Cenel Cathain

Ua Cathain of Craebh

A Northern Branch of the Cenel Eogain or Not?

Extracts from the Annals of Ireland


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

AU 1099

The stone church of Ard Sratha was burned by Fir na Cra�bhe against U� Fhiachrach.

AU 1118

Laidcn�n ua Duibdara, king of Fir Manach, was killed by the U� Fhiachrach and Fir na Cra�bhe.

FM 1118

Laidhgnen Ua Duibhdara, lord of Feara-Manach, was slain by the Ui-Fiachrach of Ardsratha, and the men of Craebh.

FM 1138

Raghnall, son of Imhar Ua Cathain, lord of the Craebh, Cianachta, and Fir-Li, fell through treachery and guile, by the Ui-Eoghain of the Valley.

FM 1145

Sluaigheadhach Ua Cathain, bishop and virgin, of the people of Leithghlinn, died.

AU 1156

Aedh Ua Canannain, king of Cenel-Conaill, was killed by Ua Cathain and by the Men of the Craibh.

FM 1156

Aedh, son of Ruaidhri Ua Canannain, lord of Cinel-Conaill, was slain by Ua Cathain and Feara-na-Craeibhe, by treachery.

FM 1157

An army was led by Muircheartach, son of Niall Ua Lochlainn, accompanied by the people of the north of Ireland, into Leinster; and the King of Leinster, Mac Murchadha, gave him hostages. The people of Laeighis, Ui-Failghe, and of the half of Osraighe, then fled into Connaught. After this he Muircheartach proceeded, accompanied by the Leinstermen, into Desmond, and carried off the hostages of Desmond. He went from thence to the Dal-gCais, and expelled them from Thomond, and plundered some of them in Thomond. He afterwards laid siege to Luimneach, until the foreigners submitted to him as their king, and banished Toirdhealbhach Ua Briain from among them. He afterwards divided Munster between the son of Mac Carthaigh, i.e. Diarmaid, son of Cormac, and Conchobhar, son of Domhnall Ua Briain. He afterwards came to Magh-Ua-Farca, and sent forth a marauding host over Adhairceach, into Sil-Anmchadha. This host was defeated, and many of them were slain, together with Ua Cathain of Craeibh. On this occasion the Cinel-Eoghain destroyed Ros-Cre. He Muircheartach returned from thence to his house in triumph.

FM 1167

A hosting and mustering of the men of Ireland, with their chieftains, by Ruaidhri Ua Conchobhair. Thither came Diarmaid, son of Cormac, lord of Desmond; Muircheartach Ua Briain, lord of Thomond; Diarmaid Ua Maeleachlainn, King of Meath; Donnchadh Ua Cearbhaill, lord of Oirghialla; and all the chieftains of Leinster. They afterwards arrived in Tir-Eoghain, and Ua Conchobhair divided the territory into two parts, i.e. gave that part of Tir-Eoghain north of the mountain, i.e. Callainn, to Niall Ua Lochlainn, for two hostages, i.e. Ua Cathain of Craebh, and Macan-Ghaill Ua Brain, and that part of the country of the Cinel to the south of the mountain to Aedh Ua Neill, for two other hostages, i.e. Ua Maelaedha, one of the Cinel-Aenghusa, and Ua hUrthuile, one of the Ui-Tuirtre Ua Neill's own foster-brothers. The men of Ireland returned back southwards over Sliabh-Fuaid, through Tir-Eoghain, and Tir-Conaill, and over Eas-Ruaidh to meet their sea-fleet; and Ua Conchobhair escorted the lord of Desmond, with his forces, southwards through Thomond as far as Cnoc-Aine with many jewels and riches.

Note: Callainn Mountain is modern Slieve Gallion in County Londonderry about 4 miles from Moneymore and 8 miles from Cookstown. It is the eastern limit of the Sperrin Mountain range and is part of the parishes of Desertmartin, Lissan and Ballinascreen.

AU 1171

Great foraying force [was led] by Maghnus Mac Duinnsleibhe [Ua Eochadha] with all Ulidia into Cuil-in-tuaisceirt, so that they plundered Cuil-rathain and other churches, until a small number of the Cenel-Eogain under Conchobur Ua Cathain overtook them and gave battle and killed one and twenty men, both chiefs and sons of chiefs, and a multitude of others along with them. And Maghnus himself was wounded. And moreover that Maghnus was killed shortly after in Dun by Donnsleibhe, that is, by his own brother and by Gilla-Oenghusa Mac Gilla-espuic, namely, by the lawgiver of Monaigh, after great evils had been done by him,�namely, after leaving his own wedded wife and after taking his wife from his fosterer, that is, from Cu-maighi Ua Flainn and she [had been] the wife of his own brother at first, namely, of Aedh; after inflicting violence upon the wife of his other brother also, that is, of Eochaidh; after profanation of bells and croziers, clerics and churches. Donnsleibhe took the kingship in his stead.

