Literary References in early texts

There are quite a few old literary references to Ui Mic Caerthainn, Ui Mic Carthainn, Ui Mic Caerthainn, Ui-MacCarthainn etc. and some are copied out and referenced below. The two main sources are:

1 The Topographical Poems of John O'Dubhagain and Giolla Na Naomh O'Duidhrin


2 Leabhar na g-Ceart (Book of Rights)


1 The Topographical Poems of John O'Dubhagain and Giolla Na Naomh O'Duidhrin

Edited by John O'Donovan 1862 Printed for the Irish Archaeological

and Celtic Society Dublin

The Ulster Clans - Cenel Eoghain, Cenel Conaill, Oirghialla, Craebh Ruadh

(The Red Branch or Clanna Rory) p. 17


THE PORTION which relates to the province of Ulster down here,

and first of Oilech of the kings.


O'Cearbhaill,k O'Duibhdara, and O'Lairgnen, full kings of Oir-ghialla, and the MacMathghamhnas after them; O'Flaithri, chief king of Uladh; O'Floinn and O'Domhnallain, lords of Ui-Tuirtre;O hEirc, over Ui-Fiachrach Finn; O Cridain, lord of the Mach-aire; O hAedha, over Feara Fearnmhagh; and O'Caomhain, lord of Magh-Leamhna; and O'Machaidhen, lord of Mughdhorn; O hIrand O hAnluain, two lords of the Oirtheara; O'Cosgraigh, lord of Feaera-Rois; O hInnrechtaigh, lord of Ui-Meith; O'Baoigheallain, lord of Dartraighe; Muintir Taithligh, and Muinter Maoileduin chiefs of Laeghaire; and Mag Tighearnain, over Clann-Feargh- aile [p. 19] O'Flannagain, chief of Tuath-ratha; MacGillefinnen, chief of Muintir Feodachain; MacGillamichil, chief of Ui-Conghail; Muintir Maoilruana, and the O hEgnighs, two lords of Feara-Monach; MacCionaoth, lord of the Triocha Ched; and O'Corbmaic, over Ui-MacCarthainn; and O'Gairbhith, over Ui- Breasail-Macha; O'Longain, and O'Duibheamhna, and O'conchobh- air, over Ui Breasail, the Western; and the O'Lorcains and O'Heg- nighs, over Clann-Cearnaigh; O'Domhnaill and O'ruadhagain, two chiefs of Ui-Eathach; O'duibhthire, over the Clanna- Daimhin; and Ui Maoilcraoibhe, over Clann-Duibhsionnaigh; O'Lachtnain, over Little Modhairn; and O hAinbhith, over Ui- Seaain; Mag Uidhir, over Feara-Manach; O'Colgain and O'conaill, over Ui MacCarthainn.


O'Duinnsleibhe and O hEochadha, chief kings of Uladh; Ui- Aidith, and Ui Eochadhain, and the Ui Labhradha, and Ui Leth- lobhra, Ui Loingsigh, and Ui Morna, and Ui Mathghamhna, O'Gairbhith, and O hAinbhith, sub-kings of Ui Eachach; MacAen- ghusa, over clann-Aedha; MacArtain, over Cenel Foghartaigh; MacDuibheamhna, over Cenel Amhalghadha; the Ui Morna and MegDuilechain, over Clann Breasail; O'Coltarain, over Dal-Cuirb.


O'Maoldoraidh, and O'Canannain, and the Clann Dalaigh, chief kings of Cenel Conaill; O'Baoighill, over Clann-Cennfaelaidh, and over Tir-Ainmire, and over Tir Boghaine; O'Maoilmaghna, over Magh Sieridh, and O hAedha, over Eas Ruaidh; O'Taircheirt, over Clann Neachtain; Mag Dubhain, over Cinel Nenna; Mag Loing- seachain, over Gleann Binne, and O'Breslen, over Fanaid; and O'Dochartaigh, over Ard-Miodhair; and MacGillesamhais, over Ros-Guill; O'Cearnachain and O'Dalachain, over Tuath Bladhaigh; O'Maelagain, over Tir MacCarthainn; O'Donnagain, over Tir Brea- sail, and Mag Gaiblin also; O'Maolgaoithe, over Muinter-Mael- gaoithe; Mag Tighernain, over Clann Fearghaile. It was the province of Ulster the same man sung [as follows] i.e., O'Dubhagain. (Note Tir is Irish for “Land of”  Edward Cartin)

