This story of the revolt of the Aithech Tuatha is taken from MacNeill, Eoin
(1981 reprint) 'Celtic Ireland', The Academy Press, Dublin. Mac Neill
transcribes it from 'The Book of Fermoy'.
MacNeill is of the opinion that the story is an invention of genealogists
who, when writing the ancestry of rulers and dynasties, were at pains to
show that their subjects had the best possible lineage. He also indicates
that there may have been more than one version of the story, each version
favouring a particular kingship. This version, he believes, is the Cashel
version, which favours the entitlement of the king of Cashel to the kingship
THE STORY OF MAC DAREO'S HOSTEL
There was great murmuring among the vassal peoples of Ireland in the time of
the three kings of Ireland, namely Fiacho Findolaidh, Fiac, son of
Fidheccach, and Bres, son of Ferb. Fiac son of Fidheccach was king of
Munster. Bres son of Freb was king of the Ulidians.
Vast and measureless was the burden of heavy rent and the amount of
oppresseve taxes of misrule laid by those three kings on the vassals of
Ireland. Now the vassals were sore in spirit through the greatness of the
bondage they endured and through the burden of their service, for the free
races were pressing on the lands on which they were.
A meeting was devised (?) by the vassals at one place, then, that they might
agree on one resolve at that time. There were three vassals then who were
chiefs of their council, Buan and Monach and Cairbre the Cat-headed.
Cairbre was head of these. He was of the Luaighni, and he was king over
them, for it was from among them that the headship of the vassals was assumed.
This then was the resolve they adopted there, to prepare a banquet at the
house of Cairbre Cathead, that is, at the hostel of Mac Dareo in Breifne,
and to invite their lords tither to the banquet and to put them to death and
to have the kingdom themselves.
This was done accordingly. That feast was being prepared for the space of
three half years by the vassals. The third of their fruits was what they
bestowed on that preparation. In Magh Cro/ in Connaught the hostel is, in
which that great feast was made.
Now the men of Ireland came from every side to the great entertainment that
was made for them. There were nine thousand eating the feast. Great
attendance was bestowed on them on the last evening, such as was not given
before. Nay, there was given the choicest of every food and the finest of
every liquor to them until they were inebriated and merry. Then the vassals
did a massacre upon them there, for it is thus they were placed, each one of
the vassals in readiness for his deed of slaughter.
It was hideous and horrible in the hostel at that moment. The red ravenous
vulture was gleeful and the womenfolk were mournful at that fray.
Then burst seven streams of blood through the seven doors of the hostel,
such that half grown boys might float on them.
So the free races of Ireland were cut off there, except the three
man-children who were carried in their mothers' wombs, for while the men
were being cut off, it was then the three queens stole out of the hostel,
namely, Side the Swift, and Crube and Aine they were. And they wenbt over
sea fleeing the vassals, for the kings of Ireland had three friends, the
king of Scotland, the king of the Britons and the king of the Saxons.
Howbeit, Luath, son of Darena, king of the Pictish people was a friend of
Fiacho Findolaidh. Ba/be, daughter of Sca/l, king of the Fomorians, was
Luath's wife. Luath's daughter was given to Fiacho Findolaidh. Side the
Swift was her name.........she was the mother of Feradhach Find Fa/il, son
of Fiacho Findolaidh.
Fiac son of Fidheccach, king of Munster, was a friend of Gortniad, king of
the Britons. Crube was his daughter's name. She bore a son to Fiac named
Bres son of Ferb, king of the Ulaid, was a friend of Caindial, king of the
Saxons. Aine was his daughter's name. She bore a son to Bres son of Ferb
named Tipraite Ti/rech.
These three were reared in the East as long as Cairbre had the kingship and
the men of Ireland were under the power of the vassals, for the boys did not
dare to visit Ireland for fear of the vassals.
Then the earth refused its fruit to the vassals after the great murder they
had done on the free races of Ireland, and there was a great famine for
(twenty years) so that there was no corn on the earth, nor fruit on the
trees, nor fish in the rivers, and the cows had no milk, and there was no
good weather and no peace for that reason.
Cairbre died at length and the men of Ireland offered the kingship to his
son Morann. Morann said that he would not take it for it was not his due. A
question how shall we do it? said they. I know, said Morann, what is right.
The three heirs of Ireland who are in Alba, Feradhach Find and Corb Ulom and
Tipraite Ti/rech, let us send for them to make them kings. It is good thus,
said they all.
They are sent for then to be waited on and to be made kings, and the
surities of the sea and land and sun and moon and all the elements are given
them by the vassals for constant service to them at their own behest as long
as the sea shall be around Ireland and as their seed and breed shall be therein.
So they come from the East and each of them goes to his own place, to wit,
Tipraite Ti/rech to the east of Ireland, to the fifth of the Ulaid, and Corb
Ulom to its south, over Munster, and Feradhach Find goes into its middle, to
Temhair of the Kings. Then the sovereignty and the high kingship o fIreland
were given to Feradhach Find and the headship in council and jurisprudence
was given to Morann, son of Cairbre.
It was well then in Ireland after that, for she recovered her wonted ways
after the rule of the vassals. From those kings then sprang the three free
ancestors o fIreland again, Conn, Eogan and Araide - Conn from Feradhach,
Eogan from Corb, Fiacha Araide from Tipraite Ti/rech.
A famous man then was Morann, who had the 'truth of sovereignty', to wit,
Morann's ring, that is to say, the guilty one about whose neck it was
placed, it used to tighten about his neck until he wa left lifeless. So
that it was the means of deciding between truth and falsehood at that time.