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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
VIII. The Laigin


They maintained their independence as a clan down to the year 1587, when the then chief, Sir Oghie O’Hanlon, surrendered his lands to the English Crown, in order to have them re-granted by letters of patent in tail male (to be held of the Crown), thus abolishing the chieftaincy. The O’Hanlon was afterwards hereditary royal standard bearer north of the River Boyne, and owing to his loyalty to the English, retained most of the clan-lands down to the Cromwellian confiscations of the mid seventeenth century.

The Ui Tuirtre of South Derry moved eastward across the River Bann as their lands were absorbed into the expanding Ui Neill over-kingdom of Cineal Eoghain in the eighth century. They kept their western lands (the present barony of Loughinsholin) as a tributary kingdom to the Cineal Eoghain, but resided in Lough Beg, which lay strategically between their new and old territories. East of the Bann they were allies of the Dal nAraidi, though they profited by their decline. They were also sometimes overkings of Ulidia. The medieval representatives of the Ui Tuirtre were the O’Lynns (O Floinn or O Loinn) of South Antrim, who defeated the Norman John de Courcy when he attempted to invade their territory in 1177. They maintained their independence until about 1368.

The Ui Macc Uais Mide were a branch of the Ui Macc Uais of what is now the Barony of Upper Strabane in the northeast of County Tyrone. They settled in Mide (what is now County Westmeath with part of Offaly) and came very early to be treated as a sub-kingdom of the Southern Ui Neill (North Gaels), just as the Ui Macc Uais of Tyrone were treated as a sub-kingdom of the Cineal Eogain clan of the Northern Ui Neill.

The chief family of the Ui Macc Uais Mide was that of MacEvoy (Mac Fhiodhbhuidhe), who were anciently lords of Ui Macc Uais in County Westmeath, now the barony of Moygoish. Later, at some time before 1563, they settled in what is now Leix (formerly Queen’s County). Here they were known as Muintear (or Tuath) Fhiodhbhuidhe, being lords of a territory in what is now the barony of Stradbally which comprised the parishes of Mountrath and Raheen. They came to be regarded as one of the Seven Septs of Leix. In 1609 the chief men of the family were transplanted by the English to County Kerry as were the leading members of the other Leix Septs. The rest of the clan remained in the home territory, however, where they remain to this day.

The Cineal nAlbanaich were a branch of the Oirghialla that settled in the northwest Highlands and Islands in very early times. Their chief clans descend from Godfraidh Mac Ferghusa (i.e., "Fergus"), a prince of the Oirghialla in Northern Ireland who came to Scotland, or Albany, in the ninth century as an ally of Kenneth MacAlpin, first king of the united kingdom of Picts and Scots. The Cineal nAlbanaich settled north of Argyle in the Hebrides, in the area of Skye, where they acquired Pictish and later Worse connections. The chief clans which branched from the Cineal nAlbanaich are the Clann Dhomhnuill and the Clann Dubhghaill.


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