41 Tir MacCarthainn, i.e., the territory of the race of Caerthann, son of Fergus, son of conall Gulban. The Abbe MacGeoghegan places this district to the east of Boylagh, but the present editor does not know on what authority.

The pedigree of this race is lost.

Neither MacFirbis nor Peregrine O'Clery was able to supply the chasm  in the Books of Lecan and Ballymote.

See Battle of Magh rath, p. 156

The following families appear in Londonderry County in the Oirighialla section of O'Dugan. O'Corbmaic, the brave, with his sept, Over the valiant Ui  MacCarthainn, Of the great Ui-Breasial of Macha, The O'Gairbhiths are the fierdce chiefs.

MacArtain has by charter The steady-stout Cinel-Faghartaigh, Who never refuse gifts to the poets; They are the treasury of hospitality.

collected from the website by Edward Cartin


2 The Leabhar na g-Ceart (Book of Rights) Edited by O'Donovan

The Privileges of the kings of Aileach  The tributes of the king of Aileach and his stipends  here, and his tributes from his territories, and his  stipends to them. A hundred sheep and a hundred cloaks and a hundred cows and a hundred hogs from Cuileantraidhe.

Thirty hogs and thirty cows and thirty wethers from   Tuath Ratha. Three hundred hogs and three hundred cows and three hundred wethers from the men of Lurg.Three hundred cows, three hundred beeves, a hundred tinnes from the King of Ui Fiachrach. A hundred beeves and a hundred cows and a hundred hogs  and fifty cloaks from the Ui Mic Caerthainn. three hundred hogs, three hundred cows, three hundred  beeves from the Cianachta of Gleann Geimhin. Ten hundred milch-cows, a hundred beeves, fifty oxen,  fifty hogs from the Fir Li. A hundred milch-cows, fifty hogs, fifty cloaks from the  Ui Tuirtre. A hundred beevs, a hundred milch-cows, fifty cloaks from  the men of Magh Iotha. The free chieftainships of Aileach, i.e., Tulach Og and  Craebh and Magh Iotha and Inis Eoghain and Cineal Chonaill:  of these the learned man, viz., Benean, son of Sescnean,  sang: The right of the king of Aileach, listen ye to it. Among the oak-forests immeasurable He is entitled to income, no trifling tribute, From the tribes and from the Forthuatha. A hundred sheep, a hundred cloaks, a hundred cows And a hundred hogs are given to him, From  Cuileantraidhe of the war  to the king of Aileach laboriously. Three hundred hogs from Tuatha Ratha2 Three hundred cows with copious milk, Thirty wethers in the yellow month [August] Are due to the king of Aileach, all. Three hundred hogs from the men of Lurg3 Three hundred cows, not small the wealth, Three hundred wethers living To the king of Aileach of the spacious house. There is due from the king of Ui Fiachrach4 Three hundred cows, - not a promise of words,  A hundred beeves and a hundred heavy tinnes5 To the king of Feabhal of the ready ships. A hundred beeves from the Ui Mic Carthainn6 And a  hundred hogs, - 'tis not very trifling, Fifty cows, a lawful payment, Fifty cloaks with white borders.   Three hundred hogs by which the north is replenished Three hundred cows to feed the host, Three hundred beeves, wealth for war   From Cianachta7 of the abundant store

 1. unknown territory

2. NW Fermanagh; O Flanagan chieftains tributary to Maguire.

 3. Barony of Lurg, in the north of Fermanagh. O Maelduin were chiefs, tributary to Maguire.

4. Ui Fiachrach Arda Sratha (Ardstraw) NW Tyrone. To be distinguished from the Ui Fiachrach of Connacht.

5. tinnes: a hog killed and salted.

