DNA-R1B1C7-L ArchivesArchiver > DNA-R1B1C7 > 2011-08 > 1313784128
From: Bernard Morgan <>
Subject: Re: [R-M222]Cenél Maine - truly Uí Néill?
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 20:02:08 +0000
I read the same in Byrne's "Irish King and High Kings":
"As for the Cenel Maine maic Neill, our two earliest genealogical manuscripts (both of which date from the twelfth century) differ irreconcilably as to the pedigree of that Aed mac Brenainn of which date from the twelfth century) differ irreconcilably as to the pedigree of that Aed mac Brenainn who granted Durrow to Colum Cille. We may suspect then that eastern Maine was so successfully absorbed into the Ui Neill ambit that their kings, by a politic fiction, were accepted into the dominant dynastic circle. The parting of the ways between Connachta and Ui Neill then led to the total separation of the Ui Maine and Cenel Maine. The fact that the annalistic obit of Maine mac Neill in 440 is so much earlier than that of any of his supposed brothers also suggests that he was adopted into the dynasty some time after the synthetic historians had agreed to push back the date of Niall's reign by a generation or more."
First to note Maine's brother Laegaire mac Neill was according to the same annals king in 432 and died cicra 462, Maine date is not problematic per se.
There is a desription of Bryne's views from Celtica: "Through Professor Byrne has litte doubt about the historicity of Niall himseld, he is quire properly reluctant to accept as Ui Neill some fo the lineages which claimed him as an ancestor. He suggest that 'some rulers managed to have their pedigrees grafted onto Niall's stem and Cenel Maine is a likely example of this. Ui Maine west of the Shannon and Cenel Maine to the east of it may once have formed one kingdom and the dynasty of the eastern part may have been accepted as Ui Neill once their territory was absorbed by the Ui Neill overkingdom."
He could have a just as easy questioned Cenel Eoghain and Cenel Conaill origins. Aed mac Brenainn of Cenel Maine pedigree (later 6th century) is placed by Margeret Dobbs's "The Territory and People of of Tethba" at Lissardowlan", Co. Longford per "The Life of Berach". While Bec mac Connla (died 770) had his residence in North Tethba, for (per Dobbs) in 1282 an O’Farrell castle was at “Cluain Lis Bece mic Connla. Matching what is accepted history, i.e. the people of Teffia originate north of the River Inny and where forced south. Yet the Ui Maine of Connacht are from Maenmhagh lying around Loughrea, Co. Galway?
So is the argument that Ui Maine and Cenel Maine are one kingdom separated by the Shannon false, it seems that they are neighbors be a accident of history?
> Hi Bernard,
> I remember from IRELAND BEFORE THE VIKINGS by Gearóid Mac Niocaill that the genealogies of the Cenél Maine are suspect. They might be the eastern remnant of a greater Maine kingdom which predates the rise of the Uí Néill and once may have spanned the Shannon with the Uí Mhaine as the western branch. Possibly, when actual Uí Néill (by blood) forced a wedge of settlement between them (I'm at work now at blanking on the name of that branch), the Uí Mhaine were "adopted" into the pseudo-histories of the Uí Néill story as descended from Maine descendant of Éremón while the Cenél Maine were adopted into the story as descended from Maine son of Niall descendant of Éremón.
> That's from a modern historian. As you know, Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh was one of Ireland's 2 greatest 17th century historians. He also doubted the genealogies of some of the Uí Néill in Deiscirt (Southern Uí Néill), especially that of the Ó Dálaigh of the Fir Cell of the Cenél Maine. He maintained that all the Fir Cell were Fir Bolg with a bogus Uí Néill pedigree.
> Go raibh sé sin cabhrach. / Hope that's helpful.
> Le gach dea-ghuí / Best,
> Treibheanna Éireannacha
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