CELT document T402576

Why do I avoid the descendants of Aodh?

Domhnall Ó Maolchonaire

Créd fá seachnaim síol Aodha?

Edited by Luke McInerney

Whole text


    Why do I avoid the descendants of Aodh?

  1. Why do I avoid the descendants of Aodh?
    A family in whom it is better to trust,
    A family whose vines bear heavy fruit
    Regal herd from the land of fair Adhar.
  2. A tribe more noble than gold,
    Descendants of Aodh of the mightiest assemblies,
    Descendants of the kings of Kincora. 1
    A tribe that nurtures churches.
  3. I am not reluctant to return to them
    After my journey throughout Ireland,
    I should take a step towards them
    From the inheritance of Clann Choiléin. 2
  4. I should not forget them;
    I receive from Clann Choiléin
    In times of communal drinking and feasting,
    Great honour and status.
  5. My land is still held from them,
    I am no stranger among them.
    Ardchoill — that Rome of the arts 3
    An old abode that should not be violated.
  6. They took possession of Munster, 4
    Goodly descendants of slender-fingered Lughaidh Meann 5
    Turning their backs on fair Munster 6
    In anticipation of the land of Thomond.
  7. Theirs is Waterford and Limerick of Lorc
    And Cashel of the noble branches,
    The possession of the land by the tribes of Cas,
    From former times on account of their inheritance.
  8. Theirs were the forts of Cliú and Cláire 7
    And Dún Eochair by the fair Maigue, 8
    It was level land about Limerick's sea [Shannon estuary],
    Until they returned to the lands of Thomond.
  9. Four goodly sons, had Mac Con:
    Síoda Cam 9, Seán the excellent,
    Cú Mheadha, and Donnchadh the statuesque.
    Offspring of the sylvan vine.
  10. Descendants of Síoda Cam of Rosroe, 10
    A line whose womenfolk and horsemen were plentiful,
    Generous warriors on the battlements of the tower
    The beautiful district of the Iobhar. 11
  11. Descendants of Cú Mheadha — great their strength.
    Steady royalty of Rathlaheen, 12
    Warriors of the peaks of Ballintlea, 13
    Who paid no heed to unevenness. 14
  12. Descendants of Donnchadh of the iron-grey sharp spear,
    Warriors of Ballyogan. 15
    They did not receive their glory as a free gift,
    They are warriors of superior valour.
  13.  p.25
  14. Descendants of Sean Mór, son of Mac Con,
    In the direct line we follow:
    Fruitful branch without a step of trespass,
    Upward in the succession list of kings.
  15. The descendants of Aodh have custody of the van
    And rearguard in every battle,
    Berry-red army of enduring vigour,
    The shoulder of knowledge of every high-king.
  16. Cas son of Conall of the fairy-swords,
    He makes a fence/hedge in Caisín's family.
    Few of his fragrant line of descendants
    Become a perverse class.
  17. The race of Blod, 16
    before coming to their land,
    The father of brave Blod and Caisín.
    It is most secure to be under their protection,
    A host that did not violate their protection. 17
  18. To be jealous of them cannot avail,
    The descendants of Blod and ancient line of Seán,
    I myself shall join together 18
    Two poems that enumerate the kings.
  19. Mac Con Mara who never broke an oath,
    His surety on the nobility of Ireland.
    Subject to no one but Ua Bhriain,
    The most princely kings of fair Cliú. 19
  20. After victory in battle
    Their own choice is what they seek.
    Until they go in quest of spoils,
    They do not ask for a firm reward. 20
  21. The smiting and loving youths, 21
    Tippling, supping, drinking,
    [Having] great bardic company, fruitful at home
    Given to assemblies, fond of spending, masterful.
  22. They gather around him from west and east
    The descendants of Aodh of the noble mind.
    They desire to hear no word
    Except the steady sweet voice of Seán. 22
  23. A land that is plentiful in honey and forest fruit,
    A land that is full of every good thing.
    A land of many milking cows
    And bountiful wheat stacks.
  24. A district of waterfalls, islands and grass,
    A district of bright shape and beautiful castles,
    A district of gems, fine locks [of hair] and fine bloodlines.
    Fruitful, well-flocked, generous.
  25. From Tadhg the grandson of Mac Con of the campaigns,
    Descendants of the son of Tadhg of the virulent battles,
    A well-equipped group, ardent and victorious,
    Shapely, high-spirited, cavalrymen. 23
  26.  p.26
  27. Found among the descendants of fair Flannchadh,
    Son of Niall, the son of the renowned Aodh, 24
    A praiseworthy people not lacking in pledges
    The choice of the learned classes of Ireland.
  28. Behold the seed of the heavy fruit, 25
    Goodly descendants of Donnchadh son of Domhnall, 26
    A progeny of clean hands that is no humble people. 27
    The warlike descendants of the erenagh. 28
  29. Four characteristics for which they are reputed:
    Bravery, veracity, endurance—
    Without lack of hospitality is the Prince of Leamhain,
    Good traits for a lord.
  30. From Rineanna 29 of the ships,
    A district broad and long.
    To the port of Clonrush, 30
    Let it not be without ye[?].
  31. From Luchaid 31 of the deep hillsides,
    Have you heard the extent of your patrimony[?]
    Drawing you after travelling about it,
    To the beautiful Slieve Feilim. 32

Document details

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Title statement

Title (uniform): Why do I avoid the descendants of Aodh?

