01 December 2013

Tribes of West Connacht and their churches

In my previous essay, “The Early Irish Church and Iar Connacht”, I limited my focus on the evangelization to the territory of Iar Connacht that fell under at least the titular reign of the O’Flahertys, and in listing ancient and medieval abbeys and churches I did so by the modern baronies and parishes which fall in that area.  I also included churches and abbeys founded in medieval and early modern times until the suppression. 

Here, I am limiting the institutions to those established prior to the reforms of the 12th century but am expanding the scope to include all of the whole geographic territory of West Connacht at its broadest.  I have also revised the former essay by adding the abbeys and churches of the expanded region by barony and parish.

*****

Because of the family’s influence and importance (and partly because of a book written in the 17th century by Roderick O’Flaherty), Iar Connacht has long been defined in terms of the territories over which The O’Flaherty reigned as king by that title.  Some include the family’s territories on the east side of Loch Orbsen as well as their better known lands on the west side, others do not.

Although generally identified with that family, the term Iar Connacht was used in the annals long before the branch of the Ui Briuin ancestral to the O’Flaherty even rose.  Its first use was in reference to the Fir Umhall later ruled by the O’Malleys.  It is often mistakenly equated with the term Connemara, which is actually just the westernmost portion, the barony of Ballynahinch, home of the Conmaicne Mara.

In the passages below, the title “chief” refers to “chief of name”.  Under the Book of Rights and Privileges, all the tribes listed, with the exception of the Meadhraighe, were free tribes whose heads were regarded as kings.

The part of ancient Irish law known as the Book of the Rights and Privileges of Kings spells out the tributes paid upward, the stipends paid downward, and other matters of protocol divided all the tribes of Ireland into three categories: (1) Saortuatha, or free non-tribute-paying tribes; (2) Fortuatha, or free tribute-paying tribes; and (3) Aithechtuatha, or nonfree, tribute-paying tribes.

The list below is divided into tribes in their approximate location as of the 11th century.  Abbeys and churches for each are listed separately.  Immediately below the name of each institution is, or rather was, its location by townland, parish, barony, county.



(map by Ben McGarr, used by permission)

Meadhraighe

Once ruling an area covering the parish of Ballynacourty and part of the parish of Claregalway, this people would be counted as one of the Aithechtuatha by the Book of Rights had they been numerous enough to have even been mentioned.  After the settlement of the Clan Fearghail, they were reduced to Ballynacourty.  Their chiefs, whose ancestors were never higher than Taoiseach, were the MacCarneys and MacGowans, subject to Muintir Murchada until those were expelled west of Loch Orbsen in the 13th century, after which they were subject to the Clanrickard Burkes.


At the beginning of Ireland’s Christian era, the Meadhraighe controlled nearly four times the territory of tiny Ballynacourty.  By the 11th century though, all of these territories, represented by the four other small parishes, were lost to the Ui Fiachrach Aidne.

Abbey:

Early Monastery
            Ballynamanagh East, Ballynacourty, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Kilcolgan Monastery
            Kilcolgan, Kilcolgan, Dunkellin, Co. Galway

Churches:

Cill Colgan (St. Colgan’s Church)
            Ballynacourty, Ballynacourty, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill Caimin (St. Caimin’s Church)
            Kilcaimin, Ballynacourty, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Creggana More, Ballynacourty, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill Chornain (St. Cronan’s Church)
            Stradbally, Stradbally, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Strabally South, Stradbally, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill Assurnidhe (St. Soarney’s Church)
            Drumacoo, Drumacoo, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill Cholgain (St. Colgan’s Church)
            Kilcolgan, Kilcolgan, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill In (Little Church)
            Killeenmunsterlane West, Kilcolgan, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill Tighearnain (St. Tieranan’s Church)
            Kilterinan East, Kilcolgan, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill Fhiolan (St. Fiolan’s Church)
            Killeelymore, Killeely, Dunkellin, Co. Galway

Clan Fearghaill

Iar Connacht’s primary legacy from the Viking Wars, the Clan Fearghail were settled between the Meadhraighe and the Delbhna Cuile Fabhair by the local overlords of the lands east of Loch Orbsen, the Muintir Murchada.  Eventually they rose to be their right-hand.  Had they been in the region at the time, the Book of Rights might have classed them as Aithechtuatha, but they were treated as Fortuatha by the Muintir Murchada.  Their chiefs became the O’Hallorans, who after the expulsions of the 13th century lived in the former territory of the Delbhna Tir Da Locha alongside their overlords, the O’Flahertys.

