The other large island in the British Isles. Situated as it is in a position of relative isolation, Ireland has gathered unto itself over the centuries a number of survivals in culture and history not found elsewhere. This gifted folk, by times genial and turbulent, have had a widespread impact on Europe and the world all out of proportion to their numbers.

Contains: Aileach, Arda, Armagh, Brega, Breifne, Clonlonan, Cnogba, Cobo, Conaille Muirthemne, Connaught, Cork, Dal nAraidi, Desmond (Earldom), Desmond (Kingdom), Dublin, East Breifne, Éile, Gallen, FermanaghIarmhumhain, Ireland (the High Kings, together with the Fir Bolg and Tuatha de Danaan), Kildare, Magh Luirg, Mayo, Lagore, Leinster, Limerick, Lochlann, Meath, Munster, Oriel, Ormond, Ossory, Ressad, Sliabh Lugha, Thomond, Trim, Tyrconnell, Ui Cheinnselaig, Ui Failghe (Offaly), Ui Mhaine, Uisnech, Ulster, Umaill, Waterford., and Wexford.


AILEACH (Tyrone) In west-central Ulster.

ARMAGH The Archbishops of Armagh are the Primates of the Irish Church. Of course, being Irish, it isn't quite as simple as that. The See of Armagh was founded by Saint Patrick, and has been the center of the Irish ecclesiastic establishment since that time. The fact is, though, that since Armagh is located in Northern Ireland, the establishment became a Protestant diocese in the 16th century, howsoever a Roman Catholic parallel establishment was set up immediately after. So, there are now two Archbishops of Armagh, one Anglican and one Catholic. The following list details both in turn.

BREGA A petty Irish kingdom located on Mag Breg, the plain of Brega, in modern County Meath and County Dublin, Ireland. It was ruled by kings of the Síl nÁedo Sláine branch of the southern Uí Néill. The kingdom of Brega included the Hill of Tara, the site where the High King of Ireland was proclaimed. Annexed in the 6th century by the Uí Néill, the kingdom was by the 8th century divided into parts, South Brega, or the Kingdom of Lagore, and North Brega, or the Kingdom of Cnogba/Knowth. Despite this, many kings of Brega ruled over both areas, and thus Brega as a whole, until the kingdom's extinction in the early years of the Norman invasion of Ireland.

BREIFNE (BREFFNY) A minor Kingdom during the Middle Ages, in the northern part of the Republic of Ireland, bordering on Northern Ireland. See also East Breifne.

A tribal kingdom located in what is now south-east Ulster that enjoyed autonomy from the seventh to the eleventh centuries. The core area of this regality was in the northern reaches of County Louth. It's rulers were spoken of as being Cruithne - Britons, possibly Pictish.

CONNACHT (Connaught) The rugged and thinly populated west of Ireland.

CORK (Corcaigh) A city located on Ireland's south coast. Cork is the Republic of Ireland's second largest city and capital of the province of Munster. Its history dates back to the 6th century.

A clan confederacy located in northern Ireland, not to be confused with Dal Riada. Dal nAraidi was centered on the northern shore of Lough Neagh in southern Antrim and probably identical with the regality of the Robogdii, mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century CE. Ruled by the Cruithni (Ir.: Britani), a tribe of mysterious origin who may have been connected with the Picts across the sea in northern Britain.

DESMOND, Kings of: A division of the old Kingdom of Munster, created after the bitter conflict of the early 12th century. See also - Munster and Thomond.

DESMOND, Earls of:  Taking up much of the old Kingdom of Munster, this Anglo-Norman Earldom was the chief power in southern Ireland during the Middle Ages.

DUBLIN The modern city was established in the 9th century, c. 831, by marauding Scandinavians, who thereafter set up a ramshackle Kingdom. This state endured for more than 300 years, although after the Viking defeat at Clontarf in 1014 they were reduced to vassals of the High Kings or of the Kings of Leinster, as Jarls of Dublin.

EAST BREIFNE (E. BREFFNEY) A petty Kingdom adjacent to Breifne, in the northern part of the island.

ÉILE (Éle, Éli, Ely)
A subkingdom of northern Munster in Ireland. Its rulers are known from four primary chronicles, the Annals of Inisfallen, the Annals of Lough Ce, the Annals of the Four Masters, and the Chronicon Scotorum, which mostly record dates of death in battle (with alarming frequency).

