As far as I can make out, the translation I offered some days ago still
stands after testing.
19. *A cceinēil Eogain mic Nēill*
> *doriac[h]tus fēin ō thigh Taidg,*
> *ō Maol Doroidh do fūair sinn*
> *ar binn ōs Loch Feabail aird.*
> I9. When in [the country of] Eogain macNeill.
> I arrived from the house of Tadg,
> It was O Maol Doraidh who found us
> on a high peak over Loch Foyle.
I have made your insertion, Dennis, of 'in the country of', it does make
it clearer to the English speaker who is not used to how the Irish formerly
used place and population names interchangeably.
I have also changed 'promontory' to 'peak', as I am not sure how we arrived
at promontory. Geographically it may be a promontory, but I don't see it
being called that in the text.
I think the consensus is that Maol Doroidh is a person, not a place after
all, though David and Caoimhin's suggestions were well worth exploring.
Which one he might be out of Liz's and Caoimhin's formidable lists is moot:
Mac Liag, the supposed author of all this, died in 1016 and Tadg O Cellaigh
in 1014. Our firebrand Murchad, however, was the grandson of Tadg's
antagonist of 1014, a different generation altogether, and he didn't cop it
until thirty years later. Riddles upon riddles.
This might be as good a time as any to mention that Kathering Simms has
suggested to me that this poem might have been written during the Bruce Wars
of 1315-9, when the reigning O Cellaig king of Ui Maine was also named Tadg.
His father had been a widely respected man according to both the Annals of
Connacht and the Annals of Clonmacnoise, but the young Tadg who succeeded
him seems to have behaved badly in the political wrangling of the Bruce
wars: at Glenn Fathraim he 'stripped women and ruined children and lowly
folk, and never within the memory of man were so many cattle fruitlessly
destroyed in one place' (AConn.1315.12, Freeman's translation). He fell at
the battle of Athenry the following year. Young Tadg's poet may have been
seeking to encourage him by retelling stories of the glories of his
eponymous ancestor. If so, he might not have been too fussy about sticking
to one time frame in terms of his dramatis personae.
> 20. *Fliuch gach slīab is ard gach benn,*
> *aimhrēidh gach glenn, garbh gach mín,*
> *le mac Rūaidne dorāidh sind:*
> *‘aithrioch linn techt in bor tír’.* .
> 20. Wet is each mountain and high each peak,
> Tangled each valley and rough each plain
> to mac Ruaidne we said
> ‘we regret coming into your land’.
> I am pleased to see, Dennis, that your French source agrees with both of
> us: your mountain is early, my upland (thanks, Caomhin, for your
> clarification) is the later usage.
We have had many contributors, my thanks to all