Irish Chiefs and Clans in Roscommon and Galway

THE following chiefs and clans in Roscommon and Galway, and the territories possessed by them in the twelfth century, have been collected from O'Dugan's Topography and other sources:—

1. MacDiarmada or MacDermott, princes of Moylurg, Tir-Oilill, Tir-Tuathail, Arteach, and Clan Cuain. Moylurg comprised the plains of Boyle, in the county Roscommon; Tir-Oilill, now the barony of "Tirerill" in Sligo; Arteach, a district in Roscommon near Lough Gara, on the borders of Sligo and Mayo; Clan Cuain was a district in the barony of Carra, near Castlebar, comprising the present parishes of Islandeady, Turlough, and Breaffy. The MacDermotts were hereditary marshals of Connaught, the duties attached to which were to raise and regulate the military forces, and to prepare them for battle, as commanders-in-chief; also to preside at the inauguration of the O'Connors as kings of Connaught, and to proclaim their election.

The MacDermotts derive their descent from Teige of the White Steed, king of Connaught in the eleventh century; and are a branch of the O'Connors. This Teige had a son named Maolruanaidh, the progenitor of the MacDermotts: hence their tribe name was Clan Maolruanaidh or Clan Mulrooney. Diarmaid (dia; Irish, a god, and armaid, of arms, and signifying a great warrior), grandson of Mulrooney, who died, A.D. 1165, was the head of the clan; and from him they took the name of "MacDermott." The MacDermotts had their chief fortress at the Rock of Lough Key, on an island in Lough Key, near Boyle; and are the only Milesian family who have preserved their title of Prince, namely, "Hereditary Prince of Coolavin:" a title by which the MacDermott is to this day recognised in the county Sligo. The principal families of the MacDermotts in Connaught are—The MacDermott of Coolavin, and MacDermott Roe of Alderford in the county Roscommon. The following were, according to O'Dugan, the ancient chiefs of Moylurg before the time of the MacDermotts:—

"The ancient chiefs of Moylurg of abundance:

MacEoach (or MacKeogh); MacMaoin (or MacMaine), the great.

And MacRiabhaidh (or Magreevy) the efficient forces."

2. O'Ceallaigh or O'Kelly. This name is derived from Ceallach, a celebrated chief of the ninth century, who is the ancestor of the O'Kellys, princes of Hy-Maine. These O'Kellys are a branch of the Clan Colla of Orgiall in Ulster, and of the same descent as the MacMahons, lords of Monaghan; Maguires, lords of Fermanagh; O'Hanlons lords of Orior in Armagh, etc. In the fourth century, Main Mór or Main the Great, a chief of the Clan Colla, conquered a colony of the Firbolgs in Connaught; and the territory so conquered, which was possessed by his posterity, was after him called Hy-Maine (signifying the territory possessed by the descendants of Main), which has been Latinized "Hy-Mania" and "I-Mania." This extensive territory comprised, according to O'Flaherty and others, a great part of South Connaught in the present county Galway, and was afterwards extended beyond the river Suck to the Shannon, in the south of Roscommon. It included the baronies of Ballymoe, Tiaquin, Killian, and Kilcollan, with part of Clonmacnoon, in Galway; and the barony of Athlone in Roscommon. The O'Kellys were styled princes of Hy-Maine, and their territory was called "O'Kelly's Country."

According to the "Dissertations" of Charles O'Connor, the O'Kellys held the office of high treasurers of Connaught, and the MacDermotts that of marshals. Tadhg or Teige O'Kelly, one of the commanders of the Counaught contingent of Brian Boru's army at the battle of Clontarf, was of this ancient family. The O'Kellys had castles at Aughrim, Garbally, Gallagh, Monivea, Moylough, Mullaghmore, and Aghrane (now Castlekelly), in the county Galway; and at Athlone, Athleague, Corbeg, Galy, and Skrine, in the county Roscommon. The chiefs of the O'Kellys, according to some accounts, were inaugurated at Clontuskert, about five miles from Eyrecourt in the county Galway, and held their rank as princes of Hy-Maine down to the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

3. MacOireachtaigh or MacGeraghty, of the same stock as the O'Connors of Connaught. In the Annals of the Four Masters, at A.D. 1278, MacOiraghty is mentioned as head chief of Siol Murray, a term applied to the central parts of the county Roscommon; and, in the sixteenth century, when deprived of their territories, some of the clan Geraghty settled in Mayo and Sligo, and gave their name to the island of Innis Murray, off the coast of Sligo, on account of their former title as head chiefs of Siol Murray, as in the Annals above mentioned.