6. Descendants of Forgo, son of Caerthainn, son of Earc, grandson of Colla Uais. Tirkeerin, (a barony of Londonderry) (Tir Chaerthainn).

7. Race of Cian, son of Ailill Olum, king of Munster. Barony of Keenacht, Londonderry. In the possession of O'Conor of  Glengiven; displaced by the O'Kanes in the 1th century. Ten hundred milch-cows from the people of Li1 A hundred beeves, it is the award of truth, And fifty oxen of Oxen with fifty hogs of heavy bellies. A hundred milch-cows from the Tuathas of Tort2 Fifty tinnes, fifty hogs, With fifty colored cloaks are given to him From Dun-na-h-Uidhre3 in one day. A hundred beeves from the men of Magh4 And a hundred milch-cows full rich, fifty cloaks, an award of tribute To the intrepid king of Aileach. There is not due from Tulach-Og5 A tribute to the king of Feabhal of the banquets, Because it is in its proud land assumed the sovereignty over the men or Eire. There is not due out of the Craebh A tribute to the king of Aileach of  comeliness, There is not due from Magh Iotha A tribute of tax for their fair territories.

1. Fir Lir of the Bann, descended from Colla Uais. Territory of Magh-Li, west of the Bann. Driven across the Bann by the O'Kanes.

2. The Ui Tuirtre, seated on the east of the Bann and Lough Neagh, in Antrim. Descent: Colla Uais.

3. Unknown

4. i.e., Magh Ith. An extensive plain in the barony of Raphoe,

Co. Donegal, named after Ith, the uncle of King Milesius, who was slain there.

5. A branch of the O Cathainns (O'Kanes) called Fir na Craeibhe; west side of the lower Bann. There is not due from Inis Eoghain A tribute to the chief king, nor gratuity, There is not due of the race of Conall1 A tribute, or custom, or white [unwrought] wool. Those are the tributes of the king of Aileach; No one is learned who does not well know them; No king is entitled to reign or rule Who does not maintain his right. These are the payments and stipends of the king of Aileach to his chieftainries and tribes, to refection and escort. The king of Aileach himself, then, when he is not king of Eire, is entitled to sit by the side of the king of Eire at banquet and at fair, and to go before the king of Eire at treaties and assemblies and councils and supplications. And he is entitled to receive from the king of Eire fifty swords and fifty shields and fifty bondmen and fifty dresses and fifty steeds: these for the king of Aileach. He distributes his stipends thus: Five shields, five swords and five drinking-horns and five women and five bondmen and five steeds to the  king of Cairbre Droma Cliabh.

