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The ancient territory of the Mughdhorna in Ireland covered not only county Monaghan, but much of county Meath and part of what is now county Louth. In this territory, there were several McGoughs when the Hearth Money Rolls were prepared in 1663 and 1665. See Hearth Money Rolls for County Monaghan: McGeogh, McGeough, and McGogh. For a scholarly article on the Mughdhorna, refer to The Medieval Kingdom of Mugdorna, by Pilip Ó Mordha, Clogher Record 1971/2, pages 432–444. O'Mordha says at page 434 that the Mughdhorna extended southeasterly from about Monaghan town to Carrickmacross, included the part of county Monaghan to the west of that line, and possibly part of east Cavan. This is the part of Ireland in which there was the greatest concentration of McGoughs in the 1820s when the Tithe Applotment Rolls were prepared, and the 1850s when Griffith's Valuation was made. See McGoughs, McGeoughs, and McGeoghs in Ireland in the 1820–30s and 1850–60s: By County, Parish, and Townland.


 Table of Contents 


A Tribe In Airghialla Descended from Colla Meann

The Mughdhorna was one of a federation of several tribes that made up the Kingdom of Airghialla. The territory of the Mughdhorna included not only most of county Monaghan, but additional territory in county Meath—as far south as the river Boyne.

The Mugdhorna were said to have descended from Colla Meann, one of the three Collas.

"Mugdorna - Co. Monaghan. The Mugdorna territory stretched from Monaghan, where it is preserved in the name Cremourne (Crích Mugdorna 'the territory of the Mugdorna'), south to the Boyne at Navan. The Mugdorna are stated to be descendants of one of the Three Collas, i.e. Colla Mend." Kingdom of Airghialla Ulster Series.

"Colla Menn (sic) had sons named Mennit Chruthnech and Mugdorn Dub di Ultaib. From Colla Meann descended the Mughdorna and Dál Mennat." Background on the Three Collas.

The Genealogies from Rawlinson B 502, (Section 12) De Peritia Ceneoil Cairpri Liphecair Incipit, say that Colla Mend was the progenitor of the Mugdorna: "¶812] Cairpre Liphechair trá mac Cormaic trí mc leis .i. Eochaid & Eochu Domplén & Fiachu Sraiptene senathair Néill & is fair do-rónsat mc a bráthar in fingail .i. na trí Collae. Colla h- Uais a quo Úi Meich h-Uais, Colla Mend a quo Mugdorna, Colla Fochríth a quo Úi Chremthaind eter dá loch." See also "¶921] Conla Menn ar ba got nó ar ba Mennit Chruthnech & Mugdorn Dub di Ultaib ro-dn-alt. Mennit didiu a quá Dál Mennat la Mugdornu a quibus Máel Bresail mc Máeli Dúin, sed Mugdorn Dub unde ortus ignoratur sed dicitur di Ultaib tantum."

Ó Mordha, in the work cited above, comments, however:

"The descent of the Mugdornai from Colla Meann is seemingly a figment of genealogical imagination."

In 331 A.D., the battle of Achadh Leithdheirg, in Fearnmhagh [Farney], was fought by the three Collas against the Ulstermen, in which fell Fearghus Fogha, son of Fraechar Foirtriun, the last king of Ulster who resided at Eamhain [Macha]. They afterwards burned Eamhain, and the Ulstermen "did not dwell therein since." They also took from the Ulstermen that part of the province extending from the Righe (the Newry River) and Loch nEathach (Lough Neagh) westwards. Colla Meann fell in this battle. When the three Collas and their army conquered Ulster in 331, they divided the new territory of Airghialla among themselves.

Keating's History of Ireland (O'Mahony's translation), Book I at page 203, says:

"It is well known that it was in the time of Muredach Tirach [Irish Kings #122], that the three Collas, with their kinsmen, left Connacht in order to make conquests from the tribes of Uladh, from whom they forcibly wrested a large portion of their territory, namely, Modurn*, Ui Mic Uais, and Ui Crimthainn; and there many of their posterity still remain ..."

*O'Mahony's footnote to "Modurn" says:

"Modurn, now Cremorne in Monaghan. A mountainous district in Ulidia, also received the name of Modurn (properly Mugdorn) or Mourne from a tribe of the descendants of Mughdorn Dubh, son of Colla, who emigrated thither in the reign of Nial the Haughty, son of Aedh, son of Magnus Maghthamnha, or Mac Mahon.—O'D."

Either part of this sentence was omitted or O'Mahony has confused Cremourne in county Monaghan with Mourne in county Down. Some of the Mac Eochys (McGoughs) left territory occupied by the Mac Mahons in Cremourne, county Monaghan, and settled in Mourne, county Down, in the second half of the twelfth century, in the reign of Niall the Haughty. See: Where the Mountains of Mourne Sweep Down to the Sea—Ballymageogh and Slievemageogh in County Down.

Keating also says, at pages 366 and 367 of Book I:

"The Collas next took the following territories from the Ulstermen, names: Moghdurna, Ui Mic Crimthainn, and Ui Mic Uais. Colla Menn took possession of Moghdurna*, Colla Da Crioch (Daw Creagh) of Ui Mic Crimthainn, and Colla Uais seized upon Ui Mic Uais."

*O'Mahony's note on Moghdurna says:

"Moghdurna, properly Crioch Moghdurna (Creagh Mowrna), now the barony of Cremorne, co. Monaghan. The O'Hanratties, in Irish, O'h-Innrectaigh, of the race of Colla Menn, were the ancient possessors of this territory. In O'DubhagAn's poem, the chief of this territory is called O'Machaiden. [See O'Dugan's Topographical Poems—below.] In after times, they were encroached upon by the Mac Mahons."

Francis John Byrne, in his Irish Kings and High-Kings (B. T. Batsford London 1973) says:

"We know from the testimony of Adoman that the Mugdorna were powerful in the archaic period. They had branches in Meath and Rath Commair may have been near Clonard in the south of the County."

The Annals of the Four Masters for the year 1267 report that when the sons of Rury MacMahon heard that Maguire had marched his forces into Oriel: "they went with their cattle into their fastnesses, namely, into Eoghanach and Sliabh Mughdhorn." John O'Donovan, in his notes, says:

"Sliabh Mughdhorn, i.e. Mons Mugdornorum. This is not the chain called the Mourne Mountains, in the County of Down, but a range of heights in the barony of Chrioch-Mughdhorna [now Cremourne], in the County of Monaghan. In the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, as published by Colgan, this territory is called provincia Mugdornorum, which is but a translation of the Irish Crioch Mughdhorna, i.e., the County of the Mugdorni, who were the descendants of Mughdhorn Dubh, the son of Colla Meann, one of the ancestors of the people called Oirghialla. It appears from a pedigree of the Mac Mahons, preserved in a manuscript in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, that the mountainous district now called the barony of Mourne, in the County of Down (which originally bore the appropriate appellation of Beanna Boirche) was so called from a tribe of the inhabitants of Chrioch-Mughdhorna in Oirgiall, who emigrated to the former in the reign of Niall the Haughty, the son of Hugh, who was the son of Manus Mac Mahon."

The migration to county Down was in the latter half of the twelfth century. The tribe who migrated to Mourne were the Mhigh Eotachs or Mac Eochys, that is, the McGoughs. See: Where the Mountains of Mourne Sweep Down to the Sea— Ballymageogh and Slievemageogh in County Down.

