verse beg. Apair damsa re Der Fáil

Urard mac Coise
  • Middle Irish
  • verse

Middle Irish poem (15 qq) attributed to (Urard) mac Coise and composed for Derb Áil (Der Fáil), who was a daughter of Tadc mac Cathail, king of Connacht, and the consort of Domnall úa Néill, high-king of Ireland (d. 980). The poem laments the death of her young son Áed. In the process, it cites several tragedies of bereavement from Irish history (one from Trojan history) and adds a religious dimension to her grief and consolation.

First words (verse)
  • Apair damsa re Der Fáil
Urard mac Coise
Urard mac Coise
(d. 983 x 1023)
Irish poet

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Ascribed to: Urard mac Coise
Urard mac Coise
(d. 983 x 1023)
Irish poet

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Leabhar Ruadh Muimhneach
Identification remains tenative.
f. 6r
rubric: ‘Mac Coissi cc.’
beg. ‘Abair damsa re Derbail’
15qq. Concludes: Slicht in liubhair rúaidh innsin, which echoes further subscriptions in the same manuscript, in one case identifying it as a manuscript written by Murchad Ó Cuindlis.
pp. 225–226
beg. ‘Abair damhsa re Derbháil’
  • Middle Irish
  • c.956 (Ní Dhonnchadha), that is after the death of Derb Áil’s son Áed (not to be confused with the Áed who died in battle in 1004).
verse (primary)
Number of stanzas: 15



Derb Áil ingen Taidc meic Cathail
Derb Áil ingen Taidc meic Cathail
(d. 1010)
Daughter of Tadc mac Cathail, king of Connacht from the Uí Briúin Aí, and wife of Domnall úa Néill, high-king of Ireland.

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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Ní Dhonnchadha, Máirín [ed.], “Courts and coteries I, c. 900–1600”, in: Angela Bourke, Siobhán Kilfeather, and Maria Luddy [et al.] (eds), The Field Day anthology of Irish writing, vol. IV: Irish women's writing and traditions, Cork: Cork University Press, 2002. 293–340.
305–307 Edited from Brussels 5100 and NLI G 131, with an English translation by Moya Cannon. Incl. introduction.
[ed.] Meyer, Kuno [ed.], “Mitteilungen aus irischen Handschriften: Mac Coissi cecinit”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 6 (1908): 269–270.
Internet Archive: <link>
Edited from the Brussels MS.

Secondary sources (select)

OʼLeary, Aideen M., “The identities of the poet(s) Mac Coisi: a reinvestigation”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 38 (Winter, 1999): 53–72.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
February 2022, last updated: June 2023