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Ruairi was the illegitimate son of Allan MacRuairi. Although Ruairi's sister Christina was their father's legitimate heir, she passed most of the inherited lands to Ruairi, including Castle Tioram.
This seems to be confirmed in a charter variously dated 1309 or 1320, in which King Robert the Bruce granted to Ruairi a charter in part of the lands of Garmoran and of Kilpheder in South Uist, together with the islands of Eigg, Rum, Barra and Uist. (Uist here is presumed to be North Uist). The lands were then declared forfeit by the Scottish Government in 1325, due to Ruairi's involvements in plots against Bruce.
Ruairi's children included Ranald and Amy.