Abbey:

Kilpatrick Monastery
            Roscam, Oranmore, Dunkellin, Co. Galway

Churches:

Cill Padraig (St. Patrick’s Church)
            Oranmore, Oranmore, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill Barra (St. Finbarra’s Church)
            Oranmore, Oranmore, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill Padraig(St. Patrick’s Church)
            Roscam, Oranmore, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill In (Little Church)
            Killeen, Oranmore, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Cill Tullach (Church of the Hill)
            Killtullagh, Oranmore, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Oranbeg, Oranmore, Dunkellin, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Castlegar, Galway, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Early Chapel
            Castlegar, Galway, Moycullen, Co. Galway

Delbhna Cuile Fabhair

A fortuatha-class tribe onnce part of a single large population dominating central Ireland, this group at the dawn of the Christian era in Ireland ruled the lands east of Loch Orbsen known as Magh Seola.  They were conquered by a branch of the Ui Briuin in the 8th century and pushed south into what are now the parishes of Claregalway and Oranmore.  During the Viking Wars, the Muintir Murchada settled the Clan Fearghail between them and the Meadhraighe, reducing them to part of Claregalway.  Though subject to Muintir Murchada, they were still acknowledged as king in their own right be their overlords as late as the 11th century.  After the expulsions of the 13th century, most remained where they were, subject to the Clanrickard Burkes, while others spread south into Aidne

All of the ecclesiastical institutions listed here under the Muintir Murchada and the tribes subject to them once belonged to this tribe.

Abbey:

Kilmacduagh Monastery
            Claregalway, Claregalway, Clare, Co. Galway

Churches:

Cill Mac Duagh (St. Mac Duagh’s Church)
            Claregalway, Claregalway, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Trog (St. Trog’s Church)
            Kiltroge, Claregalway, Clare, Co. Galway

Ui Briuin Ratha

Though these were a saortuatha-class tribe under Irish law, they were still subject to the Muintir Murchada the same way as their Ui Briuin Seola cousins, making up the eastern portion of the latter’s kingdom and bordering Tir Soghain, a subject kingdom of Ui Maine.  Their chiefs became the O’Dalys.  After the expulsions of the 13th century, they were subject to the Anglo-Norman Clanrickard Burkes.

Churches:

Teampull Colmcille (St. Colmcille’s Church)
            Lackaghbeg, Lackagh, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Sciach (Church of the Thorns)
            Rathfee, Lackagh, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Cathail (St. Cathal’s Church)
            Kilcahill, Annaghdown, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Suibhne (St. Suibhne’s Church)
            Grange, Lackagh, Clare, Co. Galway

Muintir Murchada

Originally referred to as the southern Ui Briuin, these were the leading sept of the Ui Briuin Seola that conquered the area bordering the east of Loch Orbsen.  The name Muintir Murchada derives from one of their more prominent ancestors.  At their height, before the expulsion of the 13th century, they dominated the Conmaicne Cuile Tolad (and through them the various branches of the Partraige), the cadet branches of Ui Briuin Seola, the Ui Briuin Ratha, the Debhna Cuile Fabhair, the Clan Fearghail, and the Meadhraighe.  Their chiefs became the O’Flahertys, in Iar Connacht west of Loch Orbsen to which they were expelled in the 13th century.  They apparently managed to recover some of their former territory because the 14th century Annaghdown Castle east of Loch Orbsen is attributed to them.

West of Loch Orbsen, the O’Flahertys divided into two main branches, the senior taking up residence in the territory formerly held by the Conmaicne Mara and the junior in the former territory of the Delbhna Tir Da Locha.  The western O’Flahertys spawned two branches and three septs, the eastern O’Flahertys into senior and junior branches of their own based in Gnomore and Gnobeg.

Abbeys:

St. Fursey's Abbey
            Ower, Killursa, Clare, Co. Galway
Rathmath Abbey
            Inchiquin Island, Loch Orbsen, Killursa, Clare, Co. Galway
Donaghpatrick Monastery
            Abbeytown, Donaghpatrick, Clare, Co. Galway
Early Monastery
            Killamanagh, Donaghpatrick, Clare, Co. Galway
Kilcoona Abbey
            Kilcoona, Kilcoona, Clare, Co. Galway
Kilcolman Monastery
            Currylaur, Cummer, Clare, Co. Galway
Deerpark Monastery
            Deerpark, Kilkilvery, Clare, Co. Galway
St. Catald's Abbey
            St. Cathald’s Abbey, Kilcahill

Churches:

Teampull Colmcille (St. Colmcille’s Church)
            Lackaghbeg, Lackagh, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Sciach (Church of the Thorns)
            Rathfee, Lackagh, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Mhic Reanain (Church of the Sons of Renan)
            Currylaur, Cummer, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Cholmain (St. Colman’s Church)
            Glebe, Cummer, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Choiribh (St. Corb’s Church)
            Kilcurrivard, Cummer, Clare, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Cloonkeen South, Cummer, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Leabhair (Church of the Book)
            Killower, Killower, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Padraig (St. Patrick’s Church)
            Claretuam, Belclare, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Taoisc (St. Taoisc’s Church)
            Carheens, Belclare, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill In (Little Church)
            Treanbaun, Belclare, Clare, Co. Galway
Domhnach Padraig (St. Patrick’s Church), aka Domnach Mor Seola (Great Church of Seola )
            Donaghpatrick, Donaghpatrick, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Mhulthain (Multhan’s Church)
            Killwullaun, Donaghpatrick, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Druim (Church of the Hill), aka Cill na Caoilan (St. Coelan’s Church)
            Kildrum, Donaghpatrick, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Cilbhire (St. Kilvery’s Church)
            Deerpark, Kilkilvery, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Da Righ (Church of the Two Kings), aka Cill Fhursa (St. Fursey’s Church)
            Ower, Killursa, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Da Righ (Church of the Two Kings)
            Crossaun, Killursa, Clare, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Carrownacrow, Killursa, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Cronain (St. Cronan’s Church)
            Annaghkeen, Killursa, Clare, Co. Galway
Rathhindile Church
            Cargin, Cargin, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Einne (St. Enda’s Church)
            Cloghanower, Killeany, Clare, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Keekill, Killeany, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Cuana (St. Cuana’s Church)
            Kilcoona, Kilcoona, Clare, Co. Galway

