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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
IX. The Gaels


are the first family found in possession of Foss after the abbey lands were secularized in the early fourteenth century. The name Mac an Oighre has a coarbial ring to it (like Mac an tSagairt above and Mac an Aba Oighre — "the son of the heir of the abbot"—the Gaelic style of the MacNabs of Inchewin in Glendochart, the old senior line of the MacNabs dispossessed by Robert I), and probably refers to the heir of the abbey lands of Dull, centered at the mouth of Glen Lyon and the north end of Loch Tay (see page 9). As the MacNaughtons were also settled here before they were set up as keepers of the King’s castle on Loch Awe about 1250 (their collaterals the MacLeans, who share with them the armorial quartering of the "hand holding a blue cross" of the Lismore co-arbial kindred, also returned to Loin under royal patronage about this time), the MacNairs may represent a twelfth-century ecclesiastical branch of the clan. In this case, William Cardeney’s connection with Foss may have precipitated Mariota’s liaison with the chief of the MacNaughtons. The MacNairs remained in Rannoch until the time of the reformation, by which time Foss had passed from the Cairdeney lairds to the Stewarts. After that the MacNairs are found with the MacNaughtons in Argyle. The Cairdeneys held lnchewan (by Dunkeld) and other lands in Perthshire, remained Roman Catholic, and adhered to the Stewarts, as did the MacNaughtons, who were forfeited for their Jacobite sympathies in 1691. John Cairny, son of Robert Cairfly of Tulcho in Perthshire, appears in the 1678 muster roll of the King’s Life Guard of Horse under (the younger) Murray of Atholl.

The Cineal Cairbre or Clann Chairbre descend from Cairbre, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Their patrimony was in what is now the barony of Carbury, in the north of County Sligo. One of their line, Tuathal Maelgarb, was High-King of Tara in 544. But their main representative in later times was the family of O’Brolan (O Breollain), descended from Ainmire, brother of King Tuathal, being the son of Cormac Caoch, son of Cairbre, eponymous ancestor of the clan.

The Cineal Conaill descend from Conall Gulban, son of Nial of the Nine Hostages and were possessed of the territory of Tirconaill (the land of Conall), now County Donegal. They provided High-Kings of Tara alternately with their Cineal Eoghain cousins until the end of the eighth century, the Cineal Eoghain being dominant as overlords of the Northern Ui Niell from the end of the eighth century onward. This state of affairs was contributed to by the geographical disposition of the. Cineal Conaill in mountainous and remote west Ulster. In this relatively isolated position, the Cineal Conaill in Donegal lacked the strategic geographical advantage enjoyed by the Cineal Eoghain at Ailech and in County Derry.

The Clan Dalaigh or O’Donnells (O’DomhnaiU) of Tirconaill originally possessed the patrimony of Cineal Luighdheach (the descendants of Lugaid, son of Setnae, uncle of St. Columba), their original clan-name, it having been applied to the mountainous district between the River Swilly and the River


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