Conall's brother Eoghan became king of the lands to the east, which became known as Tyr Eoghan (known today as Tyrone). Conal of Ghulban (or the mound of Bulban, or Binn Ghulban, a geographical feature near Sligo now know as Benbulbin). Conall was a son of Niall Naoighiallach (Niall "of the nine hostages"), a high king of Tara during the fourth century from the Connacht. Another of Niall's sons, Eoghain, fathered the Cenéal Eoghain, and these two branches dominated the Uí Néill (Uí means "family," with connotations of royalty) of the Ulaíd (now Ulster -- the northern territories of Ireland). It is said the brothers were very close, (one story has them being twins, but this is most likely a fantasy) and that Eoghain ("Owen") was the more religious of the two, being the first of the Ui Néill to be baptized of St. Patrick himself. Several stories have Eoghain dying of grief upon hearing that his brother had been killed in battle.
King Conall Ghulban was
slain by the Firbolgs before 465.
most northwestern county in Ireland. Not part of Northern Ireland,
but remaining a member of the Republic of Ireland, the territory County
Donegal was roughly what was once known as Tyrconnell to the English, from
the Irish Tir Chonaill, or "Conall's
Land." The name is taken from the Irish dun n'ghall,
or "fort of the foreigner's," a likely reference to the capital
city of the county, which began as a port of Viking raiders. --
the genealogy from Conall:
• son Fearghus Cinnfhada (also Fergus 0f
Fal), who married Erca, daughter of Lorcan I, king of the Dial Riahda of
Irish and Scotch Gaelic prefix meaning "son of." Also m' and "mic," giving rise to the racial slur for Irish men as "micks," "mics," or "micky's."
Scottish and Irish patronymic surnames frequently have the prefix Mac or Mc. When these surnames were originally developed, they were formed by adding the Gaelic word mac, which means son of, to the name of the original bearer's father. For example, the surname MacDougall literally means son of Dougal. In later times, these prefixes were also added to the occupation or nickname of the bearer's father. For example, MacWard means son of the bard and MacDowell means son of the black stranger.
Numerous variations of this prefix emerged, for a number of reasons. It was rendered Mag before vowels and aspirated consonants. Historical records concerning Irish and Scottish names reveal that the common prefix Mc and the less common prefixes M' and Mcc developed as abbreviations of the original Gaelic prefix Mac. Thus, the popular beliefs that Mc is a distinctively Irish prefix while Mac is exclusively Scottish, and that one prefix is used by Catholic families while the other one is specifically Protestant are erroneous. In actuality, the same person often had his surname recorded using both Mac and Mc on separate occasions.
(also nee and nighean or inghean or even inghean uí) In the Irish patronymic naming system, indicates that the individual is the daughter of the man whose surname follows. The form is: <single given name> inghean uí <eponymous clan ancestor (in genitive case)>, which means: <given name> daughter of a male descendant of <eponymous clan ancestor>.
For example: Dearbhorgaill inghean uí Conchobhair' which means: Dearbhorgaill daughter of a male descendant of Conchobhar (or, fully Anglicized, Dervorgilla daughter of a male descendant of Connor). Later the word inghean was corrupted to nighean, which was further shortened to ni.
Naoighiallach "of the Nine Hostages"
Of Niall’s youth there are many legends, but one in particular shows the working of his destiny. One day, the five brothers being in the smith’s forge when it took fire, they were commanded to run and save what they could. Their father, who was looking on (and who, say some, designedly caused the fire, to test his sons), observed with interest Neill’s distinctiveness of character, his good sense and good judgment. While Brian saved the chariots from the fire, Ailill a shield and a sword, Fiachra the old forge trough, and Fergus only a bundle of firewood, Niall carried out the bellows, the sledges, the anvil, and anvil block - saved the soul of the forge, and saved the smith from ruin. Then his father said: "It is Niall who should succeed me as Ard Righ of Eirinn".
"Niall succeeded Criomthainn and was the 126th monarch of Ireland. He was a stout, wise and warlike prince and fortunate in all his conquests and achievements ... He was also called Niall Naoighiallach, i.e., Nial of the Nine Hostages, from the hostages taken from the nine several counties by him subdued and made tributary, viz., Munster, Leinster, Connacht, Ulster, the Britons, the Picts, the Saxons and the Morini, a people of Gaul towards Calais and Picardy; From whence he marched with his victorious army of Irish Scots, Picts and Britons further into Gaul in order to the conquest thereof; and encamping at the River Loire, was treacherously slain as he sat by the riverside by Eochaidh, King of Leinster, in revenge of a former wrong by him received from the said Niall, A.D. 405. And in the 27th year of his reign St. Patrick was first brought into Ireland at the age of 16 years, amoung 200 children brought by the army out of Little Brittany, called Armorica, in Gaul. He was the first that gave the name of Scotia Minor to Scotland and ordained it to be called so ever after, till then (and still by the Irish) called Albion." - From The Lebor Gabala Erren, or The Book of the Taking of Ireland, Book of Leinster 1150 A.D.
Niall of the Nine Hostages was the greatest king that Ireland knew between the time of Cormac MacArt and the coming of Patrick. His reign was epochal. He not only ruled Ireland greatly and strongly, but carried the name and the fame, and the power and the fear, of Ireland into all neighboring nations. He was, moreover, founder of the longest, most important, and most powerful Irish dynasty. Almost without interruption his descendants were Ard Righs of Ireland for 600 years.
