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The early homeland of one O'hAonghusa sept, ancestors of families named Hennessy, was in the barony of Lower Philipstown, Co. Offaly, along the present border of that county and Co. Westmeath.

Hennessy is a name from which the prefix O has been dropped in modern times, though O'Hennessy was still widely used in the seventeenth century and may be retained by some families today. In Irish it is O'hAonghusa, i.e. descendant of Aonghus of Angus.  The principal sept of the name was located near the town of Kilbeggan and the hill of Croghan, their territory being chiefly in the northern part of Co. Offaly, where they shared with O'Holohan the lordship of Clan Cholgain: a branch of this was located nearer to Dublin, the head of it being chief of Gailenga Beg on the north side of the River Liffey on the borders of Counties Meath and Dublin.  The latter was displaced by the Anglo-Norman invasion.  The Offaly O'Hennessys spread into Tipperary and Clare - in the later county they are now called Henchy, formerly Hensey. 

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