Ó Donnabháin

Rev Patrick Woulfe

Ó DONNABHÁIN—I—O'Donovan, Donovan; 'descendant of Donndubhán' (brown dubhán, or compound of donn, brown, and dubh, black, with diminutive termination). The O'Donovans, who belong to the royal race of Munster, were originally chiefs of Ui Cairbre Aedhbha, a district lying along the banks of the River Maigue, in the present Co. Limerick. Their principal stronghold was at Bruree. About the year 1178, however, they were driven from Ui Cairbre and forced to take refuge in South-west Cork where, with the aid of their old allies, the O'Mahonys, they effected a settlement in O'Driscoll's country of Corca Laoighdhe, to which they gave their clan-name of Ui Cairbre, and where they retained considerable power and extensive possessions down to the close of the Jacobite wars. A branch of the family settled in Co. Wexford; and from another branch, settled in Kilkenny, the celebrated Irish antiquarian and scholar, Dr. John O'Donovan, was descended. There is also a family of O'Donovan in Tipperary, which, however, is not of this stock, but of that of the O'Mahers. See also Ó Donnamháin.

Alphabetical Index to Irish Surnames