Mugdorn was one of four petty kingdoms that, in the eleventh century, occupied part of what is now county Monaghan . Patrick J. Duffy, in Landscapes of South Ulster says:

"In the Monaghan area the early tuatha of the Mugdorna peoples gave way in the 8th century to petty kingdoms of the Mugdorna, the Ui Meith, Dartraighe, Fir Fearnmhaigh, Conailli and Fir Ros, all dominated by the Cenel Eoghain. By the 11th century, the Ua Nadsluaig, descended from the Ui Cremthainn, were welding together a kingdom in the Airghialla, and the territories of Farney, Dartraige, Triucha Cet, and probably Cremourne appeared. The O'Cearbhaills [O'Carrolls] were descended from the Ua Nadsluaig and became kings of Airghialla (including much of Louth); Clancarroll or Donaghmoyne was named after them. They were weakened by the Normans who controlled much of the borderland in the 1190s and were ultimately replaced in the kingship by the MacMahons." (page 11) See A McGough—McMahon Connection?

John Francis Byrne, in his Irish Kings and High-Kings (B. T. Batsford London 1973), says:

"In the course of following centuries the Ui Nadsluaig dynasty of Ui Chremthainn shifted southwards from Clogher and Clones to Farney in south Monaghan, reducing the Ui Meith, Mugdorna and Fir Rois to subordinate status. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries they were led by the powerful family of Ua Cerbaill (O'Carroll) who pushed southwards again to the Boyne, absorbing first the Conailli Muirtheimne of Ulster and then the Ui Neill sub-kingdom of Fir Ardsa Ciannachta. Thus they consoled themselves for their defeat, and many became kings of all Airgialla." (page 125)

The shield of county Monaghan is divided into four parts that contain a sword, a shield, a horse and a drinking cup. The website on Irish civic heraldry gives this explanation:

"Origin/Meaning: The arms were granted on 10th January 1984. The arms are based on an ancient history of Monaghan from the 11th century 'Book of Rights'. The fourfold division of the shield is for the four petty kingdoms of that time. These were Úi Meith, Dartraige, Mugdorn and Fermag. All these kingdoms were part of the Kingdom of Airigialla. Each sub-king was entitled to dues from the King of Airigialla. The items due are depicted in the shield." Irish Civic Heraldry—Monaghan County.

In a separate web page, Airghialla, I have collected entries from the Annals of the Four Masters and the Annals of Ulster pertaining to Airghialla (Oirghialla) in the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries.

In 1165, Eochaidh Mac Duinnsleibhe [Ua Eochadha], then king of Ulidia, gave up the territory of Bairche, that is Mourne in county Down, to Muircheartach Ua Lochlainn, king (under protest) of Ireland [Irish Kings #182]. Muircheartach Ua Lochlainn immediately granted that territory to Donncadh Ua Cearbhaill [O'Carroll] of Louth, lord of Airghialla. [M1165.5, U1165.10]. Donnchadh Ua Cearbhaill took Eochaidh Mac Duinnsleibh under his protection. Peadar Livingstone says that Eochaidh Mac Duinn Slebe (Eochaidh Mac Duinnsleibhe [Ua Eochadha]) was the foster brother of Donnchadh O'Carroll (Ua Cearbhaill). The Monaghan Story, page 42. Eochaidh's daughter, Ane, was married to Murchadh Ua Cearbhaill, son of Donnchadh Ua Cearbhaill, and became queen of Airghialla when Murchadh succeeded his father to the throne. [U1171.6, M1171.26]. At about this time, a significant number of the sept of Mhigh Eotach or Mac Eochy [McGough] moved to the barony of Mourne in county Down from the territory of the Mughdhorna in Airghialla. They gave their name to the townland of Ballymageogh and one of the mountains of Mourne, Slievemageogh. See Where the Mountains of Mourne Sweep Down to the Sea—Ballymageogh and Slievemageogh in County Down. Does the fact that at about this same time Eochaidh Mac Duinnsleibhe [Ua Eochadha] placed Mourne under the protection of Donnchadh Ua Cerbhaill, and Donnchadh Ua Cearbhaill extended his personal protection to Eochaidh, indicate a connection between the name of that Eochaidh and the surname McGough? See the section on Migration to County Mourne, below.


Mughdhorna Occupied Part of County Louth

The Mughdhorna apparently also occupied a part of what is now county Louth. In an essay on Parish Names and Boundaries in Landscapes of South Ulster: A Parish Atlas of the Diocese of Clogher, by Patrick J. Duffy (The Institute of Irish Studies of the Queen's University of Belfast 1993), Joseph Duffy, Bishop of Clogher, in discussing the deanery of Donaghmoyne, tells us:

"In the twelfth century ... the political center of gravity of this whole region moved to Louth as the O'Carroll lords pushed southwards. That tendency continued under the Normans and while Farney remained in the diocese of Clogher, most of its churches were linked with those of county Louth, mainly Louth itself and Ardee. It is important to note that the deanery included not only the present barony of Farney but that of Cremorne as well. That reminds us that the Mugdorna people, who gave us our earliest references to the Maighean, (a word which means precinct), predate Fir Farney in this region. ...

"Donaghmoyne (Domhnach Maighean), as a parish, was alternatively known as Clann Cearbhaill after the O'Carrolls, or Farney, after the Barony [which was earlier known as the barony of Donaghmoyne] ...

"Ros Cluain is an intriguing amalgam of the names of the present Machaire Rois and Magheracloone. It may be that together they formed one parish at the time of the list [of parishes compiled in the early years of the 14th century]. Ros as a church name can be traced back to the seventh century. In Adamnan's life of St Colmcille there is a reference of 'Cell Rois in provincia Maugdornorum'. Over six centuries later, in the 13th century, Ros is still in the land of the Mugdorna, as indeed is Donaghmoyne. It is impossible to say exactly when the Mugdorna territory shrank to the area of the present barony of Cremorne which preserves their name. But it seems certain that Ros, or Machaire Rois, at least originally, was distinct from the Fir Rois, a tribe associated with the barony of Ardee in Co Louth. The first mention of Machaire Rois occurs in 1541 when the parish is called St Finian's of Ros alias Machaire Ros." (page 4).

The Synod of Raith Bressail in 1111 introduced a diocesan system into Ireland. The boundaries of dioceses were often based upon territories of clans or septs ruled over by the Irish chiefs or kings of the day. They were also centered around monastic sites, some of which were established in the 6th and 7th centuries. "The Archdiocese of Armagh at present comprises almost the whole of the counties Armagh and Louth, a great part of Tyrone, and portions of Derry and of Meath. The boundaries drawn in the 12th century probably included that of the ancient territory of Oirghialla (Oriel) and in the next century that of the Conaille Muirtheimhne (of Louth)." Under Bishop David O'Brogan, in about 1266, the greater part of the present county Louth, including Dundalk, Drogheda, and Ardee, was removed from the diocese of Clogher and taken over by the Archbishop of Armagh. See Irish Diocesan Boundaries in the Middle Ages for a map and discussion.

Peadar Livingstone, at page 74 of The Monaghan Story, tells us:

"the original dioceses generally corresponded to political boundaries. In the case of Clogher, however, this proved difficult as the boundaries of the Airgialla, themselves, changed drastically in the twelfth century. The Ui Nadsluaig family of the O'Carrolls were pushing into Louth at this stage and, under Donnchadh O'Carroll, a strong new Airgialla kingdom was established with Louth as its centre. ... St. Malachy arranged that O'Carroll's new territory in Louth would become part of O'Carroll's old diocese of Clogher. In this way, Louth passed into Clogher. ... Some time later, Louth became the spiritual capital of Monaghan. As late as 1372 Brian More MacMahon was buried here.

