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Farrell, Far(r)el(l)(y) (Farley), Farrill, Ferrall, Fer(r)al(l)(y), Ferrell, Ferrill, Frawley and any O-prefixed (grandson or descendant of) versions of the preceding surnames (Farrell being, by far, the most common spelling is thus the name for the clan) are all Anglicized forms of the Gaelic name Fearghail (fear man + gal valour), (source: "A Dictionary of Surnames". Oxford, 1994.), King of Conmacne who was slain by the Danes in A.D. 1014 at the Battle of Clontarf (NE Dublin). The O'Fearghails were one of the four chief clans of the Conmacne {race of Conmac (son of legendary Fergus MacRoigh and Queen Maedhbh (Maeve)}. They were the princes of Annaly (roughly the Irish midlands); their chief seat of power was Longphort Ui' Fearghail (O'Farrell's fortress) (present-day Longford town). (source: "Farrell Clan-a brief history" by Hugh Farrell).

The Farrells have been associated with this midland region for almost 1,000 years. The Farrell Clan lost its control of the area just over 300 years ago when they were forced to take flight and lived abroad for 150 years, before returning to an uncertain future, the majority settling in County Longford and others settling elsewhere. Farrells are presently plentiful in the county, but the big numbers live elsewhere, mostly in Dublin.

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