Uí Ceinnselaig

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Uí Ceinnselaig
Parent house Laigin
Country Ireland
Founded5th century
Founder Énnae Cennsalach

The Uí Ceinnselaig (also Uí Cheinnselaig, Anglicized as Kinsella), from the Old Irish "grandsons of Cennsalach", are an Irish dynasty of Leinster who trace their descent from Énnae Cennsalach, a supposed contemporary of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Énda was said to be a grandson of Bressal Bélach and a first cousin of Dúnlaing mac Énda Niada, eponymous ancestor of the rival Uí Dúnlainge.

The earliest associations of the Uí Ceinnselaig are with the region around Rathvilly, County Carlow, and the headwaters of the River Slaney, but in time the centre of their power was pushed southwards, later being found around Ferns, County Wexford, site of the monastery of the saint Máedóc of Ferns (d. 626 or 632).

In early times the kings of Leinster came from the Uí Ceinnselaig and the Uí Dúnlainge, but the Uí Dúnlainge came to dominate the kingship of the province, and after Áed mac Colggen (d. 738) it was three hundred years until the next Uí Ceinnselaig king of Leinster, Diarmait mac Máel na mBó (see list of Kings of Uí Cheinnselaig).

A branch of the family, the descendants of the Uí Ceinnselaig dynast Murchad mac Diarmata meic Máel na mBó, took the surname mac Murchada (from which modern Irish Mac Murchadha , anglicised as MacMurrough, Murphy, Morrow, etc.). [1] [2] [3] From this branch descended Domhnall Caomhánach, founder of the Caomhánach family. [4] Another segment of the Uí Ceinnselaig family, the descendants of the Uí Ceinnselaig dynast Domnall Remar mac Mael na mBó, took the Irish surname Ua Domnaill. [3] [5] Both branchesthe Meic Murchada and the Uí Domnaillwere bitter rivals over the kingship of Uí Ceinnselaig. [3]

Notable kings of the Uí Ceinnselaig and related kindreds included:

See also

Related Research Articles

Diarmait Mac Murchada, anglicised as Dermot MacMurrough, Dermod MacMurrough, or Dermot MacMorrogh, was a King of Leinster in Ireland. In 1167, he was deposed by the High King of Ireland – Ruaidri Ua Conchobair. The grounds for the deposition were that Mac Murchada had, in 1152, abducted Derbforgaill, the wife of the King of Breifne, Tiernan O'Rourke. To recover his kingdom, Mac Murchada solicited help from King Henry II of England. His issue unresolved, he gained the military support of the Earl of Pembroke. At that time, Strongbow was in opposition to Henry II due to his support for Stephen, King of England against Henry's mother in The Anarchy. In exchange for his aid, Strongbow was promised in marriage to Mac Murchada's daughter Aoife with the right to succeed to the Kingship of Leinster. Henry II then mounted a larger second invasion in 1171 to ensure his control over Strongbow, resulting in the Norman Lordship of Ireland. Mac Murchada was later known as Diarmait na nGall.

Murchad mac Diarmata was a late eleventh-century ruler of the kingdoms of Leinster, Dublin, and the Isles. He was a member of the Uí Chennselaig, and a son of Diarmait mac Máel na mBó, King of Leinster. Murchad had three sons: Domnall, Donnchad, and Énna. He is the eponymous founder of the Meic Murchada, a branch of the Uí Chennselaig who adopted the surname Mac Murchada.

Diarmait mac Máel na mBó was King of Leinster, as well as High King of Ireland. He was one of the most important and significant kings in Ireland in the pre-Norman era. His influence extended beyond the island of Ireland into the Hebrides, the Isle of Man, Wales, and even into England.

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Domhnall Ua Lochlainn, also known as Domhnall Mac Lochlainn, claimed to be High King of Ireland.

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Domhnall Mac Murchada, called Domnall Midi, was High King of Ireland. He belonged to the Clann Cholmáin branch of the Uí Néill. Clann Cholmáin's pre-eminence among the southern Uí Néill, which would last until the rise of Brian Bóruma and the end of the Uí Néill dominance in Ireland, dates from his lifetime.

