Thursday, August 30, 2012

Donegal Sun Palace

Ailech, or the Grianán of Aileach, (sun palace) was the caput, or principal royal seat of the early medieval Northern Úi Neill kings of Cenel nEogain, until they moved their headquarters to Tulach Oc in the kingdom of Airgialla at the beginning of the eleventh century. The place-name Ailech was also used as the distinguishing sobriquet of the Northern Úi Neill dynasty. Ailech is popularly identified as a large multi-period fortification situated on Greenan Mountain at the southern end of the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal. However, Elagh, which is an Anglicized form of "Ailech," in nearby County Derry, could also have been the location of the historic Northern U Neill capital. The chronicles note the destruction of the Grianán of Ailech by the army of Muirchertach Ua Briain, king of Munster, in 1101. It was demolished in revenge for the destruction of the Úi Briain stronghold at Cenn Corad (Kincora), Killaloe, County Clare, which had been destroyed by Domnall Mac Lochlainn of the Northern Úi Neill in 1088.

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