Ba é seo an scoláire a d’aistrigh go Béarla Annála Chluain Mhac Nóis, aistriúchán a bhfuil tábhacht ag gabháil leis toisc an bunshaothar a bheith caillte. I dtús an 17ú haois ba nuacht a leithéid a dhéanamh. Deir D.A. Binchy gur mó d’athinsint ná d’aistriúchán é ach go dtabharfadh sé tús áite dóibh ar Annála Ríoghachta Éireann (Seven Centuries of Irish Learning 1000–1700, 1971 in eagar ag Brian Ó Cuiv). Chuir an tAthair Donncha Ó Murchadha, C.Í. eagar ar The Annals of Clonmacnoise being annals of Ireland from the earliest period to A.D. 1408 translated into English A.D. 1627 by Conell Mageoghagan and now for the first time printed, 1896. In Irish Book Lover, Iúil-Lúnasa 1932 (‘Notes on two Mageoghegans’) tugann Pól Breathnach eolas ar stair a mhuintire agus deir gur shíolraigh siad ó Fhiacha, deartháir Laoghaire, rí na Teamhrach. Ba é Niall (a d’éag 1596) athair Chonaill, agus ba é a sheanathairsean, Connla (d’éag 1 Feabhra 1588), a bhí ina thaoiseach ar Chineál Fhiachach. Bhí an Connla seo pósta, más fíor, ar inion le Criostóir Nuinseann . Barún Dhealbhna 1560–1602. B’ionann an talamh a bhí aige agus barúntacht Mhaigh Caisil: ‘immense property’ a thugann Breathnach air agus deir sé: ‘These greater estates ... all went into smoke in the Cromwellian regime.’ I Lios Maighne, Co. na hIarmhí, a bhí cónaí ar Chonall. Ní léir go raibh a athair Niall ina thaoiseach ach, má bhí, is é a mhac Ros a bhí ina oidhre air.
Is mar seo a mhíníonn Breathnach conas mar a ghabh Conall le léann: ‘It is a well-known fact that the aristocracy of Ireland eschewed literary attainments. The great majority of them were, as Standish O’Grady said, “no pensmen”. The arts of composition, writing, poetry, and so on, were left to minor gentry, who in their own way were, of course, very important people but only small alongside the great territorial magnates. Now, here we find, less than fifty years after the death of an illiterate chieftain [Connla], his great-grandson not only an adept in his own Gaelic, and the ways of committing it to writing, but sufficiently acquainted with the English language to be able to make a very fine and a very valuable translation. The original on which Conall Mageoghegan worked is lost. Hence all the more to be prized is his version. It is difficult to account for the anomaly described except in this way: when the great interests of the landed Irish classes were smashed by the penetration of the English, the exclusiveness which kept learning in a few families broke down, and the natural attraction of all Irish men to the records of their forbears seized Conall Mageoghegan, who by descent should have been a great landed noble, and nothing else.’ Is dóigh le Breathnach go raibh a athair pósta le bean de mhuintir Mhic Chochláin agus is dá fhear gaoil Toirdhealbhach Mac Cochláin a d’aistrigh sé na hannála, an Cochlánach céanna úd a rinne urraíocht ar Genealogiae Regum et Sanctorum Hiberniae Mhichéil Uí Chléirigh. Chuir sé críoch leis an saothar 20 Aibreán 1627 i gcaisleán Liath Mancháin in aice le Clóirtheach in Uíbh Fhailí.
Deir Ó Murchadha sa réamhrá: ‘The translator more than once refers to “the ould Irish book out of which he wrote”, to “the ould Irish book which he translates, out of which many leaves were lost or stolen”, to “certain years that are missing in mine ould Booke”. And even the whole of the book is not given by the translator: “the ould Irish book by longe lying shutte and unused, I could hardly read, and left places that I could not read because they were altogether grown illegible and put out”.’ Ní léir cad a tharla don seanleabhar sin. Ag scríobh dó Lá Caille 1896 tá an méid seo ag Ó Murchadha: ‘The original was supposed to be in the possession of the family of Sir Richard Nagle some fifty years ago, a descendant, by his mother’s side, of the translator. There was a belief that it contained certain facts tending to their discredit, which the family did not wish to be made known, and for this reason they would not allow it to be examined....’
Rinne sé ábhar in Leabhar Mór Leacáin a chóipéail do James Ussher i 1636. Is ina theach a chuir Michél Ó Cléirigh tús leis an Réim Ríoghraidhe. Tuaírimítear gur thug sé cabhair do Sheathrún Céitinn agus é i mbunForas Feasa ar Éirinn. ‘If Keating did indeed use the Book of Lecan this would most likely have been facilitated through Conall Mac Eochagáin who had the manuscript on loan from James Ussher in the 1630s’ (Bernadette Cunningham, The world of Geoffrey Keating: history, myth and religion in seventeenth-century Ireland, 2000).
Ar leathanach bán i sean-lámhscríbhinn diagachta ina sheilbh scríobh sé an tuairisc shuimiúil seo: ‘Iontas mór. 1635 ... cith cloch shneachta a fearadh i bhFearaibh Ceall, sé sin, i mBaile Mhic Abhain agus sna Cealla agus i leathimeall Dharú Lá’ le Muire na Sanaise, sé sin, an 25 Márta i mbliana, agus ceithre orlach timpeall gach cloiche dhe a bhí sé. Cearc a mharú i mBaile Mhic Giolla Muire agus a dhá cois a bhriseadh do chloich dhe; dhá fheannóg a mharú leis i mBaile Codag; gach cloch a dhul dhá orlach i dtalamh agus an méid a thiteadh in uisce a dhul in íochtar amhail cloch eile; agus cuid acu a bhain i gceann mhná in aímsir an cheatha faoina filléad féin, a gortú agus a ceann a bheith seachtain tinn uaidh: agus bodach ar bhain cuid de na clocha dá chosa a bheith lán de bhalscóidí uile. Mise Conall Mac Eochagáin’ (litriú leasaithe ag na húdair).
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