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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
VII. The Érainn


The Siol Alpin is the name of a group of clans traditionally connected by their mutual traditional descent from Kenneth Mac Alpin (first king of the united kingdom of Picts and Scots in the ninth century—see Chapter IV), a tradition which simply indicates that they were all of generally "South Argyle" Dalriadic stock. These families include the MacGregors (Mac Grioghair), an "outlaw" clan of the Argyle-Perthshire border, many of whom were forced to assume aliases, and to which clan belonged the famous eighteenth century adventurer "Rob Roy" MacGregor (alias Campbell); The MacFies or MacPhies (Mac Dhuibhshithe) of Colonsay; the MacKinnons (Mac Fhionghuin) of Mull, Skye and Iona (the last abbot of Iona in 1550 was a MacKinnon), and the MacQuarries (Mac Guadhre) of Ulva and Mull in the Hebrides, who followed the MacLeans after the downfall of the MacDonald lords of the Isles. The MacFies lost Colonsay after joining in the rebellion of Sir James MacDonald in 1615, after which some followed the MacDonalds, while others settled in Lochaber and followed the Camerons. The MacKinnons and MacFies were closely connected with the Abbey of Iona, being the local clan-stock of the lona area. The MacKinnons became erenaghs, or hereditary abbots, of Iona after the failure of the original Cineal Conaill line around 1200. The MacPies may descend from the "Dubhsidhe" who was Iector of Iona in 1164. The MacFies held part of the Isle of Jura, and sat on the Council of the Isles advising the MacDonald lords thereof. After the downfall of the Lordship of the Isles in the late fifteenth century, the main branch of the MacFies followed the MacDonalds of Islay, and a sixteenth-century branch settled in Ulster.

The Osraighe (including the Ui Duach and the MacGilpatricks) were of the same stock as the Ulaid, being descended from Oengus Osraigh, ancestor of the Dal bhFiatach. The Osraighe migrated to Ossory (County Kilkenny), which they gave their name to, in very early times. For the purpose of incorporating the separate territory of Ossory within over-kingdom of Leinster, the Osraighe were later given a fake but transparent descent from the Laigin. The Osraige gave rise to the medieval dynasty of Ossory, the MacGilpatricks or Fitzpatricks (Mac Giolla Phadraig), and to their collateral kinsmen the Ui Duach or O’Brennans (0 Braonain). The MacGilpatricks descend from Giolla Phadraig, son of Donnchadh, lord of Ossory in the tenth century. They originally ruled over all Kilkenney and part of Leix as well, but after the Anglo-Norman invasion their territory was greatly encroached upon by the Butlers and others, and afterwards they held a greatly reduced territory in the very north of County Kilkenny, alongside their kinsmen the O’Brennans.


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