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The Victorious Career of Cellachan of Cashel or The Wars Between the Irishmen and the Norsemen in the Middle of the 10th Century

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The Original Irish Text Edited with Translation and Notes by Alexander Bugge, Professor in the University of Christiania

Published for Det Norske Historiske Kilderkriftfond 1905.

Title Page

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The English translation portion of this book was scanned using Xerox Textbridge optical character recognition (OCR) software and proofread for corrections by Kevin L. Callahan against a copy of the book. References to the original book's page numbers are enclosed within [[double brackets.]] The English translation begins on page 57. Any matter enclosed within [single brackets] are additions from Professor Bugge. Copies of Caithrem Cellachain Caisil are also available from many libraries, through interlibrary loan, and the Library of Congress. Scanned .jpgs of the published pages are available for comparison at the First Callahan, 10th Century website at the above referenced link. Professor Alexander Bugge's Introduction, Notes, and Index of Persons and Index of Places and Tribes are also scanned and available there. In order to view the text of the saga efficiently on the web I have artificially divided it into three parts that can fit into three webpages. When I print out Part 1 (this page) on a HP Deskjet printer on regular 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper it is 15 pages long. Part 2 is 21 pages long, and part 3 is 12 pages long for a total of 48 printed pages off of the web.

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Left: The first sentences of Caithreim Cellachain Caisil in the Book of Lismore.

With additions and corrections for spelling (by Prof. Alexander Bugge 1905:1):

"Airdri oirrdhire airdmhenmnach roghabhustar flaithius 7 forlamus for dha coiged Muman dar ainm Airtri mac Cathail meic Finguine. IS re linn rogabatar Lochlannaig nert artus for Eirienn. Acht rofhuaradar catha 7 coinblichta o aimsir Airtri gu caemaimsir Cheallachain."

A noble, lofty-spirited high-king whose name was Airtri, son of Cathal, son of Finguine, got the sovereignty and possession of the two provinces of Munster. And it was during his time that the Lochlannachs first obtained power over Erin. But from the time of Airtri to the good time of Cellachan they found battles and conflicts.

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Topics covered in Part 1

The list of the kings of Munster before Ceallachan and their causes of death

The oppression of the Irish by the Vikings

Ceallachan's ancestry

Ceallachan prepares to be king by posing as a cleric for a year and a half, secretly reconnoitering the countryside

His mother collects arms and retains soldiers

Cennedig's (Kennedy's) rivalry for the kingship during the election at Glennamain

Ceallachan's mother's speech to the assembly at Glennamain

Cennedig and Donnchad leave the assembly mound

The inauguration of Ceallachan

Ceallachan's call for war and an attack on Limerick

Suilleban (Sullivan) addresses the soldiers

The Battle of Limerick

Ceallachan's combat with Amlaib

Suilleban's combat with Morann

Donnchad's combat with Magnus

Ribordan's combat with Lochlann and the battle inside the town

The poem composed about the Battle of Limerick

The Battle of Cork

The Battle of Sliab Crot

The Battle of Thurles

Ceallachan's address to Donnchad before the Battle of Cashel and the poem

The Battle of Port Lairge (Waterford)

Taking hostages and pledges from the Deisi, Ui-Mic-Caille, and Ui Liathain

The Battle at Muscraige with the Loch Lein Eoganachts

The Battle with Congal in Aes Irrais

The Battle of Glenn Corbraigi

Donnchuan, son of Cennedig, joins Ceallachan to fight Flannabra, king of Ui Conaill and the poem

The Battle of Cromad

The celebration in Cashel of the expulsion of the Norsemen from the towns and fortresses

Demanding taxes from Ossory and the battles with the Leinstermen

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[[page 57]]

The battle-career of Cellachan of Cashel, here.


1. A noble, lofty-spirited high-king whose name was Airtri, son of Cathal, son of Finguine, got the sovereignty and possession of the two provinces of Munster. And it was during his time that the Lochlannachs first obtained power over Erin. But from the time of Airtri to the good time of Cellachan they found battles and conflicts. And these were the kings who were over Cashel during that period, and the length of their reigns, and the [different] deaths that carried them off.

