O'Lenehan family genealogy

Chiefs of Upper Third, County of Waterford

Arms: Ar. on a mount vert a buck trippant gu. attired or, in the mouth a trefoil slipped of the second, a chief az. charged with a castle having on each tower an obtuse spire surmounted by a weathercock, and on an arch over the curtain wall a cross flory all of the field. Crest: A buck trippant gu. attired or, holding in the mouth a trefoil slipped vert, and resting the forefoot on an escutcheon of the BURKE arms, viz., or, a cross gu. in the first quarter a lion ramp. sa. and in the second a hand of the last. Motto: Patriae infelici fidelis.

The O'Leineachain family ("leine": Irish, a linen garment), anglicised O'Lenehan, Lenehan, and Lenihan, descended from a younger son of the House of MacEniry of Cappagh. They were formerly a family of note in the counties of Tipperary and Limerick, where the name is sometimes rendered MacLenehan and MacLanaghan; and chiefs of a district forming the present barony of Upper Third, in the co. Waterford, where, on the left bank of the river Suir, and where the river receives the waters of the Clodagh, they had a strong castle, of which they were dispossessed by the Purcells and the De Grandisons, who expelled them from their patrimonial inheritance. They also possessed Crota Cliach and Hy-Coonagh, a territory partly in the barony of Owney and Arra, in Tipperary, and partly in the barony of Coonagh, co. Limerick.

A worthy representative of the family is Mr. Maurice Lenihan, J.P., of Limerick, the Proprietor of the Limerick Reporter, and son of James Lenihan, Esq., of Waterford.

The death of Mulciaran O'Lenaghan, a religious of Tumna, county Roscommon, who died A.D. 1249, is recorded by the Four Masters, as follows:—

"Mulciaran O'Lenaghan, a dignified priest of Tumna, a man who kept a house of hospitality for the clergy and laity, died on his way to Ardcarne, to attend a sermon there, on the Friday before Lammas; and was interred with great honour and solemnity."