Luigne Breg and the origins of the Uí Néill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper explores the enigmatic kingdom of Luigne Breg, and through that prism the origins and nature of the Uı´ Ne´ill. Its principle aim is to engage with recent revisionist accounts of the various dynasties within the Uı´ Ne´ill; these necessitate a radical reappraisal of our understanding of their origins and genesis as a dynastic confederacy, as well as the geopolitical landsape of the central midlands in medieval Ireland. Consequently, this paper argues that there is a pressing need to address such issues via more focused analyses of local kingdoms and political landscapes. Holistic understandings of polities like Luigne Breg are fundamental to framing new analyses of the genesis of the Uı´ Ne´ill based upon interdisciplinary assessments of landscape, archaeology and documentary sources. In the latter part of the paper, an attempt is made to initiate a wider discussion regarding the nature of kingdoms and collective identities in early medieval Ireland in relation to other regions of northwestern Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-99
JournalRoyal Irish Academy. Proceedings. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics and Literature
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2017


  • Early Medieval
  • kingdoms
  • rulership
  • early Irish history
  • Genealogy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Luigne Breg and the origins of the Uí Néill'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this