Eochaid Étgudach

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For other people of the same name, see Eochaid.

Eochaid or Eochu Étgudach ("possessing clothes") or Etgedach ("negligent"?)[1] son of Dáire Doimthech, a descendant of Lugaid mac Ítha, nephew of Míl Espáine, was, according to medieval Irish legend and historical tradition, a High King of Ireland. According to the Lebor Gabála Érenn he was chosen as king by the remaining quarter of the men of Ireland after the other three-quarters had died with the former king, Tigernmas, while worshipping the deity Crom Cruach. He introduced a system whereby the number of colours a man could wear in his clothes depended on his social rank, from one colour for a slave to seven for a king or queen. He ruled for four years, until he was killed in battle at Tara by Cermna Finn, who succeeded to the throne jointly with his brother Sobairce. His reign is synchronised with that of Eupales in Assyria.[2] The chronology of Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn dates his reign to 1159–1155 BC,[3] that of the Annals of the Four Masters (which adds that there was a seven-year interregnum between Tigernmas' death and Eochaid's accession) to 1537–1533 BC.[4]

As a son of the legendary 1st or 2nd century AD Dáire Doimthech, Eochaid Étgudach appears to have been misplaced chronologically by later medieval synchronists.[citation needed]

Preceded by
High King of Ireland
AFM 1537–1533 BC
FFE 1159–1155 BC
Succeeded by
Sobairce and Cermna Finn


  1. ^ Dictionary of the Irish Language, Compact Edition, Royal Irish Academy, 1990, p. 287
  2. ^ R. A. Stewart Macalister (ed. & trans.), Lebor Gabála Érenn: The Book of the Taking of Ireland Part V, Irish Texts Society, 1956, pp. 209-211
  3. ^ Geoffrey Keating, Foras Feasa ar Éirinn 1.25
  4. ^ Annals of the Four Masters M3657-3667