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Annals of Inisfallen

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Annals of Inisfallen
Publication placeIreland
An excerpt (Bodleian Library MS. Rawl. B. 503, folio 30r). The text refers to an event dated 1094, and reads in Irish "Macc Congail, rí na Rend, do marbad", which translates into English as "Congal's son, king of Na Renna, was slain".

The Annals of Inisfallen (Irish: Annála Inis Faithlinn) are a chronicle of the medieval history of Ireland.[1]


Ruined abbey at Innisfallen

There are more than 2,500 entries spanning the years between 433 and 1450. The manuscript is thought to have been compiled in 1092, as the chronicle is written by a single scribe down to that point but updated by many different hands thereafter.[2] It was written by the monks of Innisfallen Abbey, on Innisfallen Island on Lough Leane, near Killarney in Munster, but made use of sources produced at different centres around Munster as well as a Clonmacnoise group text of the hypothetical Chronicle of Ireland.[3]

As well as the chronological entries, the manuscript contains a short, fragmented narrative of the history of pre-Christian Ireland, known as the pre-Patrician section, from the time of Abraham to the arrival of Saint Patrick in Ireland. This has many elements in common with Lebor Gabála Érenn.[4] It sets the history of Ireland and the Gaels within Eusebian universal history, which is provided both by a Latin world chronicle and extracts from Réidig dam, a Dé, do nim, a Middle Irish poem attributed to Flann Mainistrech in later manuscripts.[citation needed]

The annals are now housed in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. In 2001, Brian O'Leary, a Fianna Fáil councillor in Killarney, called for the annals to be returned to the town.[5] Although it was loaned to Ireland on occasion it remains in Oxford.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mac Airt 1951.
  2. ^ Evans 2010, pp. 12–13.
  3. ^ Hughes 1972, pp. 99–162, esp. 99-116.
  4. ^ Evans 2010, p. 4.
  5. ^ Costello, Peter (5 January 2017). "Give us back the Annals of Inisfallen". The Irish Catholic. Retrieved 19 July 2021.


  • Evans, Nicholas (2010), The Present and the Past in Medieval Irish Chronicles, Studies in Celtic History 27, Woodbridge: Boydell
  • Hughes, Kathleen (1972), Early Christian Ireland: Introduction to the Sources, Sources of History, London: Hodder and Stoughton
  • Mac Airt, Seán (1951), The Annals of Inisfallen: MSS Rawlinson B503, Dublin: Hodges, Figgs & Co

External links[edit]