List of kings of Munster

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Kings of Munster
Rí Mumhan
Kingdom of Munster-900.svg
Map of Munster, c. 10th century.
Details
StyleRí Mumhan
First monarchBodb Derg
Last monarchCormac Mac Carthaig
FormationAncient
Abolition1138 or 1194 (claimant)
ResidenceRock of Cashel
AppointerTanistry
Pretender(s)Disputed:
Conor Myles John O'Brien
(Ó Briain)
Liam Trant MacCarthy
(Mac Cárthaigh)

The kings of Munster (Irish: Rí Mumhan), ruled from the establishment of Munster during the Irish Iron Age, until the High Middle Ages. According to Gaelic traditional history, laid out in works such as the Book of Invasions, the earliest king of Munster was Bodb Derg of the Tuatha Dé Danann. From the Gaelic peoples, an Érainn kindred known as the Dáirine (also known as Corcu Loígde and represented today in seniority by the Ó hEidirsceoil), provided several early monarchs including Cú Roí. In a process in the Cath Maige Mucrama, the Érainn would lose out in the 2nd century AD to the Deirgtine, ancestors of the Eóganachta. Munster during this period was classified as part of Leath Moga, or the southern-half, while other parts of Ireland were ruled mostly by the Connachta.

After losing Osraige to the east, Cashel was established as the capital of Munster by the Eóganachta. This kindred ruled without interruption until the 10th century. Although the High Kingship of Ireland was dominated during this time by the Uí Néill, the Eóganachta of Munster did provide Cathal mac Finguine and Fedelmid mac Crimthainn as serious contenders. This great tribe was broken down into different septs or branches, the most successful in terms of royalty were the Eóganacht Chaisil (represented by the Ó Súilleabháin and Mac Cárthaigh), Eóganacht Glendamnach (represented by the Ó Caoimh) and Eóganacht Áine (represented by the Ó Ciarmhaic).

Their hold was loosened by the rise of Brian Bóruma of the Dál gCais, who established the Ó Briain as kings of Munster. As well as this Munster had to contend with the Normans. Finally, the kingdom ended as it was split into Thomond, Desmond and Ormond. The former two came to an end during the 16th century with birth of the Tudor Kingdom of Ireland, with former rulers joining the Peerage of Ireland. There were a number of Gaelic attempts to reassert their power in Munster, such as that of Fínghin Mac Cárthaigh and Domhnall Cam Ó Súilleabháin Bhéara, but these were not successful.

Ancient and legendary Kings of Munster[edit]

  • Bodb Derg, king of the Sid Mumu, and later king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, succeeding The Dagda
  • Conmáel, first Milesian king based in Munster, and also High King of Ireland
  • Eochaid Faebar Glas, his son and High King of Ireland, possibly based in Munster also
  • Eochu Mumu, his grandson and High King of Ireland, and after whom Munster is said to be named
  • Énna Airgdech, his son and High King of Ireland
  • Eochu Apthach, a possibly fictitious very early High King of Ireland from the Corcu Loídge, but misplaced chronologically in any event
  • Íar mac Degad, ancestor of the Érainn, or those specifically named "Descendants of Iar mac Degad"
  • Eterscél Mór, his son and High King of Ireland
  • Conaire Mór, his son in most sources, and one of the most celebrated High Kings of Ireland
  • Conaire Cóem, High King of Ireland and great-great grandson of Conaire Mór
  • Dáire mac Degad, ancestor of the Dáirine
  • Cú Roí mac Dáire, Munster king and/or deity known from the Ulster Cycle
    • Note: possibly the actual first of the Dáirine, for many generations the dominant military power from Munster, finally falling during the 6th century AD
  • Dáire Doimthech, if actually different from Dáire mac Degad, and thus ancestor of the "other" Dáirine
  • Lugaid Loígde, his son, if actually different from Lugaid Mac Con below
  • Eochaid Étgudach, another son of Dáire Doimthech, but misplaced chronologically
  • Nia Segamain, an actual ancestor or group of them of the Clanna Dergthened and thus the Eóganachta
    • Note (critical): actually attested in Munster ogham inscriptions, and in some pedigrees descendant(s) of the "other" Dáirine above
    • Note (in addition): probably wildly misplaced chronologically but considered of high status enough to make it to the legendary High King of Ireland lists
  • Mug Nuadat, king in late sagas of Leth Mogha, or Mug's Half, meaning Southern Ireland
    • Note: belonged to the Deirgtine, but may be a mythological figure
  • Ailill Aulom, Mug's son, aka Olioll Ólum, associated with the goddess Áine
    • Note: probably an actual Deirgtine dynast likely identical with Mug Nuadat, thus sponsored by Nuada, an important god of sovereignty
  • Lugaid Mac Con, was High King of Ireland, and Ailill's foster-son
    • Note: ancestor of the Corcu Loígde, principal later (3rd century and after) Munster sept of the Dáirine
  • Éogan Mór, Ailill's son, from whom the Eóganachta took their name
    • Note: the Eóganachta were actually founded by Conall Corc, great-great grandson of Eógan Mór
  • Fiachu Muillethan, son of Éogan Mór
    • Note: a king of the Deirgtine of curious career, supported by Mug Ruith
  • Ailill Flann Bec, son of Fiachu Muillethan
    • Note: almost nothing is known of this figure, except that he was adopted by and succeeded his elder brother, Ailill Flann Mór
  • Dáire Cerbba, born in Brega of unclear parentage, usually (and obviously) assumed Dáirine but later written a son of Ailill Flann Bec
    • Note: called King of Medon Mairtine, once the ancient capital of Munster, in one source, and progenitor of yet "another" sept of the Dáirine
  • Óengus Bolg, an important late king of the Dáirine and (near) final sovereign ancestor (of Munster) from the Corcu Loígde
    • Note: features in early stories of Conall Corc, and is an ancestor of the Cashel Eóganachta septs, the "Inner Circle", through his daughter Aimend
  • Crimthann mac Fidaig, was High King of Ireland and of territories overseas, and brother of the Queen and Goddess Mongfind
    • Note: considered Eóganacht (if vehemently opposed by them) in some dynastic traditions, but possibly a grandson of Dáire Cerbba (other sources)
  • Bressal mac Ailello Thassaig, a King of Munster (one source only) from the early Uí Liatháin