The Kings of Uisnech were of the Uí Néill and one of its major southern branches, the Clann Cholmáin. The Hill of Uisnech is located in what is now County Westmeath, and was in early historic Ireland considered as the area where all five provinces met.

Ruarc mac Brain was the fourth of ten Kings of Leinster to be inaugurated and based on Lyons Hill, Ardclough, County Kildare, a member of the Uí Dúnchada, one of three septs of the Uí Dúnlainge dynasty which rotated the kingship of Leinster between 750-1050, significant in County Kildare History.

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The Uí Dúnlainge, from the Old Irish "grandsons of Dúnlaing", were an Irish dynasty of Leinster kings who traced their descent from Dúnlaing mac Énda Niada. He was said to be a cousin of Énnae Cennsalach, eponymous ancestor of the rival Uí Chennselaig.

Áed mac Colggen was a king of the Uí Cheinnselaig of Leinster. Some sources incorrectly make him joint king of Leinster with Bran Becc mac Murchado, but it appears that Áed was main ruler of Leinster in 738. His father Colcú mac Bressail was called king of Ard Ladrann at his death obit in the annals in 722 which mention that he was killed. He was the great-great grandson of Crundmáel Erbuilc, a King of Leinster, and was a member of the Sil Chormaic sept.

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Events from the 11th century in Ireland.

Donnchad mac Domnaill Remair, also known as Donnchadh mac Domhnall Reamhair, was a late-eleventh-century ruler of the kingdoms of Leinster and Dublin. He was a son of Domnall Remar mac Máel na mBó. Donnchad was slain in 1089.

Diarmait mac Énna meic Murchada was an early twelfth-century ruler of the kingdoms of Leinster and Dublin.

Events from the year 1115 in Ireland.

Énna Mac Murchada, or Enna Mac Murchada, also known as Énna mac Donnchada, and Énna mac Donnchada mic Murchada, was a twelfth-century ruler of Uí Chennselaig, Leinster, and Dublin. Énna was a member of the Meic Murchada, a branch of the Uí Chennselaig dynasty that came to power in Leinster in the person of his paternal great-grandfather. Énna himself gained power following the death of his cousin Diarmait mac Énna. Throughout much of his reign, Énna acknowledged the overlordship of Toirdelbach Ua Conchobair, King of Connacht, although he participated in a failed revolt against the latter in 1124 before making amends. When Énna died in 1126, Toirdelbach successfully took advantage of the resulting power vacuum.

Domnall mac Murchada, also known as Domnall mac Murchada meic Diarmata, was a leading late eleventh-century claimant to the Kingdom of Leinster, and a King of Dublin. As a son of Murchad mac Diarmata, King of Dublin and the Isles, Domnall was a grandson of Diarmait mac Máel na mBó, King of Leinster, and thus a member of the Uí Chennselaig. Domnall was also the first of the Meic Murchada, a branch of the Uí Chennselaig named after his father.


  1. O'Byrne, E (2005). "MacMurrough". In Duffy, S (ed.). Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia . New York: Routledge. pp.  302–303. ISBN   0-415-94052-4.
  2. Zumbuhl, M (2005). "Uí Chennselaig". In Duffy, S (ed.). Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia . New York: Routledge. pp.  406–407. ISBN   0-415-94052-4.
  3. 1 2 3 Flanagan, MT (1981). "Mac Dalbaig, a Leinster Chieftain". The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland . 111: 5–13. JSTOR   25508795 via JSTOR.
  4. MacLysaght, E (1972). Irish Families: Their Names, Arms and Origins (3rd ed.). New York: Crown Publishers. pp.  189–190. OL   23251759M via Open Library.
  5. Byrne, FJ (2001). Irish Kings and High-Kings . Four Courts History Classics. Dublin: Four Courts Press. p. xxxv. ISBN   1-85182-552-5 via Google Books.
  6. Date per The Chronology of the Irish Annals, Daniel P. McCarthy