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Diarmait Mac Murchada, King of Leinster

Male Abt 1110 - 1171  (~ 61 years)

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  • Name Diarmait Mac Murchada  
    Suffix King of Leinster 
    Born Abt 1110 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1 May 1171 
    Buried Ferns Cathedral, Ferns, Wexford, Republic of Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • “DIARMAIT (-Fermanagh 1 May 1171). King of Leinster. The Annales Cambriæ record that "Diermit rex filius Murcath" was expelled from Ireland by his people and went to the English king, recording in later passages that he returned to Ireland and built "castellum Carrec iuxta Wisefordiam" in 1170, and died in 1172. The Annals of Tigernach (Continuation) record that Henry II King of England arrived in Ireland in 1171, went to Dublin where he received “the kingship of Leinster and of the men of Meath, Brefne, Oriel and Ulster”. The Expugnatio Hibernica records the death "apud Fernas circa kal Mai" of "Dermitius Murchardi filius" [in 1171]. m [MOR, daughter of ---]. The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified. Mistress: (1152) DERBFORGAILL, wife of TIERNAN O'Rourke King of Breifny, daughter of MURCHAD O'Malaghlin King of Meath & his wife ---. The Expugnatio Hibernica records that "Dermitius…Murchardi filius Langeniensium princeps" eloped with "Ororicio…Medensium rege…uxor ipsius Omachlachelini filia" [in 1152]. The Annals of Tigernach (Continuation) record that “Diarmait Mac Murchada king of Leinster forcibly carried off out of Meath the wife of Húa Ruairc…Derb-forgaill daughter of Murchad with her wealth” in 1152, adding in a later passage that she “came again to Húa Ruairc by flight from Leinster” in 1153. Diarmait & his wife had two children:
      i) AOIFE [Eva] (-after 1189). The Annales Cambriæ record that "Ricardus comes de Striguil" invaded Ireland in 1171 and married "filiam Diermit regis". The Expugnatio Hibernica records the marriage of "filia…Dermitii, Eva" and Earl Richard. She was styled Countess of Ireland in 1185, but Countess of Strigoil in 1186. m (Waterford [26 Aug 1171]) RICHARD de Clare "Strongbow" Earl of Pembroke, son of GILBERT de Clare "Strongbow" Earl of Pembroke & his wife Isabel de Beaumont ([1130]-Dublin 20 Apr 1176, bur Dublin, Holy Trinity). In [1168] he promised Dermot King of Leinster to help him recover his kingdom in return for the hand of his daughter and eventual succession to the crown. He landed near Waterford 23 Aug 1170, and marched to Dublin. He acceded to the demand of King Henry II to surrender his Irish conquests to him and was granted Leinster in fee.
      ii) URLACHAN . The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. m DONOUGH [Donald] More King of Thormond, son of TADHG King of Thomond & his wife --- (-1194).
      Dermot had three illegitimate children by unknown mistresses:
      iii) ENNA (-1168 or after). The Expugnatio Hibernica records that "Ossiriæ princeps Duvenaldus" [Dounchad [Donough] Lord of Ossory] blinded "Dermitio…filium eiusdem primogenitum". The Annals of Tigernach (Continuation) record that “Enna Mac Murchada crownprince of Leinster” was blinded in 1168 by “Donnchad Mac Gilla Pátraic king of Ossory”.
      iv) CONNOR (-1170). The Expugnatio Hibernica records that "Dermitio" gave "filium suum Chuchurum" as hostage to Roderic of Connaught [in 1169]. The Expugnatio Hibernica records that Roderic killed Dermot's son [in 1170].
      v) DOMNALL Caemanach (-killed 1175). The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1175 of "Domnall Caemanach son of Diarmaid Mac Murchadha king of Leinster…[slain]”.”

      From Wikipedia (07/04/2016):
      "Diarmait Mac Murchada (Modern Irish: Diarmaid Mac Murchadha), anglicised as Dermot MacMurrough or Dermod MacMurrough (c. 1110 – c. 1 May 1171), was a King of Leinster in Ireland. In 1167, he was deprived of his kingdom by the High King of Ireland – Ruaidri Ua Conchobair. The grounds for the dispossession were that Mac Murchada had, in 1152, abducted Derbforgaill, the wife of the King of Breifne, Tiernan O'Rourke (Irish: Tighearnán Ua Ruairc). To recover his kingdom, Mac Murchada solicited help from King Henry II of England. In return, Mac Murchada pledged an oath of allegiance to Henry, who sent troops in support. As a further thanks for his reinstatement, Mac Murchada's daughter Aoife was married to Richard de Clare, the 2nd Earl of Pembroke (nicknamed "Strongbow"). Henry II then mounted a larger second invasion in 1171 to ensure his control over Strongbow, resulting in the Lordship of Ireland. Mac Murchada was later known as Diarmait na nGall (Irish for "Diarmait of the Foreigners").

      Mac Murchada was born around 1110, a son of Donnchad mac Murchada, King of Leinster and Dublin. His father's grandmother Dervorgilla (Derbforgaill) was a daughter of Donnchad, King of Munster and therefore she was a granddaughter of Brian Boru.[1] His father was killed in battle in 1115 by his cousin Sigtrygg Silkbeard, king of the Dublin Vikings, and was buried by them in Dublin along with the body of a dog, considered to be a huge insult.

      Mac Murchada had two wives (as allowed under the Brehon Laws), the first of whom, Sadb Ní Faeláin, was mother of a daughter named Órlaith who married Domnall Mór, King of Munster. His second wife, Mór Ní Tuathail, was mother of Aoife / Eva of Leinster and his youngest son Conchobar Mac Murchada. He also had two other sons, Domhnall Caomhánach mac Murchada and Énna Cennselach mac Murchada (blinded 1169). Diarmait Mac Murchada is buried in the Cathedral graveyard of Ferns village.[2]

      After the death of his older brother, Énna Mac Murchada, Diarmait unexpectedly became King of Leinster. This was opposed by the then High King of Ireland, Toirdelbach Ua Conchobair who feared (rightly) that Mac Murchada would become a rival. Toirdelbach sent one of his allied Kings, the belligerent Tigernán Ua Ruairc (Tiernan O'Rourke) to conquer Leinster and oust the young Mac Murchada. Ua Ruairc went on a brutal campaign slaughtering the livestock of Leinster and thereby trying to starve the province's residents. Mac Murchada was ousted from his throne, but was able to regain it with the help of Leinster clans in 1132. Afterwards followed two decades of an uneasy peace between Ua Conchobair and Diarmait. In 1152 he even assisted the High King to raid the land of Ua Ruairc who had by then become a renegade.

      Mac Murchada also is said to have abducted Ua Ruairc's wife Derbforgaill (English: Dervorgilla) along with all her furniture and goods, with the aid of Derbforgaill's brother, a future pretender to the kingship of Meath. Other sources[who?] say that Derbforgaill was not an unwilling prisoner and that she remained in Ferns with Mac Murchada in comfort for a number of years. Her advanced age indicates that she may have been a refugee or a hostage. Whatever the reality, the abduction was given as a further reason for enmity between the two kings." [1]
    Person ID I15759  Lowell&Block
    Last Modified 8 Jul 2016 

    Father Enna, King of Leinster,   d. 1126 
    Family ID F5439  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mor 
    +1. Aoife (Eve), of Leinster,   d. Aft 1189
     2. Urlachan
    Last Modified 1 Aug 2020 
    Family ID F5438  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Ferns Cathedral, Ferns, Wexford, Republic of Ireland Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S87] Foundation for Medieval Genealogy., Foundation for Medieval Genealogy Trustees.