2. Airtri, son of Cathal, [reigned] 20 years, and he died a natural death.
Feidlimlid, son of Crimthan, 27 years over Munster and over Erin, and he died a natural death through the curse of the great Ciaran, son of the Carpenter.
Olchobar, son of Cinaed, 4 years. And it was he who gained the battle of Sciach Nechtain over the Foreigners, in which twelve hundred of them were killed along with Tomar the earl. And he [i. e. Olchobar] died a natural death.
Maelguala, son of Dungal, 7 years, and the Foreigners killed him.
Cennfaelad, son of Mochtigern, 7 years, and he died a natural death.
Donnchad, son of Dubdaboirenn, 4 years, and he died a natural death at Cashel.
Dublachta, son of Maelguala, 7 years, and he died of pestilence in his banqueting house.
Finguine, son of Laegaire, 7 years, and his own brothers killed him because of his having (only) half-drunk a feast.
Cormac, son of Cuilennan, 7 years, and the Leinstermen killed him in the battle of Leithglinn.


Flaithbertach, son of Inmainen, 37 years, and he died a natural death.
Lorcan, son of Conligan, one year and a half, and he died a natural death.

3. These were the tributes and taxes of the abominable Foreigners from the soldiers of Munster, namely, a king over every cantred, and a chieftain over every tribe, an abbot over every church, a bailiff over every village, and a billetted soldier in every house. Without as much as a clutch of eggs of one hen for his own food or drink. Without a cloak or a good dress on king or noble lady, but only the cast-off cloaks and clothes of the Danes and the ignoble Lochlannachs. Without sages, without noble clerics, without books, without full reliquaries in church or in building or in monastery, but Danes in [possession of] their temples, and their churches, and their beautiful forts. Without philosophers, without poets, without minstrels pursuing the lawful customs and hereditary rights of their good kings despite of the hatred of the rough Lochlannachs. Without any daughter of a king or high lord or chieftain to work embroidery, or to practise charity ? or skilful handiwork. Without any son of a king or chieftain to acquire agility, or to practise or to learn true feats of arms. Without [permission] for the Munstermen to give banquets or old ales to a champion or to a neighbour, unless it were against the command of these true tyrants. And in this condition they were during a time of eleven and seven score years, viz. from the ninth year of the reign of Airtri to the time of Lorcan, son of Conligan.

4. Then arose a heroic, battle-victorious, valorous gentle king to repel this oppression and to contest the country against the battalions of the Lochlannachs, viz. Cellachan, son of Buadachan, son of Lachtna, son of Artgal, son of Snedgus, son of Donngal, son of Faelgus, son of Natfraech, son of Colgan, son of Failbe, son of Aed dub, son of Cremthann, son of Feidlimid, son of Aengus, son of Natfraech, son of Corc, son of Lugaid, son of Ailill Flann Bec, son of Fiachu Muillethan, son of Eogan Mor, son of Ailill Olom. It seems from the writings of the historians that from Airtri to noble Brian the heroes or terri-


tories of Munster were not freed, except what the nimble-sworded Ceallachan did to defend them. For that was the man who spent a year and a half in searching Munster, both wood, and hill, and gentle valley, both stream, and lake, and full river, both harbour and smooth strand and seaport, both fort and strong fortress and the broad land of every Norseman, seeking charity in every fortress, and shelter in every town, poorly for his melodious clerical offices, and with his mottled bag round his neck, spying out every place, and making a close examination of every stronghold, in order that he might get knowledge of its lands, its waterfalls, and its fresh woods, when it should be laid upon him to fight for its territory. So that he did not leave one stead of a landholder or purveyor in the two provinces of Munster unvisited, in order that he might know the name of every village and of every tribe and have knowledge of every lord of the country. And after searching the territories he came to

Cashel. For it is there his mother was, and she, the noble queen. was the wife of the coarb of Cashel. And Cellachan had been begotten in violation of her marriage with him. And during the year and a half that Cellachan was traversing the country, she was herself collecting arms, and clothes, and treasures, and retaining companies of foot-soldiers and gentle household-troops. And this is the number of those who were fed (?) by and fully bound to her, viz. 500 armed men.

