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About This Project

This is a branch of the High Kings of Ireland Project, specializing in curating the profiles of the provincial Kings of Connacht.

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Scope of the Project

This project includes all of the legendary, semi-historical and historical Kings of Connacht. It separates from the High Kings of Ireland Project at the profile of Genann and ends with the last de facto king, Feidhlimidh Geangcach Ó Conchobair (d. 1474).

For a list of Kings of Connacht, see List of Kings of Connacht

Historical Summary

The Kings of Connacht were rulers of the cóiced (variously translated as portion, fifth, province) of Connacht, which lies west of the River Shannon, Ireland. However, the name only became applied to it in the early medieval era, being named after The Connachta.

The old name for the province was Cóiced Ol nEchmacht (the fifth of the Ol nEchmacht). Ptolemy's map of c.150 A.D. does in fact list a people called the Nagnatae as living in the west of Ireland. Some are of the opinion that Ptolemy's Map of Ireland may be based on cartography carried out as much as five hundred years before his time.

The Connachta were a group of dynasties who claimed descent from the three eldest sons of Eochaid Mugmedon: Brion (ancestor of the Uí Briúin), Ailill (ancestor of the Uí nAilello) and Fiachrae (ancestor of the Uí Fiachrach). They took their collective name from their alleged descent from Conn Cétchathach. Their younger brother, Niall Noigiallach ("Niall of the Nine Hostages") born to a different wife (Cairenn) was ancestor to the Uí Néill.

The Uí nAilello sank into obscurity at an early stage but both the Uí Fiachrach and Ui Briuin and their many sub-septs featured prominently in the history of Connacht for one thousand years. In the 12th century, an Ui Briuin descendant, Ruaidri mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair, became High King of Ireland.


Primary Sources

  • Lebor Gabála Érenn (Book of the Taking of Ireland), 11th century
  • Forus Feasa ar Erinn (Foundation of Knowledge on Ireland), Geoffrey Keating, ca. 1634
  • Leabhar Mor nGenealach, Dubhaltach MacFhirbhisigh, 1649-1666.
  • Annala Rioghachta Éireann (Annals of the Four Masters), 17th century compilation of older documents

Secondary Sources

  • The Annals of Connacht, A. Martin Freeman, 1944.
  • Irish Kings and High Kings, John Francis Byrne (Dublin 1973). Probably the most accessible and reliable modern source.
  • Irish Pedigrees: or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation, John O'Hart (Dublin 1887-88). Almost all amateur genealogy on the Irish kings derives directly or indirectly from this very popular book.

Electronic Sources