Ó Ceallaigh

Rev Patrick Woulfe

Ó CEALLAIGH—I—O'Kelly, Kelly, Kelley; 'descendant of Ceallach' (war, contention); the name of several distinct families, of which the following are the best known: (1) Ó Ceallaigh of Ui Maine, a branch of the Oirghialla of Ulster. They were one of the most powerful families in Connacht, and as chiefs of Ui Maine ruled over an extensive territory in the counties of Galway and Roscommon, which they held down to the reign of Elizabeth. This family produced many distinguished chiefs, among them Tadhg Mór Ó Ceallaigh who fell at Clontarf in 1014. (2) Ó Ceallaigh of Breagh, a branch of the southern Ui Neill, who were lords of Breagh, an extensive district embracing a large portion of Meath and the north of Co. Dublin, until after the Anglo-Norman invasion, when they were dispossessed and dispersed throughout Ireland. Conghalach Ó Ceallaigh, the last lord of Breagh, died in 1292. (3) Ó Ceallaigh of Cinel Eachach in the barony of Loughinsholin, Co. Derry, where they are still numerous; (4) Ó Ceallaigh of Leighe, now Lea, (5) Ó Ceallaigh of Magh Druchtain, (6) Ó Ceallaigh of Gallen, all three in Leix; (7) Ó Ceallaigh of Ui Teigh, in the north of the present Co. Wicklow; (8) Ó Ceallaigh of Árd Ó gCeallaigh, in the parish of Templeboy, Co. Sligo; and (9) Ó Ceallaigh of Corca Laoighdhe, in the south-west of Co. Cork.

Alphabetical Index to Irish Surnames