Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Connaught, Cúige Chonnacht

Connacht is one of the provinces of Ireland, located in the western part of the country. It is comprised of five counties: Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, and Leitrim.

One of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the western part of the island. A king in the seventh century was Guaire Aidne.

Connacht | 0 to the 9th century AD

Prehistoric Period
Before written records, Connacht, like the rest of Ireland, was inhabited by prehistoric communities. Megalithic tombs, ringforts, and other archaeological sites attest to ancient settlement patterns.

Early Christian Period | 5th – 9th centuries
The introduction of Christianity to Ireland occured during the fifth century, and monastic settlements began to emerge. Monastic sites, often associated with saints and scholars, became centers of learning, art, and religious activity. The foundation of monastic communities in Connacht contributed to the region’s cultural and spiritual development.

Early Christian saints associated with Connacht include Saint Feichín, who founded the monastery at Cong in County Mayo, and Saint Brendan the Navigator (Saint Brendan of Clonfert), who is said to have undertaken legendary sea voyages.

Kingdoms and Clans
Ireland during this period was organized into a system of small kingdoms and clans. Connacht was traditionally divided into several túatha (smaller territorial units), each governed by a local king or chieftain. The dominant dynasty during this period was the Uí Fiachrach, which claimed descent from Fiachrae, a legendary figure.

Like other Irish kingdoms, Connacht was engaged in territorial expansion and conflicts with neighboring kingdoms. These conflicts were often driven by the desire to control valuable resources, trade routes, and cattle herds, which were crucial for the economy and social status of the time. Connacht had interactions with neighboring provinces, including Leinster, Munster, and Ulster, through trade, alliances, and occasional conflicts.

Viking Age | 8th – 11th centuries
Towards the end of the eighth century, Vikings began raiding Irish coastal areas, including parts of Connacht. The Vikings established temporary settlements, known as longphorts, for trade and raiding.

Synods and Councils
Ecclesiastical gatherings and councils, such as the Synod of Birr in the seventh century, played a role in shaping religious practices and organization in Connacht