A very basic history of Mohill and South Leitrim!

The following table enables you to jump to an era of interest - maps are provided for some eras.
If anyone wishes to suggest an item or link, or correct a date, statement or attribution, please let me know and I'll be only happy to oblige.  Note that all of the maps are "work in progress" - they are not definitive and most likely contain horrible errors!

PreHistory Mythology 300s 400s 500s
Era: 600s 700s 800s 900s 1000s
Era: 1100s 1200s 1300s 1400s 1500s
Era: 1600s 1700s 1800s 1900s 2000s

Pre History:

History in Ireland really starts with the end of the Ice Age, circa 10,000BC - see the map here.  The retreat of the Ice gave South Leitrim one of its most distinctive features, the Drumlins - hundreds of small egg-shaped hills which stretch in a line across Ireland from Louth in the east to Clew Bay in the west.

People arrived in Ireland sometime around 7,000BC.  Sometime around 4,000BC, farming became prevalent and people settled down.  These people left us evidence of their passing in the form of court tombs, portal tombs (sometimes called a dolman) and passage tombs (here for more info).  Court tombs were in use from 4000BC to 3000BC. 

The bronze age from 2000BC onwards, resulted in new remains: wedge tombs, earthen rings, stone circles, cooking sites known as fulacht fian, and of course bronze artefacts such as weapons and jewellery.  For a simple description of the types of remains (here for more info). South Leitrim is rich in a number of types of stone-age remains - see the Megalithomania web site for pictures and locations of several sites in Leitrim.  Wedge tombs were used to about 1200BC. 

Another simple way to see what remains of early civilization remain in situ is to get hold of the Ordinance Survey map (no. 33 or 34) and see the extensive number of tombs, stones, crannogs etc. in the neighbourhood.

Mythology or very early history (depending on your perspective): (500BC-400AD)

The first wave of Celts arrived in Ireland sometime before 500BC, bringing with them Iron.  A second group arrived about 500BC. These people are known by many names including the Erainn, but more commonly as the Fir Bolg.  Some hypothesise that the Fir Bolg came from Belgium [fir as Belgae]. 

Around 300BC, another group of Celts, referred to as the Tuatha De Dannan arrived [from Gaul?].  These people landed around Waterford and over the centuries, pushed the Fir Bolg tribes into poorer parts of the country.  The decisive battle which the Tuatha De Dannan won was the battle of Magh Tuireadh [Moytura] near Cong in Co. Mayo. 

In Legend -  At the time of the arrival of the de Danann, Eochaid was king of the Firbologs. Messengers came to him at Teamhair (Tara) and told him that a new race of people had come into Ireland but it was not known whether they were of the earth or the skies and they had settled at Magh Réin. – Magh Réin is the ancient name for South Co. Leitrim

The last wave of Celtic arrivals, the Milesians came around 150BC, reputedly from modern-day Spain.  The defeated the Tuatha Da dannan at the battle of Tailtiu.  These people gave us the first kings we recognise as historic characters.

All of these various peoples co-existed in Ireland, up to historic times, gradually losing their separate identies – in the same way that one no longer considers someone called Fitzgerald to be a Norman.

One of the most impressive remains from this peoriod is the Doon, an earthen rampart running along the west bank of the Shannon, and across the peninsula between Jamestown and Drumsna.  Its functioned as a defence against invasion from the North - since the Shannon is fordable at Drumsna. Archaeologists estimate that the fortifications could have required the work of 10,000 people for two years, 50,000 to 60,000 trees, and removal of 150,000 cubic meters of earth. They suggested that they date from the Iron Age, two thousand or more years ago at the time of the Táin and of the troubles between Queen Maedhbh of Connacht and the peoples of the north. "Wood from the base of the bank at Drumsna was felled in the mid-fourth century BC" [IL]. More information is here.  See map.

 Historic Times:     

St. Patrick has some associations with Leitrim. Patrick reputedly crossed the Shannon at Drumboylan, just south of Lough Allen (from http://www.dbo.ie/loughallen).

 434AD:  The area of Magh Slecht (meaning the "Plain of Adoration" and just over the border in Cavan near Ballymagauran) was a major area for the worship of Crom Cruach. According to the Annals of the Four Masters, Crom Cruach was "the chief idol of adoration in Ireland".  There were 13 standing stones (or cormlechs), 3 groups of 4 and the 13th central one representing Crom.  Some references mention human sacrifice taking place here.  St. Patrick was passing through Granard (in Longford) when he heard that a large crowd was gathered at Magh Slecht nearby worshiping Crom Cruach.  Patrick smote the main stone with his crosier and it crumbled into dust and the others fell to the ground.

If you've ever uttered the expression "By Crom!" or "Crumbs" - you are invoking the God Crom Cruach! 

464AD (From the Annals of the Four Masters ) Conall Gulban, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages (from whom are descended the Cinel Conaill), was slain by the old tribes of Magh Slecht, he having been found unprotected, and was buried at Fidhnach Maighe Rein (Fenagh), by Saint Caillin, as the Life of the aforesaid saint relates. -

(Niall of the Nine Hostages was the king of
Ireland is associated with taking St. Patrick to Ireland as a slave.  The "old tribes" in the entry above are referred to as "a clan of the Firbolgs" in "The Story of The Irish Race" by Seumas MacManus). 
Conall Gulban, mac Neill Naoighiallaigh, (o t-tátt Cenel c-Conaill) do mharbhadh la sen-tuathaibh Maighe Slecht iar na foghbháil i m-baoghal, & a adhnacal i f-Fiodhnach Mhaighe Réin, la Naomh Caillin, amhail aisnéidhes beatha an naoimh rémhraite.

~500AD: In the first quarter of the 6th century a people known as the Conmaicne moved north from around the present Dunmore in County Galway and settled in Magh Rein (Fenagh). From here they peopled what is now South Leitrim.  These people are generally referred to as the Conmaicne Maighe-Réin or Conmaicne Réin. They consisted of different family groupings - Muintir Eoluis (MacRannall/Reynolds), Muintir Cearbhallain (O'Mulvey), and Cinel Luachain (MacDarcy).[OR]  Click on map at right.  Note that the name Muintir Eoluis was not used until the 1000s.

South Leitrim is referred to in the annals as Conmaicne Réin, and Magh Réin right up to the 1600s.  The area covered by the baronies of Leitrim and Mohill is referred to as Muintir Eolais right up to the 1600s.

The name "Conmaicne" is preserved even today in the name of the Roman Catholic parish of "Cloone-Conmaicne".

Another branch of the Conmaicne headed west – these were known as the “Conmaicne Mara” and of course gave their name to a place we know as Connemara in West Co. Galway.  The founder of the Conmaicne was Conmac, son of Queen Maedhbh/Maeve of Connacht – see http://www.araltas.com/features/ir.html. 

538AD: From The Annals of Tighernach [AT]:
St. Manchan of Mohill dies. 

Mohill R.C. parish is still officially Maothail-Manachain, named after St. Manchan (or St. Manachan) whose abbey was in the town (the base of the round tower is over near the old folks home, the Abbey itself on the site of the Church of Ireland).  St. Manachan's feast day is given as 14th February, but due to the change to the Gregorian calendar is now February 25th, known as Monaghan Day in Mohill and formerly the scenes of a great fair-day. 

An auxillary church existed at Cloonmorris.  An Ogham stone dating from 500-700AD can be seen there.

NOTE also that another version of the story has St. Manachan founding a monastery in Mohill in 608AD and dying in 625AD - this is the version quoted in "Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland - 1842".  I do not know the basis for this set of dates.  However, the reference in the Annals of Tighernach seems conclusive.

Part of the confusion is that there were six saints named Manchan or Manachan according to here

The picture at right shows the reliquary of St. Manchan, founder of Lemanaghan or Liath-Manchan monastery founded (644AD), Co Offaly, and is dated to about 1130AD.  This particular St. Manchan lived from 632AD to 664 AD. The reliquary is a box of yew wood with gilt, bronze, and enamelled fittings.

Another St. Manchan is buried outside Dingle, while another is regarded as a disciple of Patrick, a poet and teacher of St. David of Wales.

Manchan Maethla cecídit
Note: that the UCC on-line version of the Annals of Tighernach [AT] is based on a published version dating from 1895-1897.  It shows this date as 539AD, generally referred to as T539AD.  However, McCarthy in 'Chronological Synchronisation of the Irish Annals' shows convincingly that the date is out by 1 year.  See the PDF version of the paper here.  McCarthy also shows convincingly that the entries are contemporaneous, and that AT was initially compiled on Iona from ~550AD to 740AD.  Interestingly, the evidence is that the author of the entry for St. Manachan's death was Saint Columba himself.

607AD: St. Fraoch founds an abbey at Cloone.

A map of Ireland at around 650AD is here.
Click on the map of Leitrim and surrounding area at right.

A more detailed map of South Leitrim at this time is here - or click the map at right.

Mohill was on the border back then - OK, it was on the border of Meath, the 5th province of Ireland.  It has been observed by Michael Richter in his book Medieval Ireland The Enduring Tradition”, that “The Monasteries are all situated, roughly speaking, in the border areas between provinces”.

from: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100054/text013.html - [I've substituted modern English names (in square brackets):
Of the boundary of Meath with the provinces here, as Tuathal Teachtmhar ordained; i.e. as one goes from the Shannon east to Dublin, from Dublin to the river [Rye in Kildare], from the river [Rye] west to [Cloncurry N.W. of Kilcock?], from Cluain-Connrach to Ath-an-mhuilinn-Fhrancaigh, and to the confluence of [Clonard, Co. Meath], from that to Tóchar Cairbre, from Tóchar Cairbre to [Geashill, Co. Offally] to Druimchuilinn, to [Birr], to the river which is called [Little Brosna] to the Shannon northwards, to Loch [Ree], and all the islands belong to Meath: and the Shannon to [Lough Boderg on the Shannon], from that to [Mohill], thence to [Athlone], thence to upper Sgairbh, to Druimleathan, till one reaches the Magh, to the confluence of [Clones, Co. Monaghan], to Loch-dá-eun, to Magh Cnoghbha, to Duibhir, to Linn-átha-an-daill on Sliabh Fuaid [in Armagh], to Magh-an-chosnamhaigh at Cillshléibhe, to Snámh Eugnachair, to Cumar, and from Cumar to Life, as the ancient writer says

    1. From Loch-bó-dearg to Biorra,
      from the Shannon east to the sea,
      To the confluence of Ciuain-ioraird,
      and to the confluence of Cluain-airde.

See the map from www.irelandstory.com  here.

