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Friday, 2 September 2016

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2 September 1022 AD: The death of the King of Mide (Meath), Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, on this day. He died on an island in Lough Ennell in what is now County Westmeath. His passing marked the end of an era in Irish History. Since the Battle of Ocha in circa 483 AD the southern and northern O’Neill’s had shared back and forth the title of King of Temair (Tara) in Meath between them on a more or less continual basis. This made the holder of the title the most influential king in Ireland - if he had the wherewithal to make use of the status the title gave him.

For it was believed that in ancient times Ireland had been ruled from the Royal seat of Tara. The O’Neills believed that any man who held that hallowed ground was the heir to a lost Kingdom - and thus had precedence over the other kings of Ireland. However King Brian Boru of Munster in 1002 had pushed aside King Máel and had himself recognised as the superior king in his stead. The line of succession had been broken.

But with the death of King Brian at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 it came about that Máel Sechnaill had regained his position. However he was by then an old man and Ireland had changed greatly since his predecessors had established their dual kingdoms all those centuries before. After him Mide(Meath) would no longer be the force it was in Irish Wars and Politics. It never regained what it had lost in terms of Power & Prestige in the ‘Game of Thrones’ that dominated Irish politics at that time.

Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall son of Donnchad, overlord of Ireland, pillar of the dignity and nobility of the western world, died in the 43rd year of his reign and the 73rd of his age on Sunday the fourth of the Nones 2nd of September, the second of the moon.
Annals of Ulster 1022 AD

Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall, son of Donnchad, overking of Ireland, the flood of honour of the western world, died in Cró-inis of Loch Aininne in the forty-third year of his reign on the 4th of the Nones 2nd of September, that is, on Sunday, the second day of the moon, the one thousandth and
twenty-second year after the Lord's Incarnation, and died penitent and at peace, with the successors of venerable saints Pátraic and Colum Cille and Ciarán present and assisting him.
Chronicon Scotorum