O'Hea family genealogy

Chiefs of Muscry-Luachra

Arms: A dexter arm lying fessways, couped below the elbow, vestedWILLIAM O'HIERLYHY gu. turned up of the first, grasping in the hand a sword in pale entwined with serpent descending all ppr.

THE O'h-Aodha family (anglicised O'Hea, Hay, Hayes, and Hughes) derives its name and descent from Aodh (or Hugh), the ninth son of Cas, who is No. 91 on the "O'Brien, Kings of Thomond" pedigree. They were formerly Chiefs of Muscry-Luachra, a territory in the barony of Coshlea, co. Limerick, whence a branch of the sept removed into Carbry in Cork, where they became possessed of the lands called Pobble-O'Hea. Dr. O'Donovan says that Muscry-Luachra bordered on Sliabh Luachra, in Kerry; and that the river Avonmore had its source in this district.

O'Heerin mentions the O'Heas, thus:

"O'Hea, the bestower of cattle,

Enjoys the wide-extending Muscraighe-Luachra;

The clan of the land of sweet songs,

Inhabit along the stream famed for salmon."

We learn that Brian O'Hea, erenach of the Egles Beg of Clonmacnoise, died, 986. Murray O'Hea, lord of Muscry-Luachra, died, 1009. Flan O'Hea, successor of St. Enda of Ara, died, 1110. Felix O'Hea, a Cistercian monk, was appointed to the See of Lismore, on the death of Giolla-Chriost (or Christian) O'Conarchy, in 1179; he died in 1217 and was interred in the church of St. Carthach, at Lismore.

Timoleague is the burial place of the Carbery O'Heas, where a monument has been erected over their tomb.

The chief representative of the Desmond O'Heas in the middle of the 17th century was James O'Hea, of Gleann-a-Rouska; whose daughter, Ellen, by his wife, Joanna, daughter of William Gallwey (a descendant of the great Gallwey of Kinsale), was married to William O'Brien of Seartbarry, by whom she had a daughter, Joanna, who was grandmother (by the mother of Mrs. Margaret Fitzgerald) of the House of Barry of Buttevant, and who lived to the age of 125 years, retaining her faculties to within three hours of her death.

Another representative of this tribe was Cornelius O'Hea, of West Barry-Roe, living in 1720; whose daughter, Helen, married James Barry, of Mount Barry, co, Cork, son of William FitzJames Barry, by his wife, Ellen, dau. of Mathew MacThomas O'Hea, of Kilkeiran, son of James Barry, of Ballymacroheen, by his wife, Catherine, dau. of David Barry Ban, son of James Barry of Lislee (near Court MacSherry), who commanded 150 men in Barryroe in the year 1641; for which his estates were confiscated and granted to King James II. These lands were purchased from the Government, at Chichester House sale in Dublin, at the beginning of the last century, by Mr. Von Homrigh, who sold them to the Rev. Dr. Synge, by whose representatives they are now held.

We learn that the chief representatives of this ancient family are (in 1887):—

John O'Hea, Woodfield, Lisavaird, Clonakilty.

Michael O'Hea, Keelrovane, do. do.

James O'Hea, Baltinakin, Kilbrittain.

Rev. John O'Hea, The Square, Clonakilty.

James O'Hea, Lissycrimeen, Bullerstown, Bandon; and the Rev. Jeremiah O'Hea, C.C., Bantry.

Mr. Patrick O'Hea, Solicitor, 44 Grand Parade, Cork, is, we learn, also a scion of the Carbery sept of O'Hea.