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Uí Néill

Not to be confused with O'Neill dynasty.
Uí Néill
Country Ireland
Parent house Connachta (Dál Cuinn)
Founded 5th century AD
Founder Niall Noígíallach
Current head by sept dynast
Cadet branches House of Dunkeld ?

The Uí Néill (Irish pronunciation: [iː ˈnʲeːl̪ʲ], descendants of Niall) are Irish and Scottish dynasties who claim descent from Niall Noigiallach (Niall of the Nine Hostages), a historical King of Tara who died about 405.

The first generation of the Uí Néill were his sons, seven in all:

The Northern Uí Néill branch:

The Southern Uí Néill branch:

All these men were in their lifetime known as members of The Connachta dynasty, or as "the sons of Niall." The term Uí Néill did not - by its very nature - come into use until the time of Niall's grandsons and great-grandsons.

Dynasties descended from the Uí Néill, such as the Cenél Conaill and Cenél nEógain, held power in Ulster until their defeat in the Nine Years War in 1603. Many of the heads of the families left for Catholic Europe in 1607, an event known as the Flight of the Earls.

Uí Néill family tree

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Conn Cétchathach
Art mac Cuinn
Cormac mac Airt
Cairbre Lifechair
Fiacha Sraibhtine
Muiredach Tirech
Eochaid Mugmedon
Niall Noigíallach
Conall Gulban
Conall Cremthainne


See also


Further reading

  • The Hui Neill and the Leinstermen in the Annals of Ulster, 431-516 A.D., Alfred P. Smyth, Etudes Celtic, 1974, pp. 121–143.
  • O'Brien, Michael A., ed.; Kelleher, John V. (intro. in the reprints of 1976 and 2005) (1962). Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae 1. Dublin: DIAS. pp. 133–4, 178–80. ISBN 0901282316. OCLC 56540733. Genealogical tables for the Uí Néill