FERMANAGH In far southwestern Northern Ireland, frontiering the Irish Republic on the north, west, and south. A generally pastoral region with numerous ruins and antiquities, it served as the source for what are now the two Inniskilling regiments in the British army. The list memorializes a local Kingdom present during the later Middle Ages.

older spellings: Iarmuman, Iarmumu, or Iarluachair)
A Kingdom established in western Munster (Iarmumu) during the early Christian period. Its ruling dynasty was related to the main ruling dynasty of Munster, the Eóganachta. Iarmhumhain's ruling sept was called the Eóganacht Locha Léin or Ui Chairpri Lúachra. The core of their territory was around Killarney, County Kerry at Loch Léin.  The dynasty was established in the 5th century with the kingdom becoming semi-independent of the Munster kings at Cashel in the 6th century. They ruled over smaller kingdoms in west Munster such as the Ciarraige Luachra, Corcu Duibne and Corcu Loígde and at the height of their power may have ruled over areas of west Thomond including the Corcu Baiscinn and Corco Mruad and perhaps even had some sovereignty over the Uí Fidgenti of County Limerick and the Eóganacht Raithlind of County Cork. Ceaseless conflict drained them of power, however, and by the second third of the Ninth Century they were merely Kings of Loch Léin, and disappeared within Munster shortly thereafter.

IRELAND This list memorializes the Ardry, the High Kings of All Ireland. Dates given previous to about 850 CE, and especially from before 550 CE, should be approached with considerable skepticism. It should also be noted that the institution of the Ardry at Tara was seldom if ever universally acknowledged by the local rulers, especially in earlier times. Ennumeration reflects the victory of tradition over reality, in many instances.

KILDARE A powerful Anglo-Norman Earldom in southern Ireland during the Middle Ages.

LEINSTER The southeastern quarter of Ireland.

LIMERICK In western Ireland, a Kingdom established by the Norse.

(earlier, Laithlind) Lochlann is a land of uncertain location, referred to in classical Gaelic literature and in the history of Early Medieval Ireland. In the modern Gaelic and Welsh (Llychlyn) it signifies Scandinavia, and more specifically Norway - recent scholarship, however, suggests that in its earliest uses it referred either to a specific viking kingdom in the British Isles or else was a generic term for the viking settlements in Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Hebrides, and Northumbria. In Irish Gaelic it has the additional sense of robber or raider.

MAGH LUIRG (Moylurg)
A tribal kingdom located in the north-east of Connacht from c. 956-1585.

MEATH The central and eastern portion of the island.

MUNSTER (Mumu) The southwestern quadrant of Ireland.

ORIEL A local Kingdom in central and southern Ulster. Note well, the names and dates in this list are to be approached with caution.

ORMOND A powerful Anglo-Norman earldom in south Ireland.

OSSORY A lesser state in southeast Ireland, a buffer kingdom between Munster and Leinster. It's extent is roughly coterminous with that of the modern Diocese of Ossory, based at Kilkenny. The term Ossory was essentially tribal - Irish Osraige signified perhaps "the people of the deer" (Irish os).

A possibly ephemeral and somewhat mysterious kingdom of old Ireland, located somewhere within modern County Limerick, southwestern Ireland.

A tribal kingdom in what is now County Mayo in southwestern Connacht.

THOMOND A division of the old Kingdom of Munster, created after the bitter conflict of the early 12th century. See also - Munster and Desmond (Kings).

TYRCONNELLNorthwestern Ulster, in modern Donegal.

A branch of the Laigin who came to dominate southern Leinster, known also as Laigin Desgabair. They were semi-independent of their overlords in the north of Leinster and sometimes provided rulers of all Leinster.

 DIARMATA A tribal kingdom in northern County Galway.

 FAILGHE (OFFALY) A Kingdom in Central Ireland. The name today is applied to an Irish county (in English "Offaly") which is not entirely coterminous with the old kingdom.

 MHAINE  A petty Kingdom in western Ireland.

 A petty kingdom in medieval Ireland, located in western Meath.  The Hill of Uisnech is close to the geographic center of the island. Its kings were of the Clann Cholmain, a branch of the southern Ui Niall.

ULSTER Originally encompassing all of the north of Ireland, this Kingdom lost territory to Tyrone and Tyrconnell, and eventually devolved into a more restricted area around what is now Antrim. During the Middle Ages, Ulster was an Anglo-Norman County.

 A tribal kingdom located in western County Mayo, centred around Clew Bay and Clare Island. Its rulers were called "sea kings" in Irish sources and were known as great seafarers and pirates.

WATERFORD (Port Láirge) In the southeast, a Kingdom established by the Norse.

WEXFORD (Loch Garman) A town at the southeastern corner of Ireland, chief city in the county of the same name. The original, Gaelic settlement at Loch Garman was gradually incorporated into a growing Norse settlement called Veisafjorðr ("mudflat") to form the modern city. Until the 19th century, it was home to a unique dialect of Hiberno-English, called Yola. The town is a major port in modern Ireland.