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DempseyThe Dempsey name, which is also found spelt as Dempsie, Dimpsay or Dimpsey, is of Irish origin from the Irish Gaelic o'dimpsaigh meaning "estimable" or "son of the Proud". The Dempseys were descended from the O'Dempsey family, Clan Maliere.

O'Dempsey, or O'Dimpsaigh the old name that was translated "as strong as a rock" "estimable" or "son of the Proud" in ancient Ireland, suggests the eminence of the name. The O'Dempsey family was reputedly founded by Rossa Failghe, the son of Cathoir Mor, King of Ireland in 144 AD.

The O'Dempseys were of the same descent as the O'Connors Failghe, being lords of Offaly (a county in central Ireland) and sometimes styled Barons of Phillipstown (Daingean, Co Offaly, the former seat of the O'Connors). The O'Dempseys, also referred to as the Clan Maliere, were for long one of the powerful families in the Province of Leinster. Their estates in Clan Maliere extended on both sides of the River Barrow in Queen's County [now County Laois or Laoghis] and King's County [now County Offaly]. The lands comprised the baronies of Portnalinch in Laois and Upper Phillipstown in Offaly.

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