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Conall Gulban (died c. 464) was an Irish king and eponymous ancestor of the Cenél Conaill, who founded the kingdom of Tír Chonaill in the 5th century, comprising much of what is now County Donegal in Ulster. He was the son of Niall Noígiallach.
His by-name Gulban derives from Benn Ghulbain in County Sligo, from which centre the sons of Niall set out upon their conquest of the North. King Conall Gulban was murdered by the Masraige at Magh Slécht (located in the west of modern County Cavan) in 464, on a Friday. He was buried by Saint Caillin at Fenagh, County Leitrim. He is important in the history of Irish Christianity as he was the first nobleman baptised by St. Patrick, thus opening the way for the conversion of the ruling classes of Ireland.
He appears as a host and companion of Caílte mac Rónáin, one of the central Fianna figures in the tale Acallam na Senórach (Colloquy of the Ancients) who survive into Christian times and recounts tales of the Fianna and the meaning of place names to a recently arrived Saint Patrick. Caílte performs the same function to Conall in Tír Conaill and uncovers the treasures of the Fianna from the various megalithic tombs of its members on their journeys.
His sons included Fergus Cendfota, Dauí (founder of the Cenél nDuach) and Énna Bogaine (founder of the Cenél mBogaine).
His descendants were known as the Cenél Conaill. Their territory Tir Conaill was organised as the Diocese of Raphoe in 1111 at the Synod of Ráth Breasail. It did not at that time include the Inishowen peninsula.
The peninsula of Inishowen in the north of County Donegal was taken from the McLoughlins by the Cenél Conaill Ó Dochartaigh clan (known modernly as Doherty, Daugherty, Docherty, Dougherty, etc.) who were then given the title of Princes of Donegal, or Tir Conaill. This family also descends from Conall.
The Cenél nEógain, descended from his brother Eoghan, became the other premier Uí Néill sept in the North. Their kingdom was known as Tír Eógain. Modern day County Tyrone shares both its name and much of its territory. Its respective royal dynasties, the Kings of Tir Connaill and the Kings of Tír Eógain. Its last de jure native rulers fled abroad in the episode known as the Flight of the Earls but, as with all the major Irish kingships, the line of descent continues into the present day.
- Francis J.Byrne, Irish Kings and High-Kings, Table 1
- Byrne, pg.84
- 'Flannacán mac Cellaig rí Breg hoc carmen. His poem on the death of some Irish heroes', by Kathleen Mulchrone, in "Journal of Celtic Studies", Vol I (1949-50), pp. 80-93, stanza 22.
- Annals of the Four Masters, M464.3
- Annals of the Four Masters, M465.3
Niall Noígiallach, died c. A.D.455. | |______________________________________________________________________________ | | | | | | | | | | | | Conall Gulban Eoghan Coirpre Fiacha Conall Cremthainne Lóegaire | | | | | | | | | | | | | Cenél nEógain | Cenél Fiachach | Cenél Lóegaire | | | | Cenél Cairpre / \ | / \ | / \ | Clann Cholmáin Síl nÁedo Sláine | Cenél Conaill of In Fochla | |_______________________________________________ | | | | | | Fergus Cennfota Doi Enna Bogaine | (Cenél nDuach) (Cenél mBogaine) | | | | | | | Ninnid, fl. 561 Melge | | | | | | | Baetan, d. 586 Brandub | | |_________ ? | | | | | Garban Setna Feidlimid | | | | | | Sechnasach, Rí Cenél mBogaine, d. 609 | Columb Cille, 521-597 | |_______________________________ |______________ | | | | | | | | | | Ainmire, d. 569 Colum Lugaid Mael Tuile Bresal, d. 644 | | | | | | | Cenél Lugdach Dungal, Rí Cenél mBogaine, d. 672 | | | | | |_____________ | Ronan | | | | | | | | Sechnasach Dub Diberg, d. 703 | Garb | | | | ? | | | | Flaithgus, d. 732 | | Forbasach | | | Rí Cenél mBogaine ? | Cen Faelad d. 722 | | | Rogaillnech, d. 815 | _______________________| | | | | | | | Mael Duin Fiaman | | | | ? ? | | | | Airnelach Maenguile | | | | | | | | | | | | | Cen Faelad Dochartach | | (Clann Ua Dochartaig) | | | |____________________________________________ | | | | | | | Dalach, 'Dux' Cenél Conaill, d. 870. Bradagain | | | | | | | Eicnecan, Rí Cenél Conaill, d. 906 Baigill | | (Clann Ua Baighill) | | | |______________________________________________________________ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | two sons Flann Adlann Domnall Mor Conchobar | d. 956 & 962. Abbot of Derry (Clann Ua Domnaill) | d. 950. | |___________________ | | | | Aed, d. 598 Ciaran | | | | | Fiachra, founder of Derry, died 620. | |__________________________________________________________ | | | | | | | | Domnall, d. 642 Conall Cu Mael Cobo, d. 615 Cumuscach, d. 597 High King of Ireland d. 604 | | |_____________ | | | | | | | Cellach Conall Cael | | both died 658/664 | | | (Clann Ua Gallchobair) | | |________________________________________________________________ | | | | | | | | | | Oengus, d. 650 Conall Colgu Ailill Flannesda Fergus Fanat | d.663 d.663 d.666 d.654 | | | | | Congal Cenn Magair | d. 710 | | | __________|__________ | | | | | | | | | Donngal Flann Gohan Conaig | d. 731 d.732 d.733 | Loingsech, d. 703 | |____________________________________________________________________ | | | | | | | | | | Flaithbertach, deposed 734. Fergus, d. 707 three other sons, all killed 703 | |_____________________________________________________________________ | | | | | | Aed Muinderg, Ri In Tuisceart, d. 747. Loingsech Murchad | Rí Cenél Conaill Rí Cenél Conaill |_______________ d. 754 d. 767 | | | | | | Domnall Donnchad Mael Bresail d. 804 fl. 784 Rí Cenél Conaill | d. 767 | | Flaithbertach | | Oengus | | Canannan | (Ua Canannain) Mael Doraid (Ua Maildoraid) | _______|_______ | | | | Fogartach Mael Bresail Rí Cenél Conaill Rí Cenél Conaill d. 904 d. 901