Conmhaícne Cúile Tuiredh

The Conmhaícne Cúile Tuiredh or Conmaicne Cuile Tolad (transl. Conmaicne of the wood of lament) were an early people of Ireland. Their tuath comprised, at minimum, most of the barony of Kilmaine, in County Mayo.


The Conmhaicne or Conmaicne were an people of early Ireland, perhaps related to the Laigin, who dispersed to various parts of Ireland. They settled in Connacht and Longford, giving their name to several Conmaicne territories. [1][2] Other branches of Conmaicne were located in County Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, and Leitrim.

Cuile means woods or forest. Ruaidhrí Ó Flaithbheartaigh linked "Cúile" with Cullagh townland ("An Choilleach", the woods). Irish: Maigh Tuireadh ("plain of a lament") is the place where the 1st battle of Moytura was fought.[3] Tuiredh translates as "a lament".[4] "Moytura" is a corruption of Irish: Maigh Tuiredh. Some Latin texts reference them as "Conmacgneculy" and "Conmacniculy".[5]


Early peoples and kingdoms of Ireland, c.800

Knox said their territory comprised the baronies Ross and much of Kilmaine (except parts east, and north of the Robe).[6] East Kilmaine was occupied by the Muinter Crechain.[6] To the north was "Maigh Ceara", now the barony of Carra, County Mayo.[7]

The alternative name for the barony of Kilmaine, Coolagh, probably reflects the ancient population group named Conmaicne Cuile. Their territory was bounded by lakes, and native Irish forests in places.


The chief Conmaicne Cuile family was Ó Talcharain. The primary septs were:-

  • Ó Talcharain (Colleran)
  • Ó Morann (Moran)
  • Ó Martain (Martin or Martins)

Conmaicne Cuile Tolad was invaded by Anglo-Normans about the middle of the thirteenth century, and granted to Maurice Fitzgerald. Another deed calls the district the cantred of 'Keneloch', probably Kinlough north-east of Moyne, an chief manor of the area. In later times the Burkes controlled the territory.[8]

Patrican churches

In the original Vita tripartita Sancti Patricii, Tírechán said Saint Patrick travelled through Conmaicne Dunmore to Conmaicne Cuile Tolad and established christian churches here.[9][10] Knox identified these new churches as Kilmaine-beg, Shrule, and perhaps the Church of Cross. Earlier Patrician churches already existed at Kilmainemore, Kilbennan, Donaghpatrick, and perhaps Templepatrick at "Inchanguill".[11]


Secondary sources

  • Annals of the Four Masters, ed. & tr. John O'Donovan (1856). Annála Rioghachta Éireann. Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters... with a Translation and Copious Notes. 7 vols (2nd ed.). Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. CELT editions. Full scans at Internet Archive: Vol. 1; Vol. 2; Vol. 3; Vol. 4; Vol. 5; Vol. 6; Indices.
  • MacKillop, James (2004). "Conmaicne. Oxford Reference.". A Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford University Press.
  • Ó Cróinín, Dáibhí (2016). A Miracle of Learning: Studies in Manuscripts and Irish Learning: Essays in Honour of William O’Sullivan. Routledge. ISBN 1351963228.
  • Wilde, William R. (2013). Lough Corrib, Its Shores and Islands: with Notices of Lough Mask (illustrated ed.). ISBN 1291406751.
  • Twemlow, J A (1915). "Calendar of Papal Registers Relating To Great Britain and Ireland".
  • A Chorographical Description of West or H-Iar Connaught written A.D. 1684 by Roderic O'Flaherty ESQ with notes and Illustrations by, James Hardiman M.R.I.A., Irish Archaeological Society, 1846.
  • Manning, Conleth (1987). "EXCAVATION AT MOYNE GRAVEYARD, SHRULE, CO. MAYO". National Parks and Monuments Branch, Office of Public Works, Dublin. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Mac Neill, Eoin (1932). "The Vita Tripartita of St. Patrick". Ériu, vol. 11: 1–41. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Knox, Hubert Thomas (1908). The History of the County of Mayo, to the close of the sixteenth century (PDF). Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co., Ltd.

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