Title (original, Irish): Créd fá seachnaim síol Aodha?

Author: Domhnall Ó Maolchonaire

Editor: Luke McInerney

Responsibility statement

translated by : Luke McInerney

Rendered into TEI-XML by: Beatrix Färber

Funded by: University College Cork.

Edition statement

1. First draft.

Extent: 2440 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2013

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T402576

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only. CELT is very grateful to Luke McInerney and the editor of Seanchas Ardmhacha, Mgr. Réamonn Ó Muirí for their permission to make this text available on CELT.

Source description

Manuscript sources of the Irish original

  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 784 (olim 23 G 9), written by Aindrias MacCruitín, 1708.
  2. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 488 (olim 23 N 12), written by M. mc P. Ó Longáin.
  3. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 491 (olim 23 E 16), written by M. Óg Ó Longáin, 1797?
  4. Maynooth, Russell Library, MS M 107, written by Aodh Buí Mac Cruitín?, 1712.
  5. Maynooth, Russell Library, MS 2 M, written by M. Óg Ó Longáin, 1818.

Internet Links

  1. Luke McInerney has a webpage with further articles (including the full text of this one) on http://independent.academia.edu/LukeMcInerney.
  2. You will find more information on bardic poetry in general, and in particular, on Dr Katherine Simms' Irish Poetry Database hosted at http://www.bardic.celt.dias.ie.

Literature mentioned in the footnotes

  • R. W. Twigge, The Pedigree of John MacNamara, Esquire, with some Family Reminiscences, 1908, reprint Ruan: Martin Breen 2006.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘A sixteenth century bardic poem composed for Seán Mac Conmara, Lord of West Clann Chuiléin’ (2009). In: Seanchas Ardmhacha‍ 22. Ed. by Réamonn Ó Muirí. 1–27: 24–27.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {Luke McInerney},
  title 	 = {A sixteenth century bardic poem composed for Seán 
Mac Conmara, Lord of West Clann Chuiléin},
  journal 	 = {Seanchas Ardmhacha},
  editor 	 = {Réamonn Ó~Muirí},
  address 	 = {Armagh},
  publisher 	 = {Cumann Seanchas Ardmhacha (Armagh Diocesan Historical Society)},
  date 	 = {2009},
  volume 	 = {22 },
  note 	 = {1–27: 24–27}


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Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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This translation corresponds to the text of RIA, MS 784. The edition covers pp 24–26 and incorporates the editor's footnotes on p. 27. The Irish original is available in a separate file on CELT.

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Correction: Text was proofed by the editor, and checked and proof-read once at CELT.

Normalization: The electronic texts represents the edited text. The editor's footnotes have been integrated. In the CELT edition, footnote numbering runs separate in the English and Irish text.

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Creation: The translation was created in 2009.

Date: 2009

Language usage

  • The poem in English. (en)
  • Some words and phrases are in Classical Modern Irish. (ga)

Keywords: history; genealogy; poetry; 16c; Mac Conmara of Clann Chuiléin; Domhnall Ó Maolchonaire; translation

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2019-06-11: Author's name standardized from Maoilchonaire to Maolchonaire in line with Irish Bardic Poetry Database. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2013-02-15: File proofed (1) online; SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2013-02-07: TEI header created; editor's footnotes added; file parsed; preliminary HTML file created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2013-02-06: File converted to XML; structural markup applied. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2013-02-05: Donated the text, from an article published in Seanchas Ardmhacha. (donation Luke McInerney)

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G402576: Créd fá seachnaim síol Aodha? (in Irish)

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  1. Brian Boru's royal residence nearby Killaloe. 🢀

  2. The septs that comprised the Clann Coiléin mentioned in the <title type="story" TEIform="title">Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh</title> included: McInerneys, O'Hartigans, O'Kinergans, O'Halys, McConduffs, O'Meehans, McBinys, O'Keatys, McGraths, O'Kelechars, O'Quinns, O'Gerans, O'Molonys, O'Malleys, O'Hallorans, O'Currys, O'Slatterys, and O'Hessias. Notably absent are the O'Mulqueenys and McClancys (anglicised forms). 🢀

  3. This could also read as “Ardchoill — that sanctuary of learning”, as róimh (Rome) in this context indicates a learned central place and is without capitalisation. 🢀

  4. Probably an archaic reference to the mythical Lughaidh, son of Ith, the first (Milesian) discoverer of Ireland, and his original patrimony in mid-Munster (i.e. Waterford and Tipperary). 🢀