Final note: belonging to one of the early to middle eras above is the most powerful known of all Dáirine, Rechtaid Rígderg (linked article is a stub), called in many sources King of the British Isles and believed one of the mightiest Insular rulers ever, but whether he spent much if any time in Munster, although a near relation, is uncertain. As far as another king, the yet more powerful Dáire Donn is mainly fictitious.

Historical Kings of Cashel, Iarmuman, and Munster[edit]

There were not verifiable Eóganacht overkings of (all or most of) Munster until the early 7th century, after the Corcu Loígde had fallen entirely from power, some time after losing their grip on the Kingdom of Osraige and the support of the Muscraige and others. Thus the earlier kings below are best described as Kings of Cashel, Kings of Iarmuman, or Kings of the Eóganachta. Faílbe Flann mac Áedo Duib was the first Eóganacht to powerfully project outside Munster, but his Iarmuman relations were a significant rival of Cashel in his time, and not enough is known of many of his successors before Cathal mac Finguine, although the fragmentary nature of the surviving sources can to an extent be blamed.

At this time also flourished the semi-independent Uí Fidgenti and Uí Liatháin, a pair of shadowy sister kingdoms whose official origins appear to have been adjusted in the 8th century in a semi-successful (if ambiguously necessary) attempt to integrate them into the Eóganachta political structure and genealogical scheme. Effective relations and an alliance were achieved with the Uí Fidgenti, to the credit of Eóganacht strength, wealth and finesse, but for unknown reasons the Uí Liatháin remained effective outsiders except to Eóganacht Glendamnach.[citation needed]

Of the Eóganachta, unless noted.

Eóganacht Chaisil, –500[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Corc mac Luigthig
O'Sullivan.png Son of Luigthech mac Ailill Flann Bec Aimend
several children
unknown
Nad Froích mac Cuirc
–453
O'Sullivan.png Son of Corc mac Luigthig unknown 453
Óengus mac Nad Froích
453–489
O'Sullivan.png Son of Nad Froích mac Cuirc Eithne Uathach
purported to have had twenty-four sons and twenty-four daughters
489
Feidlimid mac Óengusa
489–500
O'Sullivan.png Son of Óengus mac Nad Froích unknown 500

Eóganacht Glendamnach, 500–596[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Eochaid mac Óengusa
500–522
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Óengus mac Nad Froích unknown 522
Crimthann Srem mac Echado
522–542
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Eochaid mac Óengusa unknown 542
Coirpre Cromm mac Crimthainn
542–577
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Crimthann Srem mac Echado unknown 577
Feidlimid mac Coirpri Chruimm
577–596
(possible)
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Coirpre Cromm mac Crimthainn unknown 596

Eóganacht Airthir Cliach, 577–582[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Fergus Scandal mac Crimthainn
577–582
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Crimthann Srem mac Echado unknown 582

Eóganacht Raithlind, 582–588[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Feidlimid mac Tigernaig
582–588
Blason famille fr O'Mahony.svg Son of Tighearnach mac Aedh unknown 588

