Volume III of the Annals of Senait
Hardly any poetry appears in this volume which covers a period of 162 years
from 1379 A.D. to 1541 A.D. Of personal interest are the following entries:
1359 A.D. "John the Stooped, son of Cu-Uladh, Mac-an-Bháird, namely,
an eminent poet, died this year."
1478 A.D. "A great plague came in a ship to the harbour of Es-ruadh and
that plague spread throughout Tir-Conaill and in Fir-Manach and in the Province
in general. And many losses were caused to them and Mac-an-Bháird of
Tir-Conaill, namely, Godfrey, died of it."
1485 A.D. "Ua Neill, namely, Conn, son of Henry, went [with] a large host
into Tir-Conaill after Michaelmas and great injuries were done in Tir-Aedha
by him and the town of Mac-an-Bháird (namely, Aedh) was burned by Raghnall
Mac Domnaill; namely, a leader of gallowglasses of the Ua Neill [was] that Raghnall."
1495 A.D. "Mac-an-Bháird of Tir-Conaill, namely, Aedh Mac-an-Bháird,
died this year."
1498 A.D. "Mac-an-Bháird of Oirghialla, namely, Aedh, died of the
plague this year."
1502 A.D. "Two abbots who were long in contention respecting the abbacy
of Ess-ruadh, namely, Art, son of bishop O'Gallchubair, and John Ua Laisdi,
died within two days and a night of each other."
Note: According to the Annals of the Four Masters, both died on the same day.
1510 A.D. "Mac-an-Bháird of Tir-Conaill, namely, Eogan the Red,
died in Inis-mic-an-duirn this year."
1522 A.D. "Very great war arose in Ireland this year and particularly
between O'Domnaill, namely, Aodh, and O'Neill, namely, Conn, son of Conn....O'Neill....went
into Tir-Aodha and burned and destroyed much of the country and took the castle
of Bel-atha-Senaigh and slew many persons in it....There was slain there also
a good learned person--namely, Diarmait, son of Tadhg O'Cleirigh, one eminent
in history and a good poet--who chanced to be in the place at that time, waiting
to go to meet O'Neill. And there was slain there also on the sme occasion the
son of Mac-an-Bháird, namely, Aodh, son of Aodh Mac-an-Bháird,
one likely to be a good poet."
Note: Between 1459 and 1522, a period of 63 years, the deaths of six Mac an
Bháirds of Tir Chonaill are chronicled, two by plague, three without
elaboration, and the sixth killed by the forces of Conn O'Neill and his allies,
at the taking of the castle of Ballyshannon. Three of thesix bore the christian
name Aodh (Hugh), and the one slain by O'Neill must have been a youth, "one
likely to be a good poet".
1536 A.D. "The king of the Saxons made accusation against the queen that
she committed adultery and she was put to death through that and her head was
taken off her and he turned not himself from his error of Faith."
Note: In this manner did the Irish annalists treat the death of Anne Boleyn,
the second of Henry VIII's wives.
Also in this year appears the first verse in the Volume III of the Annals,
recording a death.
"Hugo Mac Uaid, parson of Cuilmaine and its vicar, and parson and vicar
and herenagh of Cell-Sgire--and he was the best person of whom we have heard
in Ireland, so that the man of poetry said:
The parson of Cell-Sgire,
Head of tribe, or of hospitality;
Spacious is the floor of his house,
Head preceptor of all the clergy--
died on Saturday of Little Easter this year.
1538 A.D. The following extract gives a true flavour of the times:
"A hosting by [Gray] the Saxon Justiciary of Leith-Cathail, and the
monastery of Down was burned by them and the relics of Patrick and Colum-cille
and Brigit and the image of Catherine were carried off by them. And the Saxon
captain took the image to the green of the castle of Dun-a-droma (Dundrom)
and he himself went into the castle and there was a hole (vault or dungeon)
in the castle and that man fell into it through miracles of God and Catherine,
without tidings of him from that to this."
So finishes this culling from the Annals of Ulster, blessed be its scribes
and its keepers.
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