5. The day on which Cellachan came to Cashel after he had obtained this host, was the day on which there was a great host of the two provinces of Munster at Glennamain of Cashel electing a king. And according to their opinion it was Cennedig, son of Lorcan, whom they would make king. For this is the arrangement of the high-kingship that was between the descendants of Eogan Mor and the descendants of Cormac Cas: The man who was the senior of the gentle clans, his was the kingship. If the high-king was of the descendants of Eogan, the tanist-ship belonged to the descendants of Cormac Cas. And if the noble king was of the descendants of Cormac, the tanist-ship went to the descendants of Eogan Mor. The kingship not to go to any of them, unless he were


the best in knowledge, and true learning, and princely honour of the noble heroes. On that day while they were electing a king, his mother said to Cellachan, that he should come to visit them, and that she would herself go before him and tell his story to Cennedig and to gentle Donnchad. And [she told him that] when the nobles of Munster were sitting down, he should come with his people in the best of arms and dress, and ask hostages and pledges of them and tell Cennedig to remember justice.

6. The queen proceeded to Glennamain, and arriving there, she said to the nobles of Munster: "Remember the arrangement, which Cormac Cas and Fiachu Muillethan made between their great descendants! And there is of the descendants of Eogan a man who is senior by age and knowledge to you, o Cennedig, and he is a king in figure and appearance". Cennedig asked who he was. The queen said that he was the son of Buadachan and she made the lay:

When the champions of Munster heard these great words and the speech of the woman, Clan Eogan said that the heir (?) should be brought to them, that they might make him king. Cennedig left the assembly, for he did not consider it an honourable or proper thing that the kingship should be assigned away from himself to another man. And moreover, he did not consider it an honourable thing that his brotherhood should be broken. And Donnchad left the mound, when he saw that the chiefs of the tribes were electing Cellachan. And that is what they said, that they would not quarrel with him, for neither rent nor tax nor fair tribute would any of them get out of it [i. e. the land of Munster?], but the full benefit of it would go to the Lochlannachs, and they themselves would defend it [i. e. Munster?]. And thus it was arranged.

[[page 61]]

7. Then arose the seventeen tribes right readily in order to make Cellachan king. And they set up his "gairm rig" [i. e. they proclaimed him king] and gave thanks to the true, magnificent God for having found him. The following were the best of those chieftains. The slender, valiant Suilleban before the festive race of Fingin, and the sportive Ribordan before the valorous children of Donngal, and the fierce Caellaidi, and the heroic soldier Laindacan, and the bold Duinechad, and the brave Cuilen, and the battlesome Eigertach, and Ligan of daring deeds. These nobles came to Cellachan and put their hands in his hand and placed the royal diadem round his head, and their spirits were raised at the grand sight of him. For he was a king for great stature, and a brehon for eloquence, and a learned saga-man for knowledge, and a lion for daring deeds.

8. However. Cellachan addressed the clan Eogan and told them to make valiant war with him, and they said they would do it. And they said that they would advance, ten hundred men in number, to Limerick to burn it. And when they arrived, they sent word to the heroic Amlaib of Limerick, and to the clan Connra, namely to Morann, and to Magnus, and to great Lochlann, to tell them quickly to leave Limerick or to give hostages to them.

When the messengers came to the heroes of Limerick, they began to deride them, and this is what they expected, that never would Munster or even Limerick be contested against them. And they said that they would give battle.

