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Early peoples and kingdoms of Ireland, c.800

The Conmhaícne or Conmaicne were a people of early Ireland, perhaps related to the Laigin, who dispersed to various parts of Ireland. They settled in Connacht and Longford, giving their name to several Conmaicne territories. T. F. O'Rahilly's assertion the Conmaicne were non-Goidelic is not widely accepted.[1]


Their name supposedly originates from a mythical ancestor known as Conmac, descended from Fergus mac Roich and Queen Maeve of Connacht. However, Walsh stated "Conmac son of Fergus is a genealogical fiction".[2] The word Conmacne means "progeny of Conmac" (ne, a progeny). Conmac itself means "hound-son" (con, hound; mac, son).


Branches of the Conmaicne dispersed to various places.

Conmaicne na Gaillimhe[edit]

Conmaicne Mhaigh Eo[edit]

Conmaicne Ros Comáin[edit]

Conmaicne Rein[edit]

The Diocese of Ardagh was established in 1111 as the see for east Connacht. Fourteen years later, at the Synod of Kells-Mellifont, its area was reduced to the territory of the Conmaicne Rein and Conmaicne Angalie, south county Leitrim and all county Longford.[4] The diocese was commonly called "the Diocese of the Conmaicne".


Known Septs of the Conmhaícne Rein in south County Leitrim were:


John O'Donovan wrote:

The chief familes of the Conmacians were the O'Fearralls, princes and lords of Annaly, or Longford; the Mac Rannalls, a name anglicised to Reynolds, who were Lords of Conmaincee of Moy-Rein and Muintir-Eolais, in Leitrim; the Mac Keoghes, who were chiefs in Galway, and also in Lenister; the MacShanleys; O'Rodaghans; MacDorchys; O'Mulveys; O'Morans, and O'Mannings, chiefs and clans in various parts of Longford, Leitrim, and Roscommon.[5]

Notables descended from the Conmhaicne include Cruimthear Mac Carthaigh, St. Jarlath of Tuam and some abbots of Clonmacnoise.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ MacKillop 2004.
  2. ^ Walsh 1940, p. 6.
  3. ^ AFM.
  4. ^ P Galloway, The Cathedrals of Ireland, Belfast, 1992
  5. ^ AFM, p. 417.
  • Some Connacht Population-Groups, Nollaig Ó Muraíle, in Seanchas:Studies in Early and Medieval Archaeology, History and Literature in Honour of Francis John Byrne, pp. 176–76, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2000
  • Medieval Ireland: Territorial, Political and Economic Divisions, Paul Mac Cotter, Four Courts Press, 2008, pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-1-84682-098-4

Secondary sources[edit]