Ui Briuin Seola

The parent tribe of its later overlords, the Muintir Murchada, and as a recognized branch of the Ui Briuin a saortuatha-class tribe, these were nonetheless subject to the Muintir Murchada, the same way the Ui Briuin Ai were subject to the Sil Murray.  Their chiefs became the O’Lees, referred to as princes of Ui Briuin Seola by their overlords as well as being erenaghs of Annaghdown.  After the expulsions of the 13th century, they took up residence along the western shores of Loch Orbsen.

Abbeys:

Annaghdown Abbey
            Annaghdown, Annaghdown, Clare, Co. Galway
St. Briga’s Convent
            Annaghdown, Annaghdown, Clare, Co. Galway
Early Convent
            Garrymore, Annaghdown, Clare, Co. Galway

Churches:

Cill Uilliam (St. William’s  Church)
            Grange, Annaghdown, Clare, Co. Galway
Cill Ghill (White Church)
            Kilgill, Annaghdown, Clare, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Cregg, Annaghdown, Clare, Co. Galway

Tribes of Galway

The Tribes of (the Town of) Galway were all of Anglo- and Cambro-Norman origin, except one, the Kirwans, who were Irish.  The fourteen families referred to as such were the oligarchs who ruled the Town of Galway, at first under the Clanrickard Burkes, then as an independent royal burgh.  The Tribes had almost no interaction with their neighbors and even the Joyces of Galway had as little as possible to do with their cousins outside the walls.  In fact, they spoke English and followed English laws, so were never really part of Iar Connacht, even if they were there geographically.

Their first major intervention came when the O’Flahertys of Iar Connacht expelled the Mac Teige O’Briens from the Aran Islands in 1582.  They then petitioned Queen Elizabeth to restore their trading partners, to no avail.  The next came during the Confederation War against the Commonwealth, when they joined the rebels and ultimately lost everything in the city, though many were given lands of the O’Flahertys to the west.

The Tribes of Galway were:  Athys, Blakes, Bodkins, Brownes, D’Arcys, Deanes, Ffonts, Ffrenchs, Joyces, Kirwans, Lynchs (Anglo-Norman), Martins, Morrises, and Skerrits.

Since it became a town only in the 13th century after its establishment by Richard de Burgo, and because of the wholly alien culture of its inhabitants, its churches don’t really belong in this list.

Delbhna Tir Da Locha

Like their cousins, the Delbhna Cuile Fabhair, these were once part of the tribe dominant in central Ireland later classed as fortuatha.  They held their territory between Loch Orbsen on the east and Kilkieran Bay on the west for over a millennium, until pushed out by the O’Flahertys and O’Hallorans.  Their chiefs were the MacConroys, kings of Delbhna Tir Da Locha and erenaghs of Portnacarron.  Other prominent clans were the O’Heaneys, erenaghs of Ballynspiddal and the MacAneaves, erenaghs of Cloghmore.

After the arrival of the O’Flahertys and their retainers, the O’Hallorans and O’Lees, the MacConroys mostly relocated west to the area between Mannin and Streamstown Bays which came to be called Ballymaconry, though some sailed southeast to establish Ballyconry on the coast of the lands of the mainland Corco Mruad.  The O’Heaneys moved to the Renvyle Peninsula, where they lived for a few decades before moving again, this time east of Loch Orbsen to live as loyal subject of the Clanrickard Burkes in Claregalway next to their ancient cousins, the Muintir Fathairtaigh, or O’Fahertys of Delbhna Cuile Fabhair.

