Clans and Families
of Ireland and Scotland VIII. The Laigin
comprised the district around Stradone in
County Cavan, a few miles to the east of Cavan town. They are traditionally a branch of
the O’Carrolls of Leitrim, which family had been lords of all Oriel until the twelfth
century Anglo-Norman invasion. The MacBradys are now numerous throughout Ulster.
The Ui Chremthainn anciently inhabited the
territory between Lough Erne and the River Blackwater, in what is now County Fermanagh and
the north of County Monaghan. The chief branches of the Ui Chremthainn include the Clann
Lugain, and also the O’Mulroonys or Moroneys and the O’Boylans.
The O’Boylans (O Baoigheallain) were of
the same stock as the O’Flanagans (O Flannagain) of northwest Fermanagh. The
O’Boylans were, after the Anglo-Norman invasion, lords of all Oriel, a widespread
territory stretching from Fermanagh to Louth. Later, in the thirteenth century, their
power in Oriel was subdued by the MacMahons, and their territory was reduced to what is
now the barony of Dartry in the west of County Monaghan, an area then known as Dartraighe.
They did, however, remain powerful, and in O’Dugan’s fourteenth-century
"Topographical Poem" they are called "the bold kings of Dartry," and
are praised for their horsemanship and their blue eyes.
The O’Mulroonys (O Maolruanaidh) were
the leading clan of Fermanagh before the rise of the Maguires, who subjugated them about
1300. A branch of the O’Mulroonys afterwards settled in the northeast of County
Galway, where they were chiefs of Crumhthan (Cruffan), a district comprising the modern
barony of Killyan and part of the adjoining barony of Ballimoe. For the Galway branch, the
name has changed to Moroney.
The Clann Lugain included the Maguires,
MacKernans, MacAuleys, O’Cassidys, O’Corrigans and MacManuses. The Maguires (Mag
Uidhir) are first mentioned in the Annals in A.D. 956. They rose to great power in the
later part of the thirteenth century, and became lords of Fermanagh, where the town and
castle at Maguiresbridge recalls their importance there. They were long one of the most
powerful and influential families in Ulster, and produced many great soldiers and
ecclesiastics. During the reign of James I, in the first part of the seventeenth century,
much of the territory of the Maguires was included in the vast confiscation of Ulster
which followed the English conquest of the north. More land loss followed in the
Cromwellian and Williamite confiscations, for the Maguires were ardent Jacobites, and
later they were prominent among the "Wild Geese" in the service of France and
Austria. As barons of Enniskillen their chiefs were accepted as nobility at the Court of
France until the title became extinct about 1795.
The MacManuses (Mac Maghnuis) descend from
Maghnus, son of Donn Maguire, chief of Fermanagh, who died in A.D. 1302. The head of this
family resided at Senadh Mic Maghnusa, now Bell Isle, on Lough Erne. The O’Cassidys
(O Caiside) were a distinguished medical family, being the
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