In 405 he led an expedition against Britain, where it is rumored that he may have captured a young Romano-British boy named Patricus, son of Calpurnius, a local magistrate. Patricus later came to be known as St. Patrick. Niall was famed for his raids on Britain along with his brothers and sons. He eventually came to control most of the Northern half of Ireland. He conquered the Ulaíd aristocracy, which ruled in Ulster, and by this victory and subsequent consolidation of power was able to found a dynasty, the Uí Neill, which gave rise to the O'Neill clan. Three of his sons founded kingdoms in Ulster (collectively the Northern Uí Neill), other sons founded kingdom in the Irish midlands (the Southern Uí Neill).
Emain Macha, the capital of the Uliada, which Niall captured early on, became the capital of the Airgialla (lit: "givers of hostages") which is said to explain Niall's second name Nóigiallach = "of the Nine Hostages".
Irish and Scotch Gaelic prefix to a patronymic name literally meaning "of the generations of," or the more commonly understood term "grandson."
Note the the nominative form of Conchobhar is Conchobar.
The h in Chochobhar is the result of a feature of Gaelic called
"aspiration," their way of recognizing the living or inherent
"spiritual" aspect of names. Most consonants are aspirated
after ingen nighean and ni, but in the period when ingen was used, this
aspiration usually wasn't reflected in the spelling. Also note that
the parental name is often modified even further. For example, if
you are Cormacc son of Aed, the Irish would be Cormacc mac Aeda.
This is because Gaelic has a distinct genitive or possessive case that
looks (and often sounds) different from the nominative case; for
instance, Aeda means "of Aed" or "Aed's."
Revered second only to St. Patrick Columba left an incredible theological mark across Ireland and Scotland. The young Columba spent some time at the monastery in Moville, Ireland. Intrigued by the plentiful books there, he began to make a copy of one of the psalters but was caught in the act by the abbot, who considered this akin to stealing the actual book, and he appealed to King Diarmaid for judgment. In what was probably the world’s first copyright lawsuit, the king decided the case in favor of the abbot, saying "as the calf is to the cow, so the copy is to the book." Infuriated at this ruling, Columba followed a decidedly unsaintly course. He rallied his kinsmen and engaged the king’s army in a battle in which more than 3,000 men were killed.
Brought before the religious and royal authorities to face punishment for his instigation of the conflict, but miraculously managed to escape serious penalty. At the church trial, he reportedly was preceded into the room by a column of white light, a portent that the church elders determined to be a sign from above. Not wanting to defy a divine omen, they decided not to excommunicate him. When brought before the royal court in the year 563, the king also showed leniency and did not have him executed, but instead exiled him. Remorseful for causing so many deaths, Columba solemnly vowed to the Irish leaders that he would convert one person for each one that had died during the battle, and went on to found the famous Abby of Iona and become the most beloved saint of all Scotland.
In 575 Columba returned to Ireland on a peace-keeping mission, and while there defended the rights of the non-Christian bardic poets against Aed, son of King Ainmere, who had ordered their banishment.
In old Irish Teamhair; Tara, which attained the climax of its fame under King Cormac Mac Art, is said to have been rounded by the Firbolgs, and been the seat of kings thenceforth. Ollam Fodla first gave it historic fame by founding the Feis (from which we derive our word "feast") or Triennial Parliament, there, seven or eight centuries before Christ. It is said it was under, or after, Eremon, the first Milesian high king that it, one of the three pleasantest hills in Ireland, came to be named Tara - a corruption of the genitive form of the compound word, Tea Mur - meaning "the burial place of Tea" the wife of Eremon, and daughter of a king of Spain. In its heyday Tara must have been impressive. The great, beautiful hill was dotted with seven duns ("forts"), and in every dun were many buildings - all of them, of course, of wood, in those days - or of wood and metal. The greatest structure was the Mi Cuarta, the great banqueting hall, which was on the Ard Righ's own dun. Each of the provincial kings had, on Tara, a house that was set aside for him when he came up to attend the great Parliament. There was a Grianan (sun house) for the provincial queens, and their attendants. The great Feis was held at Samhain (Hallowday). It lasted for three days before Samain and three days after. But the Aonach or great fair, the assembly of the people in general, which was a most important accompaniment of the Feis, seems to have begun much earlier. At this Feis the ancient laws were recited and confirmed, new laws were enacted, disputes were settled, grievances adjusted, wrongs righted. And in accordance with the usual form at all such assemblies, the ancient history of the land was recited, probably by the high king's seanachie, who had the many other critical seanachies attending to his every word, and who, accordingly, dare not seriously distort or prevaricate. This highly efficient method of recording and transmitting the country's history, in verse, too, which was practiced for a thousand years before the introduction of writing, and the introduction of Christianity and which continued to be practiced for long centuries after these events was a highly practical method, which effectively preserved for us the large facts of our country's history throughout a thousand of the years of dim antiquity when the history of most other countries is a dreary blank.
As from the great heart and center of the Irish Kingdom, five great arteries or roads radiated from Tara to the various parts of the country the Slighe Cualann, which ran toward the present County Wicklow, the Slighe Mor, the great Western road, which ran via Dublin to Galway, the Slight Asail which ran near the present Mullingar, the Slighe Dala which ran southwest, and the Slighe Midluachra, the Northern road. "Great, noble and beautiful truly was our Tara of the Kings."