advanced from Connaught. Muircheartach, with a light division, advanced rapidly and defeated Tadhg O'Brien, then returning to Creeve, and marched with his whole army against Turlough O'Connor. He found Ruaidhri, Turlough's son, pitching his camp at Fardrum, co. Westmeath, attacked him at once and routed his force. Turlough O'Brien was then restored as king of Munster. Turlough O'Connor tried in 1154 to attack O'Lochlainn by sea; but his fleet was defeated off Inishowen, and his commander, O'Dubhda of Connaught, was slain. Muircheartach O'Lochlainn at once invaded Connaught, but was not strong enough to obtain hostages or plunder. He then crossed the Shannon into Breifne and drove out Godfrey O'Reilly, went on to Dublin, was received as king by the Danes, and gave them twelve hundred cows, which he had collected in Meath, to secure their future service in war. In 1155 he made an expedition to Dungolman, co. Westmeath, and took hostages for the territory of Teathbha. He restored to the Meathmen the cattle he had taken from them in the previous year. Turlough O'Connor died in 1156, and this year is considered by the annalists to be the first of Muircheartach O'Lochlainn's reign as king of all Ireland. He was entitled to the succession, being of the royal race, the head of the northern Uí Neill, the descendant of Niall Naighiallach, in the two branches of whose descendants the kingships had rested, in alternate succession, for the six hundred years preceding Brian [q.v.] . The Ulidians attacked him, and he invaded Dalnaraidhe and killed O'Loingsigh the king. He then made a foray into Ossory with Diarmaid MacMurchadha, who had given him hostages. In 1157 he attended a synod at the abbey of Mellifont, co. Louth, at which a papal legate, seventeen bishops, and the Archbishop of Armagh were present. He gave to the abbey 160 cows, sixty ounces of gold, and the lands in Meath called Finnabhair-nan-Inghean. He then marched through Leinster into Desmond, and thence into Thomond, obtaining hostages; took Limerick, and received the submission of the Danes. He returned in triumph, but found that Roderic O'Connor [q.v.] had made a foray into Tyrone in his absence. O'Lochlainn had a quarrel with the Cinel Conaill in 1158, and ravaged their country. About this time he gave a charter and benefaction to the Cistercian abbey of Newry, co. Down. This charter, which has never been accurately printed, though a copy was in the possession of Sir James Ware, styles the king ‘Mauritius MagLachlain Rex totius Hiberniæ.’ In 1159 he led an army to Rubhachonaill, co. Westmeath, and deposed the king of Meath, Diarmait O'Maeleachlainn, and set up his brother Donnchadh O'Maeleachlainn over all Meath. He was threatened by the Connaughtmen, who, with the men of Breifne and of Thomond, crossed Meath to attack the Oirghialla. He came up with them at Ardee, and defeated them with great slaughter. He then marched home, and immediately after ravaged Connaught as far as Tuam, co. Galway. He returned thence by way of Meath, and quartered his army on that country. The sept of his old enemy O'Gairmleadhaigh attacked him in Tyrone after he had, in 1160, induced the chief of Fermanagh to entrap and kill Domhnall O'Gairmleadhaigh and several of the gentlemen of the sept. He defeated them in a pitched battle at Magh Luadhat, near Newtown-Stewart, co. Tyrone, and captured a great booty of cows. He met Roderic O'Connor at Assaroe to arrange a treaty, but none was made. In 1161 he took hostages from the Uí Briuin, and marched through Breifne to Lickbla, co. Westmeath. There Roderic O'Connor and Diarmaid MacMurchadha formally submitted to him, so that he was king of Ireland not only by right, but ‘cen fresabhra’ (‘without opposition’)—a term used by Irish historians to express undisputed sway. In 1162 he aided Flaibheartach O'Brolchain in improving Derry, besieged Dublin, and plundered Fingall. The Danes paid him 120 ounces of gold. He was paid one hundred ounces of gold for the kingdom of Westmeath in 1163. He again aided the Bishop of Derry, and the cathedral was rebuilt in 1164. The Ulidians attacked him in 1165, and he in return ravaged their country, banished Eochaidh MacDuinnsleibhe, their king, burnt their stronghold of Inislachan, and returned with much spoil. He gave to the church of Saul, co. Down, some land which the king of Ulidia handed over to him, with the sword of the son of the earl (probably a Dane) and many jewels. In 1166 he put out the eyes of this king Eochaidh, breaking an oath he had sworn at Armagh after the war. Donnchadh O'Cearbhaill invaded Tyrone to revenge this violation of treaty, and met the Cinel Eoghain in small force at Leitir Luin, near Newtown-Hamilton, co. Armagh. Muircheartach O'Lochlainn was there slain in 1166. He was succeeded by his son Niall.
[Annala Rioghachta Eireann, ed. O'Donovan; Annals of Ulster, 2 vols. (Rolls Ser.); Clarendon MS. in British Museum, xlv. 179; Reeves's Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Down, Connor, and Dromore, Dublin, 1847; O'Donovan's Topographical Poems of O'Dubhagain and O'Huidhrin; O'Flaherty's Ogygia.]