Irish Chiefs and Clans in County Cork

In Cork, the following have been the Irish chiefs and clans:—

1. O'Sulllvan had the ancient territory of Beara, now the baronies of Beare and Bantry in the county Cork; and were called O'Sullivan Beara, and styled princes of Beara. Another branch of the family, called O'Sullivan Mór, were lords of Dunkerron, and possessed the barony of Dunkerron, in the county Kerry; and their chief seat was the castle of Dunkerron, near the river Kenmare. A third branch of the O'Sullivans were chiefs of Knockraffan, in Tipperary. The O'Sullivans are of the Eugenian race, of the same descent as the MacCarthys, princes of Desmond; and took their name from Suileabhan, one of their chiefs in the tenth century. In the reign of James the First, their extensive possessions were confiscated, in consequence of their adherence to the earls of Desmond and Tyrone in the Elizabethan wars; and the heads of the family retired to Spain, where many of them were distinguished officers in the Spanish service, and had the title of Counts of Bearhaven.

2. O'Driscoll, head of the Ithian race, chief or prince of Corcaluighe, called Cairbreacha, comprising the ancient extensive territory of Carbery, in the south-west of Cork. The O'Driscolls were lords of Beara, before the O'Sullivans in after times became possessors of that territory.

3. O'Keeffe, chief of Glen Avon and of Urluachra. Glen Avon is now called Glanworth, a place in the barony of Fermoy, county Cork. This family had afterwards a large territory in the barony of Duhallow, known as "Pobal O'Keeffe." In ancient times the O'Keeffes, the O'Dugans, and O'Cosgraves, were chiefs in Fearmuighe Feiné, now the barony of Fermoy; which was afterwards possessed by the family of Roche, viscounts of Fermoy, and called "Roche's Country." The O'Keeffes at one time were marshals and military leaders in Desmond, and were styled princes of Fermoy.

4. MacDonogh, chief of Duhalla, now the barony of Duhallow, in the county Cork. The MacDonoghs of Munster were a branch of the MacCarthys, and were styled princes of Duhallow; their chief residence was the magnificent castle of Kanturk.

5. O'Mahony, chief of Ivaugh, and Kinalmeaky. The O'Mahonys also possessed the territory of Cinal Aodha (now the barony of "Kinalea"), and a territory in Muskerry, south of the river Lee: both in the county Cork; and another territory called Tiobrad, in the county Kerry. They were sometimes styled princes; and possessed several castles, as those of Rosbrin, Ardintenant, Blackcastle, Ballydesmond, Dunbeacan, Dunmanus, Ringmahon, etc.—all along the sea-coast.

6. O'Callaghan, chief of Beara, and of Kinalea, in the county Cork. The chief of this family was transplanted into Clare by Cromwell, who gave him at Killarney considerable property, in lieu of his ancient estates. A branch of this family (who are of the Eugenian race) are now viscounts of Lismore.

7. O'Lehan (Lyne, or Lyons) was lord of Hy-Lehan and Hy-Namcha, afterwards called the barony of Barrymore, from the family of the Barrys, who became its possessors. Castle Lehan, now Castlelyons, was the chief seat of this family.

8. O'Flynn, chief of Arda (a territory in the barony of Carbery), and Hy-Baghamna, now the barony of "Ibane" and Barryroe, adjoining Carbery. The castle of Macroom was built by the O'Flynns.

9. MacAuliffe, chief of Glean Omra, in the barony of Duhallow, and a branch of the MacCarthys. Their chief seat was Castle MacAuliffe, near Newmarket. O'Tedgamna was another ancient chief of this territory.

10. O'Donnegan (or Dongan), chief of "Muscry of the three Plains," now the half barony of Orrery, in the county Cork. O'Cullenan was chief on the same territory, and was hereditary physician of Munster.