9. When the clan Eogan heard this, Suilleban of the noble hosts addressed them, and told them to fight a brave and hardy battle against the Lochlannachs and valiantly to guard their king in this onslought. And he said to the nobles of the Eoganachts: "Let not the clan of Cormac Cas hear of (any) conditions in your deliberations, let not clan Echach hear of weakness in your princes, but proceed together to the battle, and give your first battle valiantly in defence of your own country against the Danes, If there be defeat and rout of battle before you upon the heroes, it will be all the better for

[[page 62]]

yourselves, and for your prosperity, and your positions. Limerick will be in your hand, and Cashel in your succession, and Munster will be in the possession of your nobles, if yours is the victory in this battle to day. And if it is not yours, I do not see land or dwelling-place left to your nobles, but only defeat on your soldiers, and destruction upon your heroes on this very day. Hence it behoves you to contest it and to fight bravely against the champions of Lochlann. And the following lay was made to urge them on.

10. Come to Limerick of the ships,
O Clan Eogan of the noble deeds!
Around the gentle Cellachan,
To Limerick of the riveted stones.
Defend your own beloved land,
O descendants of Ailill dear!
In the battle of Limerick of the swift ships.
Set Munster of the great tribes free!
Defend Cellachan valiantly,
The king of your country, the noble of your host!
Do not leave the van of battle to him
Against the usurpers!
Let the sportive Ribordan come
Before us into the hard-contested battle!
Let the valiant Caellaidi come,
Let the full-lively Ligan come!
Let Duinecadh of many colours come,
And Fogartach of the variegated arms!
Let Lainnechan of the forts come
Before us into the hard, well arranged battle!
Let Donnchad, famous in song,
Come before us against the heroes of Lochlann,
And Cuilen of the hard battles,
The descendant of Eogan, who carries off fair victory!

[[page 63]]

Let Aed, son of Coll, the friend of the clergy [or of the band of poets],
come before us to the slaughter of battle,
And Aed, the son of fair Ailginan,
Let the ready king come before us!

I myself shall come, with a hundred and fifty swords,
Before you to the great and fierce Morand,
And I shall slay for you the hero of the blades,
The festive descendant of the king of Cold Lochlann.

Arise, o handsome, valiant host,
Whose hereditary right is Munster of the great forts!
Contest Cashel eagerly
Against the sharp-bladed host of Lochlann!

Let not nimble Cennedig,
The son of Lorcan of the new-blue blades,
Hear that your fighting is weakspirited and cowardly.
O host of Cashel of the beautiful spears!

Let not Donnchad in his house hear,
The son of the gentle descendant of the warlike Caem,
Of our having been overthrown in the battle, routed ignominously,
By the champions of Lochlann.

Seventeen dexterous tribes to you,
O son of gentle, generous Buadachan!
A champion of each bold-tribe
Of Clan Eogan is with us.

Give battle bravely,
O heroes of Munster with great pride!
Let your country be delivered from bondage
O heroes of Munster, it is you who can do it!
Come to Limerick of the ships.

[[page 64]]

11. Then towards the battle arose the descendants of Eogan fiercely, prudently, bravely around their gentle king. around Cellachan. And there was arrayed bravely by the heroes an ever beautiful, very strong, fold (?) of battle, surrounded by standards, and a solid very thick pallisade of spears, and a strong, princely-ensigned tower of chiefs, and a skilful phalanx of blue blades, and a handsome (?), strong enclosure of linen cloth around the heroes. For the heroes had neither blue helmets nor shining coats of mail, but only elegant tunics with smooth fringes, and shields, and beautiful, finely wrought collars to protect bodies, and necks, and gentle heads.

12. Then there was arrayed by the heroes of Lochlann a solid, skilful and firm rampart of strong coats of mail, and a thick, dark stronghold of black iron, and a greenpolished, hard-sharp city of battleshields, and a strong enclosure of stout shafts around the heroic Amlaib, and around Lochlann, and Morann, and Magnus. For these were the four battle-heroes of the Lochlann champions, and four hundred accompanied each hero of them.

13. Then the valorous descendants of Eogan placed themselves at the upper end of the plain in high spirits around their gentle king Cellachan, and they put the hooks of their shields over each another, and they made "championknots" by attaching their broad belts to each other, and they arrayed the seventeen brave men who were the most noble of the high lords around their royal prince to protect him well. Great spirit arose in their king, and anger in their champions, and courage in their soldiers, and fury in their heroes, and valour in their gallant men and fierceness in their youths.

