Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair

Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair

Ruaidrí mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (often Anglicised Rory O'Connor) (died 1198) was a 12th century King of Connacht and the last High King of Ireland. [The title was twice briefly revived in following centuries.] He was the son of Toirdelbach Ua Conchobair (English: Turlough O'Connor), King of Connacht, who had obtained the high kingship in 1151 but lost it in 1154 through the rise of Muirchertach MacLochlainn.

He succeeded to Connacht in 1156 and after ten years became high king like his father. His ill-advised persecution of Diarmait Mac Murchada, King of Leinster, furnished the pretext for the Norman invasion of Ireland. Ruaidrí endeavoured to expel the invaders, but was driven west of the River Shannon. He delayed his submission to Henry II until 1175, with the Treaty of Windsor which was negotiated on his behalf by Archbishop of Dublin, Lorcán Ua Tuathail. Under this agreement, he held Connacht as his vassal and exercised lordship over all the native kings and chiefs of Ireland; in return he undertook to pay an annual tribute, though the treaty did not put an end to the wars of the Norman adventurers.

He was usurped by one of his sons, Conchobar Máenmaige Ua Conchobhair, in 1186 and driven into Munster. "However, by the advice of the Sil-Murray, was again recalled, and a triocha-ched of land was given to him."Fact|date=March 2007 On the death of Conchobar in 1189 "the Sil-Murray sent messengers… to give offer him the kingdom."Fact|date=March 2007 This state of affairs did not last, for in 1191 he was reduced to "to request forces" from Tirconnell, Tyrone, the English of Meath and the Irish of Munster "to enable him to recover his kingdom of Connaught",Fact|date=March 2007 which seems to have being taken over by his much younger brother, Cathal Crobdearg Ua Conchobair. He was unsuccessful, and in compensation was given lordship of Tir Fiachrach and Kinelea of Echtge.

In 1198, the Annals of the Four Masters state that Ruaidrí, "King of Connaught and of all Ireland, both the Irish and the English, died among the canons at Cong, after exemplary penance, victorious over the world and the devil. His body was conveyed to Clonmacnoise, and interred at the north side of the altar of the great church."

Ruaidrí's children

*1 - Conchobar
*2 - Muirchertach
*3 - Conchobar Máenmaige Ua Conchobhair
*4 - Maurice
*5 - Toirdelbach, died 1239. Had sons Conchobar Buide and Brian.
*6 - Aedh mac Ruaidri Ua Conchobair
*7 - Aedh Muimhnech. Had a son, Conchobar, alive in 1236.
*8 - Diarmait, died 1221. Had sons Diarmait (fl. 1237), Donnchad (fl.1237), Muirchertach (k. 1237) and Cormac.
*9 - Domnall Mór. Had a son, Niall, killed 1242.
*10- Rose married Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, and had descendants



*Annals of the Four Masters
*Goddard Orpen, "Song of Dermot and the Earl" (1892)
*William Stubbs, edition of "Benedictus Abbas" (Rolls Series)
*Kate Norgate, "England under the Angevin Kings", vol. ii. (1887).
*Giraldus Cambrensis, Opera, vol. v. (Rolls Series)

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