The O’Flynns (0 Floinn) of Ardagh
were anciently chiefs of the Barony of Ibawn, in the south of County Cork. The chief of
the family resided at Ardagh Castle between Skibbereen and Baltimore.
The O’Heas (0 hAodha) were sub-chiefs, under the Barrys, of Tuath
0 DonnghaiLe in the southwest of County Cork.
The O’Hennessys (0 hAonghusa) of Corca Laoighdhe were chiefs of a
territory in southwest Cork near Ross Bay. A scion of this family, Richard Hennessy, was
born in 1720, and followed relatives into the French Service, becoming an officer in
Dillon’s regiment. He rose to high office in the French government, settled in
Cognac, and married into the Martell family, afterwards founding the House of Hennessy
The O’Learys (0 Laoghaire) were originally chiefs of the territory
lying around Rosscarberry in West Cork, but removed from there about the time of the
Anglo-Norman invasion (twelfth century). They had a reputation as a maritime power from
before the 1100s, and later became lords, under the MacCarthys, of the country between
Macroom and Inchigeelagh. In 1642, sixteen leading men of the name were attainted (legally
deprived of civil rights), including Connor O’Leary of Carrignacurra and Auliff
O’Leary of Cunnowley. The O’Learys are now numerous throughout Munster.
The Corca Modhruadh
The Corca Modhruadh (Corcomroe) were a great clan in the northwest
of County Clare, where their territory was coextensive with the Diocese of Kilfenora. The
chief families of the Corca Modhruadh were the O’Connors, MacCurtins,
O’Loghlens, O’Davorens and the Corca Thine.
The O’Connors (0 Conchobhair) of Corcomroe derive their name from
Conchobhar, son of Maelseachlainn, Lord of Corcomroe, who was slain in the year 1002. They
were lords of the Barony of Corcomroe, in West Clare, down to the close of the sixteenth
The MacCurtins (Mac Cruitin) are a branch of the O’Connors of
Corcomroe, and were originally settled around Ennistymon in Corcomroe. They were
hereditary ollavs (professors/scholars) to the O’Briens of Thomond, and through many
generations distinguished themselves as poets and Gaelic scholars. After the destruction
of the Gaelic order, several of the family were important antiquarian scholars. One of
these, Hugh Buidhe MacCurtin (Yellow Hugh) who lived from 1680 to 1755, published an Irish
Dictionary in Paris in 1732, and was styled "chief of his sept."
The O’Loughlins (0 Lochlainn) descend from Lochlainn, Lord of
Corcomroe in the tenth century. Originally one with the O’Connors, in later times
they divided the territory of Corcomroe with their O’Connor kinsmen. Thus the
O’Loughlins became lords of roughly the eastern half of Corcomroe, also known as
"the Burren," and this distinguished family retained their rank as lords of the
Burren down to the reign of Elizabeth I. The family is still