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  • My Coffee and Cake Time :)

    Niall of the Nine Hostages - arguably Ireland's most powerful and prominent High King of Ireland. He was also a well-known Pirate. In 2006, geneticists at Trinity College, Dublin suggested that Niall may have been the most fecund male in Irish history! My great great+ Grandad; quite the history.

  • Nathan Hunt

    British chariot and crew, c.55 BC by Angus McBride

Celtic Warriors, Irish Roots, High King, Angus Mcbride, Celtic Heritage, Celtic Gears, Celtic Benelux, Irish History, Celtic Dreams

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Niall of the Nine Hostages

Millions of people around the world today are descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the legendary 5th century A.D. High King of Ireland. Wherever the Irish settled, also live Niall’s posterity...

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Irish Genealogy Toolkit: Niall of the Nine Hostages; Ireland

Niall Noígíallach (Old Irish "having nine hostages"),[1] or in English, Niall of the Nine Hostages, son of Eochaid Mugmedón, was an Irish king, the ancestor of the Uí Néill family that dominated Ireland from the 6th to 10th centuries. The rise of the Uí Néill dynasties and their conquests in Ulster and Leinster are not reliably recorded and have been the subject of considerable study and attempts to reconstruct them.

The small passage tomb known as the Mound of the hostages or Duma na NGiall dates to around 2500BC. The tomb gets its name from the custom of Irish kings taking important people hostage, one of these kings was known as Niall of the Nine Hostages who had taken hostages from all of the provinces of Ireland and from other countries. The passage tomb is one of only two monuments at Tara that have been excavated. TNeill

Cormac mac Airt (son of Art), was, according to medieval Irish legend and historical tradition, a High King of Ireland. He is probably the most famous of the ancient High Kings, and may have been an authentic historical figure, and his reign is variously dated as early as the 2nd century and as late as the 4th. He is said to have ruled from Tara, the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, for forty years, and under his rule Tara flourished. He was famous for his wise, true, and generous judgments.

Lóegaire mac Néill - Lóegaire (floruit fifth century) (died c. 462), also Lóeguire, is said to have been a son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. The Irish annals and king lists include him as a King of Tara or High King of Ireland. He appears as an adversary of Saint Patrick in several hagiographies. His dealings with the saint were believed to account for his descendants' lack of importance in later times.

According to later writings, Diarmait was the son of Fergus Cerrbél, son of Conall Cremthainne, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. As a great-grandson of Niall, he and his descendants were counted among the Uí Néill. The Uí Néill as such, the name means "grandsons of Niall", can only have existed in the time of Niall's grandsons, but its common usage may be later yet as an earlier term moccu Chuinn is attested as late as the time of Saint Columba (died c. 597), a great-grandson of Niall's.