Text: Annals of Ulster

The manuscript of the Annals of Ulster was written by Ruaidhri Ó Luinín on an island in the River Erne in Ulster before 1489 (although a few other entries were written by another scribe up to the year 1504). Below is a selection of some of the early entries.

U431.1: Palladius, having been consecrated by Celestine, bishop of the city of Rome, is sent to Ireland in the consulship of Aetius and Valerius as first bishop to the Irish so that they might believe in Christ in the eighth year of Theodosius.

U432.1: Patrick arrived in Ireland in the ninth year of the reign of Theodosius the Lesser and in the first year of the episcopate of Xistus, 42nd bishop of the Roman Church. This is the calculation that Bede, Maxcellinus and Isidore make in their chronicles.
U452.1: Some say that St. Brigit was born in this year.
U454.1: The Feast of Tara was held by Laegaire son of Niall.
U457.2: Some books say that the elder Patrick died in this year.
U461.2: Some record the death of Patrick in this year.
U464.2: The Angles came to Britain.
U467.3: Death of Uther Pendragon, king of the Britons, to whom succeeded his son, King Arthur, who
founded the Round Table.
U473.2: Death of the holy bishop Doccus, abbot of the Britons.
U490.1: Death of bishop Mac Caille.
U492.1: The Irish state that Patrick the Archbishop died in this year.
U493.4: Patrick, arch-apostle, or archbishop and apostle of the Irish, rested on the 16th of the Kalends
of April in the 120th year of his age, in the 60th year after he had come to Ireland to baptize the Irish. U494.1: The battle of Tailtiu [“Telltown”] won over the Laigin [men of Leinster] by Cairpre son of
U503.1: The battle of Druim Lochmaige won by the Laigin [men of Leinster] over the Uí Néill.
U505.1: Death of Bruide son of Máelchú.
U516.1: The battle of Druim Derg against Failge. Fiacha was victor. Thereafter the Plain of Meath was
taken away from the Laigin.
U517.3: The battle of Druim Dergaide won by Fiacha son of Niall against Failge Berraide. That was how
the Plain of Meath was taken away from the Laigin, as Cend Faelad sang: “Vengeance after seven years / Was what his heart desired / the battle at Druim Dergaide / was what caused the Plain of Meath to be taken away.”
U519.1: The birth of Colum Cille on the same day as Buite son of Brónach fell asleep. U523.3: Colum Cille was born.
U524.2: Death of St Brigit in the 70th year of her life.
U526.1: Death of St Brigit in the 70th year of her life.
U528.3: According to the Book of the Monks, the death of Brigit in this year.
U553.3: I have found this in the Book of Cuanu: The relics of Patrick were placed sixty years after his death in a shrine by Colum Cille. Three splendid holy relics were found in the burial-place: his goblet, the Angel’s Gospel, and the Bell of the Testament. This is how the angel distributed the holy relics: the goblet to Dún, the Bell of the Testament to Armagh, and the Angel’s Gospel to Colum Cille himself. The reason it is called the Angel’s Gospel is that Colum Cille received it from the hand of the angel.
U563.4: The voyage of Colum Cille to the island of Iona in the 42nd year of his age.
U574.2: Death in the sixteenth year of his reign of Conall son of Comgall who granted the island of Iona to Colum Cille.
U575.1: The great convention of Druim Ceat at which were present Colum Cille and Aed son of Ainmire.
U580.2: The expedition to Orkney by Aedán son of Gabrán.
U580.3: Cennalath, king of the Picts, dies.
U581.3: The expedition to Orkney.
U582.1: The battle of Manu, in which Aedán son of Gabrán son of Domangart was victor. U583.3: The battle of Manu won by Aedán.
U584.3: Death of Bruide son of Maelchú, king of the Picts, and death of Feradach son of Daui, king of Osraige.
U590.2: The battle of Lethreid won by Aedán son of Gabrán.
U595.1: Death of Colum Cille on the fifth of the Ides of June in the 76th year of his age.
