n, rested in Christ.

Note: Robartach may well have been from the Cenel Fergusa.

AU 959

Dub D�in, successor of Colum Cille, died.

Note: Dub D�in belonged to the Cenel Fergusa in Innisowen.

AU 959

Aengus ua Lap�n, died.

FM 967 (AU 969)

Aenghus Ua Robhartaigh, anchorite of Doire-Chalgaigh, died.

FM 967

Cinaedh Ua Cathmbaeil, airchinneach of Doire-Chalgaigh, died.

AU 969

Cinaed ua Cathma�l, superior of Daire Calgaig, rested.

FM 973

Foghartach, Abbot of Doire-Chalgaigh, died.

AU 975

Fogartach, abbot of Daire, died.

CS 978

Scr�n of Adamn�n was plundered by Domnall ua N�ill.

FM 983

Uissine Ua Lapain, airchinneach of Doire-Chalgaigh, died.

AU 984

Uis�ne ua Lap�in, superior of Daire Calgaig, rested.

FM 988

Dunchadh Ua Robhachain, successor of Colum-Cille and Adamnan.

AU 989

D�nchad ua Roboc�in, successor of Colum Cille, died.

FM 989

Doire-Chalgaigh was plundered by the foreigners.

AU 990

Daire Calgaig was plundered by the Danes.

FM 997

Doire-Calgaich was plundered by the foreigners.

AU 1025

Mael E�in ua Tor�in, coarb of Daire, fell asleep in Christ.

FM 1010

Muireadhach, son of Crichan, successor of Colum-Cille and Adamnan, a learned man, bishop, and virgin, rector of Ard-Macha, and intended successor of Patrick, died after the seventy-fourth year of his age, on the fifth of the Calends of January, on Saturday night precisely; and he was buried with great honour and veneration in the great church of Ard-Macha, before the altar.

AU 1011

D�nadach of the oratory of Colum Cille in Ard Macha, Flaithbertach ua Ceithine�in, successor of Tigernach�an elder and a learned bishop who was wounded by the men of Br�ifne and afterwards died in his own monastery�and Muiredach son of Cr�ch�n, successor of Colum Cille and lector of Ard Macha�on the night of Saturday the fifth of the Kalends of January 28 Dec., in the 84th year of his age,� fell asleep in Christ.

FM 1025

Maeleoin Ua Torain, comharba of Doire-Choluim-Chile, died.

AU 1040: FM 1040

Mael Muire ua hUcht�in, successor of Colum Cille, fell asleep in Christ.

FM 1061

Muireadhach Ua Maelcoluim, airchinneach of Doire, died.

AU 1061

Muiredach ua Maelcoluim, superior of Daire, rested in repentance.