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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
VIII. The Laigin


The O’Caseys (O Cathasaigh) were originally lords of Saithne, in the north of the present County Dublin, until they were dispossessed by the Normans under Sir Hugh de Lacy soon after the Anglo-Norman invasion (twelfth cenwry). Afterwards they became an important Erenagh (church) family, being hereditary keepers of Kilarduff and Dunfeeny in County Mayo, Cloondara and Tisrara in County Roscommon, and Devinish in County Fermanagh.

The Ciarraighe Locha na nAirne
The Ciarraighe Locha na nAirne were originally part of a greater kingdom, the tribal kingdom of Ciarraighe, centered at Cruachu (the ancient capital of Connacht). This kingdom was fragmented by the Ui Briuin of the North Gaels during the late eighth century or early ninth century. They may have been, in more ancient times, closely related to the ancestors of the Oirghialla, the allies of the North Gaels (in the Heroic Age tales of the North, the "Ulster Cycle," Cruachu is the center of the Gaelic-Laiginian alliance). The Ciarraighe were indigenous to Connacht. Their main representatives in the Middle Ages were the O’Kierans (O Ceirin) of northwest County Mayo. The native territory of the O’Kierans was in the south of the barony of Costello, but they were reduced in power there by the Anglo-Norman encroachment, and branches in Donegal and Clare became more important.

The Ciarraighe Luachra
The Ciarraighe Luachra were the original tribe of North Kerry, a branch of the Ciarraighe. Before the Anglo-Norman invasion had had a semiindependent kingdom between Tralee and the Shannon. Their chief family was that of O’Connor (O Conchobhair) of Kerry, whose stronghold was at Carrigafoyle, near Ballylongford. They held the Barony of lraghticonor in the extreme north of County Kerry after the southern part of their territory was encroached upon by the Fitzmaurices of Clanmaurice and other Norman settlers. The O’Connors held lraghticonor down to the reign of Elizabeth, when it was confiscated by the English and given to Trinity College.

The Eile
The Eile were originally a tribe of western King’s County (Offaly), where place-names recall their early residence in that region. After the battle of Druim Derge (A.D. 516), at which battle they were decisively defeated by the expanding southern Ui Neill, they migrated to the area known after them as "Ely" in the south of Offaly and including northeast Tipperary. Their chief families in later times were the O’Carrolls of Ely, the O’Mahers, the O’Riordans and the O’Flanagans.

The O’Carrolls (O Cearbhaill) descend from Cearbhaill, Lord of Ely, who was one of the leaders at the famous battle of Clontarf in 1014. The head of the O’Carrolls was originally lord of all Ely, but after the Anglo-Norman


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