Loingsech mac Óengusso
Loingsech mac Óengusso (died 703) was an Irish king who was High King of Ireland. Loingsech was a member of the northern Cenél Conaill branch of the Uí Néill. Although his father Óengus (died 650) had not been High King, his grandfather Domnall mac Áedo (died 642) had been.
Loingsech is first mentioned in the annals of Ireland under the year 672 when he defeated Dúngal mac Máele Tuil of the Cenél mBógaine who was slain. The Cenél mBógaine were a branch of the Cenél Conaill located in southwest County Donegal. The Annals of Ulster do not mention Loingsech as victor, whereas the Annals of Tigernach do. The Annals of the Four Masters refer to Loingsech as chief of the Cenél Conaill with regards to this event. His accession to lordship of the Cenél Conaill is not mentioned, however the death of his uncle Ailill Flann Esa (died 666) is recorded during the plague years.
The Chronicle of Ireland records the beginning of Loingsech's reign in 696, having recorded the killing of his predecessor Fínsnechta Fledach the year previously. The record in Annals of Ulster may show that Congalach mac Conaing Cuirre (died 696) of the Síl nÁedo Sláine branch of the southern Uí Néill was a candidate for the high kingship after the killing of Fínsnechta, in competition with Loingsech. It is not until after Congalach's death that the annal, probably based on a contemporaneous chronicle kept on Iona, announces the beginning of Loingsech's reign. The Annals of Tigernach on the other hand place the beginning of Loingsech's reign in 695 before the death of Congalach. He ruled as high king from 695–703.
It was in his reign that Adomnán – a member of the Cenél Conaill- came to preach in Ireland. Loingsech appears as the first non-ecclesiastical signatory of Adomnán's "law of the innocents"—the Cáin Adomnáin—agreed at the Synod of Birr in 697. Loingsech gave his full support to this law.
The annals record plagues afflicting people and cattle, and famine following, during his reign. According to Keating this famine went on for three years.
Death and descendants
The Cenél Conaill expansion in the north had been blocked by the expansion of the rival Cenél nEógain into county Londonderry. As a result, there outlet for expansion was to the south versus Connacht. This along with a desire to make his high kingship a reality prompted an attack on Connacht in 703. Loingsech was killed in 703, in the Battle of Corann (in Southern Co.Sligo) against the men of Connacht led by their old king Cellach mac Rogallaig (died 705). The Chronicle of Ireland again calls him High King when reporting his death. The annals say that three of Loingsech's sons (Artgal and Connachtach and Flann Gerg) were killed with him, and many other besides.
"For his deeds of ambition, on the morning he was slain at Glais Chuilg; I slew Loingseach there with a sword, the monarch of all Ireland round."
He married Muirenn ingen Cellaig (died 748), daughter of Cellach Cualann (died 715), King of Leinster. Their son, Flaithbertach (died 765), was later High King. Another son, Fergal, led a force of northern Ui Neill in victory over Connacht to avenge his father's death in 707.
Loingsech was followed as High King of Ireland by Congal Cennmagair (died 710).
- Francis J.Byrne, Irish Kings and High-Kings, Table 4
- Annals of Ulster AU 672.1; Annals of Tigernach AT 672.1
- Annals of the Four Masters M 670.2
- Annals of Ulster AU 666.1
- Annals of Ulster AU 695.1, 696.7
- T.M. Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland, pg.506
- Annals of Tigernach AT 695.4, 696.7
- He is given a reign of 8 years in the Book of Leinster and 9 years in Rawlinson Genealogies and the Laud Synchronisms
- Annals of Ulster AU 700.1, 700.6
- Byrne, pg.247
- Annals of Ulster AU 703.2; Annals of Tigernach AT 703.2
- Annals of the Four Masters, M 701.2
- Geoffrey Keating, History of Ireland , Book II, pg.147
- Annals of Ulster, AU 707.2
- "The Annals of Ulster AD 431–1201". CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts. Retrieved 24 October 2007.
- Annals of Tigernach at CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork
- Annals of the Four Masters at CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork
- Byrne, Francis John (2001), Irish Kings and High-Kings, Dublin: Four Courts Press, ISBN 978-1-85182-196-9
- Charles-Edwards, T.M., Early Christian Ireland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000. ISBN 0-521-36395-0
- Geoffrey Keating, History of Ireland at CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork
- Meyer, Kuno (1905). "Cain Adamnain: An Old-Irish Treatise on the Law of Adamnan". Oxford: Clarendon Press. Retrieved 23 March 2008.