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Ailill Olom, of the race of Heber, defeated the pre-Gaelic forces of Munster at the Battle of Ceann Abhradh in County Limerick.  Thereafter he became Munster’s first Gaelic provincial King and established the Eoghanacht dynasty which was named after Ailill’s father (Eoghan the Splendid).


In keeping with their rise to power in Munster the Eoghanocht poet-historians composed a narrative, which served as a dramatization of how they came to be sovereigns of Munster.  The story deals with the goddess Ainy who, as patron goddess of Munster, held the sovereignty of the province.  As the story goes Ailill Olom went, at Samhain time, to the Hill of Knockainy and fell asleep on the hillside while listening to the cattle grazing.  He was thereafter awakened from his sleep by goddess Ainy playing music on a bronze harp.  Upon awakening Ailill proceeded to rape Ainy but not before she put up a violent struggle and tore off his ears.  It was from this struggle that Ailill got the name “Olom” which means “bare ears.”


This story of the rape of Ainy was based on the tradition that she was the mate of King Ailill Olom and as such was the ancestress of the Gaelic Eoghanachts which was a way of further stressing their right to the kingship of Munster.  Some of the oldest and noblest ruling families of Munster, Ó Ciarṁaics included, claimed descent from this union and as such called themselves “Slioch-Aine” (progeny of King Olom and Ainy).


When it came time to become Eoghanachts (the race of Eoghan) the pre-Eoghanacht ancestors of the Ó Ciarṁaics tied themselves into the Eoghanacht dynasty by claiming descent from King Olom and his consort Ainy.



King Ailill Olom and Goddess Ainy

The Ó Ciarṁaics “descend” from King Alill Olom and Goddess Ainy (Slioch Aine).  Their Gaelic genealogy extends all the way back from King Ailill Olom to Milesius.  Milesius’ genealogy goes back still further to Adam and Eve.



Ó Ciarṁaic Genealogy

(Adam to Milesius)

Ó Ciarṁaic Genealogy

(Milesius to Ailill Olom to Ó Ciarṁaic)

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