FM 1171

A great predatory force was led by Maghnus Mac Duinnsleibhe Ua hEochadha and the Ulidians into Cuil-an-tuais-ceirt; and they plundered Cuil-rathain Coleraine and other churches. A small party of the Cinel-Eoghain, under Conchobhair Ua Cathain, overtook them; and a battle was fought between them, in which the Ulidians were defeated, with the loss of one-and-twenty chieftains and sons of chieftains, with many others of the commonalty; and Maghnus himself was wounded, but he escaped from the conflict on that occasion. He was afterwards killed by his own brother, Donnsleibhe, and Gilla-Aenghusa, son of Mac Gillaepscoip, ruler of Monaigh at Dun Downpatrick, after having perpetrated many evil deeds.


Maelpatrick O'Banan, Bishop of Connor and Dalaradia, a venerable man, full of sanctity, meekness, and purity of heart, died in righteousness, in Hy-Columbkille, at a venerable old age.

AU 1175

Defeat [was inflicted] on the Cenel-Enna by Echmarcach Ua Catha[i]n and by Niall Ua Gailmredhaigh and great slaughter was put upon them.

LC 1175

A victory was gained over the Cenel-Enna, by Echmarcach O'Cathain and Niall O'Gairmledhaigh, and a great slaughter was inflicted on them.

AU 1178

Raghnall son of Echmarcach Ua Catha[i]n, was killed by the Cenel-Maien in the beginning of that summer. So, in revenge of that, fell Galach Ua Luinigh and Muircertach Ua Peatain and it is in revenge of it the treacherous attack of the sons of Domnall was made upon the Cenel-Moien.

AU 1179

Cluane and Ard-sratha and Domnach-mor and the Ernaidhe were desolated by the Men of Magh-Itha.

AU 1181

A great foray by the Men of Magh-Itha around O'Cathain, namely, Echmarcach and by the Cenel-Binnigh of the Glenn, until they went past Tuaim [on the Bann] and harried Fir-Li and Ui-Tuirtri and took away many thousands of cows.

FM 1181

The men of Moy-Ithe, together with O'Kane Eachmarcach, and the Kinel-Binny of the Valley, mustered an army, and crossed Toome. They plundered all the territories of Firlee and Hy-Tuirtre, and carried off many thousands of cows.

AU 1182

A hosting by Domnall Ua Lochlainn to Dun-mbo in Dal-riatai and battle was there given by him to the Foreigners and defeat [was inflicted] upon Cenel-Eogain and Raghnall Ua Breislein was killed there and Gilla Crist Ua Catha[i]n was killed there and many others [were killed]. And the Gospel of [St.] Martin was carried off with them by the Foreigners.

AU 1192

The door of the Refectory of the Penitentiary [of Daire] was made by Ua Cathain of the Craib and by the daughter of Ua Inneirghi.

AU 1195

Echmarcach Ua Catha[i]n died in the Regular Canons' house of St. Paul [in Ard-Macha].

AU 1196

Muircertach, son of Muircertach Ua Lochlainn, king of Cenel-Eogain and royal heir of all Ireland, namely, tower of championship and valour of the Half of Conn, dissolver of the Foreigners and of castles, upholder of churches and dignities, was killed by Donnchadh, son of Bloscadh Ua Catha[i]n, by counsel of all Cenel-Eogain: that is, after pledging the three Shrines and the Canon of Patrick to him in the southern church of Ard-Macha before that. And he was carried to Daire of Column-cille and was buried honourably.

AU 1197

Conchobur Ua Catha[i]n died.

MCB 1197

Conchobhar � Cathain, king of Fir na Craoibhe and Cianachta, fell by the power of Patrick together with his saints and relics, in retribution for the violation of his security.

AU 1206

Maghnus Ua Cathain, son of the king of Ciannachta and Fir-na-craibhe, tower of championship and courage of the North, fell by the wound of an arrow.

AU 1213

Ferghal Ua Cathain, king of Ciannachta and Firna-craibhe, was killed by the Foreigners.

AU 1214

Ua Cathain and the Men of Craibh came to Daire to seize a house against the sons of Mac Lachlainn, so that between them they killed the great manciple of the Monastery of Paire. But God and St. Colum-cille wrought a great miracle therein: the man that assembled and mustered the force, namely, Mathgamain Mag Aithne, was killed in reparation to Colum-cille immediately, at the door of the Penitentiary of Colum-cille.

AU 1216.1

Mael-Poil Ua Muiredhaigh, prior of Dun-Geimhin (Dungiven), died.

