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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
VIII. The Laigin


The Laigin, or Dumnonii, were the third ethno-tribal group to come to Ireland, coming from Gaul shortly before the Gaels themselves, sometime during the first century B.C. Branches of the Dumnonii settled first in the Devon-Cornwall area before others moved on to Ireland (Chapter III).

In southern Britain their kingdom gave its name to Devon (Dumnonia). In the time of King Arthur (ca. A.D. 500), as the tribe most closely associated with that great Pendragon, these Devon Domnonii established a dual kingdom which included the north coast of Brittany (Domnonie), from whose royal house eventually sprang the House of Stewart (which house inherited the crown of the Scots in 1371 and that of England in 1603). The Stewarts are covered under the chapter on the Normans, having come to Scotland in the wake of Norman conquest of England, in which they served as allies of the dukes of Normandy.

In Ireland the Dumnonii were generally known as the Laigin, and originally became overlords in the southeastern and central regions, and in Connacht. From there they later spread to other parts of Gaeldom, as we shall see.

Tribes of the Laigin

The Cianacht
The Cianacht encompassed the O’Connors (O Conchobhair) of Keenaght, and the Luighne. The O’Connors were lords of Keenaght, County Derry, until dispossessed by the O’Kanes shortly before the Anglo-Norman invasion in the twelfth century. The Luighne were of County Sligo, where they had settled as fighting men to the Northern Gaels in the early centuries A.D. The Cianacht were closely related to the Dealbhna and Saithne.

The Luighne or "race of Lugh," included the families of O’Hara (O hEaghra) and O’Gara (O Gadhra). The O’Haras descend from Eaghra, Lord of Luighne (now the Barony of Leyney) in South Sligo, who died in 926. In the fourteenth century the O’Haras divided into two branches, the heads of which were


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