Eóganacht Áine, 596–601[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Amalgaid mac Éndai
596–601
Ó Ciarmhaic.png Son of Éndai unknown 601
Garbán mac Éndai
596–601
Ó Ciarmhaic.png Son of Éndai unknown 601

Eóganacht Chaisil, 601–618[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Fíngen mac Áedo Duib
601–618
O'Sullivan.png Son of Áedo Duib Mór Muman
several children
618

Eóganacht Locha Léin, 618[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Áed Bennán mac Crimthainn
618
Ó Cathail.png Son of Crimthainn mac Cobhtach unknown 618

Eóganacht Glendamnach, 618–627[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Cathal mac Áedo
618–627
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Áed Fland Cathrach Mór Muman
several children
627

Eóganacht Chaisil, 627–639[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Faílbe Flann mac Áedo Duib
627–639
MacCarthy.png Son of Áedo Duib unknown 639

Eóganacht Áine, 639–641[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Cúán mac Amalgado
639–641
Ó Ciarmhaic.png Son of Amalgaid mac Éndai unknown 641

Eóganacht Chaisil, 641–661[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Máenach mac Fíngin
641–661
O'Sullivan.png Son of Fíngen mac Áedo Duib and Mór Muman unknown 661

Eóganacht Glendamnach, 661–665[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Cathal Cú-cen-máthair
661–665
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Cathal mac Áedo several children 665

Eóganacht Chaisil, 665–678[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Colgú mac Faílbe Flaind
665–678
MacCarthy.png Son of Faílbe Flann mac Áedo Duib unknown 678

Eóganacht Glendamnach, 678–701[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Finguine mac Cathail
678–696
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Cathal Cú-cen-máthair several children 696
Ailill mac Cathail
696–701
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Cathal Cú-cen-máthair unknown 701

Eóganacht Chaisil, 701–712[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Cormac mac Ailello
701–712
O'Sullivan.png Son of Ailello mac Máenach unknown 712

Eóganacht Áine, 712–721[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Eterscél mac Máele Umai
712–721
Ó Ciarmhaic.png Son of Máel Umai mac Cúán unknown 721

Eóganacht Glendamnach, 721–742[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Cathal mac Finguine
721–742
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Finguine mac Cathail several children 742

Eóganacht Áine, 742–769[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Cathussach mac Eterscélai
742–769
Ó Ciarmhaic.png Son of Eterscél mac Máele Umai unknown 769

Eóganacht Locha Léin, 769–786[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Máel Dúin mac Áedo
769–786
Ó Muircheartaigh.png Son of Áed Bennán mac Conaing unknown 786

Eóganacht Áine, 786–805[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Ólchobar mac Duib-Indrecht
786–805[nb 1]
Ó Ciarmhaic.png Son of Duib-Indrecht unknown 805

Eóganacht Glendamnach, 805–820[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Artrí mac Cathail
805–820
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Cathal mac Finguine one son 820
Tnúthgal mac Artrach
[nb 2]
(possible)
Ó Caoimh.png Son of Artrí mac Cathail unknown 807

Eóganacht Chaisil, 820–847[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Tnúthgal mac Donngaile
807–820
(possible)
MacCarthy.png Son of Máel Donngaile unknown 820
Feidlimid mac Cremthanin
820–847
O'Sullivan.png Son of Crimthainn unknown 28 August 847

Eóganacht Áine, 847–851[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Ólchobar mac Cináeda
847–851
Ó Ciarmhaic.png Son of Cináeda unknown 851

Eóganacht Chaisil, 851–859[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Áilgenán mac Donngaile
851–853
MacCarthy.png Son of Donngaile unknown 853
Máel Gualae mac Donngaile
853–859
MacCarthy.png Son of Donngaile one son 859

Eóganacht Áine, 859–872[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Cenn Fáelad hua Mugthigirn
859–872
Ó Ciarmhaic.png Son of Mugthigirn unknown 872

Eóganacht Chaisil, 872–908[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Dúnchad mac Duib-dá-Bairenn
872–888
MacCarthy.png Son of Duib-dá-Bairenn mac Crundmáel unknown 888
Dub Lachtna mac Máele Gualae
888–895
MacCarthy.png Son of Máel Gualae mac Donngaile unknown 895
Finguine Cenn nGécan mac Loégairi
895–902
MacCarthy.png Son of Loégairi mac Duib-dá-Bairenn unknown 902
Cormac mac Cuilennáin
902–908
O'Sullivan.png Son of Cuilennáin mac Selbach unknown 908

Múscraige, 908–944[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Flaithbertach mac Inmainén
908–944
Ó Donnagáin.png Son of Inmainén unknown 944

