Dermot Mac Murrough
DERMOT MAC MURROUGH (d. 1171), Irish king of Leinster, succeeded his father in the principality of the Hui Cinsellaigh (1115) and eventually in the kingship of Leinster. The early events of his life are obscure; but about 1152 we find him engaged in a feud with O Ruairc, the lord of Breifne (Leitrim and Cavan). Dermot abducted the wife of O Ruairc more with the object of injuring his rival than from any love of the lady. The injured husband called to his aid Roderic, the high king (aird-righ) of Connaught; and in 1166 Dermot fled before this powerful coalition to invoke the aid of England. Obtaining from Henry II. a licence to enlist allies among the Welsh marchers, Dermot secured the aid of the Clares and Geraldines. To Richard Strongbow, earl of Pembroke and head of the house of Clare, Dermot gave his daughter Eva in marriage; and on his death was succeeded by the earl in Leinster. The historical importance of Dermot lies in the fact that he was the means of introducing the English into Ireland. Through his aid the towns of Waterford, Wexford and Dublin had already become English colonies before the arrival of Henry II. in the island.
See The Song of Dermot and the Earl, an old French Poem (by M. Regan?), ed. with trans. by G. H. Orpen, 1892; Kate Norgate, England under the Angevin Kings, vol. ii.
(H. W. C. D.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)