4. O'Fionnachta or O'Finaghty, chiefs of Clan Conmaigh, and of Clan Murchada, districts in the two half baronies of Ballymoe in the counties of Galway and Roscommon, in O'Kelly's principality of Hy-Maine. The O'Finaghtys here mentioned were of the Clan Colla; and two distinct chiefs of them are given by O'Dugan: one of them, Finaghty of "Clan Murrogh of the Champions;" and the other, Finaghty of the "Clan Conway." O'Finaghty (modernized "Finnerty"), chiefs of Clan Conway, had their castle at Dunamon, near the river Suck, in the county Roscommon. It is stated in some old authorities, that the O'Finaghtys had the privilege of drinking the first cup at every royal feast.

5. O'Fallamhain or O'Fallon were chiefs of Clan Uadach, a district in the barony of Athlone, in the county Roscommon, comprising the parishes of Cam and Dysart, and had a castle at Miltown. The O'Fallons were originally chiefs in Westmeath, near Athloue.

6. O'Birn or O'Beirne, chiefs of Muintir O'Mannachain, a territory along the Shannon in the parish of Ballintobber, in Roscommon, extending nearly to Elphin.

7. O'Mannachain or O'Monaghan, was also chief on the same territory as O'Beirne. These O'Beirnes are of a distinct race from the O'Byrnes of Wicklow.

8. O'Hainlidhe, O'Hanley, or Henley, chiefs of Cineal Dobhtha, a large district in the barony of Ballintobber, along the Shannon. It formed part of the Three Tuatha or the Three Districts.

9. MacBranain or MacBrennan, sometimes anglicised O'Brennan; and O'Mailmichil, anglicised "Mitchell." The O'Brennans and Mitchells were chiefs of Corca Achlann, a large district adjoining Cineal-Dobtha, in the barony of Roscommon. This district formed part of the "Tuatha" in which was situated the Slieve Baun Mountain.

10. O'Flannagain or Flanagan, chiefs of Clan Cathail, a territory in the barony of Roscommon, north of Elphin. O'Maolmordha, O'Morra, or O'Moore, O'Carthaidh or O'Carthy, and O'Mughroin or O'Moran, were also subordinate chiefs of Clan Cathail (Cathal and Serlus; Irish, Charles: Span. Carlos), or Clan Charles.

11. O'Maolbrennain, anglicised "Mulrenan," chiefs of Clan Conchobhair or Clan Connor, a district near Cruachan or Croaghan, in the barony and county of Roscommon.

12. O'Cathalain, chief of Clan Fogartaigh [Fogarty]; and O'Maonaigh or O'Mooney, chiefs of Clan Murthuile. Clan Fogarty and Clan Murthuile were districts in Ballintubber, county Roscommon.

13. O'Conceannain or O'Concannon, chiefs of Hy-Diarmada, a district on the borders of Roscommon and Galway, in the baronies of Athlone and Ballymoe.

14. MacMurchada, MacMurrough or Murphy, chiefs of Tomaltaigh in Roscommon, of which MacOiraghta was head chief.

15. O'Floinn or O'Flynn, chiefs of Siol Maolruain, a large district in the barony of Ballintubber, county Roscommon; in which lay Slieve Ui Fhloinn or O'Flynn's Mountain, which comprised the parishes of Kilkeeran and Kiltullagh, and part of the parish of Ballynakill, in the barony of Ballymoe, county Galway. O'Maolmuaidh or O'Mulmay, was a subordinate chief over Clan Taidhg or Clan Teige in the same district.

16. O'Rothlain (O'Rowland, O'Roland, and O'Rollin), chiefs of Coill Fothaidh, a district on the borders of Roscommon aud Mayo.

17. O'Sgaithgil or Scahil, chiefs of Corca Mogha, a district which comprised the parish of Kilkeeran, in the barony of Killian, county Galway. O'Broin, anglicised "Burns," was chief of Lough Gealgosa, a district adjoining Corca Mogha.

18. O'Talcharain (Taleran or Taleyrand), chiefs of Conmaicne Cuile, a district in the barony of Clare, county Galway.

19. O'Cadhla, O'Cawley, or Kealy, chiefs of Conmaicne Mara (or Connemara), now the barony of Ballynahinch, in the county Galway.

20. MacConroi, anglicised "King," chiefs of Gno Mór; and O'Haidhnidh or O'Heany, chiefs of Gno Beag: districts which lay along the western banks of Lough Corrib, in the barony of Moycullen, and county of Galway, in the direction of Galway Bay.

