Rory O'Connor

Rory O’Connor was King of Connacht from 1156 to 1186 and High King of Ireland from 1166 to 1198. He was the last High King of Ireland.

One of over 20 sons of Turlough O'Connor and not the designated heir, he had to fight his brother Conochair and both he and Aedh rebelled against their father. Aedh was blinded by his brother Conchobhair and Rory eventually arrested and released after a year. There followed several years of raids and clashes with Tigernán O’Rourke and the Kings of Meath where Rory rose in strength and reputation until he became King of Connaught. He arrested three of his 22 brothers and even blinded one of them to prevent their opposition. He managed to take the title of High King from Muireatach MacLochlainn in 1166 until 1198 when the Normans had begun to settle in Ireland. He is said to have fathered over 13 children.