Daire is an Old Irish name which fell out of use at an early period, remaining restricted essentially to legendary and ancestral figures. It has come back into fashion in the 18th century. The anglicised form of this name is Dara.
It may refer to:
- Daire Barrach, a Leinster dynast and son of Cathair Mór of the Laigin
- Daire Cerbba, a Munster dynast of the 4th century
- Dáire Derg, character from the Fenian Cycle possibly identical with Goll mac Morna
- Dáire Doimthech, a legendary King of Tara, ancestor of the Dáirine and Corcu Loígde
- Daire Donn, "king of the great world" from the Battle of Ventry of the Fenian Cycle
- Daire Dornmár, a grandson of the legendary Conaire Mór and early king of Dál Riata
- Daire Drechlethan, a King of Tara of uncertain identity listed in the Baile Chuinn Chétchathaig
- Daire Sírchréchtach, alternative name of Dáire Doimthech
- Daire mac Cormaic, a son of the celebrated Cormac mac Airt
- Daire mac Dedad, father of the legendary Cú Roí and alternative ancestor of the Dáirine
- Daire mac Dlúthaig, father of Fiatach Finn of the Ulaid, ancestor of the Dál Fiatach
- Daire mac Fiachna, cattle-lord from the Ulster Cycle, owner of the Donn Cuailnge and cousin of Conchobar mac Nessa
- Daire mac Forgo (Forggo), an early king of Emain Macha of the Ulaid and alternative father of Fiatach Finn
Both Eoin MacNeill and T. F. O'Rahilly believed that most, if not all of those listed may derive from the same prehistoric or mythological figure, or have adopted each other's features to such an extent as to all be composites. The latter states that Daire and Cú Roí "are ultimately one and the same", and refers to him as "the god of the Otherworld".
Meaning and origins
The meaning is both sexual ("fruitful, fertile, rutty") and tumultuous ("violent"). The reconstructed form is *Dārios, cognate to the Gaulish Dari(o) ("tumult, rage"), a form widely attested on the Continent, especially in personal names.
The Darini were a population group or kingdom located by Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography in south Antrim and north Down. Julius Pokorny believed this to be a mistake for Darioni, from the groundform *Dārio-nion, reconstructed from the proto-historical Dairine, descendants of Daire Doimthech / Daire mac Dedad and ancestors of the historical Corcu Loígde. They were probably also ancestral, at least in part, to the Dál Fiatach, the descendants of Fiatach Finn mac Daire and known as the historical Ulaid (< *Uluti / Uoluntii), mentioned by Ptolemy living adjacent to the Darini.
Closely associated with Daire in Irish legend is the heroic figure Lugaid. According to O'Rahilly he was the son of Daire, Lugaid mac Dáire or Lugaid Loígde, son of Dáire Doimthech, but was chiefly remembered in the person of his 'descendant' Lugaid Mac Con. His other principal emanations were Lugaid mac Con Roí, son of Cú Roí, and probably Lugaid Riab nDerg (Réoderg).
- Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise. Paris: Editions Errance. 2nd edition, revised and augmented. 2003.
- James MacKillop, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford University Press. 1998.
- Eoin MacNeill, Celtic Ireland. Academy Press. 1981 (reissue with new intro. and notes by Donnchadh Ó Corráin of original Martin Lester Ltd edition, 1921).
- Kuno Meyer (ed.), "The Laud Genealogies and Tribal Histories", in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 8 (1912): 291–338.
- Michael A. O'Brien (ed.) with intr. by John V. Kelleher, Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae. DIAS. 1976. / partial digital edition: Donnchadh Ó Corráin (ed.), Genealogies from Rawlinson B 502. University College, Cork: Corpus of Electronic Texts. 1997.
- T. F. O'Rahilly, Early Irish History and Mythology. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 1946.
- Julius Pokorny, "Beiträge zur ältesten Geschichte Irlands (3. Érainn, Dári(n)ne und die Iverni und Darini des Ptolomäus)", in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 12 (1918): 323–57.
- Whitley Stokes (ed. & tr.), "Cóir Anmann (Fitness of Names)", in Whitley Stokes and Ernst Windisch, Irische Texte mit Wörterbuch. Volume 3, Parts 1–2. Leipzig: Verlag von S. Hirzel. 1891 (1); 1897 (2). pp. 285–444. alternative scan I alternative scan II
- eDIL – Dictionary of the Irish Language Letter: D1 (D-Degóir), Columns 34 through 36