14. However, when their youths, their champions and their proud, haughty folk came to the front of the battle to throw their stones and slender arrows and pointed spears from each side of the heroes, the ground of the plain was left to the soldiers, and the battle-field to the heroes, and the place of slaughter to the veterans. And when the noble warriors of Lochlann and the soldiers of Munster arrived at the place of defence they began to smite their battle-clubs heroically and to strike their swords on each another. However this full encounter was one-sided. For the bodies and skins and hearts of the bright champions

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of Munster were quickly pierced through the fine linen garments, and their very sharp blades did not take any effect upon the Lochlannachs because of the rough solidity of their blue coats of mail, and their clubs did not maim the heroes, and the swords did not lacerate the heads because of the hardness of the helmets that protected them, and the Lochhnnachs made a great havock among the Munstermen during a part of that day.

15. However when Cellachan perceived, that the soldiers were being slain, and that the heroes were being wounded, and that the champions were being maimed, and that Clan Eogan was being slaughtered, then arose his wrath, his rage, and his vigour, and he makes a royal rush, caused by fits of mighty passion, at the nobles of the Lochlannachs, while the noble descendants of the race of Eogan protect him. Cellachan reached the warlike Amlaib and made an attack on the rough mail-coat of the warrior, so that he loosened his helmet under his neck, and split his head with his hard strokes, so that the Lochlannach fell by him.

16. Then Suilleban with his 150 brave, valiant swordsmen arrived to his defence, and he made a breach of savage ferocity through the centre of the heroic batallion of the Lochlannachs. Then arose the unviolated pillar, and the unsubdued hero, and the lion unconquered until that day. namely the long-haired, high spirited Morann of the fierce people, i. e. the son of the fleet-king of Lewis, with 150 heroes who arose with him. And when the chiefs had met, they smote each another fiercely, like true foes, and with hard strength. Suilleban however planted his spear through the boss of the buckler and beneath the rim of the helmet into the hero, so that it passed quickly into the heros neck, and placed the head in the power of the battle-soldier. And he beheaded the brave man and brought the head with him to Cellachan to boast of his triumph. And the people of the Lochlannach fell in that fight.

17. Then Donnchad and brave Magnus met together in the battle. They struck off the points of their broad-grooved swords, and battered their shields into pieces with their full-heavy clubs, and wounded their bodies with their javelins. Magnus however fell by great Donnchad.

[[page 66-67]]

18. Then Lochlann and Ribordan engaged in battle before Cellachan, and Lochlann inflicted very sharp, terrible wounds on Ribordan. When the hero was wounded, and the champion pierced through, and when he perceived that his arms took no effect upon the veteran who was before him. Ribordan made a heroic rush upon Lochlann, and left his sword, and his longbladed spear, and he put in mind his sharp iron-blue mail-coat and laid dexterously hold of the lower part of the cuirass of the Lochlannach with his left hand, and gave the champion a sudden pull, so that he maimed the broad bosom of the hero, and that his bowels and entrails fell out of him. And he beheaded the champion and lifted his head in triumph. Nevertheless there fell these four valiant champions of the Lochlann heroes, and the (other) heroes left their places, and the soldiers were overthrown and made for Limerick to shut themselves quickly up there. And it was through the rear of the Lochlannachs that the nobles of Munster went into the town, so that the Lochlannachs were not able to close the gates, and the champions were killed in the houses and in the towers. They brought their wifes, and children, and people in captivity to the nobles of Munster, and collected the gold, silver and various riches of the town, and brought the heads, trophies, and battle-spoils of the heroes to Cellachan,

and the heads of the four who were the most noble of the Lochlannachs were exhibited to him. Therefore to testify to this the poet sang the following words in relating the slaughters and triumphs, and in enumerating those who were killed of the great Lochlannachs and those who were slain of the Munstermen in this great battle, and he said:

Valiant are you, o descendants of Eogan,
And fierce are your lions,
Noble is your king as he comes from the battle,
The heroic, triumphant Cellachan.

