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Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair (1116-1198) was the King of Connacht from 1156 to 1186, and the High King of Ireland (Ard Rí na hÉireann) from 1166 to his death in 1198. During Ruaidrí’s reign as High King of Ireland, the Anglo-Normans invaded Ireland, and Ruaidrí rallied the forces of Ireland, allegedly as much as 60,000 men, to fight off the Norman invasion. It is said he had mixed success, successfully routing the Norman forces out of the Midlands, yet was unable to win back most of Norman-occupied Leinster, which would form in later years the basis for the Pale. In 1175, Ruaidrí signed the Treaty of Windsor with King Henry II of England, which maintained native Gaelic control outside of the Pale in exchange for tributes and an oath of fealty to King Henry. Ruaidrí would die on 2 December 1198 and is buried in Clonmacnois, County Offaly.


Speech by Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair to the Men of Ireland (c. 1169?)