11. O'Hinmanen, chief of Tua-Saxon.

12. O'Mulbhehan, chief of Muscry Trehirne.

13. O'Breoghan (this name "Breoghan" is considered the root of Brown), O'Glaisin (Glashan, or Gleeson), O'Mictyre [1] and O'Keely were chiefs of Hy-MacCaille, now the barony of "Imokilly," in the county Cork.

14. O'Curry, chief of Ciarraidhe Cuire, now the barony of "Kerrycurrehy," in the county Cork.

15. O'Cowhey or O'Coffey, of Fuin Cleena, chief of Triocha Meona, now the barony of West Barryroe, in the county Cork. These once powerful chiefs had seven castles along the coast, in the barony of Ibawne and Barryroe.

16. O'Fihilly were also chiefs in West Barryroe.

17. O'Baire, anglicised O'Barry, chief of Muintir Baire, part of ancient Carbery in the county Cork; and also chief of Aron. This family was of the Ithian or Lugadian race.

18. O'Leary, chief of Hy-Laoghaire or "Iveleary," and Iveleary, or "O'Leary's Country," lay in Muskerry, in the county Cork, between Macroom and Inchageela.

19. O'Hea and O'Dea are mentioned among the families of Thomond; they were also chiefs of Carbery, county Cork.

20. O'Donovan, also mentioned in Thomond, settled in Cork, and were chiefs of Clan Cathail, in West Carbery.

21. O'Beice or Beeky, chief of Beanthraidhe, now the barony of Bantry.

22. O'Casey, chief of a territory near Mitchelstown, in the county Cork.

23. O'Healy or Hely, chief of Domhnach-Mór-O'Healy or Pobal O'Healy, a parish in the barony of Muskerry, county Cork.

24. O'Herlihy or Hurley is mentioned in the families of Ormond; they were also chiefs in the barony of Muskerry.

25. O'Nunan or Noonan, chief of Tullaleis and Castlelissen, now the parish of Tullilease, in the barony of Duhallow, county Cork.

26. O'Daly, bard to MacCarthy, O'Mahony, Carews, and other great families. The O'Dalys were eminent poets in Munster.

27. O'h-Aedhagan (anglicised "Mac Egan") was hereditary Brehon or judge in the counties of Cork and Kerry, under the MacCarthys, kings of Desmond. The MacEgans were also hereditary Brehons of Ormond.

28. MacSweeney, military commanders under the MacCarthys, who, in the thirteenth century, brought a body of them from Tirconnell or Donegal, where they were celebrated as chiefs under the O'Donnells; and hence the head of the clan was styled MacSuibhne-na-dTuadh or MacSweeney of the Battle Axes. In Munster, the MacSweeneys had the parish of Kilmurry, in the barony of Muskerry, and had their chief castle at Clodagh, near Macroom, and had also Castlemore in the parish of Movidy.

29. MacSheehy: This family was a warlike clan, brought from Connaught in the fifteenth century by the Fitzgeralds, Earls of Desmond, who appointed them their body-guards. Some of them changed the name to "Joy;" and of this family was the Irish judge, Baron Joy. They are considered to be originally the same as the Joyces of Connemara—a race of men of tall and manly stature. The MacSheehys and O'Hallinans were chiefs of Ballyhallinan, in the parish of Poblebrien, county Limerick; and the O'Hallorans were chiefs of Faith-Ui-Hallurain, a district between Tulla and Clare, in the county Clare.

30. O'Kearney were chiefs of Hy-Floinn, near Kinsale, in the county Cork.

31. O'Riordan, a clan of note in Muskerry; and distinguished military chiefs in ancient times.

32. O'Crowley, chiefs of Kilshallow, west of Bandon, and originally a clan from Connaught.

33. O'Murphy (originally from Wexford), a clan in Muskerry.

34. O'Ahern, ORonanye, and OHeyne (or Hynes), were old and respectable families in the county Cork.


[1] O'Mictyre: This sirname ("mactire:" Irish, a wolf) has been anglicised Wolfe.