Do theorantacht na Mídhe ann so ris na cúigeadhaibh, amhail do orduigh Tuathal Teachtmhar; .i. mar théid ó'n Sionainn soir go h-Áthcliath, ó Áthcliath go habhainn Righe, ó abhainn Righe siar go Cluain Connrach, ó Chluain Connrach go h-Áth an Mhuilinn Fhrancaigh, agus go cumar Chluana hIoraird, as sin go Tóchar Cairbre, ó Thóchar Cairbre go Crannaigh Ghéisille, go Druim Cuilinn, go Biorra, gus an abhainn d'á ngairthear Abhainn Chara, gus an Sionainn budh thuaidh, go Loch Ríbh, agus na hoiléin uile is leis an Mídhe iad: agus an tSionann go Loch bó dearg, as sin go Maothail, as sin go h-Áth-luain, as sin go Sgairbh uachtaraigh, go Druim leathain, go soiche an Mágh, go cumar Chluana hEois, go Loch-dá-eun, go Mágh Cnoghbha, go Duibhir, go Linn-átha-an-Daill ar Sliabh Fuaid, go Mágh an Chosnamhaigh i g-Cill-tsléibhe, go Snámh Eugnachair, go Cumar, agus ó Chumar go Life, amhail adeir an seanchaidh:—
    1. Ó loch bó dearg go Biorra,
      ó'n Sionainn soir go fairrge,
      Go cumar Chluana hIoraird,
      's go cumar Chluana hairde.
663-667AD – a great plague is estimated to have killed 1/3 of the population of Ireland, a much higher percentage that died in the famine of the 1840s.  The plague claimed kings, saints and peasant alike.  The losses to society were so great that it is considered to have spurred increased interest in recording events in writing. The plague was the result of famine.

~700AD - In the 7th and 8th centuries, the area later known as Breifne was conquered and settled by the Uí Briúin.  This is claimed to have happened as early as 420AD (http://www.geocities.com/stephenvincent/rourkechron.html). 

The Uí Briúin came to prominence in Connacht in the 600s.  These peoples claim decent from Bríon, son of Eochu Mugmedon and half-brother of Niall of the Nine Hostages (who died about 450AD.)As early as the 7th century, they began to divide into three groups Uí Briúin Ái (who stayed in the homeland of Machaire Connacht (central Roscommon), Uí Briúin Seola (who settled to the east of Lough Corrib and included the O’Flahertys) and Uí Briúin Bréifne who headed north to what are now counties Leitrim and Cavan.  (MAP)

742-743AD – smallpox epidemic.

743AD The King of Uí Briúin (and Conmaicne) King of Bréifne, Dub Dothra, dies.

Note that it is not clear whether Dub Dothra was king of all the Uí Briúin or simply the king of the Uí Briúin Bréifne.  Note also that, although obviously conquered, Conmaicne is still regarded as a separate entity.

Guin Duib Dothra ríg h-Úa m-Briuin & Conmacne. rí Brefne

754AD The battle of Ard Naiscin (Ardagh, Co. Longford) between  Uí Briúin and Cenel Cairpre in which many were killed. 

From [AT] - Cath Aird Naiscin eter h-Uu mBriuin & Cenel Coirpri in quo ceciderunt multí

766AD Abbey founded at Annaduff.

773AD drought and dysentery, repeated in 777/778AD.

778/779AD – a murrain of cattle – (either Foot and Mouth Disease or Red Water!)

779AD famine and smallpox – not a happy few years in Ireland.

The photograph at right shows a well preserved crannóg at Lough Rinn.

880AD- Tighearnan, a great -grandson of Dub Dothra is "Ri`na Brefni". His youngest son is called Ruarc, provides the family with it's surname Ua Ruairc (later O`Ruairc and then O`Rourke), acknowledged by many as the first surname in Ireland (from http://www.geocities.com/stephenvincent/rourkechron.html )

993AD: According to at least one source (Atlas of Irish History), at least one naval campaign by Brian Ború made it from Limerick to Lough Rinn in 993AD, also referred to in the book "Ireland before the Normans" - "The Annals of the Four Masters" have it happening in 992AD.  (MAP)

994AD: Odhran Ua-h-Eolais, scribe of Clonmacnois, died' (headstone at right) -  more info hereThe inscription is translated as "Pray for Odran descendant of Eolais".   Eolas was chieftain of Magh-Rein (in the south of the county of Leitrim), about the year 900'
I've included this here to show that headstones still survive of people from the area from this time - this one is at Clonmacnoise.

The area and peoples of what is now the barony of Mohill and barony of Leitrim are referred to in the annals as Muintir Eolais after this date. 
The barony boundaries are seen in the maps of the 1800s - see the maps page

1085: Muireadhach, son of Dubh, chief of all Muintir-Eolais, was taken prisoner by Toirdhealbhach Ua Briain; and all Muintir-Eolais was plundered by him Muiredhach mac Duibh, toisech Muintire Eolais uile do erghabhail lá Toirrdhealbhach ua m-Briain, & Muintir Eolais uile do orgáin dó.
1087: From the Annals of the Four Masters (1087AD)

1087: A battle was fought between Ruaidhri Ua Conchobhair, King of Connaught, and Aedh, son of Art Ua Ruairc, lord of Conmhaicne and Breifne, at Conachail, in Corann, where Ua Ruairc was defeated and killed. There were also slain in this battle of Corann, by Ruaidhri, Muireadhach Mac Duibh, chief of Muintir-Eolais; the son of Godfrey Ua Siridein; the son of Cusleibhe O'Fearghail; and distinguished men of the Conmhaicni, both noble and plebeian. In commemoration of this battle was said:
    1. Seven years and eighty full,
      And a thousand, fair, complete,
      Since Christ was born without a stain,
      Till the battle of Conachail in Corann.

Cath eittir Ruaidhri Ua Concobhair, rí Connacht, & Aodh mac Airt Uí Ruairc, tigherna Conmaicne & Breifne, h-i c-Conachail h-i c-Corann, & ro meabhaidh for Ua Ruairc. Marbhthar é budhéin, & Muiredhach mac Duibh, toiseach Muinntire h-Eolais. & mac Gofraidh Uí Shirittéin, & mac Con Sléibhe Uí Ferghail, & maithe Conmaicne archena etir shaor & daor, torcrattar isin cath-sin Coraind lá Ruaidhri. As do fhoraithmhet an chatha-sin at-rubradh,
    1. Secht m-bliadhna is ochtmodha án,
      agus míle caomh comhlán,
      o ro genair Criost gan choll,
      co cath Conachla h-i c-Corann.

1166: The Annals Four Masters record (1166AD) that:

The shrine of Manchan of Maothail (Mohill) was covered by Rory O'Conor, and an embroidery of gold placed over it by him in as good style as relic was ever covered in Ireland.

Scrin Mancháin Maothla, do cumhdach lá Ruaidhri Ua Conchobhair, & forbhrat óir do thabhairt tairsi lais feibh as deach ro cumhdaighedh feathal a n-Erinn
1172: Tiernan O'Rourke, Lord of Breifny and Conmaicne, a man of great power for a long time, was treacherously slain at Tlachtgha by Hugo de Lacy and Donnell, the son of Annadh O'Rourke, one of his own tribe, who was along with them. He was beheaded by them, and they conveyed his head and body ignominiously to Dublin. The head was placed over the gate of the fortress, as a spectacle of intense pity to the Irish, and the body was gibbeted, with the feet upwards, at the northern side of Dublin

Donnell O'Farrell, chief of Conmaicne, was slain by the people of the King of England
1179: Melaghlin O'Mulvey, Chief of Muintir-Eolais, died  
1196: (from the Annals of Lough Key) Ruaidri mac Duinnsleibhe do bhreth h-socraide moire a Connachtaibh, im mac Moeil Ísa h-I Conchobair & im mac mic Murchada h-I Maeil na m-Bó, & im Brian  buidhe .H. Flaithpertaigh; co n-dernsat Airgíalla, & .H.  h-Anluain, & forcla cheneóil Eogain inneall ar a g-cinn, .i. da cath mhóra, co tucsat cath dá chéle, gur marbad ann ant socraidi sin uile, im mac I Conchobair, & im mac mic Murchada, & im mac h-I Flaitpertaigh; co nach ternó dhibh ass acht mac Duinn Sleibhe uathad ar echaib, & began dont shocruide. Socraide mhór do muinter Eoluis do mharbad lá h-Ualgharg .H. Ruairc, ri Breiffne.
1197: (from the Annals of Lough Key) Domnall mac Mheg Ragnaill, dux muintire h-Eoluis, do marbad.

