|Gall Ghaeil Lord circa AD 1000|
During the reign of Coinneach Mac Ailpín (AD 844-860) a people appeared in mid Argyll who were closely connected to Norwegian vikings. These people joined with these vikings on their plundering expeditions and they were called the Gall Ghaeil. The name itself is a combination of the word Gall meaning a 'stranger' or 'foreigner.' The second element in the name is 'Gael' i.e. a Gaelic speaking Celt. Gall-Gael is the anglicised form of the Gaelic term Gall-Ghaeil. They were literally the 'stranger Gaels.'
Mid Argyll was the epicentre of Gall Ghaeil society. Later in their history they were also connected with the Kingdom of Galloway (Dumfries and Galloway, and southern Ayrshire) in present day southwest Scotland. In this area of Scotland they were called the Galwyddel, which is the Cymreag Celtic (Welsh) form of Gall-Ghaeil. There was both a Gaelic and Cumbric component to Gall-Ghaeil society. The Gall Ghaeil were a fascinating part of the history of Old North in the dynamic Viking age.
The Gall-Ghaeil were generally Celtic in ethnicity with some Norse admixture, and were influenced by their exposure to Norse vikings. They essentially became Gaelic Vikings. They adopted Norse accoutrements of war and shipbuilding. The Gall-Ghaeil developed a strong warrior caste based society.