Valiant Suilleban of the hosts,
Son of Mael Ugra of the red arms,
After having slain the long-haired Morann
From the country of Lewis of the Norsemen.

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Valiant Donnchad, red his face,
When he killed the cheerful Magnus,
And let his fury play upon him,
So that the red-handed hero fell.

Valiant Ribordan of the quatrains,
By him fell the hero of the blades,
Morann, son of plundering Connra,
Of the "stranger tribe" [?j of Eogan of the high judgments.
By the nimble Cellachan fell
Amlaib of Limerick of the blue blades,
And thirty by wound of spears
Of his people in the great fight.

Five-hundred heroes -- hard was their fight --
Of the host of Lochlann, without full deceit,
That is the number, that was slain by you,
Of the host of Limerick of the mighty ships.

Three-hundred heroes -- it was no trifling number --
Of the heroes of Munster of the great blades,
This is the number that fell in the battle
Of our champions with bright success.

Sweet Buadachan is not to be pitied,
The descendant of Aed of the beautiful arms,
Since he left a son without deceit,
Cellachan who defends his home.
Valiant are you, o descendants of Eogan.

20. Thereupon the heroes collected the spoils, and some of them said that they should stay that night in the town and proceed the next morning to Cashel to plunder and burn it. Suilleban said to the hosts that they should go that very night to Cork, the place where their hostages and captives were, so that no news or messengers might get there before them. The champions decided on this plan and they came to Cork that night. The Danes and Black Gentiles of the town came out against them to

[[page 68]]

fight with them. The battle was gained on the Danish Black Gentiles, and the town was wrecked by the champions, and they brought away with them their hostages from the captivity in which they were. The men of Munster were that night in Cork consuming their banquets and provisions (?) and they stayed three days in the city and then made up their mind to proceed to Cashel. When they were passing the corner of Sliab Crot, the men of Fermoy, and the Ui Cuanach, and the billetted soldiers of the Lochlannachs assembled against them, and gave them battle. And the battle was gained by the men of Munster, and 400 were killed of the billetted soldiers and their host. And of the ten hundred, who were of Clan Eogan at the battle of Limerick, no more than three hundred were alive on this day. They march on plundering each district, until they reached Thurles. The northern and the southern Eile assembled at Thurles to meet them to give them battle, and the Danes of the fortress along with them. When the Ui Luigdech and the Eoganachts heard this, they assembled to join Cellachan, with Cuilen, son of Aindiaraid, son of Dunadach, the lord of their country, and these two tribes with their champions with spears and swords, 500 in number, reached Cellachan. A battle is fought between them and the people of Ely. And they captured the king of Ely on that day, and the billetted soldiers of the Lochlannachs were slain by them, and 200 of Clan Eogan fell on that day. They plundered the

country, but did not burn the town. And they go forward to Cashel, 600 in number. Donnchad son of Caem arrived at Cashel to meet them. Cellachan addressed him and reminded him of their friendship and promised him his turn [i. e. the alternative right] of Munster and to reward him properly, and he recited the lay:

21. Welcome! bold Donnchad,
O descendant of Eogan of the wooden arms,
Do not break our sweet brotherhood,
0 descendant of Ailill Olom!


When the great Lochlannachs are against us,
O descendant of Echu of the golden diadems,
Do not debase thy own people,
O descendant of magnanimous Mug.

Doest thou know, descendant of kings of Munster,
Of the race of Cathal of the heroes,
By whom we are divided from him.
Since there is a space of time between us and then?

Aengus, son of Natfraech of your family,
After the coming of Patrick into the country.
It is through him we are parted,
O descendant of Aillill Olorn.

Eochaid and great Fedlimid,
The two Sons of Aengus, 'twas a noble deed!
With them we can boast of an equal relationship,
O Donnchad of the hardfought battlespoils.

Three and ten (in descent) without deceit
There are from me to Aengus, the descendant of Eogan.
Twice five and one, it is known,
Is from you Aengus of the high forts.

