B. c.1116, s. of Turlough O'Connor and Tailtiu O'Melaghlin; king of Connacht 1156–83, high-king of Ireland 1166–83; d. Cong, 2 Dec. 1198; bur. Clonmacnoise.
Ruaidrí Ua Conchobhair assumed the kingship of Connacht on his father's death in 1156, and through force of arms was inaugurated as the high-king at Dublin in 1166. His prompt banishment of the Leinster king Dermot McMurrough resulted in an Anglo-Norman invasion, to which he was initially conciliatory but then made two unsuccessful attempts to dislodge its forces from Dublin. He did not submit to Henry II in 1171, but concluded a ‘treaty’ at Windsor (1175), in which he was confirmed as king of Connacht and granted overlordship of unoccupied north and west Ireland, while acknowledging Henry as his liege-lord. This proved short-lived as Rory was unable to maintain effective control and Henry unable to prevent Anglo-Norman settlers from expanding beyond his claimed areas. Opposed by two of his sons, Rory was ousted in 1183, and entered the abbey of Cong.
Subjects: British History.