Domnall Ua Néill

Domnall Ua Néill was a High King of Ireland also known as Domnall Ardmacha, which means Domnall of Armagh. He was a member of the Cenél nEógain of the Northern mac Néill, he was the son of Muirchertach mac Néill and the grandson of Niall Glúndub (Black Knee).

After the death of his father in 943, together with his brother, Flaithbertach they became co-kings of Ailech. And afterwards on the death of his cousin Congalach Cnogba of the Southern Uí Néill, he became High King of Ireland. Domnall was an avid patron of Learning. He married Mór, who was said to be the daughter of “Tadhg of the three towers”, who was a King of Connacht.

Most of Domnall’s reign was spent in warfare and he was considered to have been a very effective ruler because of his military reforms. A great deal of these conflicts were fought against Amlaíb Cuarán, King of Dublin who was in fact his sister Dúnflaith’s husband.  During this time of warfare Domnall’s men carried light boats overland where he raided Danish dwellings in the Lakes and on the lake islands of Lough Ennell, he was brutal, not only raiding them but burning them out of their houses. He overpowered Meath in 970 and killed Gillacoluim, King of Tír Conall in 977.

After abdicating from the throne in 980, he entered a monastery in Armagh, probably serving a long sentence for his sins, this is where he died a short time afterwards. His successor was Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill of the Clann Cholmáin. Among his children were Muiredach and Muirchertach. His grandson Flaighbertach Ua Néill was King of Aileach and a foremost dignitary among the Uí Néill, most undoubtedly following on from the death of Máel Sechnaill in 1022.