Toirdelbach II

Toirdelbach II
King of Maltropia
Reign1577 – 1604
PredecessorMaol Muire ingen Chiaráin
SuccessorNiall Oirdnide
BornCorcaigh Nua
IssueNiall Oirdnide
Full name
Toirdelbach Ua Chorcaigh
HouseUa Chorcaigh
MotherMaol Muire ingen Chiaráin
ReligionRoman Catholic

Toirdelbach II (1548 – 1604), or Turlough II, was King of Maltropia from 1577 until his death. He was the son of Maol Muire ingen Chiaráin.

Feud with the monasteries

Toirdelbach's reign is best remembered for his long-running feud with the monasteries of his kingdom. His antipathy towards the monasteries has been traced to 1570, when he was refused entry to the abbey of Mons Sacart while his father was visiting its abbot. When he succeeded his father, Toirdelbach refused to invite Mons Sacart's abbot to his coronation; this was seen by many as a strong insult to the abbey, then considered as one of the most prestigious and influential in his kingdom. Its abbots had attended, their annals claimed, the coronation of every Corcagian monarch in the last seven hundred years. In response, all but three of the kingdom's abbeys refused to send emissaries to the coronation.

This had the effect of turning Toirdelbach further against his abbeys, and he thereafter refused to address their petitions or to receive their envoys. The abbeys retaliated by refusing to accommodate royal messengers travelling across Maltropia.

The feud continued to simmer throughout Toirdelbach's reign and boiled over on several occasions. In 1593, Toirdelbach led an army south into the lands of Escir but was defeated in battle south of Moraine. As he withdrew north to Leaba Sciligh, he destroyed the fortresses of the province. He came to the fortified monastery of Ard Eoin and ordered its abbot to vacate their monastery so that he could raze it as well. The abbot refused in a speech that historians have labelled "the second greatest put-down in Maltropian history":

You order us, o king, to abandon our home, our sacred temple, our mountain of sanctuary. If you cast us out like beggars onto the roads of your kingdom then I tell you you will find no sanctuary on any road until you find your final refuge. Authority over Christ's Church was not given to the lord of the marshes. Our monastery was on this mount before your ancestors were dragged from the marshes and placed on their thrones of reeds, and our monastery will be here long after the name of your dynasty is forgotten in every chronicle but our own. Go from our gates, o king, for neither you nor your men shall ever pass its threshold while you defy your servants.

Historians agree that the greatest put-down in Maltropian history came three days later, when Toirdelbach had his men destroy the monastery, slaughtering many of its monks and dismantling its structures stone by stone down to the foundations. Ard Eoin was afterwards known wryly as Ár d'Aindeóin, loosely translated as 'Slaughter of the defiant'.