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Tír Eoghain  (Irish)
Túatha of Ailech (until 1185)
5th century–1607
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
The Great O'Neill of Tyrone c. 15th century.
Capital Not specified
Languages Irish
Government Monarchy
 •  - c. 465 Eógan mac Néill (first)
 •  1593-1607 Aodh Mór Ó Néill (last)
 •  Established 5th century
 •  Disestablished 1607
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Ireland

Tyrone (Irish: Tír Eoghain, meaning "Land of Eoghan") was a kingdom of Gaelic Ireland, associated geographically with present-day County Tyrone, County Armagh and parts of County Londonderry. The kingdom represented the core homeland of the Cenél nEógain people of the Northern Uí Néill and although they ruled, there were smaller groups of other Gaels in the area. One part of the realm to the north-east broke away and expanded, becoming Clandeboye, ruled by a scion branch of the Ó Néill.

From the 5th century founding of Cenél nEógain, the tuatha was a sub-unit of the larger kingdom of Ailech (which they typically held the kingship to), along with their Cenél Conaill cousins, fellow descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Their initial ascent had coincided with the decline of the Ulaid, whose kingdom of Ulster receded to the north-east coast. In the 12th century the kingdom of Ailech split into two sovereign territories and Cenél nEógain became Tír Eoghain first under the Meic Lochlainn clan and then under the Ó Néill clan. It continued to exist until the 17th century when it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Ireland following the Flight of the Earls.

Kings of Tyrone[edit]


  • Bardon, Jonathan (2005). A History of Ulster. The Blackstaff Press. ISBN 0-85640-764-X. 
  • Canny, Nicholas (2001). Making Ireland British, 1580-1650. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780199259052. 
  • Connolly, S. J. (2009). Contested Island: Ireland 1460-1630. OUP Oxford. ISBN 0199563713. 
  • Ellis, Peter Berresford (2002). Erin's Blood Royal: The Gaelic Noble Dynasties of Ireland. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0312230494. 
  • Ó Muraíle, Nollaig (2004). The Great Book of Irish Genealogies. De Burca Books. ISBN 0946130361. 
  • The Ancient and Royal Family of O'Neill, by Desmond O'Neill
  • The Great O'Neill, by E. Boyd Barret, Hale Cushman, Flint, Boston, 1939.
  • Shane O'Neill, by Ciaran Brady, Dundalk 1996

External links[edit]