Eóganacht Chaisil, 944–957[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Lorcán mac Coinlígáin
944–
MacCarthy.png Son of Coinlígáin mac Corcrán unknown unknown
Cellachán Caisil
–954
MacCarthy.png Son of Buadacháin mac Lachtnae one son 954
Máel Fathardaig mac Flann
954–957
O'Sullivan.png Son of Flann mac Donnchad one son 957

Eóganacht Raithlind, 957–959[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Dub-dá-Bairenn mac Domnaill
957–959
O'Donoghue.png Son of Domnall mac Dub-dá-Bairenn unknown 959

Eóganacht Chaisil, 959–963[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Fer Gráid mac Clérig
959–961
MacCarthy.png Son of Clérig mac Áilgenán unknown 961
Donnchad mac Cellacháin
959–963
MacCarthy.png Son of Cellachán Caisil unknown 963

Eóganacht Raithlind, 959–978[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Máel Muad mac Brain
959–970
976–978
Blason famille fr O'Mahony.svg Son of Brian one son 978

Uí Ímair, 960–977[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Ivar of Limerick
960–977
(de facto)
Raven Banner.svg uncertain several children 977

Dál gCais, 970–1014[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Mathgamain mac Cennétig
970–976
Sword of Nuada.png Son of Cennétig mac Lorcáin unknown 976
Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig
978–1014
Sword of Nuada.png c. 941
Son of Cennétig mac Lorcáin and Bé Binn inion Urchadh
(1) Mór
three sons
(2) Echrad
one son
(3) Gormflaith
one son
23 April 1014

Eóganacht Chaisil, 1014–1025[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Dúngal Hua Donnchada
1014–1025
O'Sullivan.png Son of Máel Fathardaig mac Flann unknown 1025

Ó Briain, 1025–1119[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Donnchad mac Briain
1025–1064
Sword of Nuada.png Son of Brian Bóruma and Gormflaith ingen Murchada Cacht ingen Ragnaill
Three children
1064
Murchad mac Donnchada
1064–1068
Sword of Nuada.png Son of Donnchad mac Briain and Cacht ingen Ragnaill unknown 1068
Toirdhealbhach Ua Briain
1068–1086
Sword of Nuada.png 1009
Son of Tadc mac Briain and Mór
(1) Dubchoblaig
One son
(2) Derbforgaill
Two sons
1086
Muircheartach Ua Briain
1086–1114
1118–1119
Sword of Nuada.png 1050
Son of Toirdhealbhach Ua Briain
Derb Forgaill ingen Uí Laidcnén
Three children
1119
Diarmait Ua Briain
1114–1118
Sword of Nuada.png 1060
Son of Toirdhealbhach Ua Briain
unknown 1118
Brian Ua Briain
1118
Sword of Nuada.png Son of Murchad mac Donnchada unknown 1118

Mac Cárthaigh, 1127–1138[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Cormac Mac Carthaigh
11271138
MacCarthy.png Son of Muireadach Mac Carthaigh unknown 1138

Ó Briain, 1138–1194[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Conchobar Ua Briain
1138–1142
(claimant)
Sword of Nuada.png Son of Diarmait Ua Briain unknown 1142
Toirdhealbhach mac Diarmada Ua Briain
1142–1167
(claimant)
Sword of Nuada.png Son of Diarmait Ua Briain unknown 1167
Muirchertach mac Toirdelbhach Ua Briain
1167–1168
(claimant)
Sword of Nuada.png Son of Toirdelbhach mac Diarmaida Ua Briain unknown 1168
Domnall Mór Ua Briain
1168–1194
(claimant)
Sword of Nuada.png Son of Toirdelbhach mac Diarmaida Ua Briain Orlacan Ní Murchada
Four children
1194

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In the Annals of Ulster, Ólchobar mac Flainn of the Uí Fidgenti was confused with Ólchobar mac Duib-Indrecht of the Eóganacht Áine and claimed to have been a King of Munster. It is very likely that only Ólchobar mac Duib-Indrecht reigned in actuality (the confusion caused by a decline in Eóganachta fortunes).
  2. ^ Tnúthgal mac Artrach of the Eóganacht Glendamnach is sometimes given as a king of Munster on some kings lists, but not in the Annals of Ireland. He died before his father, so it is possible that he never reigned. It is also possible that Tnúthgal mac Donngaile of the Eóganacht Chaisil has been confused with Tnúthgal mac Artrach.

References[edit]

  • Bryne, Francis J. Irish Kings and High Kings. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973.
  • Charles-Edwards, T.M. Early Christian Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN 9780521363952
  • Moody, T.W.; F.J. Byrne and F.X. Martin, ed. A New History of Ireland. Vol. IX. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. ISBN 0-19-821744-7
  • Áed Ua Crimthainn, Book of Leinster, c. 1160.
  • The Laud Synchronisms. K. Meyer, 1913.

External links[edit]