1216: The Monastery at Mohill is taken over by the Augustinians.  It was known at that time as "St. Mary's Priory".
1238: Donnchad son of Muirchertach [Luathsuilech Mac Diarmata] went into Brefne to join O Raigillig. They made a great raid into Connacht, plundering the community of Clooncorpey; and the nobles of Muinter Eolais and many of the Tuatha were killed in pursuing the raiders. Dondchad mac Murcertaig do dol isin mBrefne dochum h. Raighillig & curro leccsiud creich mor hi Connachtaib, cur aircsitt muintir Cluana Chairpti, cur marbad maithe Muintiri Eolais & moran dona Tuathaib hi toraigecht na creice-sin
1244: (from the Annals of Connacht) Fedlimid mac Cathail Chrobdeirg made an immense hosting eastwards into Brefne against O Raigillig, to avenge his fosterson and kinsman, Tadc O Conchobair. They encamped for a night at Fenagh. At that time there was no roof on the church of Fenagh, and the coarb was away that night. And as he was not present, the common soldiers of the host burned the huts and tents which were inside the church, without permission of their leaders, and the coarb's foster-child, God's gift, was suffocated. Now learned men relate that the coarb received this foster-child by finding him on a large stone which stood in that place, and [the people] never knew of his having either mother or father; and the coarb loved him and gave him, as it is said, milk from his own breasts. Next day he came to them in anger and indignation at the death of the boy, requiring O Conchobair to pay the blood-fine for his foster-child, and O Conchobair said he could choose what fine he pleased. ‘I choose’ said he ‘the best man among you, as compensation for the child of God whom you have burnt.’ ‘That’ said O Conchobair ‘is Magnus, the son of Muirchertach Muimnech.’ ‘Nay, not so,’ said Magnus ‘but he who is leader of the host.’ ‘I will not go from you so’ said the coarb ‘until I get the fine for my foster-child.’ After this the host departed from that place, and the coarb followed them to Ath na Cuirre on the Yellow River, which was flowing over its banks, so that they could not cross it till they broke up the spital-house of John the Baptist, which stood beside the ford, and used its materials to bridge the river for the host to pass across. Magnus son of Muirchertach Muimnech and Conchobar son of Cormac Mac Diarmata went into the house, and Magnus spoke to a man who was above him, at work on the house-breaking; ‘That’ said he, pointing upwards with the chape of his sword, ‘is the nail which keeps the house from falling.’ As he spoke, a rafter(?) fell on his head and smashed it to pieces on the spot. He was buried outside the doorway of the church of Fenagh, and thrice the full of the Bell of the Kings of silver and thirty horses were given as an offering with him. Thus, then, did the coarb of St. Caillin at last recover compensation for his fosterling of God from them. A beautiful monument of carved stone with an excellently wrought stone cross was afterwards made [and set up] over him, but after a while the Ui Ruairc in their enmity demolished it. Sluagad adbalmor la Fedlimid mac Cathail Crobdeirg isin mBrefne sair dochum h. Raigillig do digail a daltai & a brathar .i. Taidc h. Conchobair, co rabatur adaig longpuirt hi Fidnach Moigi Rein, & ni rabi cenn for tempul Fidnacha in tan-sin, & ni bai in comarba fein isin baili ind adchisin. Et o nach rabi, do loscidur rutada an tsluaig botha & belscalana do batur isin tempull istig can cet da ndainib maithi, & do muchad dalta De in comarba ann; & is ed innisid eolaig conad amlaid fuair in comarba an dalta-sin, a fagbail ar carraig cloichi bai isin baili, & ni fedatur mathair no athair occa riam, & gradaigis in comarba he, & aithristir co tuc se lacht do asa cigib budein; & tanicc in comarba chuctha arabarach co feirc & co lonnus i ndeoid a dalta & do iarr se eraicc a dalta ar h. Conchobair & adubairt h. Conchobair co tibred a breith fein do. `Is hi mo breth-sa,' ar in comarba, `ant aenduine is ferr accaib i n-ericc meic De do losced lib.' `Magnus mac Murcertaig Mumnig sin,'ar h. Conchobair. `Ni he, etir,' ar Magnus, ` acht an ti is cenn arin sluag.' `Ni scerad-sa frib amlaid sin,' ar in comarba, `co fagbur eraicc mo dalta uaib.' Do imthig in sluag asin bali amach iar sin & do len in comarba iat co hAth na Curri forsin Gerctig, & do bai an tuili dar bruigib di & ni rancatar tarsi co ndernsad tech spitel Iohannis Basti do bai ind imbel ind atha do scailed da cur forsan abaind do dol tarsi don tsluag, co ndechaid Magnus mac Murcertaig Mumnig isin tech & Conchobar mac Cormaic Meic Diarmata, co nd-ebert Magnus risin fer bai thuas ac scailed in tigi, ac sined sepete a claidim uada suas : `Ac sin in tairngi ata ag congbail in tigi can toitim.' Risin comrad-sin do toit airrgi in tigi i cend Magnusa co nderna bruilig dia chinn arin lathair-sin, & cur hadlaiced e i ndorus tempuill Fidnacha all amoig & co tucad tri lan cluicc na rig d' ofrail arcit leis & x. n-eich xx., curap amlaid sin fuair comarba Caillin eric a dalta De fa deoid uatha; & doronad lecht lanmasech do chloch snaigti & cros caindenmusach cloiche osa chind iar sin, & do brissidar Muinter Ruairc in lecht-sin iar trill do toradh namatais.
1247: (from the Annals of Connacht) Milid Mac Gosdelb took Feda Conmaicne and expelled Cathal Mag Ragnaill. He took the crannog of Claenloch and left a garrison of his own men in it.  [Later that year:] Tadc son of Conchobar Ruad burned the great island of Claenloch and twenty-eight Galls were burned there Milid Mac Gosdelb do gabail Fedh Conmaicne & Cathal Mag Ragnaill do dichur estib, & crannoc Claenlocha do gabail do & lucht a gabala do facbail do inti da muintir fein.
1252: (from the Annals of Connacht) Great heat and drouth in the summer of this year, so that folk used to come across the Shannon dry-shod. The wheat was reaped three weeks before Lammas, and [indeed] all the corn-crops were reaped then. The trees were burned by the sun. Tesbach mor & tirmach hi samrad na bliadna-sa, co tecdis na daine dar Sinainn cin flichad a cos, & in cruthnecht aca buain xx. aidchi ria Lugnasad & int arbur uili do buain an tan-sin & na croind do loscad don grein.
1253: The entire country of Muintir Eolais was plundered by a coalition of O'Reillys, O'Connors, and O'Farrells. Battles ensued, centred around Carrigallen, Cloone and Annaduff. (From the Annals of Connacht): Domnall O Raigillig, Caech O Raigillig, Cathal O Conchobair and Gilla. na Naem O Fergail invaded Muinter Eolais to attack Cathal Mag Ragnaill. They plundered the whole region, spent two nights encamped at Tully and a third at Annaduff where O Fergail separated from them. The Ui Raigillig and Cathal O Conchobair went to Cluain Conmaicne, where they were encamped for one night. When Aed son of Fedlim [O Conchobair] heard of this, he mustered his followers in haste, followed the Ui Raigillig and Cathal to Cloone and utterly  routed them. Here were killed Donnchad son of Gilla Isa son of Donnchad O Raigillig, Mac Gilla Taedocc, O Bibsaig and many others.

This was the best year that ever was, for fruit and crops and cattle and woodland and herb

Sluagad do denam do Domnall h. Raigillig & don Chaech  h. Raigillig & do Chathal h. Conchobair & do Gilla na Naem  h. Fergail a Muintir Eolais d' innsaigid Cathail Meg Ragnaill, cur arcset an tir uili, & do batur da oidchee longpuirt ic Tolaig Alainn & in tres oidchi ic Enach Duib, & do delig h. Fergail  friu ic an Enach-sin, & dochodur Muinter Raigillig & Cathal  h. Conchobair co Cluain Conmaicne & do batur adaig longpuirt  inte. O atchuala Aed mac Fedlimid in ni-sin dorone tinol co  tinnesnach & do len se Muintir Raigillig & Cathal co Cluain  Conmaicni & tucc bresmaidm forro, cur marbad and Dondchad mac Gilla Isu meic Dondchada h. Raigillig & Mac Gilla Taedocc & h. Bibsaig & alii multi.

Bliadain is ferr tanicc riam in bliadain-sin etir mes & torad talman & ellach & fidbadaib & luibi.

During the 12th century the O'Rourke's reached the height of their power under the kingship of Tiernan O'Rourke.  A great battle fought between the O'Rourkes and the O'Reillys in the year 1256 near Ballinamore led to the division of Breifne between the O'Rourkes and O'Reillys, with West Breifne eventually becoming Co. Leitrim and East Breifne becoming Co. Cavan.  Read all about the O'Rourkes of Breifne (Leitrim and Cavan) at this time on http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~ruairc/placname.htm
1256: (From the Annals of Connacht) Conchobar son of Tigernan O Ruairc, king of Brefne, and Gilla na Naem Mag Samradain and Mac Raith Mag Tigernain, the son of Cu Buide, and Mac na hOidche Mag Dorchaid and Cathal Mag Ragnaill and the sons of the kings and chieftains of the Ui Briuin with their followers came to Fenagh to meet with Domnall O Raigillig. They pursued him from the meeting-place and killed his beloved son Annad and Gilla Isa Mac in Chrottaig (Son of the Hunchback) [O Raigillig?] and many others. Next day, St. Brendan's day, they took a great prey out of Cruacha O Cubrain and plundered the country all the way to Fenagh. That day was ‘a drop before a shower’ to the Muinter Raigillig, since from it proceeded the beginning of the harm and harassing that afterwards befell them. For it is then that they sent envoys to the Connacht Galls, Macwilliam Burke and Mac Gosdelb, [inviting them] to destroy Connacht and Brefne.

As for the Galls, they mustered a great army and advanced to Keshcorran, where they encamped and spent the best part of a week, plundering all the churches of the Corann.

Conchobar mac Tigernan h. Ruairc ri Brefne & Gilla na Naem Mag Samradan & Mac Raith Mag Tigernan, mac Conbuide, & Mac na hOidche Mag Dorchaid & Cathal Mag Ragnaill & meic rig & tuisech h. mBriuin cona sochraite do techt co Fidnach hi coinne Domnaill h. Raigillig, & ro lensad e asin coinne & ro marbsad a mac gradach .i. Annad h. Raigillig & Gilla Isa Mac in Crotaig & sochuide maille friu, & tucsat creich moir o Cruachain O Cubran arnabarach .i. la feli Brenaind, & ro arcset in tir rompa ille co Fidnach Moigi Rein. Do ba bainne ria frais do Muintir Raigillig in la-sin. Uair ro fas and-side tosach uilc & imnid moir orra o sin amach. Uair ro chuirsedd techta d' indsaigid Gall Connacht in tan-sin .i. dochum Meic Uilliam Burcc & Meic Gosdelb do milled Connacht & na Brefne.
1265: Cathal Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of Muinter Eolais, died. Cathal Mag Ragnaill toisech Muintire hEolais mortuus est
1288: (From the Annals of Connacht) Magnus O Conchobair came, with such of the men of Connacht, Ui Briuin and Conmaicne (South Leitrim) as he could get to join him, to seize the kingship of Connacht for himself and to depose his brother, Cathal son of Conchobar Ruad. They reached Bellaslishen, where Cathal and his followers were, and the two armies gave battle to each other. Here Cathal was captured and his men routed; he was deposed and a great part of Connacht was plundered on that occasion. Magnus then seized the kingship and ousted his elder brother, who had held it for seven and a half years, as the poet says: ‘The son of kingly Conchobar Ruad was king of Connacht north and south; seven years and half a year was the reign of Cathal in Cruachu.’ Magnus h. Conchobair mar aen re a fuair leis do Connachtaib & d'Ib Briuin & do Conmaicnib do techt do gabail rigi Connacht do fein, d'aithrigad a derbbrathar fein .i. Cathail meic Conchobair Ruaid, & techt daib co hAth Slisen, ait a raibe Cathal cona shochraide. Acus cumusg do thabairt daib leth ar leath diaroile & Cathal do gabail and & maidm do thabairt ara muintir, & do hathrigad he fein & do hairged urmor Connacht don chur-sin; acus rigi do gabail do Magnus ar eicin in tan-soin ar belaib a hsindserbrathar iarna beith secht mbliadna co leth inti, ut ait poeta:
  1. 14] Mac Conchobair rigda Ruaid
    15] fa ri Connacht theass is tuaid
    16] lethbliadain is a seacht soin
    17] rigi Cathail a Cruachain.
1297: Magnus O hAinlige, chieftain of Kinel Dofa, was killed by his own father's brother's son and the Muinter Eolais, in treacherous wise, at Annaduff. Magnus h. hAnligi taisech Ceneoil Doptha do marbad do mac derbrathar{folio 25b} a athar fein & do Muintir Eolais per dolum ic Enach Duib

