Death of King Aengus

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter IX

It is probable that Oilioll Molt, who succeeded King Laeghairé, A.D. 459, lived and died a pagan.

He was slain, after a reign of twenty years, by Laeghairé’s son, Lughaidh, who reigned next.

The good king Aengus[3] died about this time. He was the first Christian King of Munster, and is the common ancestor of the MacCarthys, O’Sullivans, O’Keeffes, and O’Callahans.

The foundation of the kingdom of Scotland by an Irish colony, is generally referred to the year 503.[4]

It has already been mentioned that Cairbré Riada was the leader of an expedition thither in the reign of Conairé II.

The Irish held their ground without assistance from the mother country until this period, when the Picts obtained a decisive victory, and drove them from the country.

A new colony of the Dalriadanow went out under the leadership of Loarn, Aengus, and Fergus, the sons of Erc.

They were encouraged and assisted in their undertaking by their relative Mortagh, the then King of Ireland.

It is said they took the celebrated Lia Fail to Scotland, that Fergus might be crowned thereon.

The present royal family of England have their claim to the crown through the Stuarts, who were descendants of the Irish Dalriada.

Scotland now obtained the name of Scotia, from the colony of Scots.

Hence, for some time, Ireland was designated Scotia Magna, to distinguish it from the country which so obtained, and has since preserved, the name of the old race.

Muircheartach, A.D. 504, was the first Christian King of Ireland; but he was constantly engaged in war with the Leinster men about the most unjust Boromean tribute. He belonged to the northern race of Hy-Nial, being descended from Nial of the Nine Hostages.

On his death, the crown reverted to the southern Hy-Nials in the person of their representative, Tuathal Maelgarbh.


[3] Aengus.—“Died the branch, the spreading tree of gold, Aenghus the laudable.”—Four Masters, p. 153. The branches of this tree have indeed spread far and wide, and the four great families mentioned above have increased and multiplied in all parts of the world.

[4] Year 503.—The Four Masters give the date 498, which O’Donovan corrects both in the text and in a note.