Domnall Midi

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Domhnall Mac Murchada (died 20 November 763), called Domnall Midi (Donald of Meath), was High King of Ireland. He belonged to the Clann Cholmáin branch of the Uí Néill. Clann Cholmáin's pre-eminence among the southern Uí Néill, which would last until the rise of Brian Bóruma and the end of the Uí Néill dominance in Ireland, dates from his lifetime.

Domnall was chief of Clann Cholmáin for almost fifty years, and High King of Ireland for twenty. In spite of this, and his importance as a dynast, the Irish annals contain relatively few reports of his activities. He was a patron of the Columban churches, particularly Durrow, where he is buried.

Origins and background

Domnall was a son of Murchad mac Diarmato. He had at least one sibling, a brother named Coirpre who died in 749, and it is likely that the Bressal mac Murchado who was killed in 764 was also his brother. Domnall's father ruled as king of Uisnech from the death of his father, Diarmait Dian, in 689 until his own death in 715. He was killed by Conall Grant of the Síl nÁedo Sláine branch of the southern Uí Néill. A year earlier Murchad had driven out Conall's nephew Fogartach mac Néill, probably the chief king among the southern Uí Néill, who was exiled to Britain. The notice of Murchad's death calls him "king of the Uí Néill", and this is understood as meaning that he was the southern deputy of then-High King Fergal mac Máele Dúin of the northern Cenél...
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