Muintir Eolais

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Muintir Eolais was the name of a people in the medieval part of Conmaicne Réin and Magh Réin (in present-day south Leitrim, Ireland) who gave their name to the area which is roughly coterminous with the current baronies of Leitrim and Mohill.[1]


The principal family of the Muintir Eolais was the Mac Raghnaill family, who built a medieval castle on the shores of Lough Rynn, Lough Scur and Leitrim Village.

In Clonmacnoise monastery today there is a headstone to Ódhrán Ua hEolais, scribe of Clonmacnois, who died in 994. The inscription translates as 'Pray for Odhrán descendant of Eolas'. Eolas had been chieftain of Magh Réin in c. 900. Thereafter the people in this area are commonly recorded as Muintir Eolais (people/descendants of Eolas), a name which over time was applied to their area.[2]

Norman Invasion (1245-1247)[edit]

Muintir Eolais was briefly occupied during the Norman invasion of Ireland. According to the Irish Annals-"1245: The castle of Ath-an-chip, on the borders of Moy Nisse, was erected by Miles Mac Costello". Moy-Nissi on the eastern side of the Shannon river, was the gaelic name given to the barony of Leitrim. The anglo-normans were known as clann Costello (Irish: Mac Goisdealbh).[3][n 1] About the year 1247, the anglo-normans were defeated by MacRaghnaill and clann Costello were expelled from Muintir Eolais.[4]

Battle of Ath-an-Chip (1270)[edit]

In 1270AD the Anglo-Normans were defeated by the Irish forces of Connacht at the Battle of Áth an Chip. The battle occurred at Drumhierney townland in Muintir Eolais.[n 2] The name "Ath-an-chip" was the ancient name for the fording point on the Shannon which is today the bridge connecting Drumhierney townland (Leitrim village) and Battlebridge townland (county Roscommon).


See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]


  1. ^ "In the year 1172, Henry II. granted to ... Gilbert de Angulo or Nangle, Magherigallen, now the barony of Morgallion, in Meath. Jocelin, son of Gilbert Nangle, obtained Navan and Ardbraccan .. Many of the Nangles took the Irish name of Mac Costello, and from them the barony of Costello in Mayo derived its name".
  2. ^ Drumhierney translates from the Irish: Droim Thiarnaigh roughly meaning the "ridge of the Lord or Master".[5]. See also Tierney.


Primary references[edit]

Secondary references[edit]