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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
VIII. The Laigin


invasion their power was restricted to South Offaly, which was subsequently called Ely O’Carroll.

The Ui Cairin or O’Mahers (O Meachair) are of the same stock as the O’Carrolls, and were lords of Ui Cairin, now the Barony of Ikerrin, in the old Ely territory in Tipperary. After the Anglo-Norman invasion, Ikerrin was added to Ormond, but The O’Maher (chief of the sept) was left in control of the territory as tributary to the Butlers, the Anglo-Norman earls of Ormond, under whom they flourished.

The O’Riordans (O Rioghbhardain) are a branch of the O’Carrolls of Ely, and probably descend from Rioghbhardan, son of Cucoirne O Cearbhaill, Lord of Ely, who fell at the battle of Sliabh gCrot in 1058. As late as 1576 a "Gaven O Rewrdane" was a "freeholder" in Ely O’Carroll, and one of the most important followers of Sir William O’Carroll. By this time branches had spread into Leix and Kilkenny, but even earlier the greater portion of the sept had removed to Cork and Limerick. In 1597 Maurice O’Riordan of Croome was attainted by the English, his lands being given to a George Sherlocke.

The O’Flanagans (O Flannachain) are of the same stock as the O’Carrolls of Ely, and were chiefs of a territory known as Cineal Arga, now the barony of Ballybrit, in southeast Offaly.

The Ui Faitghe
The Ui Failghe, closely related to the Eile, had probably separated from them by A.D. 516, the year of the defeat of the Eile at Druim Derge by the Southern Ui Niell. The Ui Failge descend from Failge Berraide, who a few years earlier had won the battle of Fremainn Mide (A.D. 510). This victory probably accounts for their being able to remain in the more northerly portion of Offaly while their cousins, the Eile, were forced to migrate south. The chief families of the Ui Failghe include the O’Connors of Offaly, the O’Mooneys, MacColgans, O’Hennesseys, O’Holohans, O’Dempseys and O’Dunnes.

The O’Connors (O Conchobhair) of Offaly were a powerful and warlike sept of the northeast of what is now County Offaly. They descend from Conchobhar, son of Fionn, Lord of Offaly, who died in A.D. 979. From their stronghold at Dangan, now Philipstown, they successfully defended their territory from the English of the Pale (i.e. County Dublin) for more than 300 years. They were finally dispossessed by the English about 1550. The O’Mooneys (O Maonaigh) of around Ballymooney in County Offaly are a branch of the O’Connors.

The Clann Cholgan included the families of MacColgan, O’Hennessy and O’Holohan. The MacColgans (Mac Colgan) were chiefs of the territory around Kilcolgan in the extreme northeast of County Offaly. The O’Hennessys (O hAonghusa) shared the lordship of Clann Cholgan (i.e., their clan-name was applied to the territory they possessed) with their kinsmen the O’Holohans (O hUallachain). Their territory comprised the present barony of Lower


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