high kings of Ireland

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Despite the popular perception of the importance of the ‘high kingship’ of Ireland, early medieval Ireland did not possess a monarch whose rule was effective over the entire island. Nevertheless, the most powerful dynasty, the Uí Néill, who dominated the northern half of the island, were often able to compel most of the other province kings to submit. Brian Boru, however, destroyed the Uí Néill monopoly and in the 11th and 12th cents. Ireland generally only had a high king ‘with opposition’, the last of whom was Rory O'Connor, high king at the time of the Anglo‐Norman invasion in 1169.

Subjects: History.

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