The Múscraighe (older spelling: Músgraige) were an important Érainn people of Munster, descending from Cairpre Músc, son of Conaire Cóem, a High King of Ireland. Closely related were the Corcu Duibne, Corcu Baiscind, both of Munster, and also the Dál Riata of Ulster and Scotland, all being referred to as the Síl Conairi in Irish and Scottish legends. A more distant ancestor was the legendary monarch Conaire Mór, son of Eterscél, son of Íar, son of Dedu mac Sin.
While the Múscraige petty kingdoms were scattered throughout the province of Munster, the largest were centred on the present baronies of Muskerry (West and East) in central Cork. The tribes or septs were pre-Eóganachta, that is before the 6th century. At this time, the territory of Múscraige Mittaine did not extend south of the River Lee (although the river bisects the current baronies). A pedigree of the chieftains of the tribe may be found in the Book of Leinster. The main septs were:
|Irish name of the túath||Equivalent barony||County|
|Múscraige Tíre||Ormond Lower
and Owney and Arra
|Múscraige Breógain||Clanwilliam||County Tipperary|
|Múscraige Tri Maighe||Orrery and Kilmore and part
of the barony of Duhallow
|Múscraige Mittaine||Muskerry East,
(alias Múscraige Luachra)
|Various baronies||Counties Cork, Tipperary|
Importantly, they acted as vassals and facilitators for the rising Eóganachta.
- Mumu by Dennis Walsh
- Ó Murchadha, Diarmuid, Family names of County Cork, pg 153.
- Book of Leinster, Dublin, TCD, MS 1339 (olim MS H 2.18)
- MacLysaght (More Irish Families), notes that the O'Donegans of Aradh (Ara) in Múscraige Tíre became dispersed by the O'Briens whose chief there became Mac I Brien Ara.
- O'Hanlon John, Canon O'Hanlon, The Lives of the Irish Saints, cited in "Under the Oak ". "In the ancient taxation of the diocese of Cloyne, there is a rural deanery, called Muscry-donnegan. It contains the parishes now comprehended in the baronies of Orrery and Kilmore, with small adjacent portions of Duhallow and Fermoy. Among the Churches in this deanery, Orwerg, (i.e. Orbraidhe or Orrery) and Fersketh, (i.e. Feart Skeithe,) called Ardskagh are two. This latter is now known as Ardskeagh. Thus, the identity of Muscraighe-tri-maighe and the barony of Orrery is proved to a demonstration.
- MacLysaght (More Irish Families) notes that O'Donegan's country was the alias for Múscraige Tri Maighe and that the territory passed into the possession of the Cambro-Norman de Barry family in the 13th century.
- T. M. Charles-Edwards, The Chronicle of Ireland. Translated texts for historians., Volume 44, pg 126.
- Francis John Byrne. Irish Kings and High-Kings. Four Courts Press. 2nd revised edition, 2001.
- Thomas Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland. Cambridge University Press. 2000.
- Lucius Gwynn, "De Maccaib Conaire", in Ériu 6 (1912): 144–53.
- Lucius Gwynn, "De Sil Chonairi Móir", in Ériu 6 (1912): 130–43.
- Vernam Hull. "The Later Version of the Expulsion of the Déssi", in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 27 (1958-9): 14–63.
- Paul MacCotter. Medieval Ireland: Territorial, Political and Economic Divisions. Four Courts Press. 2008.
- Eoin MacNeill. "Early Irish Population Groups: their nomenclature, classification and chronology", in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy (C) 29. 1911. pp. 59–114
- T. F. O'Rahilly. Early Irish History and Mythology. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 1946.