"But just as quickly as the Airgialla people had established themselves in Louth, the kingdom ... was dissolved by the incoming Anglo-Normans. And when Louth was severed again from the Airgialla, the logic of having the area in the Airgialla diocese of Clogher vanished. As a result, in 1192, Louth, now under Norman rule, was returned to Armagh. ... Attempts were made in later years to have Louth returned to Clogher and even to have the diocese of Clogher united to Armagh. All these attempts failed, with the result that the Clogher boundaries have remained as they are today."

The County Louth or Ancient Oriel, Chapter III, part 1, says:

"In the reign of King John, A.D. 1210, Louth was formed into a County; and acquired its name from the town of Louth, in Irish Lugh Mhagh, which signifies the 'Plain of Lugh or Lugaid'—and which probably was so called after some ancient chief."


Fincarn in the Parish of Donaghmoyne and Sliabh-Modhairn in the Parish of Aghnamullen

Peadar Livingstone suggests that the original center of the Mughdhorna may have been at Fincarn, a townland near the northwest corner of what is now the parish of Donaghmoyne in county Monaghan.

"The bulk of the modern County [Monaghan], however, seems to have been part of the group kingdom of the Mugdorna. The Mugdorna are today remembered in the Monaghan place-names of Lough Mourne* and Cremorne. Their original centre may have been at Fincarn, the Fionn Charna Sleibhe Modairn of the rurafocht tales. Their territory included not only the land around Monaghan, Ballybay, Castleblayney, and Carrickmacross, but it pushed deeply into Meath. Indeed the Mugdorna were to hold the territory in Meath for centuries after St. Patrick's time. Little is known about the origins of the Mugdorna. Later genealogist made them descend from Colla Meann but this was at a time when it was politically fashionable to be connected with the Collas. The Mugdorna may have been one of the peoples whom the Ulaid subjugated and who were later to transfer their allegiance to the Ui Neill. Or indeed they may have been rulers of Ulster before the Ulaid ascendancy. In any event, the names of the tuatha which made up the Mugdorna group kingdom suggest that these people had an archaic background. Some of them may have been pre-Celtic or very ancient Celts at least. They included the Corcu Oiche, associated with Corcreeagh, near Carrickmacross, and Corcreeghy in Drumsnat; the Tuath Conraige from which Meath's Drumconrath takes its name; the Dal Meanda, associated with mid-Monaghan ... as well as the Papraige, the Snobraige, and the Mugdorni Seagain." The Monaghan Story, by Peadar Livingstone, page 19.

*Father Livingstone includes this note in chapter thirty-one, The Post Towns and Villages, (page 572) of The Monaghan Story:

LOUGHMOURNE (Loch Morn): the lake of the Mugdorna, one of the early families who ruled much of Monaghan as we described in Chaper Two.

The name of the lake appears as Loch Morne on modern maps. The small lake is 2 1/2 kilometers west of Lough Egish and about 3 kilometers north of Shatonagh Loch. It is about four kilometers east of the townland of Cortaghart where several McGough families lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is about 2 kilomers nothwest of the Tullynamalra Cross Roads on R181 about 10 kilometers southwest of Castleblayney. Google Maps shows the driving distance from Castleblayney to the settlement (post office) of Lough Morne, which is about one kilometer north of the lake itself, as 9.9 kilometers (14 minutes). After 5.9 km on RI81 to the southwest from Castleblayney, the Google route requires a right turn on an unidentified road (that crosses R180) for 3.5 km to the west, and then a left turn near Tossy for about 1/2 a kilometer to the southeast.

Griffith's valuation of 1861 of the townland of Aghnafarcan, which is immediately south of the townland of Fincarn, shows that Terrence and Owen McGough held property in Aghnafarcan in 1861. See lines 341 and 342 in my table, McGoughs, McGeoughs, and McGeoghs in Ireland in the 1820–30s and 1850–60s: By County, Parish, and Townland. See also my page: McGoughs, McGeoughs, and McGeoghs in the Civil Parish of Donaghmoyne and the Barony of Farney. In the Irish grid system, Fincarn is at H 825 142 on the 1:50 000 map, sheet 28, of the Discoverer Series published by the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland, and sheet 28B (Straith Eolais) of the Discovery Series of the Ordnance Survey Ireland. Fincarn is about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) south of the town of Castleblayney and 3 kilometers south of the Formil-Cornalough area of the parish of Clontibret where several McGough were located—as discussed in McGoughs, McGeoughs, and McGeoghs in the Civil Parish of Clontibret. The "Finn MacCools Grave" that the map shows located on Fincarn Hill in the townland of Fincarn extends southward into the townland of Aghnafarcan.

Fincarn Hill is the eastern end of a range of high hills or low mountains that extend about 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) to the west. These hills lie to the south of the present town of Ballybay and are almost entirely within the modern civil parish of Aghnamullen (which contains the Catholic parishes of Aughnamullen West and Aughnamullen East). The hills were originally referred to in the Annals of the Four Masters as Sliabh-Modhairn (M3579). O'Donovan's notes to the year of the world 3579 say:

"Sliabh-Modhairn—This was the ancient name of a range of heights near Ballybay, in the barony of Cremorne, and County of Monaghan. The Mourne Mountains, in the south of County Down, were originally called Beanna Boirche, and had not received their present name before the fourteenth century."

Ó Mordha, at page 432 of his work cited above, says:

"Apparently the most outstanding physical feature in Mugdorna was Fionn Charna Sleibhe Modairn. [citing Cormac O Cadhlaigh, An Ruraiocht, 71.] The Sliabh Modairn was the name given to the Aughnamullen Heights, and Fionn Charna was presumably its highest point. Fionn Charna would almost certainly appear to be the townland of Finncarn in the parish of Donaghmoyne."

Modern topographical maps show the height of Fincarn Hill as 230 meters. This hill forms the east end of the Aughnamullen Heights, but the heights rise to the west. The high point is 270 meters in Carrickaveilty on the western edge of the Catholic parish of Aughnamullen East

The early McGoughs lived in and around both Sliabh-Modhairn in county Monaghan, and in the latter half of the twelfth century, some of them moved to the Mountains of Mourne in county Down. See Where the Mountains of Mourne Sweep Down to the Sea—Ballymageogh and Slievemageogh in County Down.


Mughdorn Maighean and Mughdhorn Breagh

When the Mughdhorna occupied territory as far south as the River Boyne, they were divided into two septs, the Mughdhorn Maighean, apparently mostly in the southern part of what is county Monaghan, centered around the parish of Donaghmoyne, and the Mughdhorn Breagh in the eastern part of what is now county Meath. John O'Donovan, in his notes to the Annals of the Four Masters for the year 606, suggests that the name Mughdhorn Maighean may have come from Domhnach Maighen, or Donaghmoyne church:

"Mughdorn Maighean—Now the barony of Chrioch-Mughdhorna, anglice Cremorne, in the County of Monaghan. It is supposed to have derived the addition of Maighen from the church of Domhnach-Maighen, now Donaghmoyne church."

According to Ó Mordha, at page 438 of the work cited above, the Mugdorna Maighean and Mugdorna Breagh appear to have been independent of each other, although ruled by kindred people. There may have been times when they were ruled over by the same king. In the year of 834, the Annals of Ulster note:

U834.4 "Suibne son of Artrí, king of all Mugdorna, was killed by his kinsmen." [emphasis added]

The Annals of the Four Masters does not use the word all. In the year 952, the Annals of Ulster specifically note for the first time a common king over both Mughdhorn Maighean of Mughdhorn Breagh:

U955.2 "Alene, king of Mugdorna Maigen and Mugdorna of Brega [Alene, rí Mugdorn Magen & Mugdorn Bregh] ... fell on Congalach's march into Connacht."

