Index of Names in Irish Annals: Descriptive Bynames: Catha an Dúna

by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan (Kathleen M. O'Brien)

© 2000-2006 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.1, updated 02 July 2006

Descriptive Bynames: Catha an Dúna


"[of the] Battle of Down" (referring to a battle that occurred at Downpatrick)


What we know as a set of Irish Annals are manuscripts that were each compiled during a particular time period, usually using older material as sources. For example, when the Annals of the Four Masters were written from 1632 to 1636, they covered events that occurred centuries and millenia before (including legendary history). So, when an entry in this set of annals refers to a person who lived in the year 738, the spelling used for that person's name is very likely not using the spelling that would have been used in 738.

Standard forms of this name (based on spelling systems of different periods) would be:

Frequency & Dates:

Number of men found in the annals with this name: 1
Found in Years: 1261

Research Notes:

OCM (p. 35 s.n. Brian): "The most famous O Neill to bear the name was Brian Catha an Dúna ('of the battle of Down'), who fell fighting the colonists at Down patrick in 1260."

The full text of entry MCB1261.1 in the MacCarthaigh's Book (vol. 1) explains how this location is associated with Brían:


1. K. A.D. Mocclxi. Brian Catha an Duin mac Neill Ruaidh mic Aeda do marbhadh a n-Dun Da Leathglas le Gaeidhilaibh fein & le Gallaibh an Duin gu n-ar mac righ & taiseac Cinil Eogain uime dia Damnaigh, & a ceann do breith go Lunduin.


A.D. 1261. Brian Catha an Dúin son of Niall Ruadh son of Aodh [Ó Néill] was killed at Downpatrick by the Irish themselves and the Galls of Downpatrick, with slaughter of princes and chieftains of Cinéal Eóghain around him, on a Sunday, and his head was taken to London.


Further information about the byname Catha an Dúna, may be found in:

The Sources page lists the Annals referenced below. Information about secondary sources is included on that page as well.

Raw Data

In the table below, I have separated individuals with a blank line. That is, when there are multiple entries in the annals that refer to a single person, those entries are grouped together.

Within the list of entries refering to a single person, I have sorted the entries primarily by orthography when it is obvious that what I am seeing is the same entry showing up in multiple annals. The entries that tend to use older spellings are listed first.

NOTE: The Annals referenced below under the code letters A, B, C, E, & F tend to use later spellings than the other Annals. In some cases, the spellings listed in these Annals may not be appropriate for the year referenced in the Annal entry.

In some Gaelic scripts, there is a character that looks approximately like a lowercase f, but without the crossbar. This character (represented by an underscored , e, in the entries below) sometimes represents e and sometimes ea depending upon the context of the text.

[Standardized form of this man's name]
AnnalsEntryContextCitation (formatting preserved)
[Brian Catha an Dúna mac Néill Ruaidh mhic Aodha] (d. 1261)
MCB1MCB1261.1Brian Catha an Duin mac Neill Ruaidh mic Aeda

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