ballyshannon, donegal, irish newspapers online, ireland, irish history, irish literature, irish famine - Linking Canada and Ireland - Linking Canada and Ireland

Page 11 of 15
A Treasure Trove Re-discovered
Volume I of the Annals of Senait

849 A.D. A drowning--by accident.

"Niall, son of Aedh, King of Temhair, died by drowning (i.e., at Linne-Neil on the Calland)."

I love not the hateful water
Which flows by the side of my house;
O Calland, though thou may boast of it,
Thou hast drowned the son of a beloved mother.

850 A.D. A drowning--by design.

"Cineadh, son of Conaing, king of Cianachta, was drowned in a pool, a cruel death, by Maelsechnaill and Tigernach, with the approval of the men of Ireland, and of the successor of Patrick especially."

Alas, O good people,
His days of play were better!
Great grief that Cinaedh, son of Conaing,
[Should be taken] in ropes to a pool.

Why the "great grief" after the same Cinaedh, only the year before, destroyed churches from the Shannon eastward to the sea, and burned the oratory of Treoit, with 260 men in it?

877 A.D. "Ruaidhri, son of Muirmenn, King of the Britons, was killed by Saxons--and two other kings' sons also killed the same year."

It cuts my heart's limits
When I call to mind
The cold flags over princes!

878 A.D. " Aedh, son of Niall, King of Temair (i.e. Tara), fell asleep [i.e. died], on December 12."

On the twelfth of the musical Kalends
of December, fierce its tempests,
Died the noblest of princes,
Aedh of Ailech, chief King of the Gaedhil.

A steady, manly man [was he],
Of whom territorial Temair was full;
A shield against hidden dangers,
Of the stout stock of Milidh's sons.

879 A.D. Death of a historian.

"Dubhlitir [literally "Black-letter"] abbot of Cluain-Eois died."

There tasted death not quickly,
There went not usually to the dead,
The fruitful land was not closed over
A historian more illustrious.

882 A.D. A beheading, if not two.

"Oenghus, son of Maelduin, royal heir of the North, was beheaded by the Dal-Araidhe."

Oengus was killed, like Braen.
He was not of God's enemies.

No finer eulogy could one desire.

886 A.D. Death of a poet.

"Maelmura, King-poet of Ireland, died."

There trod not the choice earth, there flourished not
at Temair the high,
The great Erin produced not a man like the mild-bright Maelmura.
There sipped not death without sorrow, there went
not usually to the dead,
The habitable earth was not closed over, a historian
more excellent.

And why not? Wasn't he a Donegal man, from Fahan!

894 A.D. "Ceallach, son of Flannacan, royal-heir of all Bregh, was deceitfully slain by Fogartach, son of Tolarg."

There is no son of a King rules over lords,
Like the mighty pure Ceallach;
A household like the man's household
Is not under heaven of brilliant rays.

902 A.D. "Maelfinnia, son of Flannacan, King of Bregh, a religious layman, died."

He was a king whose career was without danger,
Chief over the 'fair' of Emain;
A man, I assert, without fear,
Who was alone worthy of Ireland.

Maelfinnia, a man without haughtiness,
Lord of Bregh; a torch over fortresses;
A well-shaped king, select noble,
The famed prince of the battalions of Crinna.

911 A.D. "Muiredhach, son of Cormac, abbot of Druim-Inasclainn, killed by fire in the refectory of Druim-Inasclainn."

Who laments him not, ye learned!
It is a cause for plague.
It is a cloud to holy heaven.

Great loss is the illustrious man,
Son of Cormac, of a thousand graces;
The great, illuminating gem
Who was the lamp of every choir.

914 A.D. More revenge.

"Oengus Ua Maelsechnaill, royal-heir of Temhair, died."

A blessing on the hand of Cernd son of Bernd,
Who slew Oengus Finn, the pride of Fal;
It was a good deed of his sharp valour,
To avenge the noble Aedh Allan.

918 A.D. A kingly lament in four verses.

"A battle gained by Gentiles at Dubhlinn, over Gaedhil, in which fell Niall (i.e. Glundubh), son of Aedh, King of Ireland, in the 3rd year of his reign, on the 17th of the Kalends of December, the 4th day of the week."

Sorrowful today is noble Ireland,
Without a valiant chief of hostage reign;
[It is seeing the heavens without a sun,
To see Magh-Neill without Niall].

There is no joy in man's goodness;
There is no peace nor gladness among hosts;
No fair can be celebrated,
Since the cause of sorrow died.

[A pity] this, O beloved Magh-Bregh,
Beautiful, desirable country.
Thou hast parted with thy lordly king;
Niall the wounding hero has left thee!

[Where is the chief of the western world?
Where is the hero] of every clash of arms?
Is it the brave Niall of Cnucha
That has been lost, O great cantred!

There is an echo here from "chief of the western world" to Synge's "Playboy of the Western World". Coincidence? At any rate, their like will not be seen again, in or outside Mayo, God help us!

920 A.D. Death of an abbot.

"Flaithbertach, son of Muirchertach, abbot of Cluain-mor, died."

Where is the foundation of a great treasure?
Where the report of his good fame?
Behold, Flaithbertach the fair, generous,
Has separated from the honours of Cluain-mor.

928 A.D. And of another divine.

"Ceile, comark (successor) of Comgall, a scribe and anchorite, and Apostolic doctor of all Ireland, rested (died) happily at Rome, on his pilgrimage, on the 18th of the Kalends of October, the 59th year of his age."

Thrice nine, nine hundred years,
Are reckoned by plain rules,
Since the birth of Christ, a deed of fame,
To the death of chaste Ceile-Clerigh.

942 A.D. "Muircertach son of Niall (i.e.) Muircertach "of the Leather Cloaks), King of Aileach, and the Hector of the West of the World, was killed by Gentiles, on a Sunday, the 4th of the kalends of March...."

Vengeance and ruin have fallen
On the race of Clann-Cuinn for ever.
As Muircertach does not live, alas!
The country of the Gaedhil will ever be an orphan.

1056 A.D. The last year recorded in Volume I of these Annals.

"Aedh Ua Forreidh, chief lector of Ard-Mach, in the 75th year of his age rested in peace."

He obtained great fame whilst he lived--
Aedh Ua Forreidhe, the old sage--;
On the fourteenth of the Kalends of July
The mild bishop went to heaven.

The mild scribe of the Internet will now close [i.e. shut down] his computer until tomorrow, this being the second day of the second month of the year 2000. This date, 02/02/2000 A.D., is the first mathematically of its kind since 08/08/888 A.D.

07/02/2000 A.D. In the intervening five days, thanks to the efforts and hard work of Éilis, Bean Mhic an Bháird, a vacant room has been transformed into a complete computer complex. The blessings of Brigid, Patrick and Colmcille be upon her now and forever more.


The Bards Of Ireland - Part II - Navigation
First Page | Previous Page | Next Page | Last Page


Home | About | Canadian Vindicator | Literature | Gallery | History