Cairbre Drom Cliabh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cairbre Drom Cliabh
Cairbre na Catha/Críoch Cairbre/Cairbre Mór
Túath/ Tríocha Céad
Coubty Sligo tuath map.jpg
Sligo territories as they were in c.1585
 • Created uncertain
 • Abolished 1603
 • Succeeded by Barony of Carbury, County Sligo
Status Saor túath (Free Territory)
 • Type Mixed Democratic Monarchy
 • Type Parishes/Townlands

Irish: Cairbre Drom Cliabh, meaning "Uí Cairbre of Drumcliff" is a territory (tuath) in County Sligo in northwest Ireland.[1] It is now represented by the barony of Carbury. Also known as Cairbre na Catha (Carbury of the Battles). It existed from at least the 6th century to the 16th century AD. As a frontier territory of Connacht it was a free tuath under a branch of the O'Conchobar dynasty called the Clann Aindrias or Ó Conchobhair Sligigh

Location and Extent[edit]

This territory is between the coast and the Dartry mountains it borders Ulster to the north extends from the Owenmore river at Ballysadare to the Drowes (Drobhaois) River near Bundoran. Benbulben (Benn Ghulbain) in it Knocknarea Lough Gill.

Early History[edit]

The tuath takes its name from Cairbre mac Néill, third son of Niall of the Nine Hostages (hence this areas connections to Uladh).[2] Cairbre is described as an enemy of St. Patrick. Tirecháns life of Patrick states that Cairbre was cursed by the saint, at the hill of Tara, that none of his descendants would be High King.

Cairbre is excluded from most lists of High Kings, but included in the earliest. Chiefs of Cenél Cairpre included O'Mulclohy (Ó Maolchloiche), a name later translated to Stone. Cairbre's descendants are said to have also settled in Granard in Tethbha, modern County Longford. Also see Cairbre Gabhra, of Co. Longford; and Uí Cairpri Laigen, of the barony of Carbury, County Kildare. Cairbre supplied only one High King of Ireland, his grandson, Túathal Máelgarb Dunadhach,

This is the territory from which Conall Gulbain set out to conquer Tír Chonaill, modern Donegal.

1029 - Annals of Tigernach: "A great loss of life on Inis Lainne in Cairbre Mór, where forty persons of the nobles of Cairbre were burned alive, including Aodh Ó Ruairc, king of Cairbre, and the superior of Drumcliff."


In 538 BC the battle of the Codnaige (Drumcliff river) fought by Tighernmas, king of Ireland.

AD 542 the Battle of Sligo, in which Eogan Bél, king of Connacht, fell by Fergus and Domnall two sons of Muircheartach son of Erc, and by Ainmire son of Setna and by Naindid son of Dua who were the victors. Whence it was said:

The battle of Uí Fiachrach is fought,

With fury of edges over the border,

Foemen's kine bellow against spears,

The battle was spread out into Crinder.

The Sligo river carried off to the great sea

Men's blood with their flesh,

They utter paeans over Eba

Round the head of Eogan Bél. (AFM)

In 561 AD the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne (also called the Battle of the Book) was fought at Cooladrumman, a townland near Drumcliff in this territory.

1051 AD- Cathal, son of Tighearnain, lord of Breifne, went upon a predatory excursion into Eabha, and demolished Dun-Feich, where fifty persons were slain, and whence seven hundred cows were carried off.

M1214.7 - The territory of Carbury Co. Sligo, the possession of Philip Mac Costello, was preyed by Ualgarg O'Rourke, who carried off a number of cows. In Norman hands.

In 1257 AD the Battle of Creadran Cille was fought between the Normans and Irish at Ros Ceite (Rosses Point).


The O Conor Sligo (Ó Conchobhair Sligigh) were a branch of the Ó Conchobhair royal family who were Kings of Connacht.[3] They were descended from Brian Luighnech Ua Conchobhair (k.1181) and were Lords of Sligo into the middle of the 17th century.

For a list of chiefs of Cairbre Drom Cliabh see O'Conchobar Sligigh



  1. ^ "Sligo, Ireland". Sligo, Ireland. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  2. ^ "Sligo History Project - Cairbre Drumcliabh". Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  3. ^ "History, Heritage, Folklore, and News from County Sligo, Ireland". Retrieved 2014-04-26.