Ó Mordha points out, at pages 437–438, that from the year 610 until 793 Mugdorna always appeared unqualified by any adjective, but in 793 there was the first appearance of Mugdorna Maigen; that Mugdorna Breagh did not appear in the annals until 811; and that the name of Mugdorna Breagh appears in the annals for the last time in 954 and Mugdorna Maigen in 980. After 980, the annals returned to the original unqualified Mugdorna.


Kingship of Mughdhorna Maigen—One of Three Unlucky Places in Ireland

The Irish were fond of triplet sayings. One of the traditional three unlucky places in Ireland was the kingship of Mugdorn Maigen. Here is an excerpt from Trecheng Breth Féne (The Triads of Ireland, #44) by Kuno Meyer, published in 1906:

"Trí dotcaid Hérenn: abbdaine Bendchuir, abbdaine Lainne Ela, ríge Mugdorn Maigen.

"The three unlucky places of Ireland: the abbotship of Bangor, the abbotship of Lynally, the kingship of Mugdorn Maigen.*

"* Now Cremorne barony, County Monaghan."

Meyer translated the title of his work as "a triadic arrangement of the sayings of Irishmen."


Migration to County Mourne

The early McGoughs lived in and around Sliabh-Modhairn in county Monaghan. In the latter half of the twelfth century, some of them moved to the Mountains of Mourne in county Down and gave their name to the townland of Ballymageogh and the mountain named Slievemageogh. See Where the Mountains of Mourne Sweep Down to the Sea—Ballymageogh and Slievemageogh in County Down.

P. W. Joyce describes the migration of some of the Mughdhorna from county Monaghan to county Down sometime about the year 1150:

"The barony of Cremorne in Monaghan preserves the name of the ancient district of Crioch-Mughdhorn [Cree-Mourne], i.e. the country (crioch) of the people called Mughdhorna, who were descended and named from Mughdhorn [Mourne], the son of Colla Meann. About the middle of the 12th century, a tribe of the Mac Mahons emigrated from Cremorne, and settled in the south of the present County of Down, to which they gave their tribe name of Mughdorna, and which is now known as the barony of Mourne.

"The Mourne mountains owe their name to the same event, having been previously called Beanna-Boirche [Banna borka]. The shepherd Boirche, according to the Dinnsenchus, herded on these mountains the cattle of Ross (son of Imchadh), king of Ulster in the third century, and the account states that his favourite look-out point was the highest peak in the range; hence these mountains received the very appropriate name of Beanna-Boirche, Boirche's peaks." The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places (6th edition 1891), by P. W. Joyce (volume I, pages 137–8).

Peadar Livingstone, at page 40 of The Monaghan Story, also describes the migration of some of the Mughdhorna to county Down:

"The eleventh century, therefore, saw the breaking up of the kingdoms of Ui Meith, Fir Rois, and Conailli. The Monaghan kingdom of Mugdorna also disappeared at the same time. Their last recorded king in Monaghan, Maolruanaigh Ua Machainen, was slain in 1110. [Annals of Ulster 1110]. Some time after this a group of the family migrated to south Down to form a new kingdom in Leith Cathail. Here they gave their name to the Mourne mountains. It may well have been the great Donnchaidh O'Carroll, who ruled their former territory in Monaghan, made accommodation for them there."

On the move to Mourne, Livingstone cites Pilip Ó Mordha's The Medieval Kingdom of Mugdorna in the 1971–2 issue of the Clogher Record at page 432, and F. J. Byrne's Irish kings and high-kings (London 1973), page 128. Here is what Ó Mordha has to say on the subject, at page 445:

"Before concluding it is only proper to say something about the territory of Mourne in south Down. This territory was apparently called Bairche. According to the Annals Muircheartach Mac Lochlainn gave this territory to Donnchadh O Cearbhaill. This establishes some connection between the two areas. Did O Cearbhaill transplant some of the Mugdorna to this place in an effort to have control over his own mensal land? O'Donovan refers to to the emigration of a tribe of the Mugdorna to south Down in the kingship of Niall the Haughty, son of Aedh, son of Magnus MacMahon. Whatever the reason, it does seem certain that that the Mugdorna of Monaghan gave their name to the area 'where the mountains of Mourne roll down to the sea'."


Gravestone of Eochaig of Magdarnac—or Eochaidh of Mughdhorna

Eochaig [of] Magdarnac was buried at the monastery at Clonmacnoise in county Offaly, probably before the year 1000. The inscription on the tombstone is translated by R. A. S. Mcalister as "A Prayer for Eochu ... (PN) of Mugdorna." A sketch and description of the tombstone is at CLMAC/127, the on-line database of the Celtic Inscribed Stones Project (CISP). This database, developed by the Department of History and the Institute of Archaeology of the University College London, is intended to include every non-Runic inscription raised on a stone monument within Celtic-speaking areas (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Dumnonia, Brittany and the Isle of Man) in the early middle ages (AD 400–1000). The tombstone is one of 263 ancient stones recorded at Clonmacnoise.

The name on the tombstone, Eochaig, is explained as follows: "(Language: Goidelic; Gender: male) ... 'Euchaig is the dative singular of the noun Euchaid, or Eochaid, gen. Echach, Echoch'."

The burial site may be that of the Eochaidh who, as the Annals of the Four Masters note in an entry for the year 867, was the lord of Mughdhorn-Breagh. In his notes to the Annals of the Four Masters, John O'Donovan says:

"Mughdhorna-Breagh.—A sept of the Oirghialla seated in Bregia, in east Meath, but their exact position has not been determined. They are to be distinguished from the Mughdorna-Maighen, who were seated in and gave name to the barony of Cremorne, in the County of Monaghan." (year 807).

"Mughdorn Maighean.—Now the barony of Crioch-Mughdhorna, anglice' Cremorne, in the County of Monaghan. It is supposed to have derived the addition of Maighen (sic) from the church of Domhnach-Maighen, now Donaghmoyne church." (year 606).

Ó Mordha, at page 441 of the work cited, suggests that Fairtaghy, a townland near the southeast corner of the Catholic parish of Aughnamullen West, derives from Feart Eachaidh. He then notes that Cearnach, son of Echaidh, chief of Mugdorna Breagh, died in 868. A feart is a grave or tomb.


Excavations at Moynagh Lough

The area occupied by the Mughdhorna Breagh in north Meath included the area of Moynagh Lough near the present day town of Nobber. This area has been the subject of archeological explorations. See Archaeological Excavations at Moynagh Lough, County Meath, by John Bradley (The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, volume 121 (1991), pages 5–26), where he notes:

"After 700 BC the site was again abandoned, this time for about thirteen hundred years and it was not until after 600 AD that activity was renewed. In the early years of the seventh century this area of Meath was occupied by the Mugdorna, one of the major tribes of the Airgialla whose base was in central Ulster. The Mugdorna territory stretched from Monaghan, where it is preserved in the name Cremourne (Crích Mugdorna 'the territory of the Mugdorna'), south to the Boyne at Navan and it is clear from the excavation results that Moynagh Lough must have been one of their major centres. ...