1302: Cathal son of Domnall Mag Ragnaill, eligible for the chieftainship of the Muinter Eolais, was killed by Fergal Mag Ragnaill, his own father's brother's son.. Cathal mac Domnaill Meg Radnaill damna toisig Muintiri hEolais do marbad le Fergal Mag Ragnaill .i. mac derbrathar a athar fein
1306: (From the Annals of Connacht) Fergal Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of the Muinter Eolais, was treacherously killed by Mathgamain Mag Ragnaill, his own brother, and by some of his Council, on the Clachoilen, whence [the saying:] ‘the Clachoilen betrayal.’ Fergal Mag Ragnaill taisech Muintiri hEolais do marbad la Mathgamain Mag Ragnaill a derbrathair fein & la dreim da orecht fein per dolum arin Clachoilen, unde fell in Clachoilein.
1308: (From the Annals of Connacht) Easter in March this year; destruction of men and cattle; very stormy weather Caisc i mis Marta in hoc anno & dith for daine & cedrib inti & donend dermair fos inti
1315: (From the Annals of Connacht) Great raids were made by the sons of Domnall [O Conchobair] on the Clan Murtagh the next day. They killed Magnus son of Magnus and Domnall son of Magnus as they pursued the preys, and Tomaltach Mac Donnchada was captured also by these same people, and after these triumphs they put themselves under the protection of the Galls. When Feidlim heard of these great feats he set off, with a few of his officers, to join the sons of Domnall son of Tadc O Conchobair, namely Ruaidri and Magnus, Cathal and Muirchertach, Donnchad and Seon and all their kinsmen. And on finding them loyal he made great raids, first on Brian O Dubda and then in Airtech, on Diarmait Gall Mac Diarmata, killing many of his men and burning his corn and houses, and another immediately afterwards on the sons of Cathal O Flannacain. The route by which this prey was taken was towards Cara Chula Cuirc, and it was not possible to drive it for the softness of the bog and for the numbers and force of the pursuing party; for it was caught up by the flower of the young soldiers of the Tuatha and the flower of the Clann Chathail and Mathgamain Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of the Muinter Eolais, with his kinsmen and his levies. Now when Mac Diarmata perceived the disorder of the prey on the way to the Cara (Weir), he followed its tracks to Coll Bathar, where he saw that it had been saved and detained. Now that was not what he wished for, but that it should not be left in the hands of its masters; and he glanced wrathfully and banefully at his enemies, holding them in contempt and scorn, though his following was but small compared with them and though he saw the wide flashing fiery throng prepared to crush him in the fight. However, on that field were killed Conchobar Ruad son of Aed Brefnech O Conchobair, Mathgamain Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of the Muinter Eolais, O Mailmiadaig, chieftain of the Muinter Cerballain, and many nobles of the Muinter Eolais; and he routed every company which was holding back his booty from Feidlim and carried off the prey himself and did not restore it to its lords. That night he reached the Boyle and next day passed northwestwards over the Curlieus to Coolavin and right through Coran into Leyney, where Feidlim with his company was awaiting him. Crecha mora do denam do clainn Domnaill ar Clainn Murcertaig arabarach & Magnus mac Magnusa & Domnall mac Magnusa do marbad le clainn Domnaill ar lorg na creichi-sin, & Tomaltach Mac Dondchada do gabail fos don lucht cetna-sin, & imthecht doib a n-ucht Gall d'es na n-echt-sin do commaidem. O'tchuala Feidlim h. Conchobair na hechta mora-sin do gluais uathad da aes grada mar a rabatur clann Domnaill h. Conchobair .i. Ruaidri & Magnus, Cathal & Murcertach, Dondchad & Seoan, meic Domnaill meic Taidc h. Conchobair, mar oen rea mbraithrib archena; & o tharraid a tarisi sin dorone creich moir ar Brian h. Dubda a cetoir, & fos dorone creich moir aile and Artich ar Diarmait nGall mac nDiarmata, & do marb moran da muintir & do loisc a arbanna & a tigi, & fos doroine creich aili a cetoir ar clainn Cathail h. Flannacan; & is i conair a rucad an crech-sin dochum Carad Chula Cuirccc, & nir fedad a himain re maithi na mona & re linmairi & re truime na tora. Oir rucsat forcla glaslaithi na Tuath & forcla clainni Cathail fuirri & Mathgamain Mag Ragnaill taisech Muintire hEolais cona braithrib & cona tinol. Et o'tconnairc Mac Diarmata comairc na creiche docom na Carad ro len lorg na creichi co Cull Bathur & atconnaircc in creich arna cuitichad & arna fastad, oir ni he sin rop ail leosam acht gan a faccbail oca fiadnaib, & ro fech ara hescardib co hanniarda urbadach & tucc tar & tarcusal forra cerbo huathad ina farrad, & o'tconnairc an laem lethan lasamain lanimda do bai ar comair na troda da thornem. Acht ata ni chena ro marbad Conchobar Ruadh mac Aeda Brefnig h. Conchobair & Mathgamain Mag Ragnaill toisech Muintire hEolais & h. Mailmiadaig dux Muintire Cerballan & moran do maithib Muintiri hEolais mar oen riu arin lathair-sin, & tucc maidm for cech sochraiti ro bai oc fastad a etala o Fedlimid. Et rucustur fein in creich leis iar sin & nir aisicc da hurradaib hi; & ranicc an odchi-sin co Buill & tanicc arabarach dar Segais siartuaid & as-side co Cuil h. Find & ar fud an Corainn & a crich Lugne, ait a rabi Feidlim cona fedain oca furech.
1317: Ragnall Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of the Muinter Eolais, was captured by his own Council in treachery; and Sefraid Mag Ragnaill was afterwards made chieftain. Ragnall Mag Ragnaill taisech Muintiri hEolais do gabail da oirecht fein a fill & taisech do denam do Sefraid Mag Ragnaill iar sin.
1321:(From the Annals of Connacht)  Great cattle-plague throughout Ireland, the like of which had never been known before Bodith mór ar fut Erenn uili do na frith samail riam
1326: (From the Annals of Connacht) Imur Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of the Muinter Eolais, was killed by his own kinsmen Imur Mag Radnaill taisech Muintire hEolais occisus est o braithrib budein
1328: (From the Annals of Connacht) A great intolerable wind this summer, with scarcity of food and clothing Gaeth mor dofulachta isin tsamrad & terca bid & imad etaig.
1340: (From the Annals of Connacht) Pilib O Duibgennain, ollav of the Conmaicne, died Pilib h. Dubgennan ollam Conmaicne mortuus est.
1345: From the Annals of the Four Masters (1345AD)

Turlough, the son of Hugh, son of Owen O'Conor, King of Connaught, was killed in Autumn by one shot of an arrow, at Fidh doradha, in the territory of Muintir-Eolais, after he had gone to Loch-Airinn to aid Teige Mac Rannall against the descendants of Murtough Muimhneach O'Conor. The Clann-Murtough and the rest of the Muinter-Eolais pursued him as far as Fidh Doradha, and killed him at Gurtin-na-spideoige. For a long time before there had not fallen of the Gaels, any one more to be lamented than he. Hugh, son of Turlough, was inaugurated in his place.

(Lough Airinn is Lough Rynn is Lough Rinn - Fidh doradha is Fedora in Annaduff)

Toirrdelbach mac Aeda meic Eogain h. Conchobair Ri Connachd fria re xxi. bliadan & degadbar Rig Erenn da ndeonaiged Dia do i, do marbad d'urchur tsoigti a Fid Doruda a Muintir Eolais, iar ndol do congnam do le Tadc Mag Ragnaill a n-agaid clainni Murcertaig Mumnig h. Conchobair co Loch Airinn; & clann Murcertaig{folio 36b} Mumnig & in chuid eli do Muintir Eolais dia lenamain co Fid Doruda & a marbad ar Guirtin na Spideoigi a Fid Doruda amail adubramar romainn; & ni menicc doronnad riam le soigid, o do marbad Niall Noigiallach mac Echach Muidmeodoin le hEochaig mac Enna Cennsilaig, gnim
bad mo ina in gnim-sin do genam le soigit. Et Aed mac Toirrdelbaig do rigad ina inat iar sin.
1347: Tadc Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of the Muinter Eolais, was captured by the Clan Murtagh this year. 

O Ruairc's gallowglasses, having been discovered in Muinter Eolais, were killed and captured by the Clan Murtagh.
Tadc Mag Ragnaill dux Muintire hEolais do gabail do Clainn Murcertaig in hoc anno.

Galloclaig h. Ruairc do marbad & do gabail la Clainn Murcertaig iarna fagail a Muintir Eolais.
1350: The black death
1355: Cormac Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of the Muinter Eolais, was killed by the sons of Imar Mag Ragnaill Cormac Mac Ragnaill taisech Muintire hEolais do marbad do clainn Imair Meg Ragnaill
1360: The King of England's son came to Ireland, and there were great burnings this year—of Roscommon, Devenish, Sligo, the monastery of Lisgoole, Fenagh and Drumlease. Mac Rig Saxan do techt a nErinn, & loiscti mora isin bliadain-sin .i. Ros Coman & Daminis & Slicech & mainister Lesa Gabail & Fidnach & Druim Lias.
1365: Another attack was made by Aed Mac Diarmata on the Muinter Eolais, and this time great plunderings and depredations were committed against them. Yet these raids were not unpunished; for Cormac son of Diarmait Ruad [Mac Diarmata] and the two sons of Tomaltach O Birn, Maelsechlainn Caecus and Gilla Crist, were killed, while Diarmait Mac Diarmata and Maelruanaid son of Donnchad Riabach [Mac Diarmata] were captured. This defeat was called the Defeat of the Young Warriors ever since. Indsaigid eli la hAed Mac nDiarmata for Muintir nEolais Cena mora & crecha aidbli do denam ar Muintir nEolais don chur sin, & nochar creca cin digail na crecha-sin, ar daig do marbad and-side Corbmac mac Diarmata Ruaid & da macc Tomaltaig h. Birn .i. Maelsechlainn Cecus & Gilla Crist, & do gabad and beuss Diarmait Mac Diarmata & Maelruanaid mac Dondchada Riabaig; & Maidm na Maccam ainm in madma-sin o sin ille
1367: The Clan Murtagh migrated into Mag Nisi this year. They made an expedition into Moylurg—Tadc son of Ruaidri O Conchobair and Fergal Mag Tigernain, chieftain of Tullyhunco, and Diarmait Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of the Muinter Eolais, together with some gallowglasses—and burnt the stronghold of Aed Mac Diarmata. Fergal Mac Diarmata, king of Moylurg, and Aed caught up with them and gave battle to them, and killed some of their men. Imirci do denam do Clainn Murcertaig i Moig Nisi in hoc anno, & toisc do denam doib i mMoig Luirg .i. Tadc mac Ruaidri h. Conchobair & Fergal Mag Tigernan dux Tellaig Dunchada & Diarmait Mag Ragnaill dux Muintire hEolais & galloclaich mar aen riu, & longphort Aeda Meicc Diarmata do loscad leo. Fergal Mac Diarmata ri Moige Luirg do breith forra & Aed Mac Diarmata, & tachar do tabairt doib & daine da muintir do marbad
1370: A great war between the Clan Murtagh and the Ui Raigillig this year. O Raigillig, O Fergail, Mag Uidir and O Conchobair rose up against the Clan Murtagh and with their combined forces drove them out of Muinter Eolais. From here the Clan Murtagh went to [seek refuge with] Macwilliam Burke, and Mag Tigernain went with them. Cocad mor etir {folio 41a}Clainn Murcertaig & Muintir Raigillig in hoc anno. H. Raigillig & h. Fergail & Mag Udir & h. Conchobair do ergi a n-adaig Clainni Murcertaig & a cur a Muintir Eolais re nert na rig-sin & a ndol ass-side docum Meic Uilliam Burc & Mag Tigernan do dol leo ann-side
1390: A great war between O Ruairc and O Raigillig. The Muinter Angaile, Muinter Eolais, Tellach Dunchada and Clann Muirchertaig, instructed by Domnall son of Muirchertach [O Conchobair] and Tomaltach Mac Donnchada, entered Connacht Cocad mor etir h. Ruairc & h. Raigillig, & Angalaig & Eolusaig & Tellach Dunchada & Clann Murcertaig do techt a Connachtaib tre seolad Domnaill meic Murcertaig & Tomaltaig Meic Dondchada