Abbeys:

St. Cuimin’s Abbey
            Portnacarron, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Ballynspiddal Abbey
            Ballynspiddal, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cloghmore Abbey
            Cloghmore, Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
St. Anhin’s Convent
            Inishmacatreer Island, Loch Orbsen, Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
St. Coelan’s Monastery
            Inishgarraunmore Island, Loch Orbsen, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
St. Brecan’s Monastery
            Killbrickan, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
St. Mocan’s Abbey
            Barraderry, Killinkelly, Moycullen, Co. Galway
St. Kelly’s Abbey
            Maumeen, Gorumna Island, Killinkelly, Moycullen, Co. Galway

Churches:

Cill Mochuda (St. Mochua’s Church)
            Barna, Rahoon, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Corcaighe (St. Corkey’s Church)
            Kilcorkey, Rahoon, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill In (Little Church)
            Killeen, Rahoon, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Early Chapel
            Kentfield, Rahoon, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Einne (St. Enda’s Church)
            Moycullen, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Einne (St. Enda’s Church)
            Ballynspiddal, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Tempull Beg na Naomh (Little Church of the Saint)
            Clooniff, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Teampull Einne (St. Enda’s Church)
            Killagoola, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill a’ Ghuala (Church on the Shoulder of the Hill)
            Killagoola, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Caillin (St. Callin’s Church)
            Dovepark, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Clogain (Church of the Little Hill)
            Kilcloggaun, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Cuana (St. Cuana’s Church)
            Callownamuck, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Corcullen, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Early Chapel
            Rushveala, Moycullen, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Anhin (St. Anhin’s Church)
            Killanin, Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Teampull Colmcille (St. Colmcille’s Church)
            Banraghbaun South, Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Teampull Beg na Naomh (Little Church of the Saint) aka Cill Briocan (St. Brecan’s Church)
            Killanin, Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill a’ Ruin (Church of the Secret) aka Cill Croine (St. Croine’s Church)
            Laghtgannon, Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill a’ Ghoill Craibhthigh (Church of the Pious Foreigner)
            Killaguile, Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Teampull Briocan (St. Brecan’s Church)
            Rosscahill East, Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Ola (St. Ola’s Church)
            Killola Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Cartron, Killannin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Cuimin (St. Cuimin’s Church)
            Lemonfield, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill a’ Righ (Church of the King)
            Knockillaree, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Caolain (St. Coelan’s Church)
            Inishgarraunmore Island, Loch Orbsen, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Flannain (St. Flannan’s Church)
            Inishlannaun Island, Loch Orbsen, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Chuithbeirt (St. Cuthbert’s Church)
            Curraghrevagh, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Caillin (St. Callin’s Church)
            Killcallin, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Teampull Flannain (St. Flannan’s Church)
            Gortnashingaun, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Fough East, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Briocan (St. Brecan’s Church)
            Killbrickan, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Leabhair (Church of the Book)
            Turlough, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Eoghain (St. Eoghan’s Church)
            Turlough, Kilcummin, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Teampull ins’ Mac Adhaimh (Church of the Sons of Adam)
            Barraderry, Killinkelly, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill In a’ Cheallaigh (Little Church of St. Kelly)
            Carraroe South, Killinkelly, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Ailithre (Church of the Pilgrim)
            Trabane, Gorumna Island, Killinkelly, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cill Duiggal (St. Duiggal’s Church)
            Lettermullen Island, Killinkelly, Moycullen, Co. Galway

Conmaicne Mara

Like the Delbhna, the various groups of Conmaicne were once one population, the latest theory being they dominated the entire region of northern Co. Galway and southern Co. Roscommon before the rise of the Ui Briuin tribes.  Also like the Delbhna, they were classed as fortuatha, and like their eastern neighbors held their territory between Kilkieran Bay and the Atlantic Ocean for over a millennium.  Following the disruptions of the 13th century, their chiefs, the O’Cadhlas (or O’Kealys) moved east and north to the Partry Mountains.  Their cadets, the MacConneelys, and other septs remained behind as subjects of the O’Flahertys.

Abbeys:

St. Fechin’s Abbey
            Goreen, Omey Island, Omey, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
St. Brendan’s Monastery
            Cartoorbeg, Omey Island, Omey, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
St. Fechin’s Abbey
            High Island, Omey, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
St. Macdara’s Abbey
            Macdara’s Island, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
St. Flannan’s Abbey
            Kill, Ballindoon, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
St. Ciaran’s Monastery
            Kilkieran, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
St. Colman’s Abbey
            Knock, Inishbofin Island, Inishbofin, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
St. Sciathin’s Monastery
            Westquarter, Inishbofin Island, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
St. Leo’s Monastery
            Inishark Island, Inishbofin, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway

Churches:

