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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
IX. The Gaels


MacGoverns lay in the northwest off County Cavan, and was called after them "Tellach Eachach," now the Barony of TuIlyhaw, where there is a townland called Ballymagauran.

The MacShanlys (Mac Seanlaoich), long allied with the Royal O’Conners, are of the same stock as the Mac Governs, and were seated in Corca Achlann, also called Corca Seachlan, in the east of County Roscommon, and also at Ballymacshanly in the south of County Leitrim, where their chief was known as MacShanley of Dromod. In Leitrim they were often at feud with their neighbors the MacRannalls. The MacClancys (Mac Fhlamichadha) are an ancient family in the north of of County Leitrim, they appear from their arms, traditional Milisian descent (see Chapter III) and long identification with Leitrim, to be collateral kinsmen to the O’Rourkes of the Ui Briuin Breifne.

The O’Reillys were lords of Cavan, and in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries they extended their dominion into parts of Meath and Westmeath, being sometimes lords of all Breffny as well. They maintained their independence as a clan down to the time of James I in the early seventeenth century, though they suffered heavily under the Cromweliian confiscations. Many O'Reillys rose to high ecclesiastical rank, and five of them were primates of Armagh.

Ui NeiIl
The Ui NeiIl were the great royal tribal dynasty of the North Gaels. Having separated from the royal kinsmen, the Connachta, shortly alter the career of their illustrious fifth century ancestor Niall of the Nine Hostages, they set out from a base in Sligo and soon (by the beginning of the sixth century) monopolized the Sacral High-Kingship of Tara, which for hundreds of years they alternated between their own two illustrious branches, the Nrorthern Ui Neill and the Southern Ui Neill. The Northern Ui Neill divided into three great clans, the Cineal Eoghain. Cineal Conaill and Cineal Cairbre.

Northern Ui Neill
The Cineal Eoghan were the Royal Clan of the North Caels, associated with the High-Kingship of Tara, though in the early period they alternated the overkingship of the north with their Cineal ConaiII cousins, by the end of the eighth century they had monopolised the overkingship of Ulster and with it the northern representation in the High-Kiiigship, aided by the fact that they had, with their centrally dominant fortress of Aliech in northeast Donegal, the strategic advantage, together with the energy and will to exploit it. Their original patrimony included the modern baronies of Raphoe and lnishowen in Donegal, but from their center at the great fort of Ailech in Inishowen, they soon spread throughout Derry and much of Tyrone as well (Tyrone, Gealic "Tir Eoghain", the land of Eoghain, is named for them).


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