Brian Boru (Cennetig) MacCennetig

Brian Bóruma (Cennetig) MacCennetig (abt. 0940 - 1014)

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Brian Bóruma (Brian Boru) "King of Munster and Leinster" MacCennetig formerly Cennetig aka High King of Ireland
Born about in Killaloe, Thomond, Munster, Irelandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Clontarf, Dublin, Irelandmap
Profile last modified | Created 22 Jun 2014
This page has been accessed 6,262 times.

Categories: Irish History, Kingdom of Munster | Irish History, Kingdom of Thomond | Irish History, Kingdom of Déisi Muman | Irish History, Kingdom of Déisi Dál gCais (Dalcassians) | Battle of Clontarf | Irish Eponym Names.

Preceded by
Máel Sechnaill macDomnaill O'Néill 980-1002, dethroned
King of Ireland[1]
1002 — 1014
Succeeded by
Máel Sechnaill 1014-1022, restored
Preceded by
King of Munster
976 — 1014
Succeeded by
Donnchad MacBrian 1022 - 1064


Brian Boru, High King of Ireland

Brian Boru (Brian Boroimhe macCennétig) was born about 940 in Killaloe, county Clare; a child of Cineadh Na Munster MacLorcain and Be Bind Aurchada [2] [3]

Parents and Siblings

Cennétig mac Lorcáin of the Dál gCais (d. 951) king of Tuadmumu

  1. Mathgamain mac Cennétig, King of Munster abt 970 — 976. Mathgamuin son of Cennétig, king of Caisel, was killed by Mael Muad son of Bran[4], previous king of Munster. [descendants: McMahon family of County Clare (Thomond).][5]
  2. Lachtna, d. 953
  3. Brian

Public Office

175th MONARCH (High King) of All IRELAND; 53rd King of MUNSTER; (Gormlaith's 3rd husband)
Occupation: High King of Ireland

Marriage and Issue

Brian married four women:
1. Mór, (daughter of the king of Uí Fiachrach Aidne of Connacht) mother of Murchad (Morough), who was slain with Boru at Clontarf.
2. Echrad daughter of the king of Uí Áeda Odba,[6] an obscure branch of the southern Uí Néill, was the mother of Tadc, whose son Toirdelbach and grandson Muirchertach rivalled Brian in power and fame.[7]
3. Gormflaith, the best known of his wives and said to be the most beautiful. She was the daughter of Murchad mac Finn, King of Leinster, sister of Máel Morda and also widow of Olaf Cuaran, the Viking king of Dublin and York. She was the mother of Donnchad, later King of Munster. She was said to be his true love; having mistakeningly challenged his authority one too many times, they divorced. Though she is said to be the cause of his death, she was also said to be the one to mourn him the most.
4. Dub Choblaig, was daughter of the King of Connacht. They had a son Cénnetig mac Briain (Kennedy).

(It's possible Môr, Echrad, Dub were close relatives)

For her third marriage, Gormlaith, d. 1030, (daughter of Murchad mac Finn, a Leinster King of the Uí Fháeláin line) married Brían Bóruma, they had:
  1. Donnchadh [8]

Brian had at least three daughters:

  1. Sadb (d. 1048)
  2. Sláine, (according to the Welsh text Historia Gruffud vab Kenan) married Sihtric Silkenbeard, son of her stepmother, Gormflaeth
  3. Bé Binn, who married Flaithbertach, king of the northern Uí Néill (d. 1036)[6] U1073.1 - Bé Binn daughter of Brian died on pilgrimage in Ard Macha. The Annals of Ulster.

997 Division of Ireland

The Annals of Inisfallen record that "Brian son of Cennétig…and Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall king of Temuir” divided Ireland between them in 997 “Leth Cuinn to Mael Sechnaill and Leth Moga to Brian”[222]. [2]

1002 High King of Ireland

High King of Ireland 1002. It would appear that Brian´s high-kingship overlapped with that of MaelSechanaill as no record has been found that the latter resigned the position. [2]

The Annals of Tigernach record that “Brían Boroma regnat” in [999/1000][223].[2]

1014 Batle of Clontarf, Death

killed in battle Clontarf 23 Apr 1014). [2]

The Chronicon of Mariano Scotti records that "Brian rex Hiberniæ" was killed "1014 IX Kal Mai"[224]. [2]

Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd Jarl of Orkney went to Ireland “five years after the Battle of Svoldur” to support “King Sigtrygg Silk-Beard” against “King Brian of Ireland”, and left “his elder sons in charge of the earldom”, but was killed in the battle in which King Brian was killed[225]. [2]

The Annals of Ulster record that "Brian son of Ceinnéitig son of Lorcán king of Ireland and Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall king of Temair" led an army to “Áth Cliath” in 1014, adding that Brian was killed in the battle[226]. [2]

Great warfare between Brian and the foreigners of Áth Cliath, and Brian then brought a great muster of the men of Ireland to Áth Cliath. After that the foreigners of Áth Cliath gave battle to Brian, son of Cennétig, and he was slain, with his son Murchad, royal heir of Ireland, and Murchad's son, namely, Tairdelbach, as also the princes of Mumu round Conaing, son of Donn Cúán, and round Domnall son of Diarmait, king of Corcu Bascinn, and round Mac Bethad son of Muiredach, king of Ciarraige Luachra, and also Tadc Ua Cellaig, king of Uí Maine, and many others. There were also slain in that battle Mael Mórda son of Murchad, king of Laigin, together with the princes of the Laigin round him, and the foreigners of the western world were slaughtered in the same battle.[9]

23 April 1014, Battle of Clontarf
Brian was too old to fight and his son, Murchad, led the troops and defeated the Norse at the battle near Dublin. Brian was inadequately guarded and was killed by the Norse. [10][11]


  1. THE PEERAGE 102854
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Cawley, "Kings of Ireland." Medieval Lands Project. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. Accessed February 27, 2016
  3. The Annals of Ulster record that "Brian son of Ceinnéitig son of Lorcán king of Ireland and Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall king of Temair" led an army to “Áth Cliath” in 1014[221].
  4. The Annals of Ulster, U976.1
  5. Wikipedia entry for Mathgamain mac Cennétig
  6. 6.0 6.1 Seán Duffy, Brian Bóruma, [Brian Boru] (c.941–1014), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 23 June 2014, amb
  7. Wikipedia entry for Brian Boru
  8. The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Irish women's writing and traditions, retrieved 2014-06-22, amb
  9. Annals of Inisfallen, AI1014.2, Author Unknown, retrieved 2014-06-22, amb
  10. Wright, The history of Ireland, p. 56, retrieved 2014-06-22, amb
  11. Cannon, A Dictionary of British History, Battle of Clontarf, 1014, retrieved 2014-06-22, amb

See also:

More on Gormlaith and Brian Boru can be found in the transcript: Queen Gormlaith, Brian Boru and The Northmen of Dublin

  • Annala Uladh: Introduction and index, by B. MacCarthy. Volume 4 of Annala Uladh: Annals of Ulster, otherwise, Annala Senait, Annals of Senat; a chronicle of Irish affairs from A.D. 431, to A.D. 1540, Royal Irish Academy. Volume 4 of Annala Uladh, Cathal MacMaghnusa Maguire]. Authors: Annals of Ulster, Cathal MacMaghnusa Maguire, Royal Irish Academy. Editors : William Maunsell Hennessy, Bartholomew MacCarthy. Publisher: Printed for H. M. Stationery off., by A. Thom & co. (limited), 1901. Original: from the University of Michigan. Digitized: Jun 17, 2008
  • 'Kings, Queens, Chiefs & Rulers' by Paul Cheshire published by Star Fire 2003.

See the Changes page for the details of edits.

MEDIEVAL LANDS: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families by Charles Cawley © Foundation for Medieval Genealogy & Charles Cawley 2000-2018.

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Images: 2
Wales and the Britons, 350-1064, Volume 1 of History of Wales. p. 334.
Wales and the Britons, 350-1064, Volume 1 of History of Wales. p. 334.

Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, from 18th c. depiction.
Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, from 18th c. depiction.


On 4 Jul 2018 at 08:14 GMT Luke (Kemp) Lord Kemp-St. Margaret MA/ThB/PhD wrote:

Brian Boru is the 10th great-grandfather of Robert "The Bruce" I King of Scotland, and therefore, my own 35th great-grandfather.

Brian Boru is 36 degrees from Rosa Parks, 32 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 25 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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