21. MacAodha or MacHugh, chiefs of Clan Cosgraidh, a district on the eastern side of Lough Corrib.

22. O'Flaithbheartaigh or O Flaherty, chiefs of Muintir Murchadha, now the barony of Clare, county Galway. In the thirteenth century the O'Flahertys were expelled from this territory by the English; and, having settled on the other side of Lough Corrib, they got extensive possessions there in the barony of Moycullen, and were styled lords of Iar Conacht or West Connaught. They also had the chief naval command about Lough Corrib, on some of the islands of which they had castles.

23. O'Heidhin or O'Heyne, anglicised "Hynes," was styled Prince of South Hy-Fiachra, a district co-extensive with the diocese of Kilmacduagh; and comprised the barony of Kiltartan, and parts of the baronies of Dunkellin and Loughrea, in the county Galway.

24. O'Seachnasaigh, Cineal-Aodha O'Shaughnessey, O'Shannesy, chiefs of Cineal-Aodha (or Cineal-Hugh), a district in the barony of Kiltartan, county Galway. Cineal-Hugh was sometimes called Cineal-Hugh of Echty, a mountainous district on the borders of Galway and Clare. O'Cathail or O'Cahil was also a chief of Cineal-Hugh.

25. MacGiolla Ceallaigh or MacGilkelly, anglicised "Kilkelly." chiefs in South Fiachra.

26. O'Cleirigh or O'Clery, anglicised "Clarke," chiefs in Hy-Fiachra Aidhne, same as MacGilkelly. This family took the name "Cleirigh" from Cleireach, one of their celebrated chiefs in the tenth century; and a branch of them having settled in Donegal, became bards and historians to the O'Donnells, princes of Tirconnell, and were the authors of the Annals of the Four Masters, etc. Other branches of the O'Clerys settled in Brefney O'Reilly or the county Cavan.

27. O'Duibhgiolla or O'Diffely, chiefs of Cineal-Cinngamhna [Cean Gamhna]; MacFiachra, chiefs of Oga Peathra; O'Cathain or O'Cahan, chiefs of Cineal-Sedna; and O'Maghna, chiefs of Ceanridhe, all chiefs in Aidhne or South Hy-Fiachra: all these chiefs were descended from Guaire Aidhne, a king of Connaught in the seventh century.

28. O'Madagain or O'Madadhain, anglicised "Madden," chief of Siol Anmchadha or Silancha; a name derived from "Anmchadh," a descendant of Colla-da-Chrioch. This territory comprised the present barony of Longford in the county Galway, and the parish of Lusmagh, on the Leinster side of the river Shannon, in the King's County. The O'Maddens are a branch of the Clan Colla, and of the same descent as the O'Kellys, princes of Hy-Maine; and took their name from Madudan Mór, one of their ancient chiefs.

29. O'Hullachain or O'Hoolaghan, sometimes anglicised "O'Coolaghan" and MacCoolaghan, chiefs of Siol Anmchadha.

30. O'Maolalaidh or O'Mullally, anglicised "Lally."

31. O'Neachtain or O'Naghten. anglicised "Norton." The O'Naghtens and O'Mullallys are given by O'Dugan as the two chiefs of Maonmuighe or Maenmoy: an extensive plain comprising a great part of the present baronies of Loughrea and Leitrim in the county Galway. The O'Naughtens and O'Mullallys are branches of the Clan Colla. When dispossessed of their territories, the O'Mullallys settled at Tullach-na-Dala near Tuam, where they had a castle: and the head of the family having afterwards removed to France, a descendant of his became celebrated as an orator and a statesman, at the time of the French Revolution, and was known as ''Count Lally Tollendal:" taking his title from the ancient territory in Ireland, Tullach-na-Dala, above mentioned. Several of the O'Lallys were celebrated commanders in the Irish Brigade in France; and one of them was created "Marquis de Lally Tollendal," and a peer of France, by Napoleon the First.

32. O'Connaill or O'Connell, chiefs of the territory from the river Grian, on the borders of Clare, to the plain of Maenmoy: comprising parts of the barony of Leitrim in Galway, and of Tullagh in Clare. These O'Connells and the MacEgans were marshals of the forces to the O'Kellys, princes of Hy-Maine; and of the same descent as the O'Kellys, namely that of the Clan Colla.

33. MacEideadhain or MacAodhagain (anglicised "MacEgan") were chiefs of Clan Diarmada, a district in the barony of Leitrim, county Galway; and had a castle at Dun Doighre, now "Duniry." The MacEgans were Brehons in Connaught, and also in Ormond; and many of them eminent literary men.

