Seo é an duine ar scríobhadh Annála Loch Cé dó. Gheofar cuntais air: in The Annals of Loch Cé, 1871 in eagar ag William Maunsell Hennessy; ag Pól Breathnach in Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Lúnasa 1940 (‘The Annals of Loch Cé’); in Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1958. Tá cuntas ar na hannála féin ag J. H. Todd in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Iml. 1, 1836–40.

Ba é Ruairí Mac Diarmada a athair agus bhí seisean pósta ar Shadhbh, iníon le Risteárd Óg Mac Uilliam, tiarna Chlann Riocaird. Bhí Ruairí ina cheann fine ag clann Maolruanaidh, muintir Mhic Dhiarmada, i Magh Loirg i gContae Ros Comáin; is minic ‘Prionsa Chúil Ó bhFinn’ mar theideal ag an taoiseach sin. I gCarraig Mhic Dhiarmada, oileán i Loch Cé, a bhí cónaí ar Bhrian: b’in é ceannáras an taoisigh ach deir Pól Breathnach: ‘The chieftainship passed to Toirrdelbhach and Tadhg (1568–1585) after Ruaidhri, their rival, taking the side of the English and becoming seneschal of Moylurg in 1571. That position was incompatible with Gaelic inauguration, and hence, when Brian is styled “chief of his name” in the records of the composition of Connacht, and Connor Óg, son of Tadhg, “tanist”, these terms indicate rather what might have been expected than what actually occurred. Brian was on the English side until his death in 1592 and was closely associated with Bingham in particular.’

Ní hamháin gur thug an Brian seo fir le chéile chun Annála Loch Cé a scríobh ach scríobh sé féin cuid díobh. Deir Breathnach: ‘Hennessy complained that Brian employed an incorrect orthography. His entries are all the more valuable for that reason, but it was an uncommon thing in his time for a man in his position to be able to write more than his name. In fact the majority of the gentlemen of Ireland in that age could not write even their names.’ I 1582, phós sé Méabh, iníon le Ó Conchubhair Shligigh. Bhí mac acu, Brian Óg, a d’éag ar 28 Eanáir 1637: ba dhóigh le Láimhbheartach Mac Cionnaith (Iomarbhágh na bhfileadh, 1918) gurbh fhéidir gurbh é an file den ainm sin é a ghlac páirt san iomarbhá. D’éag Brian um Shamhain 1592 agus deirtear ina thaobh in Annála Ríoghachta Éireann: ‘Mac Diarmada Maigh Luircc, mac Ruairí mic Taidhg mic Diarmada, d’éag i mí nouember, agus ba mhóide d’ábhar éagaoine éag an fhir sin gan a chosúlacht a bheith ag clann Maolruanaidh a gheobhadh ceannas dá éis’ (i nGaeilge an lae inniu ag na húdair). Duine dá shliocht ba ea Frank McDermott (1886–1975), Teachta Dála agus beathaisnéisi Wolfe Tone.

D’fhan Annála Loch Cé i seilbh mhuintir Mhic Dhiarmada go dtí tuairim 1652. Meastar gurbh ó Dháibhí Ó Duibhgheannáin a fuair Ruairí Ó Flaithbheartaigh iad. I 1766, bhí siad i measc lámhscríbhinní John Fergus a cheannaigh Thomas Leland do Choláiste na Tríonóide.

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Diarmuid Breathnach

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