Who were the Oriel / Airgialla?
It is my hope that in our Oriel Septs Project, we will be looking at the more scholarly writings on the peoples known as the Oriel or Airgialla. We must use such resources, if we hope to make sense of the results of the Y-DNA testing.
The following brief quotes are from one such work, which I highly recommend for thoroughness of research, and for its excellent 'Bibliography' and 'Notes' sections, which alone are worth the price of this book.
From "The Catholics of Ulster: A History," by Marianne Elliot, pub. Basic Books, New York, NY. 2001:
pgs. 9 & 10:
"However, the ascendancy of the Ulaid, with their capital at Emain, was destroyed around the time of the introduction of Christianity in the fifth century AD.......In central and south Ulster were a number of vassal states, collectively known as the Airgialla (Oriel) - the group of ruling families now governing much of Armagh, Tyrone, Monoghan and later Fermanagh and including many from the midlands who had fought with Niall."
pgs. 17 & 18:
" The Ulaid (now confined to east Down) had shared the kingship of Ulidia with the Cruithin of Dal nAraide (roughly occupying the southern two-thirds of Antrim, half Down and north Louth) until 972 when they killed the last Cruithin king, Aed mac Loningsich. They had been helped in the attacks on Dal nAraide by Ui Thuirtri of the Airgialla, who by the twelfth century had replaced them as the dominant element in Antrim"
"In the eighth and ninth centuries, the Cenel nEogain branch of the northern Ui Neill emerged from a long struggle with their rival branch Cenel Conaill and expanded from their Donegal-Derry centre to take control of the mid-Ulster territories of the Airgialla and become High Kings of Ireland."
"The pressure of the Ui Neill dynasties had greatly reduced Airgialla territory by the twelfth century to that roughly co-existant with Fermanagh, Monaghan, Armagh and parts of Louth. The O Cearbaill (O'Carroll) dynasty were replaced as kings of Airgialla in the twelfth century by the Mac Matgamma (McMahon), who remained effective rulers of Monaghan to the end of the old order, at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Their lineage could be traced back to AD 7000. More dubious was the Airgialla descent claimed by the Fermanagh Mag Uidi (Maguires), who only emerged into history at the end of the thirteenth century."
Oriel Septs of Ireland DNA Projecthttp://www.familytreedna.com/public/orielsepts/default.aspx