Áed Uaridnach

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West face of the Fahan cross-slab, the figures at the bottom perhaps representing Áed Uaridnach and Saint Mura, founders of the church at Fahan[1]

Áed Uaridnach (or Áed mac Domnaill) (died 612) was an Irish king who was High King of Ireland. He is sometimes also known as Áed Allán, a name most commonly used for the 8th-century king of the same name, this Áed's great-great-grandson.

Áed was the son of Domnall Ilchelgach (died 566) and brother of Eochaid mac Domnaill (died 572), considered to have been High Kings by some sources.[2] He belonged to the northern Cenél nEógain kindred of the Uí Néill. He was King of Ailech from 604 to 612[3]

Áed, it was said, was preceded as High King by the joint rule of Áed Sláine and Colmán Rímid and ruled from 604 to 612.[4] Áed is mentioned in the earliest Irish King list contained in the Baile Chuind (The Ecstasy of Conn), a late 7th-century Irish poem. In 605 Áed won a victory over the King of Leinster, Brandub mac Echach (died 605) at the Battle of Slabra.[5] Leinster was often a target of the Uí Néill for inaugural raids and the levy of a cattle-tribute. The Annals of Tigernach place the beginning of his reign after this event.[6]

The cause of Áed's death is unknown, but his obituary presents it as a non-violent death. According to one recension of The Book of Invasions he "died of plague in Tara".[7] The Cenél Feradach, led by the descendants of Suibne Menn, overshadowed Áed's branch of the Cenél nEógain—the Cenél maic Ercae—and it was not until the time of his great-grandson Fergal mac Máele Dúin that the Cenél maic Ercae again provided a High King of Ireland. Áed's son Máel Fithrich mac Áedo (died 630) was a king of Ailech.


  1. ^ Lacey, Cenél Conaill, p. 286.
  2. ^ T.M. Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland, Appendix V
  3. ^ the Laud Synchronisms give him a reign of 8 years
  4. ^ the Laud Synchronisms give him a reign of 7 years and the Book of Leinster 8 years. See also The Chronicle of Ireland page 124, translated by T. M. Charles-Edwards, Liverpool University Press, 2006.
  5. ^ Annals of Ulster AU 605.1; Annals of Tigernach AT 603.2
  6. ^ Annals of Tigernach AT 603.6
  7. ^ R. A. S. Macalister (translator, editor), Lebor Gabála Érenn, Part V, p. 375.[1]


  • Annals of Ulster at CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork
  • Annals of Tigernach at CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork
  • Charles-Edwards, T. M. (2004), "Áed Uaridnach mac Domnaill (d. 612)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford: Oxford University Press, retrieved 2007-10-25
  • Charles-Edwards, T. M. (2000), Early Christian Ireland, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-36395-0
  • Byrne, Francis John (2001), Irish Kings and High-Kings (2nd ed.), Dublin: Four Courts Press, ISBN 1-85182-196-1
  • Lacey, Brian (2006), Cenél Conaill and the Donegal Kingdoms AD 500–800, Dublin: Four Courts Press, ISBN 1-85182-978-4

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