The Tribes of Ireland: A Satire

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Createspace Independent Pub, Jan 11, 2014 - Fiction - 112 pages
An excerpt from ''A Historical Sketch of the Family of O''Daly:

"A.D. 1213, FIONN O''BROLLAGHAN, steward to O''Donnell (Donnell Mor), went to Connacht. to collect O''Donnell''s rent, He first repaired to Carbury of Drumcliff, where with his attendants he visited the house of the poet Muircadhach O''Daly of Lios-an-Doill, and being a churle servant of a hero, he began to abuse the poet very much (although his lord had given him no instructions to do so). The poet becoming enraged at his conduct, seized a sharp axe, and dealt him a blow which killed him on the spot; and then to avoid O''Donnell, he fled into Clanrickard. When O''Donnell received intelligence of this, he collected all his forces, and pursued him to Doire-Ui-Dhomhnaill (Derrydonnell) in Clanrickard,-a place which was named from him, because he encamped there for a night; and he proceeded to burn and plunder the country, until at last the son of William submitted to him, having previously sent Muireadhach to seek for protection in Thomond. O''Donnell pursued him, and proceeded to plunder and ravage that country also, until Donough Cairbreach O''Brien sent Muircadhach away to the people of Limerick. O''Donnell followed him to the gate of Limerick, and pitching his camp at Moin-Ui-Dhomhnaill (which was named from him), laid siege to the town; and the inhabitants at O''Donnell''s command expelled Muircadhach, who found no asylum any where, but was sent from hand to hand until he arrived in Dublin.

"O''Donnell then returned home, having first traversed and completed the visitation of all Connacht. He mustered his forces again without much delay in the same year, and marching to Dublin compelled the people of Dublin to expel Muircadhach, who fled into Alba (Scotland); and here he remained until he composed three poems in praise of O''Donnell, imploring peace and forgiveness. The third of these poems is the one beginning, ''Oh! Donnell, kind hand of peace, &c.'' He obtained peace for his panegyrics, and O''Donnell afterwards received him into his friendship and gave him lands and possessions as was pleasing to him."

Thus far the Historians of Tirconnell. We have never seen any of the poems addressed by O''Daly to O''Donnell on this occasion; but we have a copy of a poem addressed by him when he fled into Clanrickard, to Richard De Burgo, the son of William Fitz-Adelin, stating the cause of his flight, and imploring that great lord''s protection. It begins "what brings a guest to you from afar?" In this poem (of which there is a good copy in a paper MS. in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy), Muircauhach calls himself O''Daly of Meath, and states that he was wont to frequent the Courts of the English, and to drink wine from the hands of kings and knights, of bishops and abbots; that, not wishing to remain to be trampled under the feet of the Race of Conn, he fled to one, who, with his mail-clad warriors, was able to protect him against the fury of the King of Derry and Assaroe, who had threatened him with his vengeance, though indeed the cause of his enmity was but trifling, for that he (the fugitive) had only killed a plebeian of his people who had the audacity to affront him.

Trifling is our difference with the man,
A shepherd was affronting me;
And I killed that clown;
O God! is this a cause for enmity

He calls upon the puissant Knight, Richard, the son of William, to respect the order of the poets, who are never treated with harshness by chieftains, and to protect the weak against the strong. He next bestows some verses of panegyric upon him, describes the splendour of his house and its inmates, calls him the Chief of the English, the Lord of Leinster, the King of Connacht, the Proprietor of the Forts of Cruachain,of Tara, of Mac Coise''s Wall of Stone, and of Mur-mic-an-Duinn then called Caislean-Ui-Chonaing,-and suggests that he might hereafter invite the poets of the five provinces to his house....

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