AU 1216.4

Trad Ua Mailfhabhaill, chief of Cenel-Ferghusa, along with his kinsmen and with great havoc, was killed by Muiredach, son of the Great Steward of Lemhain (Lennox).

AU 1223

Niall O'Neill profaned Daire, respecting the daughter of Ua Cathain. And God and Colum-cille wrought a miracle, so that his thread of life was shortened.

AU 1229

Girard Ua Cathain, the most learned Canon that was in the Order of Canons rested in Christ.

July 7, 1244

The K[ing] to Dovenald [Donald] King of Tirch'unill [Tirconnell].
Being about to march against the King of Scots, the K[ing] prays Donald to give him his aid by joining in person and with a force the justiciary of Ireland and other subjects of the K. about shortly to depart for Scotland. Stanford. [Letters on the same subject to]

Felim, son of the late King Oraly,
O Hanlon,
Brian O Nel, King of Kinelun',
O Chatan',
O Hynery,
Donald Mackadmel,
Mac Anegus,
Mac Kartan,
Mac Gilemuri,
O Flen, King of Turteri,
Mac Mathaven,
Mac O Calmery,
Conehor O Briun, son of Duncan
Carbrach' de Thodmond,
Cormaclethan' Macardhy de Dessemon',
Ros Folan de Dessia,
Richard Mac Hermekan de Dessia,
Core Ochenn' de Fermuy,
Ohonethor Olaff'cy de Corr'ait',
Macchulan' Okellyc de Ochonyl',
Murchod Mac Briun de Natherlach.
[Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland 1171-1251 (London, 1875), p. 404, No. 2716]

AU 1247

Eachmarcach Ua Cathain, king of Ciannachta and of Fir-na-craibhe, was killed by Maghnus Ua Cathain, on his going upon a foray to the latter, to Airther-muighi in Dal-riatai.

FM 1247

Eachmarcach O'Kane, Lord of Kienaghta and Firnacreeva, was slain by Manus O'Kane, after having gone on a predatory excursion into his country as far as Armoy in Dal-Riada.

AU 1260

The battle of Druim-derg was fought (in a place which is called Dromma-derg) at Dun-da-leathglas by Brian Ua Neill and Aedh, son of Feidhlimidh Ua Conchobair, against the Foreigners of the North of Ireland, wherein were killed many of the nobles of the Gaidhil, namely, Brian Ua Neill and Domnall Ua Cairre and Diarmait Mag Lachlainn and Maghnus Ua Cathain and Cian Ua Inneirghi and Donnsleibhe Mag Cana and Concobur O'Duibhdirma and Aedh, his son, and Amlaim Ua Gairmleaghaidh and Cu-Uladh Ua hAnluain. But one notable thing happened: fifteen men of the nobles of Clann-Cathain were killed on that spot. There were killed of the Connachtmen there: Gilla-Crist, son of Conchobar, son of Cormac Ua Mailruanaigh and king of Magh Luirg and Cathal, son of Tighernan Ua Conchobair and Maelruanaidh, son of Donnchadh Ua Mailruanaigh and Cathal, son of Donnchadh, son of Muircertach and Aedh, son of Muircertach the Fair and Tadhg, son of Cathal, son of Brian Ua Mailruanaigh and Diarmait, son of Tadhg, son of Muiredhach, son of Tomaltach Ua Mailruanaigh and Conchobur Mac Gille-Arraigh and Tadhg, son of Cian Ua Gadhra and Gilla-Beraigh Ua Cuinn and many other persons.

AU 1264

Cumhuidhe Ua Cathain, king of Ciannachta, was taken prisoner by Aedh the Tawny.

