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The Corcu Loígde (Corcu Lóegde, Corco Luigde, Corca Laoighdhe, Laidhe), meaning Gens of the Calf Goddess, were a kingdom centered in West County Corkmarker who descended from the proto-historical rulers of Munster, the Dáirine. In the 12th century they had their kingdom erected into the Diocese of Ross, and their O'Driscoll lords played a significant maritime role in the region. O'Leary, Coffey, Hennessy and Flynn were other families of importance, as well as Dinneen, O'Hea, and probably Cronin and Dunlea. From Aimend, daughter of Óengus Bolg, the Corcu Loígde are related to the inner circle of the Eóganachta through a legendary marriage, as she became the wife of Conall Corc. They enjoyed a privileged status in the history of the new dynasty.

A legendary High King of Ireland from the Corcu Loígde was Lugaid mac Con.

Relations

Under the rule of the Dáirine, the Kingdom of Osraige belonged to Munster, and their relations with the Corcu Loígde continued after the rise of the Eóganachta in the 7th century.

Evidence also exists for long-term exchange between the Corcu Loígde and Uí Fidgenti. This appears to be another relic of the pre-Eóganachta political configuration of Munster, and supports the theory of Uí Fidgenti origins among the Dáirine as cousins of the Corcu Loígde. Likewise, the closely related Uí Liatháin of early British fame are considered a sept of the Dáirine. Like Ossory, the two were apparently strong regional kingdoms under the Corcu Loígde overlordship but assumed a Eóganachta orbit following changes in the political landscape. There is no reason to assume the existence of only one Dáirine dynastic line surviving into the historical period in southern Ireland.

Loss of Munster

This was probably the result of an Uí Néill-Eóganachta alliance, as vaguely recalled in the Cath Maige Mucrama.

Final days

By the early 17th century the two most prosperous families remaining were the O'Driscoll princes, still nominally sovereign and with several castles in and around Baltimoremarker, including Dunasead Castle, and the O'Learys, who had built five castles south of Macroommarker.

Legend and history

A peculiar fact about the Corcu Loígde is their almost total lack of political activity following the mid Early Middle Ages. Having formerly held sway over a vast territory, they appear to have almost completely disintegrated over the course of the 7th century, never making any serious attempts to recover what was at that time the largest kingdom in Ireland. Thus over the next centuries their former grandeur became more and more the stuff of legend, around which the younger kingdoms built their own origin legends. The central tale in this cycle is the Cath Maige Mucrama.

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