 Five shields, five bondmen, five women, five swords to the king of Cineal Aedha of Eas Ruaidh. Six steeds, six shields, six swords, six drinking-horns, six blue colas and six green cloaks to the king of the Cineal Eoghaine. 1. The inhabitants of Tir Chonaill; families of O'Maeldoraigh (O'Muldory), O Canannain (O'Canannans), O Domnaill  (O'Donnell), O Buighill (O'Boyle), O Galchobhair  (O'Gallagher), and O Dochartaigh (O'Dogherty). Five steeds, five shields, five swords and five cloaks, five coats of mail to the king of the Cineal Eanna. Seven women, seven bondmen, seven steeds, seven swords to the king of Cineal Lughdhach. Seven bondmen, seven women, seven swords, seven drinking-horns, to the king of Inish Eoghain. Six steeds, six drinking-horns, six swords, six shields, six hounds to the king of Magh Iotha. Three steeds, three shields, three swords and three drinking-horns to the king of the Ui Fiachrach of Ard Sratha. Three steeds, three shields, three swords, three drinking-horns to the king of the Fir Luirg. Three steeds, three shields, three swords, three green cloaks to the king of Craebh. Three women, three mantles, three tunics to the king of Ui Mac Caerthainn. Three steeds, three shields, three drinking-horns, three swords to the king of Cianachta Gleanna Geimhim. Six bondmen, six  horses, six swords, six shields to the king of the Fir Li. Three women, three bondmen, three steeds to the king of Ui Tuirtre. Fifty bondmen and fifty dresses and fifty cloaks and fifty coats of mail to the king of Tulach Og. Of this division and distribution Benean sang thus as below, viz.: O Man, if thou hast gone northwards Across Magh Iotha of the hardy border, Tell the stipend of every one From the king of Aileach of the serene brow. When over noble Eire reigns not The king of Aileach of the vast tribute, He is entitled to sit without fail By the side of the king of Eire of noble mansions. Fifty swords, fifty shields, Fifty bondmen, - it is a great debt, Fifty dresses, fifty steeds [from this monarch] to the king of Aileach of high decisions. Entitled are his chieftains of prosperity From the king of Aileach of the armed battalions, After resting from a hard march, I have heard, To stipends and gifts. Five shields, five swords, five drinking-horns, Five steeds, five women, great their hilarity, To the king of Cairbre of Druin Cliabh1 From the king of AIleach of grand bridles. Entitled is the king of Cineal Aedha2 To five shields, five slender swords, Five bondmen brought over the bristling surface of the sea Five fair-haired, truly-fine women. The king of the Cineal Boghaine3, the firm, Is entitled to five steeds for cavalry, Six shields, six swords, six drinking-horns, Six green cloaks, six blue cloaks. Entitled is the king of Cineal Eanna4 To five beautiful, powerful steeds, Five shields, five swords of battle, Five mantles, five coats of mail. Entitled is the king of Cineal Lughdhach5 To seven swords for hard defence, Seven women, seven bondmen, early, Seven noble steeds to the hero.

1.     Barony of Carbury in the north of Sligo

2.     Race of Aodh. Barony of Tir Hugh, Donegal.

3. Race of Eanna Boghaine. Territory of Tir Boghaine, presentbarony of Banagh, Donegal.

4. Race of Eanna, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages; barony ofRaphoe, Donegal.

5. Tribe name of the O'Donnells. Original territory from the stream of Dobhar to the river Swilly.

Entitled is the king of Inis Eoghain To six bondmen, - no great gratuity, Seven steeds, six women [brought] over the sea. Seven beautiful horns for drinking. Entitled is the king of Magh Iotha To six beautiful steeds from other countries, Six drinking-horns, six swords, six hounds, Six fair shields from beyond the seas. Entitled is the king of Ui Fiachrach Fionn To six beautiful steeds at his good lake, Three shields, three drinking-horns, three swords From the might-deeded, noble king of Aileach.  Entitled is the king of the Fir Luirg, the hero  To three beautiful steeds brought from over the deep sea, Three shields, three polished swords And three brown drinking-horns. Entitled is the king of the Craebh to a gift Three strong steeds, as stipend, Three shields, three swords of battle, Three green cloaks, of even color. Entitled is the king of Ui Mic Caerthainn to three tunics with golden borders, Three beautiful, fair mantals, Three befitting bondwomen. Entitled is the king of Gleann Geimhin To three bay steeds assuredly, Three shields, three drinking-horns, three swords Every year from the hand of the king of Aileach. Entitled is the king of the Fir Li of the lake To six shields, six swords of battle, Six slender, proud horses  And six bondmen of great work. Entitled is the king of the northern Ui Tuirtre To three swift horses for cavalry, Three women with fair heads of hair And three large, enslaved bondmen. Entitled is the strong king of Tulach Og To fifty prosperous bondmen over his fields, Fifty swords, fifty steeds, Fifty mantles, fifty coats of mail. Here is the history of Niall's race  I find it in books, clearly; Benean's faithful hand, without reproach, Was the one that wrote it there, O Man.

see also

Collected from the website by Edward Cartin