Tommaltach Ua Conchobair

Last updated

Tommaltach Ua Conchobair, bishop of Elphin and archbishop of Armagh, lived from c. 1150–1201.


Family background

Ua Conchobair was a grandson of King Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair of Connacht (1088–1156) via his son, Aed. However, Tairrdelbach had two sons of that name, one of whom, Aedh Dall Ua Conchobair, was blinded by Tairrdelbach for rebellion in 1136.

Tommaltach was nephew to Ruaidhri, King of Ireland (reigned 1156–1183) and King Cathal of Connacht, (reigned 1202–1224); first cousin to Rose, wife of Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath (died 1186), and associate of archbishop of Dublin, Lorcan Ua Tuathail (died 1180).

Early career

He became bishop of Elphin about 1174, and may have travelled to Rome to receive confirmation. He may have been responsible for the founding of a Cistercian house at Athlone. In 1179 he attended Ua Tuathail's council in Dublin, giving the latter's reforms his support. Ua Conchobair travelled with the archbishop to Armagh early in 1180 to settle the diocese's succession dispute; Ua Tuathail, at the time the Papal Legate to Ireland, appointed Ua Conchobair to the position.

Archbishop of Armagh

However, he was not fully accepted by the local clergy on his own terms until 1181. In 1184, there was an attempt to replace him with a member of the ruling dynasty of the kingdom of Airgialla, bishop Mael Isu Ua Cerbaill of Clogher, with Ua Conchobair unable to fully regain his see until 1186.

He appears to have maintained good relations with Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, and King John during the latter's visit to Ireland in 1185.

Much of his diocese was destroyed by the long war between John de Courcy and King Ruairi of Ulaid. Despite this, he was assisted by de Courcy in commissioning a life of Saint Patrick to advance Armagh's claim to the primacy of Ireland, against that of Dublin.

At the 1192 Synod of Dublin, he successfully regained for Armagh control of the diocese of Louth, which had been claimed by King Donnchadh Ua Cearbaill of Airgialla in the 1150s.

The ongoing warfare in Ulster between the Ulaid and de Courcy forced Ua Conchobair to spend most of the last five years of his life in Drogheda. Much of his correspondence and diocesan documents have been lost, but those that survive include letters from Innocent III concerning disputed elections, support for canons of the Arrouasian order and the canonical position of women.

He died in 1201 while travelling to Armagh, and was buried at the Cistercian abbey of Mellifont.

Related Research Articles

Provinces of Ireland Historic territorial divisions of the island of Ireland

Since the early 17th century, there have been four Provinces of Ireland: Connacht, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster. The Irish word for this territorial division, cúige, meaning "fifth part", indicates that there were once five; however, in the medieval period there were more. The number of provinces and their delimitation fluctuated until 1610, when they were permanently set by the English administration of James I. The provinces of Ireland no longer serve administrative or political purposes but function as historical and cultural entities.

Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair High King of Ireland

Ruaidrí mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair was King of Connacht from 1156 to 1186, and High King of Ireland from 1166 to 1198. He was the last High King of Ireland before the Anglo-Normans invaded Ireland.

Lorcán Ua Tuathail

St. Lorcán Ua Tuathail, known in English as Saint Laurence O'Toole and in French as St. Laurent d'Eu, was Archbishop of Dublin at the time of the Norman invasion of Ireland. St. Lorcán played a prominent role in the Irish Church Reform Movement of the 12th century and mediated between the parties during and after the invasion. He was canonised in 1225 by Pope Honorius III.

Cathal Crobhdearg Ua Conchobair thirteenth century king of Connacht, Ireland

Cathal Crobhdearg Ua Conchobair (1153–1224), was a king of Connacht. He was the youngest son of the High King of Ireland Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair and brother to the last fully recognized High King Ruadri Ua Conchobair. His own sons Aedh Ua Conchobair and Feidhlimidh Ua Conchobair were kings of Connacht after him.

Toirdhealbhach Mór Ua Conchobhair anglicised Turlough Mór O'Conor, was King of Connacht (1106–1156) and High King of Ireland.

Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland 12th-century Invasion of Ireland by Normans

The Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland took place during the late 12th century, when Anglo-Normans gradually conquered and acquired large swathes of land from the Irish, which the Kingdom of England then claimed sovereignty over. At the time, Gaelic Ireland was made up of several kingdoms, with a High King claiming lordship over most of the other kings. The Norman invasion was a watershed in Ireland's history, marking the beginning of more than 800 years of direct English and, later, British involvement in Ireland.

The Synod of Kells took place in 1152, under the presidency of Giovanni Cardinal Paparoni, and continued the process begun at the Synod of Ráth Breasail (1111) of reforming the Irish church. The sessions were divided between the abbeys of Kells and Mellifont, and in later times the synod has been called the Synod of Kells-Mellifont and the Synod of Mellifont-Kells.

Events from the year 1224 in Ireland.

Events from the 11th century in Ireland.

Áed Ua hOissín was consecrated first Archbishop of Tuam in 1152 and died in 1161. He was closely associated with Connaught royalty, and had served as abbot of Tuam.

Muireadhach Ua Dubhthaigh was an Archbishop of Connacht, in Ireland.

Conchobar Ua Conchobair, served as tánaiste of Connacht, fl. 1126–1144.

Domhnall Ua Dubhthaigh, Archbishop of Connacht, died 1136.

Aedh Dall Ua Conchobair, Prince of Connacht, died 1194.

Brian Breifneach Ua Conchobair, Prince of Connacht, fl. 1156.

Maghnus Ua Conchobair, Prince of Connacht, died 1181.

Tommaltach Ó Conchobair, Archbishop of Tuam 1258–1279.

Áed in Macáem Tóinlesc or Aodh an Macaoimh Tóinleasg was a 12th-century ruler of Tulach Óc and Tír Eogain. He was the first of his family to play a significant role in the high politics of northern Ireland, following the death of the Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn king of Tír Eogain and high king of Ireland.

Events from the year 1216 in Ireland.

Cobhlaith Mór Ní Conchobhair, Gaelic Lady, died 1395, Ireland.