By Seán Duffy (auth.)
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Extra info for Ireland in the Middle Ages
They d omin at ed th e n orthern half of the island, whi ch was known as Letli Cuinn (' Conn 's Half ) , ca lled after Co n n Cetchathach (Conn of th e Hundred Battl es), from whom the provin ce Co n nac h t tak es its nam e . Th e Vi Neill took their name from Niall Noigiallach (Niall of th e Nin e H ostages) who was a d escendant of Co n n, or so th e ea rly hi storians would have us beli eve . By tradition , some o f Niall 's 31 Ireland in the Middle Ages sons settled in the north-west of Ireland.
The medieval church was an intensely political institution . In Ir eland , every dyn as ty h ad its favoured church , an d ever y provin ce had its m ajor ec cles iastica l sh owp iec e . Rival d ynasties a n d the kings of n eighbouring p rovin ces had few qualms a bo u t a ttacking suc h ce ntres, sinc e by im pove rishing an ecclesiastical settlement whi ch was the hub of eco n o m ic ac tivity in th eir enemy's land , th ey were impoveri shing the enemy himsel f. The Vikings ac ted simi larly.
Not only that, but 43 Ireland in the Middle Ages Muirchertach continued the policy adopted by his father and by Diarmait mac Mail na mBa: he appointed his own son and heir as king over the towri. " Like his father before him too Muirchertach had involvements further afield. The two leading Welsh allies of Tairdelbach Ua Briain appear to have been Gruffudd ap Cynan of Gwynedd (North Wales) and Rhys ap Tewdwr, the king of Deheubarth (South Wales) . They both won back their kingdoms together in 1081 thanks to an army supplied by the Vi Briain royal house of Munster.
Ireland in the Middle Ages by Seán Duffy (auth.)