  5. Lugaidh Meann, third-century king of Munster of the Dál gCais tribe, took from Connaught the territory afterwards called the County of Clare, and added it to north Munster (Tuadhmhumha). Although the Dál gCais claimed kinship to the royal Eóghanacht, they belonged to the Munster Déisi tribe based between Waterford, south Tipperary and west Limerick. While legends point to their conquest of east Clare in the third century, their historical expansion can only be dated to the early eighth century. 🢀

  6. Mín Mumhan also read as “fine-pasture of Munster”. 🢀

  7. Cláire fort situates in County Limerick. Cliú (Cliach) is a territory in eastern Limerick and south Tipperary and historically was associated with the overlord Eóghanacht dynasty and later the tribal group known as the Déisi Tuisceart, or Dál gCais. The barony of Owney in modern Limerick was historically called Uaithne Cliach🢀

  8. Dún Eochair Maighe was a fort situated at Bruree in south-west Limerick and built by Brian Boru on a royal stronghold that dated from the time of Oilioll Ólum, second-century king of Munster. 🢀

  9. The <title TEIform="title">Annals of the Four Masters</title> records for 1369 that after Limerick capitulated to the forces of Brian Ó Briain, Síoda Cam Mac Conmara assumed wardenship of the town but was treacherously slain by the English of Limerick. 🢀

  10. Rosroe is in Kilmurry-na-gall parish. 🢀

  11. This could alternatively be read as “The four beautiful quarters of the yew-tree”. 🢀

  12. Rathlaheen is in Tomfinlough parish. 🢀

  13. Ballintlea is in Kilfintinan parish. 🢀

  14. Aimhréidhe could be read as “dissension”. 🢀

  15. Ballyogan is in Kilraghtis parish. 🢀

  16. The clans that composed the Uí Bhloid included: O'Aherns, O'Shanahans, O'Gradys, O'Kennedys, O'Duracks , O'Connollys, O'Muldoons, O'Lonergans, O'Moloneys. 🢀

  17. This stanza appears to refer to the original patrimony of the Uí Bhloid in east Clare and the fourteenth century expansion of the Mac Conmara into their territories. 🢀

  18. This may refer to the kinship between the Uí Bhloid and Clann Chaisín who both descended from Cas. 🢀

  19. This line connects the Uí Bhriain, as the leading Dál gCais lineage, to the ancient territory of Cliú (Cliach) that is located in eastern Limerick and southern Tipperary and was where the Déisi Tuisceart tribe expanded from into Clare. An important branch of the Uí Bhriain settled at Pubblebrien during the middle ages which was contiguous with the ancient territory of Cliú. 🢀

  20. Alternatively translated as “rather than the strict wage”. 🢀

  21. An ghasradh ghreadach ghrádhach could also read as “the beloved youths rich in horses [studs]”. 🢀

  22. This appears to be Seán Mac Conmara, chieftain of West Clann Chuiléin. This stanza may refer to his inauguration as taoiseach in 1571. 🢀

  23. This refers to another sept of the Mac Conmara fionn lineage. Teige was the grandson of Mac Con Mór who flourished in c.1329. Teige was related to the four sons of Mac Con Mór enumerated in stanza nine as his father was Lochlainn who, according to one genealogy, was another son of Mac Con Mór. See the pedigree in R.W. Twigge, <title type="book" TEIform="title">The Pedigree of John MacNamara, Esquire, with some Family Reminiscences</title>🢀

  24. The recounting of the progenitor of the Mac Fhlannchadha lineage is in agreement with the Mac Conmara genealogies. See RIA Ms 23 N 12, pp. 187–189 and RIA Ms E. iv. 4., f. 28. 🢀

  25. Also read as 'behold the line of great numbers'. 🢀

  26. The recounting of Donnchadh, the son of Domhnall as the progenitor of the Mac an Oirchinnigh lineage is in agreement with the Mac Conmara genealogies. See RIA Ms 23 N 12, pp. 187–189 and RIA Ms 23 L 37, pp. 172–173. 🢀

  27. “Síol lámhghlan” “progeny/seed of clean hands” might be poetical metaphor for a now obscure meaning. While referring to the Mac an Oirchinnigh descent this reference might infer the historic airchinneach occupation of Clann an Oirchinnigh and their “unblemished” lineage and ecclesiastical connection. Bardic poets were a mandarin class who sought to extract multi-layered meanings from words using complicated syntax, allowing them to communicate subtleties to a learned few who could appreciate their dexterity of verse. 🢀

  28. Ádhbhor while easily confused with adhbhor meaning “heir/successor”, rhymes with the previous lámhghlan as both share a long first syllable. It is assumed that ádhbhor is a corrupt spelling of ághmhar meaning warlike. 🢀

  29. Rineanna is in Kilconry parish and exposed to the Shannon river to the west and south. 🢀

  30. This is Clonrush parish in northeast Clare next to Lough Derg. 🢀

  31. This is Kilkeedy parish in Inchiquin barony where the Bridge of Lochaid situated and was mentioned by Geoffrey Keating as spanning the boundary of the Connaught and the territory of the Dál gCais🢀

  32. Slieve Feilim mountains in eastern Limerick and south-west Tipperary. 🢀


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