Cathal Cú Cen Máthair (d. 665/6), son of Cathal and king of Munster, belonged to the dynasty of Éoganacht Glendamnach (Rawl. B. 502, 148b 1, 32; LL, 320bb 56). A misplaced notice of his death at 604 (AU 603; AFM 600) led both John O'Donovan (qv) and Bartholomew Mac Carthy (1843–1904) to suggest that the original record was that of his birth (AU, iv, 103; AFM, i, 228 n. k). The sobriquet applied to Cathal, meaning ‘motherless hound’, serves the purpose of distinguishing him from his father, also Cathal, who held the overkingship of Munster prior to his death (628).
Cú cen Máthair succeeded to the kingship after the death (662) of Móenach, who belonged to Éoganacht Chaisil. The tract ‘De rígaib Muman iar Cretim’ credits him with a three-year reign (LL, 320a); he is featured in the list of ‘future’ kings in the foundation story of Caisel, which probably dates from the eighth century, and in a ninth-century regnal poem. From the context of Cú cen Máthair's obit in the annal record, he appears to have died of the plague. His sons included Finguine (d. 695/6) and Ailill (d. c.701), both of whom later succeeded to the kingship. Finguine was in turn the father of another yet more distinguished Cathal (qv) (d. 742).