Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2011

Adv. MS 72.1.30


Mackinnon, p.115; Mackechnie, p.171.

15–16th cent. Vellum. 8 ff. Oblong quarto, 14.5 x 28.5 cms. and under. The remains of a duanaire containing poems to three generations of the O’Reillys of East Bréifne (co. Cavan), preceded by a poem to Maguire. Dated by Carney to about 1500. His description of the manuscript is in hisPoems on the O’Reillys (Dublin, 1950), pp.ix, 235; most of the poems are there edited. It had previously been noticed by Quiggin, Prolegomena, p.102. Written across the page; at ff.4v and 6v a second column is created out of the broad right margin. Hands:

1. Text. A good hand broadly similar in appearance to Eoghan Carrach Ó Siaghail’s (Adv.MS.72.1.29). Cliamain Ó Bolgaidh’s comortus, f.8v, may provide a clue to its identity. Some capitals are decorative.

2. F. 5 r. More curved than hand 1.

3. Ff. 4 r, 6 . Duibhgeannán Beag (Ó Duibhgeannáin?).

4. F. 8 v. Cliamain Ó Bolgaidh.

The fact that the Ó Bolgaidh family were physicians may perhaps help to explain how the manuscript entered the Kilbride collection. It is no.19 by Major MacLachlan’s enumeration (“19th”, ff.1r, 8v), and no.26 by Hugh Kerr’s. The latter’s name or initials occur on every leaf. Although the tightly-plaited thongs which bind it make it difficult to determine its composition, it appears to consist of a gathering, ff.2-6, to which ff.1, 7 and 8 have been added individually. The conjunct of f.3 has been excised, leaving a chasm in the text between ff.5 and 6. Due to rubbing and staining, f.1r is wholly illegible. Most of the other pages are partially so, especially around the edges. Further textual loss has been caused at f.5 by the tearing off of the outer portion of the leaf as far as what was once a natural hole in the vellum. Foliation modern, partly in ink. As Mackinnon and Carney use a pagination, this is added below in brackets for reference; it is not entered on the manuscript.


No. of hand given in brackets after entries.


2 v(4) “Commortus” (?3).

5 r(9) (?) An lia lánighi an aoin, 1 q. (2)

5 v(10) (a) largely illegible lines along top and bottom; (b) “as fada le Grainne oig gu bfaicean si misi’; (c) “a Muire mor as mairg ga tagand i nErann” (?1).

6 r(11) “Dus in maith in penn so a….. domun duth( ) a l….” (U.V., 3).

6 v(12) “Misi Duibgennáin bheg” (U.V., 3).

8 v(16) “Comortus ann so re Magu[idhir?] .i. tri b…..caeb….. misi Cliamai[n mac] I Bolgaid” (4).


1 r(1) Page illegible. It must however have contained qq.1-18 of Tadhg Óg Ó Huiginn’s Do mheall an sochar síol gColla, 39 qq., printed by McKenna, Aithdioghluim Dána 1, p.110. Qq.19-39 appear semi-legibly on f.1v. Cf. Celtica 1, p.302; Carney, op. cit., p.x.

2 r(3)1 Fer a choimeta ag cloind Fergna, 324 11. (approx.) interspersed with prose. Crosántacht on Pilib m. Briain m. Féilim Uí Raghallaigh, d.1508.

4 r(7)14 Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh. Ni ar áeis iartur inmhe, 34 qq. On the same. Carney, op. cit., p.151. (Hand 3 repeats ascription.)

5 r(9)5 Tadhg Óg Ó Cianán. Trian Connacht ar coimet aeinfir, 27 qq. On the same. Ibid., p.157.

5 v(10)13 Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh. ………… thigerna, 8 qq. Acephalous due to torn leaf; incomplete due to excision of following leaf. On the same and his brother Domhnall? Ibid., p.162.

6 r(11)1 Ge tá sibsi leth ar leth, 18 qq. Acephalous; dúnadh is Da co. On the same. Ibid., p.163.

6 r(11)19 Lughaidh Ó Dálaigh. Truagh ar n-echtra go hÁth Truim, 40 qq. Elegy on Féilim m. Seaáin m. Pilib Uí Raghallaigh, d.1447. Ibid., p.166.

7 r(13)12 Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh. Ni mar chách as caínte Brían, 40 qq. Elegy on Brian, son of above, d.1482. Ibid., p.173. (Ascription and some other jottings are by a later hand – hand 2?)

8 v(16)1 ( )r( )an Ó Cuirnín. Rath Temra ag togha Domhnaill, 15 qq. On Domhnall, son of above? Ibid., pp.179, 246.

© Ronald Black, 2011