1401: Cathal Ruad Mag Ragnaill, chieftain of the Muinter Eolais, was killed at Drumcoorha by Sefraid son of Maelsechlainn Mag Ragnaill at the end of the first month of Spring, namely on the third of March. Maelruanaid son of Cathal Ruad Mag Ragnaill was killed in the same year by the sons of Maelsechlainn Mag Ragnaill on the track of their prey. Cathal Ruad Mag Ragnaill dux Muintire hEolais do marbad a nDruim Cubra le Sefraid mac Mailechlainn Meg Ragnaill hi cind mis d'errach .i. hi quint noin Marta. Maelruanaid mac Cathail Ruaid Meg Ragnaill do marbad la clainn Mailsechlainn Meg Ragnaill in bliadain cetna a lurg a creichi.
1405: Risderd Mag Ragnaill, eligible for the chieftainship of the Muinter Eolais, entered into rest after drinking ‘water of life’ to excess; it was deathly water to him. -
Note that this is the earliest reference to whiskey in Ireland and thus the world.
Risded Mag Ragnaill adbur taisig na nEolusach quieuit iar n-ol usci bethad co himarcach, & dob usci marbtha do Risded
1419: Tadc O Ruairc and the sons of Cathal Ruad Mag Ragnaill attacked the residence of Mac Senlaich at Carrigallen. They burned and sacked the town and killed a man in it and afterwards built the stronghold of Killtoghert.

Another strong attack was made by Tadc O Ruairc, Conchobar Mag Ragnaill, Cathal Mag Ragnaill and the Muinter Ruairc against Cill Deman, Mag Ragnaill's stronghold. They burned the town and wrought much destruction; a strong party of pursuers came up with them, but they came away by dint of great bravery. For two miles they were distressed and hard put to it, but they bore the brunt and left not a man behind. There is no telling how many were wounded on both sides. Two gentle well-born warriors of O Ruairc's followers died of their wounds, Flaithbertach son of Gilla Crist O Ruairc and Tigernan Oc son of Tigernan. Some of the Muinter Eolais themselves were killed on that day.

Tadc h. Ruairc & clann Cathail Ruaid Meg Ragnaill do dol fo baili Meic Senlaich a mBaili na Carrci & in baili do loscad & do lomarcain leo & duine do marbad and & foslongphort Cilli Tathcomarcc do denam doib iar sin.

Tromindsaigid eli la Tadg h. Ruairc & la Conchobar Mag
Ragnaill & la Cathal Mag Ragnaill & la Muintir Ruaircc co Cill
Deman .i. longphort Meg Ragnaill & in bali do loscad & moran do
milled leo and, & tromthoir do breith forro & a techt as co laitir
lanchalma, & do batur a n-anforlonn & a n-ecin moir re hed da
mili & da fuilingsed ind ecin cen aenduine d'facbail da muintir.
Et can airem ar ar loited etarro diblinaib & dias maccam maith
1430: From the Annals of the Four Masters (1430AD)

Brian, the son of Tiernan Oge O'Rourke, was slain by the sons of Melaghlin Mac Rannall, at Maethail-Mhanchain; and Donough Mac Tiernan was driven into the monastery of Maethail. Donough, however, came out of his own accord, for sake of his people, on Mac Rannall's guarantee, and made peace between them; and eric was given to O'Rourke for the death of Brian.
(Eric was a recompense formerly given by a murderer to the relatives of the murdered person)

Brian mac Tighernáin Óicc Ui Ruairc do mharbhadh lá chloinn Mhaoíleachlainn Még Ragnaill h-i Maothail Mancháin & Donnchadh Mac Tighearnáin do cur don ruaig-sin i Mainistir Maotla. Donnchadh fein do thecht amach tar cenn a muintire, ar ionnchaibh Mhég Raghnaill, & síth do dhénomh eatorra, & éraic Briain do dhíol iar sin la h-Ua Ruairc.
1468: Cathal Oc son of Cathal Ruad Mag Ragnaill, chieftain in full of the Muinter Eolais, died in his own house, after the victory of Unction and Penance, on the first Sunday in Great Lent, and a blessing go with him for his excellent gifts, his great charity, his great heart and his free spending and his wealth; for he used to spend this great wealth on the poets and strangers of Ireland and on the poor and needy of the mighty Lord. May God reward his soul therefor on the day of judgment.

Tadc Mag Ragnaill was made chieftain in his stead, and Uilliam Mag Ragnaill was proclaimed chieftain by the posterity of Maelsechlainn Mag Ragnaill
Cathal Occ mac Cathail Ruaid Meg Ragnaill, lantoisech
Muintiri hEolais, do ec ina tig fein iar mbuaid ongtha & athrige
isin cetdomnach don Chargus mor, & bendacht De lais ar febus
a duas & ar med a derci & a doennachda & ar met a cride & a
chaithme & a chonaigh, & do caithed an conach-sin re cliaraib
& re comaighthib Erenn, re bochtuib & re haidilgnechaib in
Chomded chumachtaig; & co cuitige Dia sin fria a anmuin i
llaithe inn Fuigill.

Taisech do genam da mac .i. do Tadc Mac Ragnaill ina inad,
& toisech do gairm d'Uilliam Mag Ragnaill la slicht Mailsechlainn
Meg Ragnaill.
1473: Very great war in Muintir Eolais, wherein much damage was done by burning and slaying. Mag Ragnaill made a strong attack on the residence of Mag Senlaich and burnt it, killing Donnchad son of Donnchad Mag Senlaich's son and many others; and this was but the drop before a shower for them.

The posterity of Maelsechlainn assembled a large force at the Tolach, which they burnt. Mag Ragnaill came upon them, having with him Ruaidri Mac Diarmata, the sons of Cormac Ballach Mac Donnchada, Ualter son of Mac Dubgaill and Donnchad son of Toirrdelbach Mac Dubgaill. The two armies met at Doire Baile na Cairrge and they were defeated. Fergal son of Murchad Mag Ragnaill, one fitted to be sole lord of the Conmaicne, was killed there, together with Diarmait son of Uilliam Mag Ragnaill, Cathal son of Uaithne son of Murchad [Mag Ragnaill], Brian son of Diarmait Mag Ragnaill, Brian Mac Senlaich, Risderd Mac Serraig and many others gentle and simple.

The son of Eogan Mag Ragnaill, prior of Mohill, rested
Cocad roanba a Muintir Eolais & moran do milled eturro etir loscad & marbad. Morindsaigid la Mag Ragnaill co baile Meic Senlaich & in bale do loscad leo & Dondchad mac meic Dondchada Meic tSenlaich do marbad ann & daine aile, & dobo bainde ria frais doib.

Mortinol la slicht Mailsechlainn forin Tolaigh curro loscset in bali. Mag Ragnuill do breith forro & Ruaidri Mac Diarmada & clann Chormaic Ballaig Meic Donnchada & Ualter mac Meic Dubgaill & Dondchad mac Toirrdelbaig Meic Dubgoill, curro comraicset diblinaib a nDoire Baile na Cairrge. Brised forra andsidein. Fergal mac Murchada Meg Ragnaill, saith Conmaicne d'oentigerna, do marbad and sin & Diarmait mac Uilliam Meg Ragnaill & Cathal mac Uathne meic Murchada & Brian mac Diarmata Meg Ragnuill & Brian Mac Senlaich & Risderd Mag tSerraig & ali multi nobiles & ignobiles.

Mac Eogain Meg Ragnaill prioir Moethla quieuit
1474: A great war between Rag Ragnaill and the posterity of Maelsechlainn Mag Ragnaill. He broke down Rinn Castle, and on this occasion submission was made to him.  - see also 1792AD.

The photo at right shows the castle as it is today - unusual features for Ireland are the rounded corners and the stairs built into the wall.

Cocad mor etir Mag Ragnuill & slicht Mailsechlainn Meg Ragnaill. Caslen in Renna do brised les & umla do thabhairt don turus-sin do.

1515AD: The "Book of Fenagh" was completed at the monastery (in Fenagh) in 1516 - it was written by Muirghius mac Páidín Uí Mhaoil Chonaire.
The Book of Fenagh in Irish and English originally compiled by St. Caillin. Revised, indexed and annotated by W. M. Hennessy and done into English by D. H. Kelly was published by the Irish Manuscript Commission in 1939 - its a facsimile of the 1875 edition.

