Niall Glúndub mac Áedo (modern spelling: Niall Glúndubh mac Aodha) (died 14 September 919) was a 10th-century Irish king of the Cenél nEógain and High King of Ireland. Many Irish kin groups were members of the Uí Néill and traced their descent from Niall of the Nine Hostages (Niall Noígiallach). It has previously been thought that the O'Neill dynasty took its name from Niall Glúndub rather than the earlier Niall, however this has proven to be incorrect. His mother was Máel Muire, daughter of Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scots.
Son of Aed Finliath, Niall is first recorded succeeding his brother Domnall mac Áedo as King of Ailech upon his death in 911. Extending his control to neighboring kingdoms, Niall defeated the Kings of Dál nAraidi and Ulaid at the Battles of Glarryford (in present-day County Antrim) and Ballymena before his defeat by high-king Flann Sinna mac Maíl Sechnaill of the Clann Cholmáin Uí Néill at the Battle of Crossakiel (in present-day County Meath). Following Flann's death in 916, Niall succeeded him as High King of Ireland. It was during his reign in which he would reestablish the Óenach Tailteann, a traditional gathering of Irish clans. He was married to Gormflaith ingen Flann Sinna.
Opposing the invasion by the Uí Ímair during the next several years, Niall's forces fought a large battle against a group of Northmen in the summer of 917, ending inconclusively. With the support of the clans of Leth Cuinn (Northern half of Ireland), the Uí Néill eventually acknowledged his claim to the throne. Despite his continued offensive against the Northmen however, they would continue to settle the area in large numbers, establishing strongholds in Dublin and various ports on the eastern coast. Continuing to wage war against the Northmen, Niall advanced towards into Leinster, supported by the Uí Néill clans, the Airgíalla and the Ulaid. However, his forces were decimated by the Northmen under Sihtric Cáech as Niall was killed, along with twelve other chieftains, at the Battle of Islandbridge on 14 September 919. Another account in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has Sihtric Cáech slaying his brother Niall in 921. Niall Glúndub was succeeded as High King by Donnchad Donn mac Flainn, son of Flann Sinna, and as King of Ailech by his son Muirchertach mac Néill, "the Hector of the Western World".
Niall Caille = Gormflaith ingen Donncadha | |____________________________________________________________________________ | | | | Áed Findliath = Gormlaith Rapach = Land ingen Dúngaile = Máel Muire unnamed daughter = Conaing mac Flainn | | | _______________| | Flann | | | | | | (mother's identity unknown) | Gormlaith Domnall Eithne Domnall Dabaill Máel Dub Máel Dúin | = Flann Sinna | | | | Niall Glúndub, d. 919. = Gormflaith ingen Flann Sinna, c.870-948. | | Muirchertach mac Néill, d. 943.
- O'Neill, Edwin (2006). "Insights Into the O'Neills of Ireland from DNA Testing" (PDF). Journal of Genetic Genealogy. 2: 18–26.
- "The Annals of Ulster". Corpus of Electronic Texts (CELT). 919. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- Webb, Alfred. A Compendium of Irish Biography: Comprising Sketches of Distinguished Irishmen and of Eminent Persons Connected with Ireland by Office or by Their Writings, New York: Lemma Publishing Corporation, 1970.
Domnall mac Áeda
|King of Ailech
with Flaithbertach mac Domnaill (916–919)
Fergal mac Domnaill
|High King of Ireland