Clans and Families
of Ireland and Scotland IX. The Gaels
in the clan-wars between the MacLeans
and MacDonalds. A fourteenth-century branch of the MacNeills settled in Antrim and Derry.
The O’Creans (O Croidheagain) of the Cineal Eoghain, also known as
the Creghans or Crehans, originally inhabited the Cineal Eoghain lands in Donegal, but
later removed to Sligo, where they became wealthy merchants and landowners. They were one
of the few early merchant families of native (pre-Viking-and-Norman) stock. The
O’Donnellys (O Donnghaile) are descended from Donnghal, fourth in descent from
Domhnall, King of Ailech, who was himself the brother of Niall Glundubh, eponymous
ancestor of the O’Neills. The O’Donnellys were originally seated at Drumleen,
north of Lifford in County Donegal; but were expelled from there by the Cineal Connell,
and afterwards settled at Ballydonnelly, now called Castle Caufield, west of Dungannon in
County Tyrone. Here the famous Shane O’Neill was fostered by the O’Donnellys,
who were hereditary marshalls of The O’Neill’s forces.
The O’Hegartys (O
hEighceartaigh) of the Cineal Eoghain were chiefs in the present barony of Loughinsholin
in the south of County Derry, and by about the beginning of the seventeenth century some
of them settled in the baronies of Barrymore and Carbery West in County Cork. The family
was numerous in the Irish Brigades of France, and several O’Hegartys were, during the
eighteenth century, particularly distinguished in that service.
The Cineal Moen or O’Gormleys (O Goirmleaghaigh) were a sub-clan
of the Cineal Eoghain originally seated in what is now the barony of Raphoe, County
Donegal. They were expelled from Donegal, as were their kinsmen the O’Donnellys, in
the thirteenth century, and afterwards settled on the opposite side of Lough Foyle,
between Strabane and Derry. They held considerable property until the confiscations
attendant to the Plantation of Ulster in 1608.
The O’Hagans (O hAgain) of the Cineal Eoghain descend from
Tighearnach, who was a son of Muireadhach mac Eoghain, and thus a grandson of Eoghain, the
eponymous ancestor of the clan. They were divided into two groups: The main being chiefs
of Cineal Fearghusa, a territory around Tullaghoge or Tullahogue in County Tyrone (Tir
Eoghain), and the other being chiefs of Cineal Tighearnaigh in County Derry, where their
presence is recalled by the place called Ballyagan (there is another Ballyhagan in
Antrim). It was the hereditary privilege of the O’Hagans to inaugurate The
O’Neill at their seat of Tullahogue (along with the O’Cahans).
The O’Beolairts (O Beollain) or Gillanders (Giolla Aindreas) of
the Cineal Eoghain were co-arbs (hereditary abbots) of St. Maelrubha at Applecross in
Ross-shire, as discussed in Chapter IV. They were a powerful princely family, and became
earls of Ross in the early thirteenth century. Towards the end of the fourteenth century
they inherited the chiefship of the Clann Aindreas, or Clann Giolla Aindreas (Clan
Gillanders), a native Pictish tribe related to the MacKenzies and Mathesons and among whom
they had long been ecclesiastical and secular leaders. At about the same time they were
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