Cill Mac Dara (St. Macdara’s Church)
            Moyrus, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Mac Duagh (St. Mac Duagh’s Church)
            Moyrus, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill In (Little Church)
            Killeen Lake, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Caolain (St. Coelan’s Church)
            Croaghnakeela, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Mac Dara (St. Macdara’s Church)
            Macdara’s Island, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Teampull Seacht nInghien (Church of the Seven Daughters)
            Mason Island, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Teampull Seacht nInghien (Church of the Seven Daughters)
            Mweenish Island, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Ciaran (St. Ciaran’s Church)
            Kilkieran, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Connaill (St. Connall’s Church)
            Cashel, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Brionain (St. Brendan’s Church)
            Creevecartron, Inishnee Island, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Maitiu (St. Matthew’s Church)
            Kilcartron, Inishnee Island, Moyrus, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Flannain (St. Flannan’s Church)
            Kill, Ballindoon, Ballynahinch
Cill a’ Duin (Church of the Fort, aka Doon Church)
            Bunowenmore, Ballindoon, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Teampull Caillin (St. Callin’s Chapel)
            Chapel Island, Ballinaleama, Ballindoon, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Teampull Ath Dearg (Church of the Red Ford)
            Barratrough (Streamstown), Omey, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Teampull Fhechin (St. Fechin’s Church)
            Goreen, Omey Island, Omey, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Brionan (St. Brendan’s Church)
            Sturrakeen, Omey Island, Omey, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Teampull Ghormgail (St. Gormgal’s Church)
            High Island, Omey, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Inishturk, Omey, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Ceannanach (St. Gregory Ceannanach’s Church)
            Cartron, Ballynakill, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Teampull Seacht nInghien (Church of the Seven Daughters)
            Cashleen, Ballynakill, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Rioch (St. Rioch’s Church)
            Foher, Ballynakill, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Teampull Rioch (St. Rioch’s Church)
            Crump Island, Ballynakill, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Pollycappul, Ballynakill, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Flannain (St. Flannan’s Church)
           Knock, Inishbofin Island, Inishbofin, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Cill Cholmain (St. Colman’s Church)
            Knock, Inishbofin Island, Inishbofin, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway
Teampull Leo (St. Leo’s Church)
            Inishark Island, Inishbofin, Ballynahinch, Co. Galway

Partraige an-t Sliebh

The Partraige were another fortuatha-class group once one large population dominant over a wide area that broke up under pressure from rising new populations.  In the case of the Partraige, these were the Conmaicne Cuile Tolad and the Fir Ceara of Ui Fiachrach.  It was domination by the former to which the Partraige an-t Sliebh succumbed.  As mentioned above, the kings of Conmaicne Mara, the O’Cadhlas/O’Kealys came here in the early 13th century, only to find themselves under the Joyces half a century later.  Their chiefs were the O’Kynes.

The area became the core of Joyce Country, which eventually took in the lands of the other Partraige tribes as well as most of what is now Ballynakill parish.  The last was a wedding gift when his son or grandson married an O’Flaherty daughter and became the one cause of the wars between the two powerful families in the 16th century.

Abbey:

St. Brendan’s Abbey
            Kilbeg Lower, Ross, Ross, Co. Galway

Churches:

Teampull Brionain (St. Brendan’s Church)
            Kilbeg Lower, Ross, Ross, Co. Galway
Early Church
            Cloonbur, Ross, Ross, Co. Galway
Cill Mor (Big Church)
            Kilmore, Ross, Ross, Co. Galway
Cill Bride (St. Brigit’s Church)
            Kilbride, Ross, Ross
Cill na Brionain (St. Brendan’s Church)
            Kilnabrennaun, Ross, Ross, Co. Galway

Partraige Locha

Another group of the fortuatha-class Partraige, these fell to the Conmaicne Cuile Tolad even before their cousins.  Their chiefs were the O’Dorchys.  They later became subjects of the Joyces.

Abbey:

St. Fechin’s Abbey
            Cong South, Cong, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo

Churches:

Cill Fhechin (St. Fechin’s Church)
            Cong South, Cong, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Fhursa (St. Fursey’s Church)
            Ballymacgibbon North, Cong, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Ard Chroabh na Naomh (Church of the High Branch of Saints), aka Cill Fraoichin (St. Fraochin’s Church )
            Dowagh East, Cong, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Cholmain (St. Colman’s Church), aka Attyrickard Church
            Cross, Cong, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill In Maelruain (Little Church of St. Maelruin), aka Neale Church
            Lecarrowkilleen, Cong, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Early Church
            Gortacurra, Cong, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Early Church (aka Billypark Church)
            Carheens, Cong, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Teampull Padraig(St. Patrick’s Church)
            Inchagoill Island, Dooris, Cong, Ross, Co. Galway
Teampull na Naomh (Church of the Saint)
            Inchagoill Island, Dooris, Cong, Ross, Co. Galway
Cill Bride (St. Brigit’s Church)
            Killbride, Ballinchalla, Ross, Co. Galway
Teampull O Moghery (O’Mohery’s Church)
            Churchfield East, Ballinrobe, Ross, Co. Galway

Partraige Ceara

This group of the fortuatha-class Partraige dominated all of what is now the barony of Carra until they were reduced to the district of Odhbha by the Fir Ceara of the Ui Fiachrach Muaidhe in the 8th century.  Their chiefs were the O’Garvalys.  They came under domination by the Joyces sometime after the arrival of that family in the late 13th century.

