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The Norman Invasion of Ulster

  • The Norman invasion of Ireland started in 1169 with a landing in Leinster at the request of Diarmaid Mac Murchadha, exiled King of Leinster

  • The Normans soon started to displace native Gaelic kings and lords and gained control of the key towns and cities on the East and South coasts

  • In 1176 the Cenél Eogain repulsed a first Norman attack on Armagh

  • In 1177 John de Courcy set out to invade Ulster and succeeded in defeating the Kingdom of Ulaidh (in modern County Down)

  • He then extended his reach across east Ulster, building Carrickfergus castle that year

  • Hugh de Lacy displaced de Courcy and was created Earl of Ulster by the English King in 1204

  • He extended his reach to Antrim and part of Derry but failed to defeat the Ua Néill (O’Neill) of Tyrone, who controlled a huge swathe of central and southern Ulster.

  • De Lacy’s daughter married Walter de Burgo who thus gained the Earldom of Ulster for his family