Hiberno-Norse Silver Penny of Ireland, 11th century, attributed to King Echmarcach mac Ragnaill or possibly King Murchad mac Diarmata , Phase III Hiberno-Norse coinage, uncertain mint
Showing a draped bust facing left. On the reverse, a voided long cross, with triple crescent ends; pellet in first quarter, ‘hands’ in second and fourth quarters. Countermark on obverse.
Echmarcach mac Ragnaill was a mid 11th century Norse-Gaelic king who, at his height, ruled a kingdom which spanned the Irish Sea region, and included Dublin, at least part of the Isles (the Hebrides and Mann), and much of Galloway. He first appears on record in about 1031 or 1032, when he was one of three kings in northern Britain who submitted to Knútr Sveinnsson, King of Denmark, England, and Norway. Echmarcach is recorded to have ruled over Dublin from 1036–1038, and 1046–1052. After losing Dublin for the final time, he appears to have seated himself on Mann. About a decade later, in 1061, Echmarcach appears to have been expelled from Mann, and may have then fallen back into Galloway.
Murchad mac Diarmata was a King of Leinster and Dublin. He was a member of Leinster’s Uí Cheinnselaig dynasty. Murchad was survived by his father Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó (died 1072). He was succeeded as King of Leinster by his son Domnall mac Murchada (died 1075), his brother Enna (died 1092) and Enna’s son Diarmait (died 1098).
The family of Mac Murchadha (MacMurrough) and MacMurrough-Kavanagh took their name from him. His grandson, Dermot MacMurrough was King of Leinster 1126–1171, and became known as the man who brought the Normans to Ireland.