Such is their family-relationship,
O Donnchad of the fair face.
Nor has it been destroyed ever since
By the noble descendants of Eogan.

Far from you is hereditary relationship
With any Lochlannach hero.
Near to you is their venomous enmity,
O descendant of sword-wielding Cathal.

The taking prisoner of your slender grandfather
By the Lochlann army at the Gap of heroes,
And the killing of your father, -- it has long been heard --,

By the Lochlann army of fierce numbers.


Let us march together to battle.
Let us destroy them one after another!
Do not let us abandon Munster of the victories
To the Lochlann host of the full-red arms!

I shall give substantial reward
To you, o descendant of a highking of Erin!
But come with me to the battle
Against the usurpers.

A hundred swords and a hundred shields,
A hundred servants to serve the king,
A hundred helmets and a hundred steeds
To you, o descendant of kings of the Munstermen.

Do you not think it a pity, O clear Donnchad,
O descendant of beloved Ailill,
That the women of Munster should be in captivity -- without deceit --,
And that the Lochlannachs should carry off their cows?

22. Donnchad however accepted these conditions from Cellachan, and it is thus he accepted them, namely that the burden of the battle of Cashel should be left on him, and that Cellachan should not go into it. The battle was fought by Donnchad, and it was gained over the Danes, and 300 were slain there by them. They were that night in Cashel, and consumed the feasts and

prepared food of the Danes and Dark-Lochlannachs. The next morning they made up their mind, namely to proceed to Port Lairge, the place where the women and families of the Lochlannachs were, and to burn the town. And they proceed to the green of Port Lairge. But on the same day Sitric son of Turgeis arrived at Port Lairge with a division of six ships and a hundred on each ship of them. But they had not reached the land when the van of the host of Munster arrived at the city. The Danes closed the gates and began to defend the town. However, it was useless for them to engage in combat with the champions; for Cellachan, and gentle

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Donnchad, and Suilleban, and Ribordan, and the quick. valiant soldiers of Munster leapt into the town. And the Danes were slaughtered in crowds by them, and the Norsemen were cut into pieces. Sitric left the town and went on board his ship, and his wife with him. And only one hundred fugitives of them reached their ships. The race of Eogan burned the town and plundered the district. And they proceed thence to the country of the Deisi, and take hostages and pledges of Domnall son of Faelan. There was concluded a matrimonial alliance and made friendship with him, and Gormflaith. the daughter of Buadachan, was given to him. Thence they proceed into the territory of the Ui-Mic-Caille and the Ui Liathain, and took hostages from them.

And they brought the host of these territories with them into the district of the Eoganachts of Loch Lein and plundered the country. They brought these spoils with them into Muscraige, and the Eoganachts came up with them there, and the king of the Eoganachts was slain there, viz. Aed. son of Scannal, and 500 Eoganachts. They brought the same spoils with them to the two kings of Aes Isde, and took hostages from them, and they went themselves with them into the territory of West Munster, viz, to Aes Irrais. Congal, son of Annrathan, gave battle to the van of the army, and 200 were killed there. When Cellachan and the nobles of the race of Eogan reached the battle, Congal was captured by them, and a multitude of his people was slain. They plundered the district and stayed there for a fortnight. And they released Congal and took hostages from him.

23. Afterwards they went into the territory of Ciarraige and plundered the district. The inhabitants of Ciarraige and the Lochlannachs who previously had escaped from them in the battle of Limerick assembled against them and they went to them at Glenn Corbraigi. They fought with them there and made a great havock of the descendants of Eogan. But though they did so, they left the battlefield to them, and Conchubar, the king of Ciarraige, was captured by them. And their forces were greatly

diminished after that battle. On that day Flannabra, son of Ciarmacan, king of Ui Conaill, assembled


his forces to meet them to get hostages from them. But when he perceived the small number of their host, the resolution he made was to demand hostages or battle of them. But when they were about to begin the battle, then Donnchuan, son of Cennedig, arrived to join Cellachan. For he had been the night before in the house of Uainide, son of Cathal, king of Ui Cairbre, and after his arrival he began to inspect the Danes and the foreigners. At seeing him the descendants of Eogan welcomed him and told him to remember his friendship. Cellachan promised Ui Conaill to himself, if he subdued them in this battle. Donnchuan assented to this, for he thought it an evil thing to let Clan Eogan be slaughtered and reduced in numbers, and he recited the lay.

