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The princely house of O'Callaghan descends in unbroken male line from Morrough, second son of Ceallachan Caisil (Callaghan Cashel), King of Munster who died in the year 952. Morrough was thus the younger brother of Donnchad II of Munster, ancestor of the House of MacCarthy Mór. Closely related or not there was, at first, bitter and prolonged rivalry between the descendants of Morrough and King Donnchad. Because the succession to the throne of Munster was not determined by primogeniture but by tanistry, it was natural for the O'Callaghans to aspire to the Crown of their ancestor, Ceallachan, from whom they derived their surname.


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