"Occupation at Moynagh Lough ceased around the year 800 AD when the Mugdorna were pushed out of Meath and into Monaghan. They were replaced by the Gailenga who have left their name in Morgallion (Machaire Gailenga, 'the plain of the Gailenga') and, perhaps because of its associations with the former masters, Moynagh Lough was abandoned."

The men of Mughdhorna Breagh were fighting the Vikings in Breagh in 836. The Annals of the Four Masters note:

"M836.12 A battle was gained by the men of Breagh over the foreigners in Mughdhorna Breagh; and six score of the foreigners were slain in that battle."

The Annals also note:

"M807.17 Cearnach, son of Flaithnia, lord of Mughdhorna Breagh, died."

"M867.16 Cearnach, son of Eochaidh, lord of Mughdhorn Breagh, died."

"M880.9 Ainbhith, son of Mughron, lord of Mughdhorn Breagh, was slain."

In his notes to the year 861, O'Donovan indicates that Achadh-Aldai, the ancient name for New Grange, in the county of Meath and in the immediate vicinity of the river Boyne, was within the territory of Mughdhorna-Breagh. The Danes plundered crypts in this area in 861. Mughdhorna-Breagh may have covered the eastern party of county Cavan and the northern part of county Meath.


Gailenga Mora

The Mugdorna were pushed out of northern Meath sometime after 800 by the Gailenga Mora. The Gailenga left their name in the barony of Morgallion (Machaire Gailenga, "the plain of the Gaileanga") in northern county Meath. Here is an explanation from The Bréifne Region circa 700 A.D (on the website O'Rourke Family Genealogy and History):

"Gaileanga - western Co. Cavan and northern Co. Meath. The Mugdorna occupied this territory prior to 800 AD, when they were pushed out of Meath and into Monaghan and replaced by the Gailenga. The Gailenga Mora left their name in the barony of Morgallion (Machaire Gailenga, 'the plain of the Gailenga'). The O'Lohan or O'Loughan (Ui Leochaín) sept were lords of the Gailenga Mor before being driven across the Shannon after the arrival of the Normans. The Gaileanga have an early genealogy back to Ailella Auluimm (Oilill Olum)."

See also: The Bréifne Region—Connacht Series on Ireland's History in Maps.

Tribes of the Gaileanga Mora were located in the baronies of Morgallion and Lower Kells in county Meath, and the barony of Clankee in county Cavan, in the early eighth century. The Baronies of Ireland. The Annals of the Four Masters note:

"M809.4 Foircheallach of Fobhar, Abbot of Cluain Mic Nois, one of the Gaileanga Mora [died]"

"M825.11 The destruction of the fair of Tailltin, against the Gaileanga, by Conchobhar, son of Donnchadh, on which occasion many were slain."

"M837.5 Egneach of Cill Delge [Kildalkey in Meath], bishop, abbot, and scribe, was killed, with all his people, by the Gaileanga."

"M881.16 Dunagan, son of Tuathchar, lord of Gaileanga Collamhrach [probably another name for Gaileanga Breagh on the north side of the Liffey in the present county of Dublin], was slain by the Gaileanga Mora."

"M936.5 [should be 937] A battle was gained by Conghalach, son of Maelmithigh, over the Gailengs Great and Small, at Ath-da-laarg [Ford of the Two Forks, probably in Meath], where four score of them were slain."

"M1005.6 Cathal, son of Dunchadh, lord of Gaileanga-Mora, was slain."

"M1150.18 An army was led by Toirdhealbhach Ua Briain to Loch Ua nGobhann [Lake of the O'Gowan's], in Machaire-Gaileang [a plain in the territory of Gaileanga (now Moregallion), in Meath.], and he plundered Slaine. Ua Cearbhaill [O'Caroll] and Ua Ruairc [O'Rourke] overtook them, and slew some of their people, among whom was the son of Ua Ifearnain [Heffernan]."


Ui Meic Mais or Ui Meith Macha

John O'Donovan, in his notes to the Annals of the Four Master, describes a tribe called Ui Meith Macha, which is probably a different tribe than the Ui Meic Uais that descended from Colla Uais. O'Donovan says the Ui Meith Macha are descended from a different brother among the three Collas, Colla da Chrioch. Imchadh, one of the four sons of Colla da Chrioch, had a son named Muireadhach Meith. His descendants, the Ui-Meith-Macha, who were otherwise called the Ui-Meithe-Tire, were seated in the present barony of Monaghan in the county of Monaghan. See O'Donovan's note z to year 605 of his edition of the Annals of the Four Masters:

"Ui-Meith-Macha.—These, who were otherwise called the Ui-Meith-Tire, were the descendants of Muireadhach Meith, son of Imcadh, son of Colla Dachrich, and were seated in the present barony of Monaghan, in the County of Monaghan.—See Colgan's Trias Thaum., p. 184, n. 16; and Leabhar-na-gCeart, pp. 148, 149, note a."

In his notes to the year 673, O'Donovan says:

"Ui Meith.—There were two tribes of this name in the ancient Oirghialla, one called Ui-Meith Macha. alias Ui-Meith Tire, who were seated in the present barony of Monaghan, in the County of Monaghan; and the other Ui-Meath-Mara, seated in Cualigne*, in the north of the County of Louth."

*Cualigne is Cooley, as in Tain Bo Cualigne, the Cattle Raid of Cooley.

In his notes to the year 1178, O'Donovan says:

"Hy-Meath-Macha.—Now the barony of Monaghan, in the County of Monaghan. This was otherwise called Hy-Meath Tire, to distinguish it from Hy-Meath-Mara, now Omeath, a mountainous district lying between Carlingford and Newry, in the County of Louth. This is evident from the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, published by Colgan, and from the Irish Calendars, which place in it the churches of Tehallen, Tullycorbet, and Kilmore, all situated in the present barony of Monaghan; and the former authority states that the place called Omna Renne was on the boundary between it and Chrich Mugdorn, now the barony of Cremourne, in the County of Monaghan. For the descent of the Hy-Meith, see O'Flaherty's Oggia, part iii c. 76; and Duald Firbis's Pedigrees."

The Úi Meic Uais occupied some of the same territory as the Mughdhorn Maighean. This is a different tribe than the Ui Meith Macha. The Úi Meic Uais were also said to have descended from one of the three Collas: "the Úi Meic Uais descend from one of the three Collas, Colla Óiss (Uais). The Annals cite territories of Úi Meic Uais in Airghialla (possibly modern Co. Monaghan), Midhe and Brega (within modern counties Westmeath and Meath). 12th century septs included Ua Comhraidhe (O'Curry) of Uí Mac Uais Mide (Moygoish barony, Westmeath) ... " See Kingdom of Airghialla under the heading "Úi Meic Uais." A footnote by John O'Mahony at page 367 of his translation of Keating's History of Ireland says:

"Ui Mic Uais, now Moygish in West Meath."


Dun-Mughdhorn in County Mayo

There is a fort in county Mayo called Dun-Mughdhorn. I have found no connection between this fort and the Mughdhorna of south Ulster. The Annals of the Four Masters note:

"M1133.7 An army was led by Cormac Mac Carthaigh and Conchobhar Ua Briain into Connaught; and they killed Cathal, son of Cathal Ua Conchobhair, royal heir of Connaught, and Gilla-na-naemh Ua Floinn, chief of Sil-Maeileruain; and they demolished Dun-Mughdhorn and Dun-mor, and plundered a great part of the country: they afterwards returned without hostages."

O'Donovan notes that Dun-Mughdhorn is otherwise called Dun-Mughdhord, now Doon, and is a castle in the parish of Aghagower, about three miles east of Westport, in county Mayo.