U598.1: Death of Baethéne, abbot of Iona.
U684: Saxons destroyed the Plain of Brega and many churches in the month of June.
U848: A battle was won by Ólchobar king of Munster and Lorcán m. Cellaig with the Leinstermen
against the pagans at Sciath Nechtain in which fell Tomrair (Þórir) the earl, heir-designate of the king of Laithlind [Viking-occupied Scotland] and 1200 about him.
U849: A sea-expedition of 140 ships of the people of the king of the Foreigners [ríg Ghall] came to exercise authority over the Foreigners who were in Ireland before them and they upset all Ireland afterwards.
U853: Amlaíb [Óláfr] son of the king of Laithlind came to Ireland and the Foreigners of Ireland gave him hostages and he got tribute from the Irish.
U856.3: Great warfare between the Vikings and Mael Sechnaill with his Gall-Gaedil (allies).
U866.1: Amlaíb [Óláfr] and Auisle went to Fortriu [Pictish kingdom] with the Foreigners [Gaill] of Ireland and Scotland and they ravaged the whole of Pictland and took their hostages.
U870.6: The siege of Alt Clut [Dumbarton] by the Vikings: Amlaíb and Ímar. The two Viking kings sieged that fortress and at the end of four months they destroyed it and plundered it.
U871.2: Amlaíb and Ímar came back to Dublin from Scotland with 200 ships and they brought with them in captivity to Ireland a large group of Angles, Britons and Picts.
U895: The Foreigners [Gaill] of Dublin led by Glún Iarainn “Iron Knee” plundered Armagh and took 710 people as captives. “Woe, o holy Patrick, that your prayers did not protect it, when the foreigners were smashing your oratory with their axes!”
U902.2: Mael Finnia son of Flannacán, with the men of Brega, and Cerball son of Muiricán, with the Laigin, forced the heathens from their fortress of Dublin in Ireland; and they abandoned many of their ships and escaped half dead after they had been wounded and broken.
U913.5: The heathens inflicted a battle-rout on the crew of a new fleet of the men of Ulster on the coast of England. Many fell, including Cumuscach son of Mael Mocheirgi, son of the king of Leth Cathail.
U914.5: A large new fleet of the heathens appeared on Loch dá Caech.
U915.7: A great and frequent increase in the number of heathens arrived at Loch dá Chaech and they plundered the laity and clergy of Munster.
U917.2: Sitric, grandson of Ímar, landed with his fleet at Cenn Fuait on the coast of Leinster. Ragnall, grandson of Ímar, with his second fleet moved against the foreigners of Loch dá Chaech. Many foreigners were slaughtered at Neimlid in Munster. The Eóganacht and the Ciarraige slaughtered each other.
U917.3: Níall son of Áed, the king of Ireland, led an army of the southern and northern Uí Néill to Munster to make war on the heathens.
U1014: Brian son of Cennétig son of Lorcán, king of Ireland, and Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall, king of Tara, led an army to Dublin. All the Leinstermen were assembled to meet them and the Foreigners of Dublin and an equal number of the Foreigners of Lochlainn, i.e. 1000 mail-clad men. A valiant battle was fought between them […] In this battle there fell on the side of the opposing troop of the Foreigners Mael Mórda son of Murchad king of Leinster and Domnall son of Fergal king of the Fortuatha; of the Foreigners there fell Dubgall son of Amlaíb, Sigurðr son of Hloðver, Earl of the Orkneys, and Gilla Ciaráin son of Glún Iarainn heir-designate of the Foreigners, and Ottir Dub and Suartgair and Donnchad ua Eruilb and Griséne and Luimne and Amlaíb son of Lagmann and Broðar who killed Brian, commander of the Viking fleet, and 6,000 who were killed and drowned.
U1102: Magnus king of Lochlainn came with a great fleet to the Isle of Man and a year’s peace was made between them and the men of Ireland.

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