1526: O Ruairc, that is Brian son of Eogan son of Tigernan, made a great hosting into Muinter Eolais, obtaining power over every region of the land and at last forcing them against their will to yield him pledges and hostages. Morhsluaiged le h. Ruairc .i. Brian mac Eoghain meic Tigernáin a Muintir Eolois dar ghab nert for gac aird don tír et dar bhen geill & eideredha co hainndeonach dib fa dheóigh
1530: An army was led by O'Donnell into the province of Connaught; he first passed through Coillte-Chonchubhair, and from thence proceeded through the Tanist's portion of Moylurg, by the Caradh-Droma-ruisc, across the Shannon, and burned and totally desolated the territory of Muintir-Eolais; some of his people were slain around the castle of Leitrim, among whom were Manus, the son of Ferdoragh Mac Sweeny, and the son of Mac Colin (Turlough Duv). He afterwards proceeded westwards across the Shannon, into Machaire Chonnacht, to the bridge of Ath-Mogha. He destroyed and devastated by fire the territory of Clann-Conway; he also burned Glinsce and Cill-Cruain, the towns castles of Mac David; and he obtained great spoil in these countries. He afterwards burned Ballintober also, and obtained his tribute from O'Conor Roe, namely, six pence on every quarter of land in his territory. After having destroyed Moylurg, he returned home by Bealach-buidhe Ballaghboy, without sustaining any injury. He afterwards went to Breifny, where his army burned the best wooden house in all Ireland, i.e. the house of Mac Consnava on Lough Allen. The whole of Breifny, from the mountain westwards, was destroyed and desolated by them on that expedition

Note: This is the first mention of Carrick on Shannon - Cara Droma Ruisc.
Slóiccheadh lá h-Ua n-Domhnaill h-i c-cúicceadh Connacht. As eadh no gabh céttus tria Choilltibh Conchobhair, estibh-sidhe triasan Tanaisteacht h-i Maigh Luircc do Coradh Droma Rúiscc tar Sionainn. Ro loiscceadh, & ro láin-mhilleadh Muintir Eolais lais. Ro marbhadh drong dia mhuintir im chaislén Liath Droma im Mhaghnus mac An Fhir Dhorcha Mic Suibhne & im mac Mic Coilín Toirrdhealbhach Dubh. Do-choidh iaramh as-sin tar Sionainn siar do Machaire Chonnacht, do droichet Atha Mogha tar Suca. Ro croithedh, & ro creach-loiscceadh Clann Connmhaigh lais. Ro loiscc bheos Glinnsce & Cill Cruain bailte Meic Dáuidh, & fuair édala aidhble sna tíribh-sin. Ro loiscceadh beós lais iaramh Baile an Tobair, & fuair a chios ó Ua c-Conchobhair Ruadh .i. se pinginne san c-cethramhain dá dúthaigh, & ticc tar a ais tresan m-Bealach m-Buidhe gan díth do dhénamh dhó iar milledh Muighe Luircc. Tanaic iarttain don Breifne & ro loiscceadh lá sluagh Uí Dhomhnaill an tegh crannghaile as deach baí in Eirinn .i. tegh Mheic Con Snamha ar Loch Aillinne. Ro milleadh, & ro dioláithriccheadh an Breifne uile ó shliabh siar leó don turus-sin.
1540: The castle of Leitrim [village] was erected by O'Rourke (Brian, the son of Owen) while a great war was waged against him on every side, namely, in Moylurg, Muintir-Eolais, and Breifny-O'Reilly; and his own son and a party of the men of Breifny were also at war with him. He finished the castle in a short time, and destroyed a great portion of Moylurg on his opponents. Caislén Liathdroma do dhénamh lá h-Ua Ruairc Brian mac Eocchain, & coccadh mór do beith fair ar gach taobh .i. h-i Maigh Luircc, i Muintir Eolais, & i m-Breifne Uí Raighilligh, & a mac fein & drong d'feraibh Breifne do beith a c-coccadh ris mar an c-cédna, & do-rónadh an caislén lais-siomh lé h-aimsir aithghirr, & do mhill mórán h-i Maigh Luircc fana lucht coccaidh.
1530: The MacRannalls (Reynolds) entered an agreement with Gerald, the 9th Earl of Kildare, executed at Maynooth, November 5, 1530
Agreement between Gerald, 9th earl of Kildare and the Mac Rannalls, A.D. 1530 (Author: Maílín Ó Mael Chonaire)

Is h-e so cunnrad & deintiur ata etir Geroid Mac Gearailt, Iarla Cill Dara, & Mag Radnaill .i. Fedlim mac Concobhair mic Murchadha & Mael Ruadnaidh mac Eoghain mic Uilliam & Ír mac Briain mic Uaithne & Semas mac Mael Ruadnaidh mic Fergail, do ced & do toil a ceile & maithe Cloinni Maileaclainn go h-imlan .i. scilling asan cartun ina fuil cin ag h-Ua Ruairc & ac Mag Radnaill don Iarla gacha bliadhna & a íc gacha samna, do cinn a cosanta ina coraid ar gach aen da m-biad fa cumachtaib in Iarla. Slana De & minna na h-eclaise ar Mag Radnaill & ar na dainibh maithi-sin fa comall don Iarla. Geallad & firinne an Iarla ris sin do comall doib-sen. Is iat na fiadna do bi do lathair in cunnarta-sin .i. in t-Iarla fein & Uilliam Bailis & Semas Boais & Uilliam Diuid & Concobar mac Culruaidh. Na daine maithe adubramar remainn do echtaigh in cunnradh-sin & Mailin Og mac Mailin h-I Mail Conaire do sgribh h-e ina fiadhnuse fein in cuiced la do mí Nouimber a Magh Nuadat. IN t-ochtmad cinc Hannri fa ri Sacsan in inbaid-sin, anno domini m. ccccc. xxx. Ni roibe séla ag Mag Radhnaill & do ordaigh sé séla Coláisde Muigh Nuadadh ar in deinntiur-so. Trí marc do pein ag in Iarla ar in duine ara m-biaid fiacha bacfas gell don maer .i. Conchobar mac Culruaid. A leth-sin ag Mag Radhnaill & ag na dainib maithi do-rinne in cunnradh-sa & a leth eli ag in Iarla.

1540: The English, throughout every part of Ireland where they extended their power, were persecuting and banishing the Orders, and particularly they destroyed the monastery of [Mohill-Monaghan], and beheaded the guardian, and some of the friars. Saxanaigh do bheith (in gach áit ar fud Ereann inar chuirset a c-cumhachta) ag ingreim & ag ionnarbhadh na n-ord, & go h-airidhe Mainstir Mhuineacháin do mhilleadh dhóibh, & gairdian na mainistre go n-druing dona braithribh do dhichendadh leó.
1578: In the spring of this year Leitrim [village] of Muintir-Eolais was taken from O'Rourke by an English captain, one of the people of Nicholas Malby; and O'Rourke (Brian, the son of Brian, son of Owen) demolished Dromahaire. Leitrim was afterwards left to the sons of Teige O'Rourke by the English; but in a short time afterwards the same town was taken by O'Rourke, with the permission of the English, but against the will of the sons of Teige. Liathdruim Mhuintire h-Eolais do ghabháil lé caiptin Saxanach do mhuintir Niculais Maulbi ar Ua Ruairc i n-earrach na bliadhna-so, & Druim Da Ethiar do briseadh lá h-Ua Ruairc, Brian, mac Briain, mic Eoghain. Liathdruim iaromh d'fáccbháil lá Gallaibh ag cloinn Taidhcc Uí Ruairc, & an baile cedna do ghabháil lá h-Ua Ruairc gar becc iar sin do ced Gall & do neimh-chet chloinne Taidhg.
1583: Leitrim was shired (became a county) by Sir John Perrott, formed from the kingdom of Breffny-O'Rourke - The other counties of Connacht were formed in 1579.

1590: In March, English Government forces, described as an "immense army" fought against the forces of O'Rourke and MacRaghnaill.  After spending the night in Mohill, they made away with 1,000 cattle.

1591: From state papers of 1591-2  State Papers  Feb., Leitrim is described as follows (Modern names in brackets):

Map of the  Baronies of South County Leitrim
(Mohill, Leitrim, Carrigallen)

Names of the five baronies in O'Rourke's country, viz., in Mynterolles (South Leitrim), two baronies called Leitrim and Moyghell (Mohill).  The M'Grannells (Reynolds) enjoyed these two baronies as their proper lands, until the late O'Rourke's father supplanted them by strong ahdn, and since that time they have lived under the spending and tyranny of O'Rourke.  A third barony is called Carryg Allen (Carrigallen) and is occupied by a sept of the O'Rourkes, called the O'Rourkes of Carryg Allen.  All these three baronies lie on this side the mountain Sleighoneron (Slieve Anierin), which divideth the whole country as it were into two parts, the lands and grounds thereof are fruitful, though some bog and woods.

The other to baronies lie beyond the said mountain of sleighoneyron, viz., the barony of Dromaheare, in which is the country called Brenny O'Rourke, O'Rourke's ancient castle having fifty or sixty quarters lying about it called Canarvy.  This barony is most champaign ground and the best land in all the country.

The barony of Roselougher, M'Glannough's country. A fast country full of bogs and woods.  And the Carrhy, Owen O'Rourke's country, called the O'Rourkes of the Carrhy, a champaign and very fruitfull.  O'Rourke's house, called the newton, is in none of these baronies, but standeth upon the border of his country, near to Sligo, and hath belonging unto it eight quarters of land in demsne called Mooyghhellys.

The chief freeholders in the country of O'Rourke are the two MacGrannells, in Mynterooles, McGlannough, in the Dartry, the O'Rourkes of Carryg Allen, the O'Rourkes of the Carrhy, and the MacGawrains. The chief ordinary forces and strength of men to serve O'Rourke in his wars are, the McLoughlins, the McMorrices, and the Clantyernene.  These had sixteen quarters of land amoungst them as their inheritance, called Ylaugh, and the lands of Cleanlough.  These had never bonnaught of O'Rourke but only their shares of preys and spoils that were taken."

1595: Another hosting was made by O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) into Connaught, on the eighteenth day of the month of April. He first crossed the Erne, and marched on, keeping Lough Melvin on the right, until he arrived at Ros-inbhir, where he stopped for that night. From thence he went to Cill-Fhearga, where he waited for the coming up of the rear of his army. Upon their arrival they proceeded through Breifny to Braid-Shliabh, and from thence into Machaire-Chonnacht; and such part of it as had escaped being plundered on the former expedition was plundered now; and they collected the preys together to him. After this he proceeded onward with these preys and spoils, and arrived the same night in Leitrim in Muintir-Eolais.

Now his enemies thought that he would return into Ulster; this, however, he did not do, but privately dispatched messengers to Maguire (Hugh), requesting that he would come to hin, in Annaly; and he sent spies before him through the country, and ordered them to meet him at a certain place. He himself then marched onwards, secretly and expeditiously, and arrived with his troops at the dawn of day in the two Annalys (these were the countries of the two O'Farrells, though the English had some time before obtained sway over them); and one of the English, Christopher Browne by name, was then dwelling in the chief mansion-seat of O'Farrell. The brave troops of O'Donnell and Maguire marched from Sliabh-Cairbre to the River Inny, and set every place to which they came in these districts in a blaze of fire, and wrapped it in a black, heavy cloud of smoke. They took the Longford, for they had set fire to every side and corner of it, so that it was only by the help of a rope that they conveyed Christopher Browne and his brother-in-law, and both their wives, out of it. Fifteen men of the hostages of that country (who had been in the custody of the aforesaid Christopher Browne) were burned to death, who could not be saved, in consequence of the fury and violence that prevailed.