Notes from the Annals

The Annals of Ulster and the Annals of the Four Masters are both available in English translation in CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts.

M606 "Maelduin, son of Ailen, chief of Mughdorn Maighean, died."

O'Donovan notes: "Mughdorn Maighean—Now the barony of Chrioch-Mughdhorna, anglice Cremorne, in the county of Monaghan. It is supposed to have derived [sic] the addition of Maighen from the church of Domhnach-Maighen, now Donaghmoyne church."

U611.2 Death of Mael Dúin son of Ailéne, king of Mugdorna.

M 610 "Gorman, [one] of the Mughdhorna, from whom are the Mac Cuinns, and who was a year [living] on the water of Tibraid-Fingin, on his pilgrimage at Cluain-Mic-Nois, died."

O'Donovan notes: "Gorman.—He was of the sept of the Mughdhorna, who were seated in the present barony of Cremorne, otherwise called Mac Cuinn ua mBocht, Erenaghs of Clonmacnoise, in the Kings County. In the Annals of Tighernach, the death of this Gorman is entered in the year 758." Tibraid Finghin was a well at the edge of the Shannon River at Clonmacnoise.

T611.2 Bass Maile Duin maic Aline regis Moghdornae.

665. Byrne says: Mael Bressail mac Maele Duin died as king of the Mugdorna in 665. (page 116)

M683 "The devastation of Magh-Breagh, both churches and territories, by the Saxons, in the month of June precisely; and they carried off with them many hostages from every place which they left, throughout Magh-Breagh, together with many other spoils, and afterwards went to their ships."

O'Donovan notes: "Magh-Breagh.—A territory in East Meath [great plain in the east of ancient Meath (note to 836)], comprising five cantreds or baronies, and lying principally between Dublin and Drogheda, i.e. between the rivers Boyne and Liffey." I include this report because I assume that there is a connection between Magh-Breagh and Mughdhorna Breagh. See M836, below. Venerable Bede reports that, in the year 684, Egfrid, the king of the Northumbrians, sent Berctus, his general, into Ireland and "miserably wasted that inoffensive nation, which had always been most friendly to the English." The annals of Ulster (U685) describe the raiding king as "Egfrid, son of Oswy, king of the Saxons" and report that in the year following his raid on Ireland, he was slain, with a great body of his soldiers [in Alba by the Picts] in the battle of Dun Nechtain. (U686).

M694 "Cummeni of Mughdhorna [Cremorne] died."

U696.5 "Cuiméne of Mugdorna rests."

T696.6 "Cumeni Mugdornni pausat."

M735 "Flann Feabhla, Abbot of Gort-Conaigh, in Mughdhorn-Maighen [Cremorne] died."

O'Donovan's note tells us that Gort-Conaigh is the "Field of the Firewood," the name of a monastery in the barony of Cremorne, county of Monaghan.

U738.6 "Death of Coscrach son of Naendenach, king of Gailenga."

U743.6 "The battle of Lorg between the Uí Ailella and the Gailenga. These four battles were fought almost in one summer."

M745 "Fiachra, son of Ailene, lord of Mughdhorna, was killed."

U750.10 "The killing of Fiachra son of Ailéne, king of Mugdorna."

M754 "Reachtabhrat, son of Dunchu, lord of Mughdhorna [Cremorne], died."

U759.3 "The killing of Rechtabra son of Dunchu, king of Mugdorna."

T759.3 "Guin Rechtabrad maic Dunchon, ríg Mugdhorn."

M773 "The same war [continued] between Donnchadh and Conghalach, during which fell ... Dunchadh, son of Alene, Lord of Mughdhorna [Cremorne] ... "

M774 "Aenghus, son of Aileni, lord of Mughdhorn [Cremorne], died."

U779.2 "Aengus son of Ailéne, king of Mugdorna died."

M781.13 "A battle [was fought] between the Ui-Eachach [people of Iveagh] and the Conaille [inhabitants of the flat part of county Louth], in which Cathrae, chief of Mughdhorna [Cremorne], and Rimidh, son of Cearnach [see M807 below], were slain."

U786.7 "The battle of Cenu between the Uí Echach and the Conaille, in which fell Cathrua, king of Mugdorna, and Rímid, son of Cernach."

U794.8 "The invasion of Mugdorna Maigen by Aed son of Niall." [Irish Kings #164]. (U794.8 Indreth Mugdornne Maghen la Aedh m. Neill.) Ó Mordha, op. cit. at page 437, says that this is the first reference in the Annals to Maigen:

"This second element obviously has reference to Domnach Maigen, the centre of Mugdorna, and was appended to distinguish it from some other Mugdorna. The second Mugdorna does not appear in the annals until 811, and when it does appear it is called Mugdorna Breagh."

M797.15 "Artri, son of Ailill, lord of Mughdhorna Maighean [Cremorne], died."

U802.6 "Artrí son of Ailill, king of Mugdorna Maigen, dies."

M799.8 "Cinaedh, son of Duinechda, and Cearnach, son of Dunchadh, lord of Mughdhorna [Cremorne], died."

U804.6 "Cernach son of Dúnchad, king of Mugdorna, died."

M807 "Cearnach, son of Flaithnia, lord of Mughdhorna Breagh [tigherna, Mughdorn m-Breacch], died."

O'Donovan notes: "Mughdhorna-Breagh.—A sept of the Oirghialla seated in Bregia, in east Meath, but their exact position has not been determined. They are to be distinguished from the Mughdorna-Maighen, who were seated in and gave name to the barony of Cremorne, in the County of Monaghan."

U812.3 "Cernach son of Flaithnia, king of Mugdorn of Brega, died."

M812.6 "Cathal, son of Artrach, lord of Mughdhorna [Cathal mac Artrach, tigherna Mughdhorn] ... died."

U816.1 "Cathal son of Artrí, king of Mugdorna ... died."

U827.5 "A disturbance of the Fair of Tailtiu caused by an attack on the Gailenga by Conchobor son of Donnchad, and many fell therein."

M833 "Suibhne, son of Artrach, Lord of Mughdhorna, was killed by his own tribe."

U834.4 "Suibne son of Artrí, king of all Mugdorna, was killed by his kinsmen."

M836 "A fleet of sixty ships of Norseman on the Boyne. Another fleet of sixty ships on the Abhainn Liphthe [River Liffey]. These two fleets plundered and spoiled Magh Liphthe [plain of he Liffey in county Kildare] and Magh Breagh, both churches and habitations of men, and goodly tribes, flocks, and herds. A battle was gained by the men of Breagh over the foreigners in Mughdhorna Breagh; and six score of the foreigners were slain in that battle." See O'Donovan's note above to M683.

U837.3 "A naval force of the Norsemen sixty ships strong was on the Bóinn, and another one of sixty ships on the river Life. Those two forces plundered the plain of Life and the plain of Brega, including churches, forts and dwellings. The men of Brega routed the foreigners at Deoninne in Mugdorna of Brega, and six score of the Norsemen fell."

M847 "Maelbreasail, son of Cearnach, lord of Mughdhorna [Mael Bresail, mac Cernaigh, tigherna Mughdhorn] was slain by the foreigners after having embraced a religious life and retired from the world."

U849.10 "Mael Braisil son of Cernach, king of Mugdorna, was killed by the heathens after he had changed to clerical life."

U847.3 "Mael Sechnaill destroyed the Island of Loch Muinremor, overcoming there a large band of wicked men of Luigni and Gailenga, who had been plundering the territories in the manner of the heathens."