December 27, 1272

Inquisition taken at le Finaleburn, in Twiscard, by Sir W[illiam] Fitz Warin, seneschal of the Lord Edward in Ulster, as to how Sir H[enry] de Mandevyle behaved in regard to the K[ing], the Lord Edward, and the English in Ulster after Edward had made him bailiff in Twiscared. Jurors:- Henry Savage [Salvagius] son of Sir R. Savage, Reginald le Chen, W. Pewdelou, Hugh Savage, Richard Fitz R[ichard], Henry Savage of Tualaneske, W. of Flanders, Thomas Savage, Michael Bonekyl, John son of Smith, Patrick Fitz Adam, Walter de Peter, Geoffrey son of Wye, Elias Sendal, Elias de Angle, Richard Fitz Hubert, Robert Broun, W. Toller, Robert Dodde, Gilbert de Burn, W. Blake, Ralph de Weltun, John Long, Matthew Malerb; Who Say as follows:- That Magnus Ochaan was slain at Down [Dun'], against the peace of the K. and of the Lord Edward, and after his death Hugh Ochaan offered to Sir H[enry] 500 cows to the use of the Lord Edward for the land of Fernecreu' and Kenack, to hold of the Lord Edward; Sir H[enry] refused to take them, but put the son of Magnus, a traitor to the K. and the Lord Edward, in seisin of the lands, and he still unjustly holds them:�That 27 English men and women coming from Maulin' towards Twiscard by way of Collan were killed by consent of Sir H[enry]; this was done by the Irish of Turtria [Ui-Tuirtre], by counsel of Sir H[enry]; that the Irish of Turtria burnt the land of Ocaynymery and Cachery and killed 22 English by the instigation and precept of the same Sir H[enry]:- That Coumoy Ochaan, by counsel of the same Sir H[enry], burnt William of Culrath [Coleraine], and killed J. Fitz Philip and 13 other English:�That Sir W[alter] de Burgh, late Earl of Ulster, was seized at his death as custodee of Mamym' and Cachery, and Sir H[enry] intruded into them:�That Sir H[enry] took from the men of Drindrif and Dunsumery 20 oxen for licence to carry corn out of the country, and they were nevertheless despoiled of 19 marks of silver:�That Sir H[enry] unjustly took 40 oxen from the burgesses of Poreros and Portchani', because they would not feed his servants wandering through the country:�That he promised to John son of Sir H. de Logan 2 carucates of land to seduce Reginald le Chen when fighting against Coumoy Ochaan at Glasdale:�That Sir H[enry] had false measures to; receive rents in corn from the farmers of the Lord Edward, and they are thus ignorant of the extent of the Lord Edward's loss:�That Sir H[enry] unjustly took a hogshead of the price of 55 marks from Godfrey Ury:�That R. of Galwyd gave to the Lord Edward half a mark and to Sir H[enry] 5 marks and a horse worth 3 marks to procure his discharge from prison, into which he had been put for killing his wife:�That Sir H[enry] had unjustly taken from the sureties of J. son of W. 20 marks, from Roger Ruffus 5 marks, from Thomas son of Noese 3 marks, and from W. Scot 3 marks:�That after he became bailiff of Twiscard he had, on the Bann, a fishing boat worth 4 marks a year, but whether he had a warrant they know not:�That after the death of Richard de Burgh, late Earl of Ulster Sir H[enry] made a purpresture on the demesnes of the Lord Edward at Archrepico of 2 carucates of land:�That Sir H[enry] has no right in Crech or Glybos, unless in that parcel of land whereof he was enfeoffed by Sir J. Biset, but he has now appropriated all that land to the loss of the Lord:�That Sir H[enry] after the death of Sir W[alter] de Burgh, late Earl of Ulster, diminished by gifts bestowed on himself the annual rent of Twiscard, to the loss of the Lord of 201. of silver:� That Sir H[enry] converted all this rapine and unjust extortion to his own use:�That the said Walter Earl of Ulster held at his death the bailiwick of Twiscard, with le Crech and Glynboy all which Sir H[enry] has now unjustly appropriated to the loss of Lord. Given at le Finlieburn, on the feast of St. John the Evangelist 57 Hen. III.
[Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland 1252-1284 (London, 1877), p. 158, No. 929]

Note: Glasdale is Glenstall in the parish of Ballymoney. Drindrif is now Dunluce. Dunsumery is believed to be Dunseverick. Ocaynymery is an old name for the parish of Ramoan. Cachery is Cary, the name of a barony.

The O�Clery Book of Genealogies

(Page 52) Genelach .H. Chathain
487. (col. a) Domnall ballach m Ruaidri m Maghnusa m Donnchada' an einigh m Seaain m Aibhne m Diarmada m Con mhuighe m Diarmada m Con muighe na nGall m Magnusa chatha duin m Ruaidri m Domhnaill m Eachmharcaigh m Raghnaill (1138) m Iomhair m Gilla Crist m [Con cionaedh m Diermada m Cathusaigh] m Cathain (a quo .h. Chathain) m Drugain m Concobhair (772) m Fergail m Maile duin m Maile fithrigh m Aedha uaiiriodhnaigh m Domnaill ilcealccaigh m Muircertaigh m Muirethaigh m Eogain m Neill noigiallaigh.

Donal ballagh was the son of Rory son of Manus son of Donogh an einigh (generous) son of John son of Aibhne son of Dermot son of Conmuighe son of Dermot son of Conmuighe na nGall son of Manus chatha duinn son of Rory son of Donal son of Eachmarcagh son of Ranall (1138) son of Iomhair son of Giolla Christ [son of Conchinnaed son of Dermot son of Casey] son of Cahan son of Drungan son of Conor son of Feargal son of Maeldoon son of Mailfithrigh son of Hugh Uairiodhnach son of Donall Ilcealgagh son of Muircheartagh son of Muireadaigh son of Owen son of Neill 'of the Nine Hostages.'