Kings of Brega

The Kings of Brega were rulers of Brega, a petty kingdom north of Dublin in medieval Ireland.


Brega took its name from Magh Breagh (Breá), meaning "fine plain", in modern County Meath, County Louth and County Dublin, Ireland. They formed part of the Uí Néill kindred, belonging to the Síl nÁedo Sláine branch of the southern Uí Néill. The kingdom of Brega included the Hill of Tara, the site where the High King of Ireland was proclaimed. Brega was bounded on the east by the Irish Sea and on the south by the River Liffey. It extended northwards across the River Boyne to the foothills of County Louth. The western boundary, which separated it from the Kingdom of Mide, was probably quite fluid and is not accurately known.[1]

Brega was annexed in the 6th century by the Uí Néill. By the middle of the 8th century the Síl nÁedo Sláine had split into two hostile branches: Southern Brega, or the Kingdom of Loch Gabhair, which was ruled by the Uí Chernaig; and Northern Brega, or the Kingdom of Cnogba/Knowth, which was ruled by the Uí Chonaing. Despite this, many kings of Brega ruled over both areas, and thus Brega as a whole, until the kingdom's extinction in the early years of the Norman invasion of Ireland.

Persons in bold considered to be High Kings of Ireland.[2]
  1. Áed Sláine (died 604) son of Diarmait mac Cerbaill
  2. Conall Laeg Breg mac Áedo Sláine (died 612)
  3. Congal mac Áedo Sláine (died 634)
  4. Ailill Cruitire mac Áedo Sláine (died 634)
  5. Blathmac (died 665) and Diarmait (died 665), sons of Áed Sláine
  6. Conaing Cuirre mac Congaile (died 662)
  7. Sechnassach (died 671) son of Blathmac
  8. Cenn Fáelad (died 675) son of Blathmac
  9. Finsnechta Fledach (died 695) son of Dúnchad son of Áed Sláine
  10. Congalach mac Conaing Cuirre(died 696)
  11. Irgalach mac Conaing Cuirre (died 702)
  12. Amalgaid mac Congalaig (died 718)
  13. Conall Grant mac Cernaig (died 718)
  14. Fogartach (died 724) son of Niall son of Cernach Sotal son of Diarmait
  15. Cináed (died 728) son of Irgalach
  16. Conaing mac Amalgado (died 742)
  17. Indrechtach mac Dungalaig (died 748)
  18. Dúngal mac Amalgado (died 759)
    1. -Coirpre mac Fogartaig (died 771)
  19. Congalach mac Conaing (died 778)
  20. Diarmait mac Conaing (died 786)
  21. Flann mac Congalaig (died 812)
  22. Cernach mac Congalaig (died 818)
  23. Cummascach mac Congalaig (died 839)
  24. Conaing mac Flainn (died 849)
  25. Cináed mac Conaing (died 851)
  26. Flann mac Conaing (died 868)
  27. Flannacán mac Cellaig (died 896)
  28. Máel Finnia mac Flannacain (died 903)
  29. Máel Mithig mac Flannacain (died 919)

Kings of Cnogba/Knowth

List incomplete: see Mac Shamhráin, 2004. The Uí Chonaing had earlier been settled around Tailtiu and Ráith Airthir in the valley of the Blackwater; that district was left to another branch of Síl nÁeda Sláne, Síl nDlúthaig upon the conquest of the Ciannachta Breg during the reign of Cináed mac Írgalaig.[3] The title King of Ciannachta is first used by this dynasty in the Annals of Ulster in the year 742 and the use of the title King of Cnogba in 818; prior to this, it was a title used by the Ciannachta themselves. Earlier kings can be considered chiefs of the Uí Chonaing.

Kings of Lagore/Deiscert Breg (South Brega)

List incomplete: see Mac Shamhráin, 2004. The title King of Southern Brega does not appear in the Annals of Tigernach until 729 and in the Annals of Ulster until 751. Earlier rulers can be considered rulers of the Uí Chernaig sept of Síl nÁedo Sláine.


  1. T. M. Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland (2000), p. 15; James Henthorn Todd, Cogad Gaedel re Gallaib (1867), p. L.
  2. This list is based on Francis J.Byrne, Irish Kings and High Kings, Appendix II; T.M.Charles Edwards, Early Christian Ireland, Appendix II; with gaps filled in by the poem Síl Aeda Sláne Na Sleg found in the Book of Leinster
  3. T.M. Charles-Edwards, pg.551–553


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