Abbey:

Early Convent
            Rocksboro South, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo

Churches:

Teampull Colmcille
            Portroyal, Ballyovey (Partry), Carra, Co. Mayo
Teampull Colmcille
            Ilauncolmcille Island, Loch Measg, Ballyovey (Partry), Carra, Co. Mayo
Cill In (Little Church)
            Portroyal, Ballyovey (Partry), Carra, Co. Mayo
Cill Ciarain (St. Ciaran’s Church)
            Kilkeerin, Ballyovey (Partry), Carra, Co. Mayo
Cill In (Little Church)
            Carrowkilleen, Ballyovey (Partry), Carra, Co. Mayo
Cill Luighna (St. Lughna’s Church)
            Cornfield, Ballyovey (Partry), Carra, Co. Mayo
Cill Tacharain (St. Tacharan’s Church)
            Kiltaugharaun, Ballyovey (Partry), Carra, Co. Mayo
Teampull Ruadhain (Ruadhan’s Church), aka Cill Padraig (St. Patrick’s Church)
            Carrownalecka, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill In ‘a Chraobha (Little Church of the Devout)
            Rathkelly, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo

Conmaicne Cuile Tolad

The branch of the fortuatha-class Conmaicne who inhabited what is now the barony of Kilmaine, these came to eventually dominate their neighbors, the Partraige Locha and the Partraige an-t Sleibh.  They in turn fell under the rising Ui Briuin Seola and remained so until the Sil Murray rulers of Connacht seized their territory from the Muintir Murchada in 1118.

Abbeys:

St. Cormac’s Abbey
            Inishmaine Island, Loch Measg, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
St. Colman’s Abbey
            Ramolin, Shrule, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cloghvanaha Abbey
            Church Park, Shrule, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Early Convent
            Rocksboro South, Ballinrobe, Carra, Co. Mayo
Moorgagagh Abbey
            Kill, Moorgagagh, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo

Churches:

Teampull Ruadhain
            Carrownalecka, Ballinrobe, Carra, Co. Mayo
Cill In ‘a Chraobha (Little Church of the Devout)
            Rathkelly, Ballinrobe, Carra, Co. Mayo
Cill Cormaic (St. Cormac’s Church)
            Inishmaine Island, Loch Measg, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Teampull Colmcille (St. Colmcille’s Church)
            Inishrobe Island, Loch Measg, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Teampull Colmcille (St. Colmcille’s Church)
            Ilauncolmcille Island, Loch Measg, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Padraig (St. Patrick’s Church)
            Cornaroya, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Mor O’Seghin (Big Church of St. O’Seghin)
            Killosheheen, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Ciaran (St. Ciaran’s Church)
            Kilkeeran, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Teampull na Lacka (Church of the Hillside)
            Cuslough Demense, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Mor (Great Church)
            Kilmore, Ballinrobe, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Leabhair (Church of the Book)
            Cahernicole West, Ballinchalla, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Teampull Colmcille (St. Colmcille’s Church)
            Ballinchalla, Ballinchalla, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Mor (Great Church)
            Killimor, Ballinchalla, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cillin Cholmain (St. Colman’s Church)
            Shrule, Shrule, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Early Church
            Moyne, Shrule, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Early Church
            Kinlough, Shrule, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill In Brionnan (Little Church of St. Brendan)
            Moorgagagh, Moorgagagh, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Ciarain (St. Ciaran’s Church)
            Kilkeerin, Kilmainebeg, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Mac Duagh (St. Mac Duagh’s Church)
            Kilmacduagh, Kilmainebeg, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Mhean Mor (Big Middle Church )
            Kilmaine, Kilmainemore, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill In a’ Sciach (Little Church of the Thorns)
            Carrowreagh, Kilmainemore, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Cuirre (Church of the Round Hill)
            Kilquire North, Kilmainemore, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Ernan (St. Ernan’s Church)
            Killernan, Kilmainemore, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Moldara (St. Molara’s Church)
            Carrownakilly, Kilmolara, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Chomain (St. Coman’s Church)
            Kilcommon, Kilcommon, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Rois (Church of the Woods)
            Kilrush, Kilcommon, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill Glasan (Church of the Stream)
            Kilglassan, Kilcommon, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Cill In Riabhach (Little Grey Church)
            Killeenrevagh, Kilcommon, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
Early Church
            Creggawatta, Kilcommon, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo

Corco Mruad Arann

At the dawn of the Christian era, the Aran Islands were part of the kingdom of the Corco Mruad in what is now northwest Co. Clare, the whole area of which was then part of the kingdom of the Ui Fiachrach Aidne, and therefore part of Connacht.  After the kings of Munster took the region in the mid- to late-8th century, both mainland and island Corco Mruad came under the sept known as the Eoghanachta Ninussa.  The islands remained under that sept long after their mainland cousins had expelled them.  That sept was itself conquered by the MacTeige O’Briens in the mid-11th century.  The archipelago became part of Iar Connacht in 1582 when the O’Flahertys expelled the O’Briens.

