Ugaine Mor

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter VI

Ugainé Môr is the next monarch who demands notice. His obituary record is thus given by the Four Masters:—"At the end of this year, A.M. 4606, Ugainé Môr, after he had been full forty years King of Ireland, and of the whole of the west of Europe, as far as Muir-Toirrian, was slain by Badhbhchad at Tealach-an-Choisgair, in Bregia. This Ugainé was he who exacted oaths by all the elements, visible and invisible, from the men of Ireland in general, that they would never contend for the sovereignty of Ireland with his children or his race."

Ugainé was succeeded by his son, Laeghairé Lorc, who was cruelly and treacherously killed by his brother, Cobhthach Cael. Indeed, few monarchs lived out their time in peace during this and the succeeding centuries. The day is darkest before the dawn, in the social and political as well as in the physical world. The Eternal Light was already at hand; the powers of darkness were aroused for the coming conflict; and deeds of evil were being accomplished, which make men shudder as they read. The assassination of Laeghairé was another manifestation of the old-world story of envy. The treacherous Cobhthach feigned sickness, which he knew would obtain a visit from his brother. When the monarch stooped to embrace him, he plunged a dagger into his heart. His next act was to kill his nephew, Ailill Ainé; and his ill-treatment of Ainé's son, Maen, was the consummation of his cruelty. The fratricide was at last slain by this very youth, who had now obtained the appellation of Labhraidh-Loingseach, or Lowry of the Ships. We have special evidence here of the importance of our Historic Tales, and also that the blending of fiction and fact by no means deteriorates from their value.