The Irish Chiefs and Clans in Fermanagh[1]

THE following were the Chiefs and Clans of Fermanagh, and the territories they possessed in the twelfth century:—

1. MacUidhir (anglicised MacGuire and Maguire) was chief of Feara Monach (or "Fermanagh").

2. O'Muldoon, chief of Muintir Maolduin and Feara Luirg, now known as the barony of "Lurg."

3. Muintir Talthligh, Tilly or Tully, chiefs of Hy-Laoghaire, of Lough Lir, a district which lay in the barony of Lurg, near Lough Erne, towards Tyrone.

4. MacDuilgen or MacDwilgan, not mentioned in O'Dugan, is A.D. 924, in the Annals of the Four Masters, given as Fergus MacDuilgen, lord of Lurg.

5. O'Flanagan, chief of Tuath Ratha (a name retained by the mountain "Tura") or the District of the Fortress, a territory which extended from Belmore to Belleek, and from Lough Melvin to Lough Erne, comprising the present barony of Magheraboy.

6. Gilfinan, chief of Muintir Peodachain of the Port, on the borders of Fermanagh and Donegal; and still traceable in the name of "Pettigo." (By metathesis we might derive "Pakenham" from this Irish clan: Peodachain, Pachain, Pachena, Pakenha—Pakenham).

7. Mac Giolla Michil or Gilmichael (anglicised "Michil" and "Michael") was chief of Clan Congail. In the Annals of the Four Masters, at A.D. 1238, it is stated that Clan Congail and O'Ceanfada [O'Kennedy] lay in Tir Managh or Fermanagh: this Clan or Tir O'Ceanfhada is probably the present barony of "Tirkennedy."

8. O'Mulrooney and O'Heany, who were chiefs of Muintir Maolruanaidh (as the descendants of Maolruanaidh, No. 104, page 672, were called), and of Maoith Leirg Monach.

9. MacDonnell, chief of Clan Celleagh, now the barony of "Clankelly."

The following clans, not given in O'Dugan, are collected in Connellan's Four Masters from other sources:—

10. MacManus, a numerous clan (chiefly in Tirkennedy), who had the control of the shipping on Lough Erne, and held the office of hereditary chief managers of the fisheries under Maguire.

11. MacCassidy, who were hereditary physicians to the Maguires. Roderick MacCassidy, archdeacon of Clogher, who partly compiled the "Annals of Ulster," was a distinguished member of this important family.

12. O'Criochain (who were descended from Colla-da-Chrioch), anglicised O'Creighan, O'Greighan, Cregan, Crehan, Creighton, Creehan, Grehan, and Graham,[2] were a numerous clan in Fermanagh.

13. MacGrath, who held possession at Termon M'Grath, where they had a castle in the parish of Templecarne.

"Maguire's Country" was, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, A.D. 1569, formed into the county Fermanagh, by the lord deputy Sir Henry Sidney.


[1] Fermanagh: In the early ages, according to our old annalists, the lake called Lough Erne suddenly burst forth and overflowed a great tract of land which was called Magh Geannain or the "Plain of Geannan," so called from Geannan, one of the Firbolg kings. This lake was anciently called Lough Saimer; and, according to Walsh, in quoting Cambrensis Eversus, derived the name "Erne" from Erna, the favourite waiting-maid of Maud or Meav (the famous queen of Connaught) who was drowned there. In the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries, the head chief of this territory was O'Duibhdara or O'Dwyer, whom O'Dugan mentions as chief of the race of Daimhin (No. 92 on the "O'Hart" pedigree) and several of the names are mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters, at A.D. 1086, and in Mac Firbis's genealogical work, page 304; amongst others, Giolla Chriosd O Duibhdara, prince of Fermanagh, who A.D. 1076, was killed at Daimhinis or Devenish Island, in Lough Erne.

[2] Graham or Grahame: The author of that excellent American work, "Irish Family Names," lately published, says:—"The Montrose family, the most eminent of the modern representatives of this grand old Celtic stock, trace their pedigree back to the first half of the fifth century of our era, and to Graeme, the distinguished general, who administered the affairs of Scotland in the interest and during the minority of Eugene II., grandson of Fergus II. (A.D. 411-429), of the Dalriadic line of Kings of what we now know as Scotland. Many of the Grahams of Ulster trace their descent from this illustrious stock, originally of the oldest of the 'old Irish' element. The Graham tartan suggestively enough gives prominence, in its make-up, to the 'Emerald green.'"