The Irish Chiefs and Clans In Dublin,[1] Kildare,[2] and King's Counties

THE following accounts of the ancient chiefs of the territories now forming the counties of Dublin and Kildare, together with some of the princes and chiefs of Meath (of whom a full account has not been given in the Chapter on "Meath") have been collected from the Topographies of O'Dugan, O'Heerin, the Annals of the Four Masters, O'Brien, O'Halloran, MacGeoghegan, Ware, O'Flaherty, Charles O'Connor, Seward, and various other sources. As already mentioned. O'Connor, princes of Offaley; O'Moore, princes of Leix; O'Dempsey, lords of Clanmaliere, all possessed parts of Kildare. The O'Tooles, princes of Imaile, in Wicklow, also possessed some of the southern parts of Kildare; and the O'Tooles, together with the O'Byrnes, extended their power over the southern parts of Dublin, comprising the districts in the Dublin mountains—

1. MacFogarty, lords of South Bregia, are mentioned by the Four Masters in the tenth century.

2. O'Ciardha or O'Carey, chiefs of Cairbre O'Ciardha, now the barony of "Carbery" in the county Kildare.

3. O'Murcain or O'Murcan.

4. O'Bracain or O'Bracken, chiefs of Moy Liffey. The O'Murcans and O'Brackens appear to have possessed the districts along the Liffey near Dublin.

5. O'Gealbhroin, chiefs of Clar Liffé, or the Plain of the Liffey, a territory on the borders of Dublin and Kildare.

6. O'Fiachra, chiefs of Hy-Ineachruis at Almhuin [Allen]; and O'Haodha or O'Hea, chiefs of Hy-Deadhaidh: territories comprised in the county Kildare.

7. O'Muirthe or O'Murtha, chiefs of Cineal Flaitheamhuin (or Clan Fleming); and O'Fintighearan, chiefs of Hy-Mealla: territories also situated in the county Kildare, it would appear in the baronies of East and West Ophaley or Offaley.

8. O'Cullin or O'Cullen, chiefs of Coille Culluin (or the Woods of Cullen), now the barony of "Kilcullen" in the county Kildare.

9. O'Colgan, MacDonnell, O'Dempsey, and O'Dunn, were all chiefs of note in Kildare.

10. O'Dubthaigh or O'Duffy, one of the Leinster clans of the race of the Monarch Cahir Mór; and of the same descent as MacMorough, kings of Leinster, and O'Toole and O'Byrne, chiefs of Wicklow. Originally located in Kildare and Carlow, and afterwards in Dublin and Meath, the O'Duffys migrated in modern times to Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Galway, and Roscommon.

11. O'Fagan or MacFagan are considered by some to be of English descent. D'Alton, in his "History of the County Dublin," mentions some of this family who, in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, were high sheriffs, in Meath and Dublin. In former times the Fagans of Feltrim, near Dublin, and other parts of that county, were highly respectable, and held extensive possessions.

12. O'Murphy, chiefs in Wexford, were also numerous in the counties of Dublin and Meath.

13. O'Mullen, numerous in Meath, Dublin, and Kildare.

14. MacGiollamocholmog or Gilcolm, and O'Dunchada or O'Donoghoe, are mentioned by O'Dugan as lords of Fingal, near Dublin; and, as mentioned in the chapter on "Hy-Kinsellagh," there was another MacGiollamocholmog, lord of a territory on the borders of Wicklow.

15. O'Muircheartaigh, O'Moriarty, or O'Murtagh, chiefs of the tribe of O'Maine; and O'Modarn, chiefs of Cineal Eochain, are mentioned by O'Dugan as chiefs of the Britons or Welsh; and appear to have been located near Dublin.

16. MacMuireagain, lords of East Liffey, in the tenth century.


[1] Dublin: The grant of the Kingdom of Meath by King Henry the Second to Hugh de Lacy, A.D. 1172, included that part of Bregia, containing those parts of the present county Dublin, north of the river Liffey. This grant, King John confirmed to Walter de Lacy, lord of Meath, the son of Hugh; and gave him, besides, his fees in Fingal, to hold to him and his heirs for ever.

Parts of the territories of Moy Liffey and Bregia, with a portion of Cualan (or Wicklow), were formed into the county Dublin, A.D. 1210, in the reign of King John. In the sixteenth century, according to D'Alton's "History of Dublin," the county Dublin extended from Balrothery to Arklow—thus comprising a great part of the present county Wicklow.

[2] Kildare: In the reign of King John, parts of the territories of Moy Liffey, Offaley, Leix, and Cualan, were formed into the county Kildare; but it was only a ''liberty" dependent on the jurisdiction of the Sheriffs of Dublin, until A.D. 1296, in the reign of Edward the First, when Kildare was constituted a distinct county. It was called Coill-Dara, or the "Wood of Oaks," as oak forests abounded there in ancient times; or, according to others, Cill-Dara or the "Church of the Oaks," as it is said that the first church founded at the present town of Kildare was built amidst oak trees.