Abbeys:

St. Enda’s Abbey and College
            Killeany, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
St. Brecan’s Abbey
            Onacht, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
St. Ciaran’s Abbey
            Oghill, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
St. Fechin’s Abbey
            Inishmaan Island, Aran, Co. Galway
St. Cavan’s Abbey
            Inisheer Island, Aran, Co. Galway
           
Churches:

Cill Einne (St. Enda’s Church)
            Killeany, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Cill Teglach Einne (Church of St. Enda’s Household)
            Killeany, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Mac Longa (St. Mac Longius’ Church)
            Killeany, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Mhic Canonn (St. Mac Canonn’s Church)
            Killeany, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Bheanain (St. Benan’s Church)
            Killeany, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Cill Charna (St. Carna’s Church)
            Killeany, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Cill Ronan ((St. Ronan’s Church)
            Oghill, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Assurnidhe (St. Soarney’s Church)
            Oghill, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Cill na Manach (Church of the Monks) aka Cill Caradoc (St. Caradoc’s Church)
            Oghill, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Cill Muirbhighe (Church of the Sea Plain)
            Kilmurvy, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Atharla Chiaran (Church of St. Ciaran’s Glen)
            Kilmurvy, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Mor Mhic Duagh (Big Church of St. MacDuagh)
            Kilmurvy, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull na Naomh (Church of the Saints), aka Teampull Beg Mhic Duagh
            Kilmurvy, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Briocain (St. Brecan’s Church)
            Onacht, Inishmore Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Ceannanach (St. Ceannanach’s Church)
            Carrowntemple, Inishmaan Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Cill Seact Mic Righ (Church of the Seven Sons of the King)
            Carrownlisheen, Inishmaan Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Caireach Dorchin (Church of St. Caireach)
            Carrownlisheen, Inishmaan Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Cill Coemhain (St. Cavan’s Church)
            Inisheer Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Teampull Seacht nInghien (Church of the Seven Daughters)
            Inisheer Island, Aran, Co. Galway
Cill Gradh na Domhain (Church of the Love of God), aka Cill Gobnait (St. Gobnait’s Church)
            Inisheer Island, Aran, Co. Galway

Ui Mhaille

Tir Umhall, home of the Ui Mhaille or Fir Umhall, was never any part of the realm of the O’Flahertys, nor any of other for that matter.  It was a land and people unto itself, though not as much as the Town of Galway.  However, several entries in various annals refer to it as part of Iar Connacht.  The later division into Upper and Lower stems from the time after the MacWilliam Burkes ruled the northern half (Lower Umhall), leaving the southern half (Upper Umhall) to its native rulers, the O’Malleys.  The barony of Burrishoole represents the former, the barony of Murrisk the latter.  Since this division falls outside the time period in question, the abbeys and churches are listed here as belonging to one territory, which they originally were.

Abbeys:

Aghagower Abbey
            Aghagower, Aghagower, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Oughaval Abbey
            Churchfield, Oughaval, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
St. Dympna’s Abbey
            Carrickkildavnet, Achill Island, Burrishole, Co. Mayo
Glaspatrick Monastery
            Glaspatrick, Oughaval, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Mainistir Cathair na Naomh (City of the Saints Monastery)
            Caher Island, Kilgeever, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Early Abbey
            Kill, Clare Island, Kilgeever, Murrisk, Co. Mayo

Churches:

Teampull Cholmain (St. Colman’s Church)
            Slievemore, Achill Island, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Cill Damhnait (St. Dympna’s Church)
            Carrickkildavnet, Achill Island, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Cill Padraig (St. Patrick’s Church), aka Coolygreen Church
            Aghadooey Glebe, Burrishoole, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Cill In Birroge (Little Church of St. Birroge)
            Aghadooey Glebe, Burrishoole, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Cill Bride (St. Brigit’s Church)
            Kilbride, Burrishoole, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Teampull Marcan (St. Marcan’s Church)
            Rosclave, Burrishoole, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Early Church
            Inishduff Island, Kilmeena, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Early Church
            Clynish Island, Kilmeena, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Cill Miodhna (St. Meena’s Church)
            Kilmeena, Kilmeena, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Cill Mhic Laisre (Church of the Sons of Lasre)
            Rushbrook, Kilmaclasser, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Cill In Cuain (Little Church of St. Cuan)
            Gortnaclassagh, Kilmaclasser, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Domnach Padraig (St. Patrick’s Church)
            Aghagower, Aghagower, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Teampull na bhFhiacal (Church of the Teeth)
            Aghagower, Aghagower, Burrishoole, Co. Mayo
Cill Padraig (St. Patrick’s Church)
            Raheens, Islandeady, Burrishole, Co. Mayo
Cill Aidain (St. Aidan’s Church)
            Raheens, Islandeady, Burrishole, Co. Mayo
Cill Aolain (St. Aolains’s Church)
            Glenisland, Islandeady, Burrishole, Co. Mayo
Cill In na Cathaoir Phadraig (Little Church of St. Patrick’s Chair)
            Boheh, Aghagower, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Cill Brionan (St. Brendan’s Church)
            Lankill, Aghagower, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Cill In Neimhe (Little Church of St. Neimhe)
            Cordarragh South, Aghagower, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Cill Cluain Padraig (Church of St. Patrick’s Meadow)
            Churchfield, Oughaval, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Teampull Colmcille (St. Colmcille’s Church)
            Churchfield, Oughaval, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Cill Glais Phadraig (Church of St. Patrick’s Stream)
            Glaspatrick, Oughaval, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Cill In (Little Church)
            Oughty, Oughaval, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Cill Iomhair (St. Iomhair’s Church)
            Kilgeever, Kilgeever, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Cill Bride (St. Brigit’s Church)
            Askillaun, Kilgeever, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Teampull Colmcille (St. Colmcille’s Church)
            Inishturk Island, Kilgeever, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Teampull Padraig (St. Patrick’s Church)
            Caher Island, Kilgeever, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Cill Bride (St. Brigit’s Church)
            Capnagower, Clare Island, Kilgeever, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Cill a’ Duin (Church of the Fort)
            Killadoon, Kilgeever, Murrisk, Co. Mayo
Teampull Duagh Mor (Church of the Great Sand Beach)
            Tallavbaun, Kilgeever, Murrisk, Co. Mayo



10 comments:

Martin Faherty said...

