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death smooth transition irish annals translation subject keating geoffrey 1570 1644 donnchad mac briain english

A poem on the adventures abroad and death of Donnchadh son of Brian Bóraimhe (2012)

Abstract Donnchadhson of Brian Bóraimhe, the subject of the poem edited below, succeeded his father as king of Munster in the aftermath of the battle of Clontarf in 1014. This was by no means a smooth transition of power, however, as he faced inveterate opposition from his half-brother Tadhg, who, until the latter’s death in 1023,was an equal claimant to the kingship. According to some Irish annals, Tadhg’s killing by the men of Éile amounted to an act of treachery (feall) which was carried out at the behest of Donnchadh himself. Conell Mageoghagan, too, in his English translation of 1627 known as the ‘Annals of Clonmacnoise’, assures his reader that Tadhg‘was unaturally delivered by his owen Brother Donnogh to those of Elyeo’Karoll, whoe accordingly killed him, as was desired of them by his Brother Donnogh’. While this murder fanned the flame of subsequent internecine struggles for supremacy within Dál gCais, Donnchadh Ó Briain had problems to contend with further afield also, and his political authority in the fifty or so years after the battle of Clontarf was at best a fitful one.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore

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Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 43