M848 "Aenghus, son of Suibhne, lord of Mughdhorna, [Aonghus, mac Suibhne, tigherna Mughdhorn] was slain by Gairbheth, son of Maelbrighde."

U850.2 "Aengus son of Suibne, king of Mugdorna, was killed by Gairbíth son of Mael Brígte."

M861 "The cave of Alchadh-Aldai, in Mughdhorna-Maigen ... [was] broken and plundered by the same foreigners [the Norsemen]."

O'Donovan's note tells us:

"Alchadh-Aldai: the Field of Aldi, the ancestor of the Tuatha-De-Danaan kings of Ireland. This place is described by the Four Masters as situated in the territory of Mughdhorna-Maighen, now the barony of Cremorne, in the county of Monaghan; but it is highly probable, if not certain, that Mughdhorna-Maighen is a mistake of transcription for Mughdhorna-Breagh, and that Achadh-Aldai is the ancient name of New Grange in the county of Meath. If this be admitted, the caves or crypts plundered by the Danes on this occasion were all in the immediate vicinity of the Boyne. It should be here remarked that all the crypts plundered by the Danes on this occasion were in one territory, namely, in the land of Flann, son of Conang, one of the chieftains of Meath; and that it is evident from this that Mughdhorna-Maigen is an error of the Four Masters, as that territory is in Oriel, many miles north of the territory of Flann, son of Conang."

M867.16 "Cearnach, son of Eochaidh, lord of Mughdhorna-Breagh [Cernach, mac Eathach, tighearna Mughdhorn m-Bregh] died." [M867.16 Cernach, mac Eathach, tighearna Mughdhorn m-Bregh, d'écc.]

U869.5 "Cernach, son of Eochu, chief of Mugdorna of Brega [Cernach m. Eachach, toisech Mugdorna mBreg] died."

M880 "Ainbhith, son of Mughron, lord of Mughdhorn-Breagh, was slain."

U884.7 "Dúnacán son of Tuathchar, king of Gailenga of Collumair, was killed by the Gailenga Móra."

U883.5 "Ainfíth son of Mugrón, king of the Mugdorna of Brega, was killed."

M918.6 "A battle was gained in Cianachta-Breagh (i. e. at Tigh-mic-nEathach) by Donnchadh, son of Flann, son of Maelseachlainn, over the foreigners, wherein a countless number of the foreigners was slain; indeed in this battle revenge was had of them for the battle of Ath-cliath, for there fell of the nobles of the Norsemen here as many as had fallen of the nobles and plebeians of the Irish in the battle of Ath-cliath. Muircheartach, son of Tighearnan, i. e. heir apparent of Breifne, was wounded in the battle of Cianachta, and he afterwards died of his wounds. Murchadh, son of Flann, lord of Corca-Bhaiscinn, died. Flann, son of Lonan, the Virgil of the race of Scota, the best poet that was in Ireland in his time, was treacherously slain by the sons of Corrbuidhe, who were of the Ui-Fothaidh, at Loch Dachaech, in Deisi-Mumhan."

O'Donovan's notes translate Tigh-mic-nEathach as "the house of the son of Eochaidh" but say that the location is now unknown. The Annals of Clonmacnoise say this this battle was a victory over the Danes and that over half of the Danish army "was not left alive."

Cianachta Breagh was an area in the east of ancient Meath. See O'Donovan's notes to the year of the world 4169 in the Annals of the Four Masters. The Annals of the Four Masters for the year 226 say that Cormac, Irish Kings #115, gave to Tadhg "the land on which are the Ciannachta, in Magh-Breagh" for Tadhg's part in the battles which made Cormac high king of Ireland. O'Donovan says: "Ciannachta, in Magh Breagh.—The territory of this tribe extended from the River Liffey to near Drumiskin (Druim-Ineascluinn), in the County of Louth. Duleek in the County of Meath is mentioned as in it." The barony of Ferard in the south of county Louth was anciently known as Ard-Cianachta. See O'Donovan's notes to M732 and M876 (Feara-Arda-Cianachta). In his notes to M765, O'Donovan says: "Cianachta-Breagh.—A sept of the race of Cian, son of Olioll Olum, King of Munster, seated at and around Duleek, in the County of Meath."

Duleek is on the Nannywater River southeast of New Grange and east of Navan .

M935 "Macetigh Mac Ainseamain, Lord of Mughdhorna-Maighen [died]."

U937.7 "Mac Étig son of Ainnsemain, king of Mugdorna Maigen, died."

U939.5 "Congalach son of Mael Mithig defeated the Gailenga Móra and the Gailenga Beca at Áth dá Loarc, and many fell there."

M947 "Oenacan, son of Egceartach, airchinneach of Eaglais-beag at Cluain-mic-Nois, bishop and pure virgin,—the brother of Dunadhach, son of Egceartach, of the tribe of Mughdhorna-Maighen,—died."

M949 "Maceitigh, son of Cuileannan, lord of Conaille-Muirtheimhne, was slain by the Mughdhorna-Maighen."

O'Donovan notes that the Conaille-Muirtheimhne were the ancient inhabitants of the level part of the now county of Louth.

M953 "Ailinne, lord of Mughdhorna-Maighen ... died."

U953.3 "Gailenga was plundered by the Uí Chremthainn. Domnall came upon Muirchertach, and they left behind many heads."

U953.4 "Ruadacán son of Eitigén, king of eastern Gailenga ... died."

U955.2 "Alene, king of Mugdorna Maigen and Mugdorna of Brega [Alene, rí Mugdorn Magen & Mugdorn Bregh] ... fell on Congalach's march into Connacht."

U963.7 "(Ualgarc ua Maíl Trea was killed by the Mugdorna Maigen.)"

M978. 2 "Lachtnan, lord of Mughdhorn-Maigen [Lachtnán, tigherna Mughdhorn Maighen]" fell in the battle of Teamhair.

T980.3 "Lachtna rí Mugdorn Maigen."

U994.1 "Fogartach son of Diarmait, king of Corcu Trí, was killed by the Gailenga of Corann."

M995 "An army by the Conaille and Mughdhorna, and the north of Breagha, to Gleann-Righe [Glenree, the vale of the Newry River]; but they were overtaken by Aedh, son of Domhnall, lord of Oileach, who gave them battle in which they were defeated, and the lord of Conaille, i.e. Matudhan Ua Croinghille [Cronelly], and two hundred along with him, were slain."

U996.3 "The Conaille and the Mugdorna and the northern Brega made a foray to Glenn Rige and Aed son of Domnall, king of Ailech, came upon them and gave battle to them and defeated them, and the king of Conaille, i.e. Matudán ua Cróngilla, and very many others, i.e. 200, were slain there."

M997 "Oissine ua Machainén, lord of Mughdhorna, was slain by Maelseachlainn on Inis-Mocha."

O'Donovan's note says that Inis-Mocha is now Inismot in the barony of Slane, county of Meath.

U998.4 "Domnall son of Donn Cuan, king of Dartraige, was killed by the Gailenga."

U1002.5 "Meirlechán, king of Gailenga, and Brotud son of Diarmait, were killed by Mael Sechnaill."

M1004.6 "Muireadhach, lord of Conaille, was slain by the Mughdhorna."

U1006.3 "Eichmílid ua hAitid, king of Uí Echach—by the Ulaid, —Mael Ruanaid son of Flannacán—by the Conaille,—and Cathalán, king of Gailenga, were killed."