[Donnchuan] .Alone are you, o descendants of Corc.
Alas! Your bodies were cut into pieces.
And your men were stretched on their backs
In the battle of Limerick of the great ships.

It seems to us that your hosts have been slain,
O descendants of Eogan of the red arms,
And that your heroes have been defeated,
O race of Ailill Olom.

It is a pity that I have not come to the battle,
O host of Cashel of the gentle graces,
Before the Ciarraige arrived here,
And the heroic host of Lochlann.

[Cellachan]. Since thou didst not overtake us there,
O Donnchuan of the hundred helmets!
Keep from us the valiant Ui Conaill,
And overthrow their gatherings!

Remember, what they did in the North,
Mog Corb and Fiacha, who found victory,
The son of Eogan, from whom we are descended,
And the son of the fairhaired Cormac Cas.

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The slaying of Eogan and of Aed
By Mog Corb, 'twas a . . . . deed!
The son of Dimchadh of the coloured weapons
And the son of the great Ath . . . [?]

Let both of us do, o gentle, pleasant one,
What the son of Cormac Cas did,
And the son of Eogan -- without deceit --,
Fiacha Muillethan the very slender.

I will do, and you, a gentle plunderer,
O descendant of Eogan of the high judgments,
What those two did without hatred,
Since it has happened to us to be but few in number.

25. Cellachan then said to Donnchuan that he should not kill the king of the Ui Conaill if he happened to fall into his power. Donnchuan gave his word that he should spare no one in battle or conflict even if he had been a friend of his before. And they went to the battle together. Flannabra, son of Ciarmacan, was captured by them, and there was made a great slaughter of his people, and the Ui Conaill were overthrown in the battle. The country was plundered by Cellachan, and they were that night in Ui Conaill. Uaithne, son of Cathal, and the Ui Cairbre, and the remnants of the Ui Conaill, assembled against them at Cromad to give them battle, and when they were about to begin the battle, then Donnchad. son of Caem, with 500 men arrived to their assistance. The battle was fought. and the king of Ui Cairbre was slain there, and they stay that night in Cromad. The two Corcamruads and the two Corco Baiscinn assembled at Cromad to meet them, for they did not know, that Cenneidig had not a share in the battles and they sent messengers to Cellachan to demand battle of him. When Cellachan heard this he told Donnchuan to go against them and not to let them give battle to him. And he made the quatrain:

It is no wonder that the descendants of Cas
Defend the country of the green soil


Since the Cuirc of the harbour come
To fight about the grass-green land.

26. However when Donnchad came to speak with them, the battle was stayed, and Cellachan went to Cashel. The men of Munster assembled to meet him after the expulsion of the Danes and the base Norsemen from the towns and fair fortresses. He who arrived first there was Cennedig, son of Lorcan, with the nobles of Dal Cais, and the tanist-ship of Munster and its

kingship after Cellachan was given to him. They consumed the banquets of Cashel happily and calmly there, and they sent messengers to demand their tributes and taxes of the people of Ossory, viz, from Donnchad son of Cellach. For it was a long time when this tribute had not been exacted by the champions of Munster, viz, seven score and eleven years, while the territory was in the power of the Danes. The people of Ossory did not give them tribute, and because they did not give it, they plundered the country. And they gained four battles over the men of Leinster during that year, and in the fourth battle Donnchad, son of Cellach, was captured by them, and the people of Ossory gave hostages afterwards.

[[The saga has been divided into three sections for purposes of putting it up on the web. This is the end of part 1]]

Go to Caithrem Ceallachan Caisil Part 2