MALE Gabrán mac Domangairt

King of Dál Riata, ca. 537-ca. 559.

The king lists show Gabrán as the successor of his brother Comgall (d. ca. 537), and as the predecessor of Comgall's son Conall. The Duan Albanach gives him only a two year reign [Duan Albanach, 131], while the Latin Lists give 22 years [Poppleton MS, KKES, 253; Lists "D", "F", pp. 264, 270; probably correct] or 34 years [List "I", ibid., 281, probably an error for the 34 assigned to his son Áedán; Gabrán is accidently omitted by List "K", ibid., 286].

Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.

Date of Death: d. ca. 559.
["... & mors Gabrain mc. Domangairt." AU (s.a. 559, also a duplicate entry s.a. 557); "Bass Gabrain maic Domanguirt ríg Alban." AT 17: 142; "Mors Gabráin mic Domangoirt, Rí Alban." CS, 52]
Place of Death: Unknown.

Father: Domangart mac Fergusa, d. ca. 506?, king of Dál Riata.

Mother: Uncertain.
See the Commentary section.

Spouse: Unknown.
See the Commentary section.

His five sons are named by Senchus Fer nAlban ["Cúic meic immora la Gabrán .i. Áedán. Éoganán. Cuildach Domnall. Domangart." Senchus, 41]. Only two of these sons are known from other sources.

MALE Áedán mac Gabráin, d. ca. 604, king of Dál Riata, ca. 573-ca. 604.

MALE Eóganán mac Gabráin, d. ca. 593.
["Mors Eugain m. Gabrain." AU (s.a. 594); "Bass Eoghain maic Gabran." AT 17: 160] Iogenanus is mentioned by Adomnán as a brother of Aidanus, the latter of whom St. Columba at first refused to consecrate as king, because he loved Eóganán more [Adomnán, iii, 5 (p. 189)].

MALE Cuildach mac Gabráin.

MALE Domnall mac Gabráin.

MALE Domangart mac Gabráin.


Supposed mother (doubtful): Fedelm Foltchaín, daughter of Brion mac Echach Mugmedoin.
["Gabran & Comgall dá mc Domangairt & Fedelm F[h]oltchaín ingen Briúin mc Echach Mugmedóin a máthair." Genelaig Albanensium, Bannerman (1974), 66] Brion was the ancestor of the Connacht dynasty of Uí Briúin, which included the well known family of the Ua Conchobair (O'Connor) kings of Connacht. The early Connacht genealogies have chronological difficulties, making it difficult to assess Brion's chronology. However, if he was a brother of Niall of the Nine Hostages, as the traditional genealogies would have it, then it would be difficult to also make him a grandfather of Gabrán, because of the very long chronology.

Supposed wife (improbable): Lluan verch Brychan.
["Luan filia Brachan, mater Haidani bradouc." De Situ Brecheniauc 12(12), EWGT 15; "Lluan, mater Aidan grutauc et uxir Gafran vradavc" Cognatio Brychan 15(12), in a list of the 24 daughters of Brychan, EWGT 18; see also EWGT 43, 82] The large number of daughters assigned to Brychan is suspicious in itself, and as Bartrum pointed out, the chronological range of the alleged sons-in-law of Brychan is too wide to be believable [EWGT 130].

Chronological note

What is the chronological convention on these pages?

For events dated from 700 to 1012 in the manuscript of AU, the conventional "corrected" chronology is used, obtained by adding one year to the manuscript date of AU. All dates on this page prior to 700 and qualified by "about" or "ca." are from McCarthy's tables [McCarthy (2005)] unless otherwise stated. All bibliographical references given here in the form "AU (s.a., year)" are given with respect to the "uncorrected" chronology. References from other annals, such as the so-called Annals of Tigernach (AT) and Chronicon Scotorum (CS), are given by page number of the published version, with the "corrected" chronology of AU used as a guide for the date after 700, and McCarthy's tables before 700. A more detailed discussion is given on the page of Eochu Buide.


Adomnán = Alan Orr Anderson & Marjorie Ogilvie Anderson, eds., Adomnán's Life of Columba (revised edition, Oxford, 1991).

AT = Whitley Stokes, ed. & trans., "The Annals of Tigernach", Revue Celtique 16 (1895), 374-419; 17 (1896), 6-33, 116-263, 337-420; 18 (1897), 9-59, 150-303, 374-91. See also the CELT website.

AU = Seán Mac Airt and Gearóid Mac Niocaill, eds., The Annals of Ulster (Dublin, 1983). See also the CELT website.

Bannerman (1974) = John Bannerman, Studies in the History of Dalriada (Edinburgh & London, 1974).

CS = W. M. Hennessy, ed. & trans., Chronicum Scotorum (Rolls Series 46, London, 1866). See also the CELT website.

Duan Albanach = Jackson (1956) [critical edition], Jackson (1957) [parallel text and translation]; unless otherwise specified, citations are to the latter.

EWGT = Peter C. Bartrum, ed. Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts (Cardiff, 1966).

Jackson (1956) = Kenneth Jackson, "The Poem A eolcha Alban uile", Celtica 3 (1956): 149-167.

Jackson (1957) = Kenneth Jackson, "The Duan Albanach", Scottish Historical Review 36 (1957): 125-137.

KKES = Marjorie Ogilvy Anderson, Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland (Edinburgh, Totowa, NJ, 1973).

Senchus = John Bannerman, ed., Senchus Fer nAlban, in Bannerman (1974), 27-156 (text at 41-7, translation 47-9)

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 26 April 2007.

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