Welcome to the realm!
My new Connachtian bannermen, reporting to me through Brian, are Mayor Domnall of Galway and Bishop Iacob of Tuam.
Mayor Domnall is an elusive shadow (CK2 short-hand for "badass spy") who loves gardening. He is honest, chaste, and content... but also envious and greedy.
Bishop Iacob is a dutiful cleric who also happens to be a proud, greedy drunkard that fancies impaling the unrighteous on spikes (yes, that is an in-game trait). The Impaler of Tuam is very cynical, but in his favor, quite brave and temperate.
December 28, 1078: A few days after Christmas, Pope Alexander II passes on and is succeeded by Pope Pius II.
June 17, 1079: Old Toirrdelbach proves, at 70, that he's still a master of diplomacy by fabricating a claim for Duke Murchad on County Kildare. He is sent north to do the same in County Oriel.
Kildare is one half of the Duchy of Meath, and capturing it would let me add a third Ducal title to my realm. Oriel, to the north, is part of the expansive Duchy of Ulster, which will be a bit harder to claim.
July 2, 1079: At a private council, plans are laid to press Murchad's new claim on County Kildare. After much debate, it is decided that Munster should wait until new levies can be raised in Connacht to assure victory.
When you conquer a county, it gains a "recently conquered" debuff for a few years that prevents you from raising the normal number of troops there. I could probably take Kildare with what I have in Thomond and Ormond, but I happen to know that the Duke of Meath is already in a de jure war with Kildare. It would be way too easy for him to wait for me to weaken the castle, and then sweep in and wipe me off the map. I'll need the levies from Connacht to assure that I can win against two armies.
On the other hand, I'm not getting any younger. Well into my 50s in an age when making it to 60 was quite rare, I could drop dead any day now. And because my claim on Kildare is fabricated, Brian won't inherit it. Toirrdelbach (assuming he's still alive) would have to fabricate a new claim for Brian. So I'm taking a gamble in waiting. Hopefully, it will pay off.
April 16, 1080: After a romantic stroll along the rocky coasts of Thomond, Duke Murchad and Duchess Alfhild fall in love.
This is a pleasant surprise, especially in an era when nearly all noble marriages were politically-motivated. It will improve the duchess's opinion of me greatly, and would also give us a higher chance of having children were it not for the fact that Alfhild is 50, and I'm 50 and change, meaning we're likely no longer capable.
May 24, 1080: Duke Murchad I becomes known as Duke Murchad the Able.
Not bad. Each ruler in my line will get a title like this when they've done something to warrant it. I was hoping for "the Conqueror" or "the Great," but I suppose I'll leave that to my descendants, as my reign seems to be winding down.