Milesian Irish Genealogies

Our MILESIAN IRISH GENEALOGIES records, and chronicles were therefore at certain periods carefully examined, in order to have them purged of any errors which might from time to time have crept into them; and, thus revised, those state documents formed the materials from which, in the third century of the Christian era, was compiled by order of the celebrated Monarch, King Cormac Mac Art, the history of the Irish Nation, from the earliest period, which was called the Psalter of Tara; from which and other more recent records was written in the ninth century by Cormac MacCullinan, the bishop-king of Munster, the noble work known as the Psalter of Cashel—the original of which is deposited in the Library of the British Museum, London.

In the fifth century, St. Patrick, St. Benignus, and St. Carioch were, according to the Four Masters, three of the nine personages appointed by the triennial parliament of Tara, in the reign of Laeghaire,[1] the 128th Monarch of Ireland: "to review, examine, and reduce into order all the monuments of antiquity, genealogies, chronicles, and records of the Kingdom." These monuments of antiquity, genealogies, chronicles, and records so revised, examined, and reduced into order, by St. Patrick and his colleagues on that occasion, were carefully preserved in our national archives up to the Danish and Anglo-Norman invasions of Ireland: after which some of the Irish Manuscripts were ruthlessly destroyed by the invaders; some were conveyed to Belgium, Denmark, England, France. Rome, etc.; some were preserved in public and private libraries in Ireland; and some were deposited for safe-keeping in Irish and Scotch Convents and Monasteries.


[1] Laeghaire: Ware begins his "Antiquities of Ireland" with the reign of this Monarch, and the apostleship of St. Patrick; and he assigns as a reason for doing so, that much of what had been written concerning the predecessors of that Monarch was mixed with fables and anachronisms. As this is a fault common to all ancient histories, no doubt Ware's criticism is just. Two things in it, however, are worthy of notice, namely—first, that Laeghaire had predecessors in the monarchy, and monuments which speak of them; and second, that these monuments were mixed with fables and anachronisms.—MacGeoghegan.