Slóiccheadh ele lá h-Ua n-Domhnaill (Aodh Ruadh) i c-Connachtaibh an t-ochtmadh lá décc do mhí April. Bassedh a c-cédna h-uidhe tar Eirne lamh dhes lé Loch Melge co m-battar in adhaigh sin i Ros Inbir. Tiaghait ar a bharach co Cill Fearga, & airisitt ann-saidhe fri deireadh a shlóigh do breith forra, & iar rochtain dóibh lotar iaramh trés an m-Breifne co Braidsliabh assaidhe co Machaire Chonnacht, & a n-deachaidh uadh gan creachadh ar an sluaiccheadh roimhe ro tecclamadh a c-creacha chuicce go h-aon maighin don chur sin. Do-chóidh iaramh gusna h-airccthibh & gusna h-édalaibh sin lais go Liathdruim Muintire h-Eolais an adhaigh sin.

An tan bá dóigh lá a easccairdibh ei-siomh do shoadh tar a ais i n-Ultaibh ní h-edh sin do-róine itir, acht ro fhaidh teachta go h-incleithe do saighidh Még Uidhir Aodha co t-tiosadh ina dhochom don Anghaile, & ro lá lucht taiscelta roimhe for an c-crich, & ro forcongair forra co t-tíostais ina dhochom i n-ionad erdhalta. Ro assccna feissin iaramh co t-aoí táithenach co rainicc cona slóghaibh an dá Anghaile isin moichdeadhóil (duthaigh an dá Ua Fherghail indsin cidh ria siú ro bhátar Goill acc fortamhlucchadh forra) & ro bhaoí aon dona Gallaibh fadhein hi b-port airechais Uí Ferghail .i. Críostóir Brún a chomhainm. Rangattar sirthe sársluaigh Uí Dhomhnaill & Meg Uidhir ó Sliabh Cairpre co h-Eithne co ro chuirsiot gach ní gus a rangattar dona tíribh sin fó troimnell teineadh, & fo smuit cheó dhobhardha duibhchiach. Ro gabhadh leó an Longport, uair ro chuirsiot tene gacha slesa & gacha h-airchinn de gurab lá téitt réfedh tuccsat Criostóir Brún cona chliamhain, & cona mnaibh ar aon amach. Ro loiscceadh dna cúicc fir décc do braighdibh an tíre (báttar i l-laimh acc an c-Criostóir rémhraite) ná ro cuimgedh d'anacal nó do thesarccain la tresthan, lá tendáldacht na t-eineadh.


1603: The battle of Kinsale was lost on December 24th 1601. Following this, O'Sullivan Beare, head of the Irish forces sheltered in Cork.  In 1602, O'Sullivan Beare and his followers were declared outlaws and he decided to retreat to Leitrim (village) to try and link up with his northern allies.   With a thousand followers he left Glengarriff on December 31st 1602. For the entire journey, the fugitive group was attacked by both English forces and Irish clans loyal to Elizabeth I of England.  Only thirty five reached the Leitrim destination in mid-January 1603.  Read more about the march (including maps) here.
2003 marks the 400th anniversary of the march of O'Sullivan Beara - to celebrate, there is a march planned in December 2002, retracing the path of the original march.  It is also planned to create a permanent walk-way along the original route, called the
Beara Breifne Greenway.  See here for more information.

1605:  at this stage, Leitrim is largely covered in woodland: "So lately as 1605, five [woods] are distinctly mentioned as being of very considerable extent: under the names of the forests of Drummat, Clone, Drumdaragh, Cortmore, and Screeney" - Note: if anyone can advise as to the location or extent of these woods, I'd be delighted to hear.  A map in the book "Tudor and Stuart Ireland", shows two massive forests: "Fasach Coille" covering much of North Leitrim and "The Feadha" covering much of North Roscommon and parts of South Leitrim.

1612: Jamestown established as a royal borough.

1621: The Monastery in Mohill is dissolved.

1622: Crofton family acquire lands in South Leitrim including the monastery lands.

1623: Jamestown castle built by Sir Charles Coote.

1640: Aughry Castle in Dromod built.

1641: Rebellion

1643: Owen Roe O'Neill & his army camped at Cavan (Mohill).

1652: Fenagh is sacked by Cromwellian soldiers.

1673: Problems with "persons of the Popish Religion in this Kingdom" led the Lord Lieutenant General, Essex to declare that "for the better Ordering and Governing of His Majesties affairs here, and the preservation of the publique peace and security of His Majesties Subjects; have thought be hereby in His Majesties Name, and in pursuance of His Majesties Orders to declare publish and command, that no person or persons of popish Religion in the Kingdom, do hereafter presume to Ride with, carry, buy, use or keep in His or their House or Houses or elsewhere, any Muskets, Caliberts, Pistrol, or other Guns whatsoever, without License from Us the Lord lietenant or other Chief Governor or Governours of this Kingdom" ..."For the County of Leitrim, Sir William GORE and Henry CROFTON of Mohill Esqs" are to receive said arms - Given at His Majesties Castle of Dublin, the 8th day of November, 1673

1680: The Crofton's build a Protestant church on part of the site of the old abbey.

1690: Fenagh abbey damaged by cannon fire during the Williamite wars.

1720: Turlough O'Carolan marries Mary Maguire in Mohill (pictured at right)

1750: Nathaniel Clements acquired about 10,000 acres in the Mohill area. For a good social history of South Leitrim see the Lough Rynn site.

1752: The Gregorian calendar was adopted by Catholic parts of Europe in 1582 but by the UK (including Ireland at that time) in 1752.  This resulted in 11 days disappearing from the calendar that year.  This resulted in a number of changes:  Monaghan day (St. Manachan's feast day) moved from February 14th to February 25th.  Another consequence was that the addition of 11 days resulted in the start of the year (for tax purposes) being moved from March 25 to April 6.  It used always strike me as an odd date to start a year.

1786: George Nugent Reynolds, the last male heir of the family of Reynolds of Lough Scur, was shot by Robert Keon at Dryaun near Sheemore.  Keon was sentenced to death as it was not deemed a proper duel.

1788: Bornacoola becomes a separate RC parish in 1788, splitting off from Mohill - more info here.

1792: Daniel Grose visited Leitrim as part of his preparation for the publication of a book entitled "The Antiquities of Ireland" - He visited Fenagh, Rinn Castle and Aughry Castle in Dromod and has good descriptions of these places together with drawings.

1793 and 1795: General state of "insurrection" in Leitrim as the Catholic "Defenders" take to arms - more information here.

1794 - The map above/left is from a Map of Ireland by R. Wilkinson, 1794.

1795: Robert Clements made 1st Earl of Leitrim. (pictured at right)

1798: The French invade Ireland at Killala in Mayo under Humbert and March to their defeat at Ballinamuck, Co. Longford.  En route, they passed through Leitrim via Drumkeerin, Drumshanbo,  Keshcarrigan, Castlefore, Fenagh, Gorvagh and on to Cloone - more information here.

1815: St. Mary's church (Church of Ireland) is built to replace the earlier church.

1831: Census figures for Mohill Parish and Mohill town can be seen here:

1833: Lough Rynn House is built (pictured right)

1837: Gorvagh Church built on land 'donated' by Lord Leitrim
1837: Sam Lewis in his "Topography of Ireland" describes Mohill - see below.  He also publishes a map of Leitrim -
I've included a thumbnail version below right - click on it or here to see the large version of the map [206kb]. 
For those of you on limited bandwidth, a large map of South Leitrim only is here [113kb].,

"MOHILL, a market and post-town, and a parish, partly in the barony and county of LONGFORD, province of LENISTER, and partly in the barony of LEITRIM, but chiefly in the barony of MOHILL, county of LEITRIM, and province of CONNAUGHT, 8½ miles (S. E.) from Carrick-on-Shannon, and 74¼ (W. N. W.) from Dublin, on the mail coach road to Sligo; containing 16,664 inhabitants, of which number, 1606 are in the town. This place, at a very early period, was the site of an abbey founded for canons regular in 608, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, by St. Manchan, who died in 652. The establishment, which was amply endowed with glebes, tithes, vassals, fees, and other lands, existed till the dissolution, and in 1621, the rectory, as part of its possessions, was granted to Henry Crofton, Esq., under the commission for the plantation of Leitrim. The town, which is neatly built, contains 305 houses; and derives its chief trade from its situation on a public thoroughfare. The market is on Thursday, and is well suplied with grain and provisions of every kind; the fairs are on the first Thursday in January, Feb. 3rd and 25th, March 17th, April 14th, May 8th, first Thursday in June, July 31st, Aug 1st and 18th, second Thursday in Sept., Oct. 19th, Nov. 10th, and the first Thursday in December. A chief constabulary force is stationed here, and petty sessions are held on alternate Saturdays.

The parish comprises 29,782 statute acres, of which 19,430 are good arable and pasture land, 60 woodland, and 10,270 are bog and waste; the soil is fertile, but the system of agriculture has hitherto been much neglected, though at present exertions are being made for its improvement. Limestone abounds and is quarried for agricultural purposes; and there are some quarries of very good freestone, which is raised for building; iron ore is found, but no mines have been yet opened. The principal seats are Clloncar, the residence of the Rev. A. Crofton; Drumard, of Theophilus B. Jones, Esq.; Drumrahan, of J. O'Brien, Esq.; Drumregan, of J. W. O'Brien, Esq.; Bonnybeg, of W. Lawder, Esq.; and Aughamore, of C. Armstrong, Esq. The scenery is greatly varied and in some parts enlivened by the river Shannon, which skirts a portion of the parish on the south west. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ardagh, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is impropriate in Sir M. Crotton, Bart. The tithes amount to £651. 10. 1½ of which £218. 3. 4½ is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar. The glebe-house was built in 1823, at an expense of £1569. 4. 7½. of which £969. 4. 7½. was a loan and £92. 6. ¾. a gift from the late Board of First Fruits; the glebe comprises 500 acres valued at £380 per annum. The church, a modern edifice, towards the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £378, in 1815, is built partly on the site of the old abbey, and was recently repaired by a grant of £768 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. In the R. C. divisions the parish constitutes a benefice intwo portions; there are chapels respectively at Mohill, Cavan, Clonturk, and Clonmorris; and there is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. Nearly 700 children are taught in eight public schools, five of which are aided by an annual donation of £10 each from Lord Clements, who also gave the sites for the school houses; and there are fifteen private schools, in which are about 900 children. There are also a dispensary and a loan fund with a capital of £300. The only remains of the ancient abbey are a small circular tower; at Clonmorris are the ruins of a monastery, said to have been founded by St. Morris; and at Tullagoran is a druidical altar. There is a strong sulphureous spring at Mulock, more aperient than that of Swanlinbar; and at Athimonus, about half a mile distant, is another of similar quality." [the description of Leitrim and other towns at this time can be found at  http://www.trainweb.org/i3/lewis_let.htm]

1839: Mohill Poor Law Union was formed 12th September 1839 and covered an area of 215 square miles. The population falling within the union at the 1831 census had been 66,858.  The new workhouse, built in 1840-42, occupied a 6-acre site and was designed to accommodate 700 inmates.- See general Workhouse site.  Read about Mohill workhouse here and here.  The number of inmates in the Mohill workhouse per annum are here.

