5. Clan na Míle, the Milesians, or Gaelic Race
The Milesians were the Gaels, the
original Gaelic race, formidable Celtic warriors. They were the last of
the great Celtic tribes to conquer Ireland. Their King Milesius, or
Míl Espáine in Gaelic, himself an acclaimed warrior got his name having
won a thousand battles. 'Míle' is the gaelic word for 'thousand'.
Milesians had already colonized Portugal and much of Spain, including
Galicia before conquering Ireland and from there, Scotland.
Milesians Meet Tuatha de Danann in Donegal, Milesian Conquest of Ireland
to their invasion of Ireland, the Milesians sent an expedition party
headed by Íth, who was King Míl's uncle. They made contact with the
three jointly ruling High Kings of the Tuatha de Danann during that
expedition and were cordially received in County Donegal, at the royal
palace of Áileach. However while returning to their ship, Íth was
Milesians then amassed an army and invaded Ireland, subduing Tuatha de
Danann. Ancient texts record that event to have occurred over 3,700
years ago c.1699BC. King Míl, however never got to Ireland, having died
shortly before the invasion took place. His eight sons carried the
task to fruition in his memory, five of them perishing at sea during a ferocious storm
in the process.
Míl's surviving sons Heber and Heremon, along with his deceased son Ir
became ancestors to all the Milesian Gaels of Ireland and Scotland, Ir
having left an only son, Heber Donn.
High King Heremon, Successive Gaelic High Kings of Celtic Ireland
Heremon was the first Milesian, or
Gaelic Celtic High King of Ireland. He ruled jointly with his brother
Heber for the first year before slaying him in a duel. He was the first
of a line of a hundred and eighty two successive Gaelic High Kings of
Ireland, one Gaelic High Queen, and one Firbolgian High King. Between
them, they reigned supreme over all of Ireland for almost 3,000 years
before relinquishing their power to the English Crown King Henry II.
but six of the great Gaelic monarchs were of the direct line of King
Míl through his sons Heber, Heremon and the deceased Ir through his
surviving son Heber Donn. They were of the Milesian line of the Gaelic High Kings of Ireland.
eight of those High Kings came from the line of Heber and twenty six
were of the line of Ir. A hundred and fourteen High Kings of Ireland
were descended from Heremon, as were many royal, noble and elite
families of various parts of Ireland including Tír Chonaill, another
name for County Donegal. Scottish and English monarchs trace back to
Heremon. The posterity of Heber and Ir also included many other royal,
noble and elite families of Ireland and Scotland.
other six Gaelic High Kings of Ireland were of the line of King Míl's
aforementioned slain uncle Íth, the first Gael to discover Ireland.
Íth's Royal lineage was perpetuated through Lughaidh, his surviving son,
the cousin of King Míl.
High King Heremon Establishes The Four Provinces of Ireland
King Heremon divided Ireland into four parts, the present day provinces of Ulster, Munster, Connaught and Leinster.
allocated Munster to four of his nephews and to Lughaidh. He gave the
provinces of Lenister and Connaught to two of his chief commanding
warriors. And he allocated the Northern province Ulster, which includes
County Donegal to his other nephew, Ir's son Heber Donn, from whom provincial kings of Ulster also descended.
Gaelic High Kings, High Queen of Ireland in Relation to Donegal
a descendent of Ir and sixty first Gaelic High King of Ireland, died in
the year 667BC in a drowning accident at Assaroe waterfall near Ballyshannon,
South Donegal. He was buried at Mullaghnashee, a hill in
Ballyshannon. This Aodh Ruadh (Gaelic for Red Hugh) is not to be
mistaken for the later Red Hugh O'Donnell the first (AD1427-1505), or second (AD1572-1602), both of Donegal and both of the Heremonian line.
Following his untimely death at Assaroe, High King Aodh Ruadh was succeeded to the Throne of Ireland by his daughter Macha Mongrua,
the High King's only child. The only Gaelic High Queen of Ireland, she
reigned for fourteen years. She was the sixty fourth Gaelic monarch,
since her father had reigned in seven-year cycles with two other
monarchs, Dithorba and Cimbath who were sixty second and sixty third.
Niall Nóigiallach, Niall of the Nine Hostages
Patriarch of the great O'Neill dynasty, Niall Nóigiallach, Gaelic for Niall of
the Nine Hostages as High King Niall Mór (Gaelic: Great Champion) was
known, reigned twenty seven years from AD378 to AD405.
He succeeded his uncle, Crimthann. A
descendent of Heremon and assassinated in France while on one of his
foreign and homeland military ventures,
he secured an elite hostage from each territory
he had conquered. That guaranteed the co-operation of his new
subjects. This fascinating hundred and twenty sixth Gaelic High King of
Ireland was the father of, among others, High King of Ireland,
Laeghaire MacNiall and two great kings of County Donegal . . .
Conal and Eoghain
- Conal, King of Tír Chonaill, that is, much of today's County Donegal, reigned in the south of the county
- Eoghain of Inishowen in North Donegal, who reigned from Grianan of Aileach, or Grianán Áiligh in Gaelic, a former seat of power of the pre historic Tuatha de Danann
A Royal Dynasty and a Runaway Slave who Changed the World
It was during Niall Mór's reign that
possibly the most significant event ever in Gaelic Celtic history
occurred. An event, however, that seemed unremarkable at the time. A teenage boy was snatched during a foreign raid and sold into
slavery on the Irish pagan Celtic market.
Having made his escape, some years later that noble youth voluntarily returned to the land of his former enslavement. By then, Laeghaire
MacNiall had succeeded his father, Niall Mór, to the High Throne of
Ireland, and King Laeghaire's aforementioned brothers, Conall and Eoghain, were
kings in Donegal.
In grave danger to his life, that former runaway slave changed the course of Irish and world history forever. You might know his name?
He had a profound influence on Donegal, and is even connected with the Donegal Coat of Arms and Donegal Crest.
Donall MacLoghlin and Muircearth MacLoghlin
High King Niall Mór was
also an ancestor of two later High Kings of Ireland from County
Donegal, the MacLoghlin High Kings Donall and Muircearth.
Donall MacLoghlin, the hundred and
seventy ninth Gaelic monarch, also prince of Áileach in County Donegal was of Heremonian ancestry, being descended from Eoghain the son of Niall
Mór. He was High King of Ireland for thirty
five years, ruling jointly with Muirceartach O'Brian of Munster for
twenty one of those. Donall's father Ardgal,
king of Aileach, was the first in the family to assume the MacLoghlin
surname. 'Mac' is Gaelic for 'Son of', and Lochlonn translates to
'Strong at Sea', which was Ardgal's own father's name.
MacLoghlin, High King Donall's grandson and king of Áileach, was the
hundred and eighty second Gaelic High King of Ireland. His reign lasted
for ten years.