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O'Connor, Rory

O'Connor, Rory ( Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair) (d. 1198), last high king of Ireland, became king of Connacht in 1156, and high king in 1166, and is widely perceived as a weak ruler. He banished overseas the Leinster king, Dermot MacMurrough, who returned with Anglo-Norman aid in 1167. Rory, initially conciliatory, reacted strongly to the arrival of the main body of Anglo-Norman forces in 1169, and made two failed attempts to eject them from Dublin. He did not submit to Henry II during his expedition to Ireland in 1171–2, but reached an accommodation under the short-lived ‘treaty’ of Windsor in 1175, which secured Rory's rule over the unconquered parts of the country. O'Connor's position was, however, gradually eroded and he suffered mounting opposition from within his own family, temporarily abdicating in favour of his son in 1183. He never recovered his former status and died at Cong in 1198, being buried in Clonmacnoise.

Sean Duffy

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O'Connor, Rory

Rory O'Connor, 1116?–1198, last high king of Ireland. He became king of Connacht in 1156 and seized the high kingship in 1166. His ascendancy was brief, however, for his quarrel with Dermot McMurrough, who brought the English to Ireland, led to Rory's submission as vassal to Henry II of England by the Treaty of Windsor (1175). O'Connor remained king of Connacht and nominal high king, but his power declined and he retired to a monastery before his death.

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