Hugh son of Connor MacEgan/Aodh mac Conchobhuir Mhic Aodhagáin

Published in Issue 4 (July/August 2020), Letters, Volume 28

Sir,—Your editorial on Aodh mac Conchobhuir Mhic Aodhagáin was indeed most interesting. He was one of the subjects discussed in a marvellous two-day conference held in May 2019 in Trinity College, Dublin, entitled Tales, Anecdotes and Marginalia from Irish Literature, and organised by the Department of Irish and Celtic Languages under Damian McManus and his colleagues. However, we do know what happened to Aodh, for in the Annals of Ulster—TCD MS 1282—for the year 1356 we read:

‘Aedh mac Conchobuir Meic Aodhagain, adhbur suadh re brithemnus d’eg / Aedh son of Concobur Mac Aedhagain, who was to be chief professor of jurisprudence, died.’

He was just 27.—Yours etc.,


Dublin 6W

 But is it the same Aodh? Read on!—Ed.

Sir,—‘Aodh mac Concubair mc Gilla na Naem mic Duinnsleibhe Mic Aodhagain’, alias ‘Hugh son of Connor MacEgan’, gives his four-generation inclusive pedigree in the above extract from TCD MS 1316, the Seanchas Mar. This enables identification of him in the genealogy preserved by Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh 300 years later (edited and translated by Nollaig Ó Muraile, published by Eamon de Burca, 2003, vol. II, 324.14–326.4, pp 55–9). His grandfather was likely the man killed in the battle of Coill in Chlachain, Breifne, in 1309 (‘ollam Connacht re fenechas 7 sai founded coitchenn in cech feed archena do toitim don lucht sour isin lo cetna / ollamh of Connacht in Law and a universal master equally skilled in all arts’). He in turn was seven generations inclusive descended from Aodhagain mac Oistin, the epynom of the Mac Aodhagain lineage, himself a member of the Cenel Cairpre Crom of the Ui Maine. Lios Mhic Aoghain/Lissyegan townland in Ahascragh parish, Co. Galway, may represent their initial estate ( As for Aodh, Annala Ulaidh for 1356 states:

‘Aedh mac Concobuir Mic Aodhagain, adbur suadh re breithemhus, d’eg / Aedh son of Concobuir Mac Aedhagain, who was to be chief professor of jurisprudence, died.’

He had at least one brother, Giolla na Naomh, who had four sons from whom several branches descended, including the famed sliocht resident at Ballymacegan in north County Tipperary.—Is mise,



Co. Galway

It is! I’m delighted to be contradicted on this point because it establishes beyond doubt that, while Aodh/Hugh died tragically young, his second prayer of 1351 was answered: he survived the Black Death and lived for another five years, rendering my editorial more hopeful than it originally appeared.—Ed.


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