M1009.2 "Conaing, son of Aedhagan, a bishop, died at Cluain-mic-Nois; he was of the tribe of the Mughdhorna-Maighen."

M1009.12 "Donncuan, lord of Mughdhorna [was] slain."

U1010.3 "Donn Cuan, king of Mugdorna ... killed."

U1013.2 "Ualgarg ua Ciardai, king of Cairpre, and Niall ua Ruairc made a great foray into Gailenga, and a few nobles of Mael Sechnaill's household who had been drinking at the time and were intoxicated came upon them and arrogantly gave battle to them; and of these there fell Donnchad son of Donnchad Finn, heir designate of Temair, and Cernachán son of Flann, king of Luigne, and Senán ua Leocháin, king of Gailenga, and many others. Afterwards Mael Sechnaill overtook the invaders, the spoils were abandoned to him, and Ualgarg ua Ciardai, king of Cairpri, fell by his hand, and many others."

M1018 "Ailena, son of Oissene, Lord of Mughdhorna; and Ossene Ua Cathasaigh [O'Casey], lord of Saithne, were slain by the Gaileanga."

U1018.3 "Maelán son of Éicnech ua Lorcán, king of Gailenga and all Tuatha Luigne, was killed by the Saithni."

U1019.1 "Ailéne son of Oiséne, king of Mugdorna, and Oiséne ua Cathasaig, king of na Saithne, were killed by the Gailenga."

U1020.3 "Gilla Ciaráin son of Oiséne, king of Mugdorna, was killed by the Fir Rois. Mael Muad son of Oiséne, king of Mugdorna for one day, was killed by the Uí Moccu Uais of Brega."

U1021.3 "Aed ua Néill's son brought a raiding party over the Uí Dorthain who were in Mag Itechta, and they slew in Lethderg in the pursuit. And the best part of the Airgialla caught up with him from behind and came in front of him, or (as is stated in the Book of Dub dá Leithe) the Uí Méith and the Mugdorna and the Saithne and the men of Fernmag and the Uí Dorthain with their kings overtook him. Ua Ceilecháin and ua Lorcáin with the Uí Bresail and the Uí Nialláin, moreover, were waiting for him in Aenach Macha and they all surrounded him; and Aed's son took his spoils past them all, though he had only twelve score warriors. And a good number on both sides fell in the middle of Aenach Macha or Ard Macha. Thus in the book of Dub dá Leithe."

U1023.9 "Two of the Uí Machainéin were killed by the Gailenga."

U1032.4 "The son of Mathgamain son of Muiredach, king of Ciarraige, and Domnall son of Donn Cothaid, king of Gailenga, were killed."

U1044.4 "Niall son of Mael Sechnaill, king of Ailech, made a raid on Uí Méith and Cuailnge and took away two hundred cows and a large number of captives in revenge for the profanation of the Bell of the Testament. Muirchertach ua Néill moreover made another raid on the Mugdorna and took away a cow-tribute and captives in revenge for the profanation of the same bell."

M1044 "Another predatory excursion was made by Muircheartach Ua Neill into Mughdhorna, whence he carried a cattle spoil and prisoners, in revenge of the profanation of the same bell [the bell of St. Patrick's Testament]."

U1051.4"Laidcnén son of Maelán, king of Gailenga, went with his queen, i.e. the daughter of the Got, to Rome on his pilgrimage and died."

M1053 "Amhlaeibh Ua Machainen, lord of Mughdhorna [Amhlaoibh Ua Macainén, tigherna Mughdhorn], died."

U1060.7 "A defeat was inflicted by the men of Brega, i.e. by Gairbeid ua Cathasaigh, on the Gailenga, i.e. on Leochán grandson of Maelán, and on the Cairpre."

M1062 "Donncuan was slain by Gillachiarain Ua Machainene, lord of Mughdhorna."

U1062.5 "Donn Cuan ua Machainéin was killed by Gilla Ciaráin ua Machainén, king of Mugdorna."

U1073.4 "An army was led by Tairdelbach into Leth Cuinn and he took an innumerable prey from the Gailenga and killed Mael Mórda ua Cathasaigh, king of Brega."

U1076.3 "Murchadh son of Flann ua Mael Sechlainn, king of Temair for three nights, was killed in the bell-tower of Cenannas by the grandson of Maelán, king of Gailenga."

U1077.2 "The grandson of Maelán, king of Gailenga, was killed by Mael Sechlainn, king of Temair."

M1089 "A great predatory excursion was made by Domhnall Ua Maeleachlainn, until he reached Ibhar-Chinn-trachta [now the town of Newry in county Down]; and he plundered the men of Fearnmhagh, Conaille, Mughdhorna, and Ui Meith and burned all Conaille."

T1091.6 "Creach mor la Domnall h-Úa Mael Sechlainn ríg Temrach co riacht Iubar Chind Trachta, cor' airg Firu Fernmuighe & Conaille & Mugdhorna & h-Úu Meith, & cor' loiscsit Conaille don crech-sin."

M1096 "Sithfruich, son of Mac Sealbhaigh, lord of Feara Rois, was slain by the Muhdhorna Maighen."

M1110 Maelruanaidh Ua Machainen, lord of Mughdhorna" [Maol Ruanaidh Ua Machanéin, tigherna Mughdhorn] fell in the battle of Ros in Magh-Aei, in county Roscommon.

U1110.6 "Mael Ruanaid ua Machainén, king of Mugdorna, was killed."

M1121.5 "Maelseachlainn Ua Ceallachain, lord of Ui-Eathach-Mumhan, the splendour of the south of Munster, died."

U1123.1 "The Gailenga stormed a house in Daimliac of Ciannán against Murchad ua Mael Sechlainn, king of Temair, and burned the house and eighty houses around it, and killed many of his followers. Murchadh, however, escaped by the honour of Ciannán, neither killed nor burned."

U1130.3 "Amhlaíb grandson of Senán, king of Gailenga, i.e. 'Wet Cowl', Aengus ua Caíndelbaín, king of Loegaire, and many other nobles fell by the men of Bréifne at Sliab Guaire."

M1144.14 "The son of Mac Maelain, lord of Gaileanga-Breagh, was killed."


O'Dugan's Topographical Poems

In O'Dugan's Topographical Poems (The Topographical Poems of John O'Dubhagain and Giolla Na Naomh O'Duidhrin, edited by John O'Donovan, 1862), under the Airgiallaigh section, is the following:

O'Caomhain, head of the battle,
King of Magh Leamhna of hero-fort,
Noble the battle-island of goblets,
O'Mochoidhein, king of Mughdhorna.

Could the O'Mochoidhein, king of Mughdhorna referred to in this verse be one of the Ua Machainen; e.g., Oissine ua Machainén, lord of Mughdhorna, referred to in the Annals of the Four Masters in the year 997?; or Amhlaeibh Ua Machainen, lord of Mughdhorna, at M1053? The name is sometimes spelled "Uí Machainéin" in the Annals of Ulster, e.g., U1023.9, U1062.5. The annal entries are set out above. Earlier in his material, O'Dugan refers to O'Machaidhen, lord of Mughdhorn. Is this O'Mochoidhein the O Madadain of the O'Clery pedigrees? According to O'Donovan, the name is now unknown. Ó Mordha, at page 443 of the work cited, assumes that O'Mochoiden and "Ua Machainen" are the same. See Michael L. Muckian's comments at Surname: Muckian. See also his website: Muckian (ó Mochaidhean) Family in Great Britain and Ireland.

Updated March 29, 2014  
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