1841: The census held - this is the census that recorded the largest population ever in Ireland.  Census figures for Mohill Parish and Mohill town can be seen here:

1846: Work begins on the Ballinamore-Ballyconnel canal (the Shannon-Erne Waterway) - at one stage 7,000 men were employed on its construction.

1846-'47: The Famine from 1841-1861, Leitrim's population declined from 155,297 to 104,744, a loss of near 33%.

click for medium-sized versions -
larger versions of these maps are
here (711kB) & here (357kB)
"Report of the
Boundary Commissioners for Ireland" 1885

Map of County Leitrim 1892
from Atlas by G Philip & Son
2 versions of this map are here: 158kB and 499kB
This is the first map to feature the Ballinamore-Ballyconnell canal

1846-1851 - a big scheme is in hand employing up to 3,000 people to drain the Cloone and Blackwater rivers.

1848 - The average no. of destitute persons relieved in the workhouse in September 1848 were:
There were 851 inmates (with room for 930).  Additionally 4,590 people were on "Out Relief Lists", although relief was in fact given to 5,441. people.  This represented 8% of the 1841 population of the poor-law union area.
See http://www.bopcris.ac.uk/eppi_img1801/ref7046_4_40.html  for a discussion of the state of affairs in Mohill in 1848.  This is from "Papers relating to aid to distressed unions in the west of Ireland"

1848 and 1850 - Two groups of girls aged 15 to 18 were sent to Australia from the workhouse.  Some Famine Orphans from Mohill are buried in Sydney

1851: Census-time again - the Mohill figures are here

1856: Slater's Directory describes Mohill as a prosperous, thriving market town - "(Main Street) contains several good shops well-stocked with the various articles of fashion and of local requisites.  Great progress is manifest in its general appearance and of its size is considered one of the most stirring, and is certainly the most thriving town of any in the surrounding counties".

1856: The Griffiths valuation for Co. Leitrim published - All those holding property in Mohill in 1856 are listed here.

1858: 6000 people turn out to resist a force of 1,000 men, comprising police, military with fixed bayonets and a crowbar brigade arriving to evict the parish priest from Gortletteragh church, as Lord Leitrim tried to repossess it for non-payment of rent. 

1860:  The Ballinamore & Ballyconnell canal (today the Shannon/Eirne waterway) is opened (July 4th, 1860).
1860:  An assasination attempt is made on Lord Leitrim in Mohill.  Read the full story here.  The person who took the shot was a James Murphy, His wife (Ann King) and family moved to Brisbane in Australia shortly afterwards. One of her sons Peter stayed behind for a few years, with relatives (also Murphy) at Glasdrumman - he also went out to Brisbane and made his fortune. I think he married an heiress, not sure of her name, but the present descendents in Brisbane, one been a Edward King-Murphy is a 3rd/or 4th cousin of the recently deceased Queen Mother of the UK through this marriage. (latter information courtesy Gerard Murphy)

1861: Census-time again - the Mohill figures are here

1862: The Dublin-Sligo railway line is completed - and its still getting by on a single track.

1869: The Ballinamore-Ballyconnell canal closes after only 8 years - a total of 8 boats are recorded to have used the canal during its life.  It was re-opened in 1994 and renamed the "Shannon-& Erne Waterway".

1872: A railway is proposed by Leitrim Grand Jury.  The Cavan & Leitrim railway is planned from Belturbet to Dromod (and the Midland & Great Western)

1878: William Sydney Clements, 3rd Earl of Leitrim (Lord Leitrim) assassinated in Milford, Donegal  (pictured at left)

1885: St. Patrick's church, Mohill built.

1886: The Cavan and Leitrim railway reaches Mohill town -

1887: The first train runs in 1887, a "pig special" from Mohill to Dromod & Belturbet.  The section from Dromod to Belturbet (34 miles) was opened on 17/10/1887.  The railway issued its own stamps.
1887: Train crash at Clooncahir (near the Swiss Cottage, just opposite Liam Ellis) - three labourers travelling on the train were killed after it hit a donkey.

1889: The "Mohill Fág a bealach" GAA club is founded.

1890: Mohill win the first GAA football championship in Co.Leitrim.
1890: Sisters of Mercy found St. Anne's Convent in Mohill.
1890: St Joseph's national school opens in Mohill.
1890: The Hunt hall is built.

1891: Ructions in Carrick between Parnell supporters and opponents - more here

1901: Census time - the names of all people enumerated in the census of 1901 can be found on the  LEITRIM-ROSCOMMON website.  Click  here to find out who lived in your townland at that time.

1904: Mohill win Leitrim's first hurling championship

1906: Sir Morgan George Crofton, 6th Bt. of Mohill and Lady Crofton - pictured at court

1906: Fr. Tom Ellis, missionary priest is born.

From OS map 1911 - (with some recent additions)
Click for a medium resolution (205kB), high resolution (298kB) version
The Railway and station are prominent.

1912: Matthew Sadlier (20) of Mohill lost with the Titanic - list of Irish passengers here.

1920: A train is derailed by republicans between Adoon and Rosharry.
1920: Gorvagh RIC barracks burned

1921: Six IRA volunteers killed at Selton Hilll by the British Army.

1927: The first Mohill Agricultural Show is held.

1930s: Electricity in the town. I believe it might have been the 20's - anyone want to advise?

1931: Jane Lyons has transcribed a directory of businesses in Mohill in 1931.

1932: Vocational School starts in the old workhouse (the creamery)

1934: A big 'Anti-Jazz' rally was held in Mohill on January 2nd 1934 - attendance ~3,000.  This was supported by Eamon deValera, Cardinal McRory and organised by  Fr. Peter Conefrey’s campaign against Jazz at Mohill, Jan. 1934, and led to the Public Dance Halls Act, 1935 which banned house dances.

1939-1945: The Emergency!

1949: St. Anne's Convent Secondary school opens and St.Michael's Boys National School opens replacing the Boy's school in what is now Cashin's garage.

1951: The Vocational School opens on the Cloone road.

1959: The Cavan & Leitrim Railway closes down on 31/3/1959.  An audio recording of the band playing the last train out of Mohill station is in existance and has been broadcast on RTE a number of times.

1960s: Rural Electrification - the ESB brings the light! - the ESB depot was at the railway station.

1964 - St Finbarr's Hurling Club founded in Mohill - St. Finbarr's went on to win the Leitrim Senior Hurling Championship in 1964, '65, '66, '68, '69, '73, '74 and 1979.  The picture at right shows St. Finbarr's, Leitrim Champions 1974.

1966: Larry Cunningham has us all singing Lovely Leitrim - info here - lyrics and music here or lyrics and a recording here - The song was written by Phil Fitzpatrick, born in Aughavas in 1892. Phil emigrated to America in the early 30's, became a policeman and was killed in 1947.

1973: The end of the Fair Day is nigh as Mohill Mart opens.

197x: Jimmy Gilmartin's forge shuts its doors marking the end of an era - a momentous event, considering that a forge probably existed in the town for the previous 1,000 years.

1974-'75: The old folks home Arus Carolan is built
1974: The price of Drink was regulated in Mohill in 1974 by order of Justin Keating, Minister for Industry and Commerce:

1975: Lough Rynn Estate sold by Marcus Clements.

1982(?) Mohill telephone system finally goes from manual operator-assisted plug-board (courtesy of Mary Flynn) to digital exchange in one leap, completely missing out the decadic (or rotary dial system).  For the record, Chicago was the first city to go 'automatic', the year 1892!!

1983: Don Tidey kidnapped and located near Ballinamore.  Garda Gary Sheehan and Patrick Kelly of the Irish Army are killed during the rescue.

1986: President Patrick Hillery unveils the statue of O'Carolan (picture at right).  The statue is by sculptor Oisín Kelly (1915-1981 pictures above right) whose other works include the statue of Jim Larkin in O'Connell St. in Dublin.  He had been working on the statue of O'Carolan when he died.  The unfinished plaster model was prepared for casting by Lorna Skrine, who had been his assistant before his death. The finished bronze was unveiled in Mohill by President Hillery on 10th August 1986

1993: The Ballinamore-Ballyconnell canal re-opens as the Shannon-Erne link - information here

1997: The Masonite factory opens its doors.

1999: St. Anne's convent Mohill is sold.  Interview transcript here.

2000: The Millennium was celebrated in style.

2001: MBNA opens its doors in Carrick-on-Shannon.

2004: "Development" at Lough Rynn.

2005: Mohill gets a playground!

2006: Lough Rynn Castle Estate opens as a hotel and leisure facility.

2006: Mohill Senior Footballers win the Leitrim championship after a break of 31 years.

2010: Drumsna and Mohill Comhaltas branches hosted Fleadh Cheoil Chonnachta 2010, July 2nd 2010 – July 4th 2010 www.fleadhchonnacht2010.com

2010: The 2010 Culchie festival & horse fair was held 22-24 October 2010 More information here Programme of events here


This is a rather crude basic history of the South Leitrim area, but you may find something of interest.  In doing this research, I've learned a thing or two, my favourite being the event of  1405 AD - a handy point to note when knocking back a neat Powers or Black Bush. 

The work mentioned here owes its existence to individuals and historical societies who have done the hard work on the ground, collecting and translating information, publishing books or putting it on the web.  To these I am indebted.  Inspiration for this comes in part from the excellent work done by the editors and contributors to the book "Maothail Manachain Mohill Re-membered" published in 2000 - see books.  I'm also indebted to UCC and its researchers who have placed many historic documents on the web both in the original language and in translated form.  These include: Annals of Tigernach [AT], Annals of Clonmacnoise [AC], Annals of Ulster [AU], Annals of Inishfallen [AI], Annals of the Four Masters [AFM].  In attempting to verify/validate dates, I've also come across the truly excellent piece of investigative work in 'Chronological Synchronisation of the Irish Annals', which re-evaluates the accuracy or otherwise of dates in the Annals.  I have used the dates as per this piece of work, i.e. dates AD with the year starting on January 1. Another source of information are the clan historians, those who have traced the histories of the O'Rourke, Reynolds, Mulvey, Tiernan and other families.   Links are given below.  I've also used references to on-line histories of Ireland on www.irelandstory.com


[AT] Annals of Tighernach -
[AFM] Annals of the Four Masters -
[IL] Reading the Irish Landscape, Frank Mitchell & Michael Ryan
[MM] "Maothail Manachain Mohill Re-membered" published 2000
[OR] O'Rourke Family Genealogy and History  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~ruairc/placname.htm

Other local history on the web include the following:


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