Ó Donnchadha

Rev Patrick Woulfe

Ó DONNCHADHA, Ó DONNCHAIDH—IO Donochowe, O Donaghie, O Dunaghy, O'Donoghue, O'Donohue, Donaghoe, Donoghue, Donohoe, Donaghy, Donagh, Dunphy, Dunfy, Dumphy, &c.; 'descendant of Donnchadh' (brown-warrior, or strong-warrior, a very common Irish personal name). There are several distinct families of this name in Ireland, of which the following are the best known:—(1) Ó Donnchadha of Cashel, who are of the same stock as the MacCarthys and O'Callaghans, and derive their name and descent from Donnchadh, son of Ceallachan, King of Cashel. They were seated in Magh Feimhin, now the barony of Iffa and Offa, in the south-east of Co. Tipperary, and during the greater part of the 11th century were lords of Eoghanacht Caisil; but towards the close of that century, they were overshadowed by the growing power of the MacCarthys and disappeared from history. (2) Ó Donnchadha of Desmond, a branch of the Ui Eathach Mumhan and of the same stock as the O'Mahonys, who derive their descent from Eochaidh, son of Cas, son of Corc, King of Munster in the 5th century, and more immediately from Domhnall, the son of Dubhdabhoireann, King of Munster, who commanded, conjointly with Cian, ancestor of the O'Mahonys, the forces of Desmond at the battle of Clontarf. The descendants of Domhnall were at first surnamed Ó Domhnaill, but afterwards adopted the present surname of Ó Donnchadha, which they took from Donnchadh, his son. They were known by the clan-names of Cinel Laoghaire and Clann tSealbaigh. The original patrimony of the family lay in West Cork, but about the end of the 12th century or the beginning of the 13th, they were driven out by the MacCarthys and O'Mahonys, and settled in Kerry, where they became lords of all the country about Killarney, to which they gave the name of Eoghanacht Ui Dhonnchadha, anglicised Onaght O'Donoghue. They divided at an early period into two great branches, namely Ó Donnchadha of Loch Lein, the head of which was known as Ó Donnchadha Mór, or O'Donoghue More, and resided at Ross Castle, and Ó Donnchadha of Glenflesk, the head of which was designated Ó Donnchadha an Ghleanna, or O'Donoghue of the Glen. The estates of O'Donoghue More were confiscated in the reign of Elizabeth, and ultimately passed into the possession of the ancestors of the Earl of Kenmare, but O'Donoghue of the Glen retained considerable property down to modern times. The head of this branch is now known as The O'Donoghue. (3) Ó Donnchadha of Ossory who are of the same stock as the Fitzpatricks, and were anciently one of the ruling families of Ossory. Donnchadh Ó Donnchadha, the head of the family in the latter part of the 12th century, was the founder of Jerpoint Abbey. This family now anglicise the name Dunphy. (4) Ó Donnchadha of Meath, who were chiefs of Teallach Modharain, which, according to O'Donovan, was probably in the barony of South Moyfenrath, but nothing is known of their history. (5) Ó Donnchadha of Ui Maine, who are of the same stock as the O'Kellys, and were chiefs of Ui Cormaic, in the present Co. Galway. (6) Ó Donnchadha of Tireragh, a branch of the Ui Fiachrach of the Moy. (7) Ó Donnchadha of Teallach Dhonnchadha, who are still numerous in Co. Cavan. This surname, under various anglicised forms, is now very common in all parts of Ireland.

Alphabetical Index to Irish Surnames