15 Facts About Thomond


Thomond, known as the kingdom of Limerick, was a kingdom of Gaelic Ireland, associated geographically with present-day County Clare and County Limerick, as well as parts of County Tipperary around Nenagh and its hinterland.

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Domhnall was a man of realpolitik; his main concern was upholding his position in Thomond and was not against collaborating with Strongbow and others against rival Gaelic kingdoms such as Ossory, Desmond and Connacht.

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Under pressure from the Butlers, Thomond was now not too different from what would become County Clare, protected by the River Shannon.

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The precedent for Thomond was very dangerous as, should much more land have been taken, the realm would have no longer existed.

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The end of the de Clares and Norman territorial claims in Thomond came the following year at the Battle of Dysert O'Dea, where Conchobhar O Deaghaidh held out against a larger English force until the O'Brien and allies could reach the battle and decisively secure victory.

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Thomond's succession was disputed by his uncle and brother; Toirdelbhach Maol O Briain and Brian Sreamhach O Briain.

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Thomond was now in such a position that Conchobhar mac Mathghamhna O Briain's twenty six-year reign was marked as a time of peace and plenty.

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Thomond managed to ride south through Desmond and enforce the cios dubh on the Anglo-Normans.

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Thomond was wealthy in the 15th century; Domhnall Mac Gormain was described as the richest man in Ireland in terms of live stock.

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Thomond intended to support the O Neill against the O Domhnaill in a northern feud, but by the time O Briain arrived, it was over.

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Thomond took refuge with the O Cearbhaill of Eile and then with Conchobhar mac Toirdhealbaig O Briain at Clonroad, Ennis.

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The discord dragged on and Thomond was under the martial law of William Drury as late as 1577.

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The territory of Thomond was associated with the Diocese of Killaloe under the Bishop of Killaloe, the diocese having been formed in 1111 at the Synod of Rath Breasail, seven years before Thomond broke fully from the Kingdom of Munster.

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At the Synod of Kells in 1152, three more sees in Thomond were created in the form of the Diocese of Kilfenora, the Diocese of Roscrea and the Diocese of Scattery Island.

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Religious orders were present in Thomond and had establishments founded by them under the patronage of Kings of Thomond.

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