34. MacGiolla Fionnagain or O'Finnegan, sometimes rendered "Finucane;" and O'Cionaoith or O'Kenny, chiefs of Clan Iaitheamhaim or Flaitheamhain [or Fleming], called also Muintir Cionaith, a district in the barony of Moycarnon, county Roscommon. Of the O'Finnegan family was Mathias Finucane, one of the Judges of the Common Pleas in Ireland, who died A.D. 1814.

35. O'Domhnallain or O'Donnelan, chiefs of Clan Breasail, a district in the barony of Leitrim, and county Galway.

36. O'Donchadha or O'Donoghoe, chiefs of Clan Cormaic, a district in Maenmoy in Galway, already defined.

37. O'Duibhghind, chiefs of the Twelve Ballys or Townlands of Duibhghind, a district near Loughrea, in the county Galway.

38. O'Docomlain, chiefs of Eidhnigh; and O'Gabhrain or O'Gauran, chiefs of Dal Druithne, districts about Loughrea.

39. O'Maolbrighde or O'Mulbride, chiefs of Magh Finn and of Bredagh, a district in the barony of Athlone, county Roscommon, east of the river Suck.

40. O'Mainnin, O'Mannin, O'Mannion, or O'Manning, chiefs of Sodhan: a large territory in the barony of Tiaquin, made into six divisions, called "The Six Sodhans." The O'Mannins or O'Mannings had their chief residence at the castle of Clogher, barony of Tiaquin, county Galway, and afterwards, at Menlough, in the parish of Killascobe in the same barony. The other chiefs given by O'Dugan on the "Six Sodhans" were Mac-an-Bhaird, MacWard or Ward; O'Sgurra or Scurry; O'Lennain or Lennon; O'Casain or Cashin; O'Gialla or O'Giallain, rendered Gilly, and Geallan; and O'Maigin or Magin.

41. O'Cathail, or Cahill, O'Mughroin or Moran, O'Maolruanaidh, Mulrooney, or Rooney, the three chiefs of Crumthan or Cruffan, a district comprising the barony of Killian, and part of Ballymoe in the county Galway.

42. O'Laodog or O'Laodhaigh, anglicised "O'Leahy," chiefs of Caladh, a district in the barony of Kilconnell, county Galway.

The following chiefs and clans not given by O'Dugan are collected from other sources:—

43. O'Daly (who were a branch of the O'Donnells, princes of Tirconnell) had large possessions in the counties of Galway and Roscommon. The O'Dalys, it appears, settled in Connaught as early as the twelfth century.

44. O'Coindealbhain, O'Conghiollain, O'Conniallain, O'Connollain, O'Connellan, princes of Hy-Leary in the tenth and eleventh centuries; but branches of this family in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, settled in the counties of Roscommon, Galway, and Mayo. Pedigrees of this ancient clan are given in the "Books" of Leacan and Ballymote; and also in the "Genealogical Book" of the O'Clerys.

45. O'Halloran, chiefs of Clan Fargal, a large district on the east side of the river of Galway, near Lough Corrib.

46. O'Callanan and O'Canavan, whom O'Dugan mentions as hereditary physicians in Galway.

47. O'Dubhthaigh or O'Duffy, families of note in Galway and Roscommon.

48. O'Brien, a branch of the O'Briens of Thomond in the county Clare, and lords of the Isles of Arran, off the coast of Galway.

49. MacCnaimhin or MacNevin, according to the "Book of Leacan," chiefs of a district called Crannog MacCnaimhin or Crannagh MacNevin, in the parish of Tynagh, barony of Leitrim, and couuty of Galway. This name "MacCnaimhin" (cnaimh: Irish, a bone), has been anglicised "Bone" and "Bonas."

50. MacEochaidh, MacKeogh, or Keogh (a branch of the O'Kellys, princes of Hy-Maine), chiefs of Omhanach, now "Onagh," in the parish of Taghmaconnell, in the barony of Athlone, county Roscommon.

51. MacGiolladuibh or MacGillduff, anglicised "Kilduff," chiefs of Caladh, along with the O'Leahys, in the barony of Kilconnell, county Galway.

52. O'Lorcan or O'Larkin; O'Gebenaigh or Gevenny, Gebney, and Gibney; O'Aireachtain, anglicised "Harrington;" O'Fahy, O'Fay or O'Foy; O'Laidins or Laydon, and O'Horan or Horan, all clans in Hy-Maine, in the county Galway.

53. O'Cobthaigh or O'Coffey, a branch of the O'Kellys, princes of Hy-Maine; and chiefs of a large district in the barony of Clonmacnoon, county Galway.

54. MacManus; Keon, MacKeon, or MacEwen; O'Common or Cummins, and O'Ronan or Ronayne, clans in the county Roscommon.