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The Soghain were a people of ancient Ireland. The 17th century scholar Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh identified them as part of a larger group called the Cruithin. Mac Fhirbhisig stated that the Cruithin included "the Dál Araidhi [Dál nAraidi], the seven Lóigisi [Loígis] of Leinster, the seven Soghain ... and every Conaille ... "


Early peoples and kingdoms of Ireland, c. 800

The locations of four of the seven Soghain are as follows:

Tír Sogháin[edit]

The Soghain of Connacht were located in Tír Sogháin, an area in central east County Galway bounded by the river Suck on the east, the river Clare on the west; the Grange and Shiven rivers to the north; the Raford and Ballinure rivers to the south. A poem recorded in The Book of Uí Maine, Cruas Connacht clanna Sogain, lists the kingdom's boundaries, which can be found to tie in with the above locations:

From Áth an Ibar west
to Glais Uair Arnaigh
was the extent of Sodhan
that sword-guarded land.
From Béal na Róbe in Maenmagh
to the clear, soft-reeded Simin
was the breath of the plain
which bore no ignominy.

The previous, pre-Gaelic people of the area were called the Senchineoil. Very little information survives on them.

The Soghain of Connacht were described by Seán Mór Ó Dubhagáin in his poem Triallam timcheall na Fodla: "The six Sogain let us not shun/their kings are without oblivion/Good the host of plundering excursions/to whom the spear-armed Sogain is hereditary."

The Book of Lecan lists their six branches as Cinel Rechta, Cinel Trena, Cinel Luchta, Cinel Fergna, Cinel Domaingen and Cinel Deigill.

The genealogy of Saint Kerrill of Cloonkeenkerrill is given as Caireall mac Curnain mac Treana mac Fionnchada mac Nair mac Earca mac Tiobraide mac Sodhain Salbhuidhe mac Fiacha Araidhe. His grandfather, Treana mac Fionnchada, was the eponym of the Cinel Trena, who were apparently located close to Knockma as evinced by the placename Tír Mhic Trena (the land of the sons of Trena). This area was the western limit of the kingdom of the Connacht Soghain.

Early Christian evangelists among the Soghain included Conainne, St Connell and Kerrill. Their successors include Naomhéid, Cuana of Kilcoonagh, Dubhán, Felig, Íbar, Íomar of the Sogain, Laisren of Cloonkerrill, Maol Chosna, Modiúit, Menott, Molua of Kilmoluagh.

Parishes known to be included in Tír Sogháin were:

Tír Sogháin became subject to the Uí Maine sometime during the first millennium.


Descendants of the Soghain are still found in great numbers in County Galway, bearing names such as Manning , Ó Mainnín, Mannion, Ward/Mac an Bhaird, Gill/Gillane, Scarry, Duggan, Megan/McGann, Martin, and Cassain.

Annalistic references[edit]

  • 811. Irghalach, son of Maelumha, lord of Corca Soghain

See also[edit]


  • The Book of Uí Maine, otherwise called 'The book of the O'Kellys', R.A.S. Mac Alister (ed.), Dublin, 1942.
  • Punann arsa part i, Martin Finnerty, Galway, 1951.
  • The parish of Ballinasloe, Rev. Patrick K. Egan, Dublin and London, 1960. Facsimile reproduction, Galway, 1994.
  • Ballymacward:The story of an east Galway parish, John S. Flynn, 1991.
  • The Life, Legends and Legacy of Saint Kerrill: A Fifth-Century East Galway Evangelist, Joseph Mannion, 2004. 0 954798 1 3
  • The true identity of Saint Kerrill of Clonkeenkerrill, Joseph Mannion, in Making shapes with slates and marla:A Gurteen anthology, John and Margaret Corbett (compilers), Galway, 2004.
  • The Senchineoil and the Soghain: Differentiating between the pre-Celtic and early Celtic Tribes of Central East Galway, Joseph Mannion, Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, Volume 58, pp. 165–170, 2006.