Early mediaeval polities of south-west Connacht (Partraige in centre)

The Partraige were a people of early historic Ireland.

Several attested branches were found in Ireland, including the following:

All appear to have been of fortuatha status, perhaps indicating a more ancient presence in their territories than the more historically prominent groups to whom they were subject in the early mediaeval period. Francis John Byrne has suggested that the Partraige may have been "a remnant of a pre-Celtic population, akin perhaps to the Illyrian tribe commemorated in the Bavarian resort of Garmish-Partenkirchen."[2] He also suggests that the Fir Umaill found in Clew Bay (later the Uí Briúin) probably were a later branch.[2]

In the later mediaeval period, the Connacht branches of the Patraige all came under the domination of the Anglo-Norman Joyce family, giving rise to the so-called Joyce Country. They have given their name to the district of Partry.

Partraige an-t SliebhEdit

Ruled by chiefs of the O'Kynes, the "Partraige of the Mountains" were subject to the Conmhaícne Cúile Tuireadh and later the Anglo-Norman Joyces. St Brendan's Abbey in Kilbeg Lower, Ross, County Galway was their ecclesiastical centre.[3]

Partraige LochaEdit

Ruled by chiefs of the O'Dorchys, the "Partraige of the Loch" were likewise subject to the Conmaicne Cuile Tolad and the Joyces. St Fechin's Abbey in Cong, Kilmaine, County Mayo was their ecclesiastical centre.[3]

Partraige CearaEdit

Ruled by chiefs of the O'Garvalys, the "Partraige of (the Barony of) Carra" were pushed back into the district of Odhbha (Ballyovey) by the Fir Ceara of the Uí Fiachrach Muadhe, later to be absorbed into Joyce Country. An early convent was found on their territory at Rocksboro South, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, County Mayo,[3] though St Mochua's Abbey of Balla was the most significant ecclesiastical centre for this polity.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nollaig, "Some Early Connacht Population-Groups"
  2. ^ a b Byrne, Irish kings and high-kings, p. 236.
  3. ^ a b c Hamilton, Chuck (2013-12-01). "Notes from the Ninth Circle: Tribes of West Connacht and their churches". Notes from the Ninth Circle. Retrieved 2019-02-20.

External linksEdit


  • Byrne, F.J. (2001) [1973]. Irish Kings and High-Kings (2nd ed.). Dublin: Four Courts Press.
  • Ó Muraile, Nollaig. "Some Early Connacht Population-Groups", in Seanchas: Studies in Early and Medieval Irish Archaeology, History and literature in Honour of Francis John Byrne. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000. pp. 174–5.