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names poetry earl of thomond long in manuscripts donnchadh briain english law death learning

A poem addressed to Donnchadh Ó Briain, Fourth Earl of Thomond (2004)

Abstract The contents of the poem beginning An ngeabhthá, a Dhonnchaidh, mo dhán?, edited below, indicate that it is addressed to one Donnchadh Ó Briain of Thomond. The poet names Donnchadh on two occasions (qq 1a, 4b), and this is further qualified by referring to the Uí Bhriain (qq 1c, 10a, 11c) and their eponymous ancestor Brian Bóraimhe (qq 4c, 5d, 8a). Donnchadh is styled iarla Innse an Laoigh ‘earl of Inis an Laoigh’ (q. 9a) and codhnach an Chláir ‘chief of Clare’ (q. 12b). Other details concerning Ó Briain include allusions to his noble stock (qq 4d, 8d, 12d), his appreciation of poetry and learning (qq 1d, 8ab), references to the generosity of his ancestry (qq 4cd, 7cd) and the prowess of the Uí Bhriain in battle (q. 10). Taken together, then, these descriptions could apply to Donnchadh Mór Ó Briain, baron Ibrickan, who received confirmation of his earldom from Edward VI in 1552. The reign of this Donnchadh as second earl of Thomond came to an abrupt end a year later when Domhnall Ó Briain, aggrieved by the English law of primogeniture, attacked his brother and proclaimed himself Ó Briain. Alternatively, the above descriptions could also apply to Donnchadh’s namesake and grandson who succeeded as fourth earl of Thomond on the death of his father, Conchobhar, in 1581, and ruled until his death in 1624.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Arts and Humanities

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Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail

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Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail
University College Dublin
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