I have long wondered when the O'Flahertys changed to Faherty's.I have heard numerous stories,but none have been documented anywhere.Does anyone know the real story,

misterquality03@yahoo.com

Chuck Hamilton said...

Actually, they never did. The O'Fahertys were the chief of the tribe known earlier as the Delbhna Cuile Fabhair. They actually ruled most of Maigh Seola before the Ui Briuin Seola that became the O'Flahertys came on the scene. The Delbhna, who later split into eight groups, once ruled central Ireland. In an ancient account of the kingdom of the O'Flahertys, the O'Fahertys were called kings of Delbhna Cuile Fabhair and lords of Muintir Fathartaigh and Fiodh Luaraigh.

http://notesfromtheninthcircle.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-ancient-delbhna-of-central-ireland.html

http://notesfromtheninthcircle.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-brief-account-of-kingdoms-of.html

Chuck Hamilton said...

There is also a section on the Delbhna Cuile Fabhair (O'Fahertys) in this article.

Chuck Hamilton said...

There's this too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tadhg_an_tSleibhe_%C3%93_Fathaigh

Ben McGarr said...

Superb piece, Chuck, many thanks!

I particularly liked the level of detail. You can find lots of material saying things like such and such fortuatha lived in Barony X, but narrowing it down to the township level is great, much appreciated. I wanted to ask, where are you finding the information?

To get my head around it, I even made a map - http://oi66.tinypic.com/28sm3bs.jpg
Have you seen any more professional versions of the same?

I just wish you'd extended the focus a LITTLE to the northwest! My paternal ancestors, McGahs or McGaghs, seem most likely to have come from Dunmore Barony, the white area tantalisingly close to the Muintir Murchada (pink) and Conmaicne Cuile Tolad (amber). Which tribes were around here in the heyday of the Ui Briuin and co., do you know?

Cheers, Ben

Chuck Hamilton said...

This was composed as a companion piece to one I did earlier: "The Early Irish Church and Iar Connacht" @ http://notesfromtheninthcircle.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-early-irish-church-and-iar-connacht_29.html. Nearly all the sources I used are found there at the end. County Galway has some of the best historical information on itself in Ireland, and I'm fortunate that my ancestors (I'm actually a MacConroy by blood) came from there. I've got another piece "The ancient kingdom of Connacht, a short sketch" which is broader in scope but not as detailed.

That map you made is the best one I've ever seen relative to this subject. I'd be most honored to use it here if you'd let me, giving you full credit, of course.

Chuck Hamilton said...

Ben, you might find this of use also: "How I Found the Mysterious McGarrs of Ballyraggan" @ http://elliesancestors.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-i-found-mysterious-mcgarrs-of.html

Ben McGarr said...

Please feel free to use the rubbishy map, Chuck! I'll try to knock together a more decent one if I get some free time over the next few weeks too, actually. For my own amusement as much as your benefit, don't you worry, haha! I managed a glance at those other pieces you mention, but a proper thorough read will have to wait a while, work permitting. I miss the days I used to read for fun, without feeling obliged to take notes...

That McGarrs thing is interesting, and I'd long been under the impression myself that I owed my surname to some Kildare migrants, but it turns out that it's a completely different surname, really. Rather than a Mac an Gheairr (Son of the Short-bloke - McGarr in Kildare, or McGirr up in Ulster), turns out I'm far more likely a Mag Eathach (Wee-Youghey's Son, of Galway/Mayo). The pronunciation fits better, as do the earliest spellings found in early English censuses, parish registers and civil registration records. Somewhere down the line we anglicised McGah that one step further into something analogous with names like Carr or Parr, where the R isn't even pronounced in the standard non-rhotic dialect of English anyway. Turns out there was never an R sound in my ancestors' names at all. In my foolish youth, I almost bought a kilt in the Kildare tartan (made-up nonsense anyway but still fun to have), so it's just as well my stinginess won out over my whim. Will have to look up the Galway equivalent, some time!

Another early Manchester Irish ancestor of mine was a Charlotte Conroy, daughter of Sarah, and I never did figure out where they were born. Somebody probably dropped a 'Mc' at one point, so we're cousins no matter what. I never bothered to look - is the distribution of this surname as specific as that for McGah/McGagh? Would be curious if this was yet another Galway line for my ancestry.

Ben McGarr said...

A little tidier:

http://oi66.tinypic.com/n19mpu.jpg

Chuck Hamilton said...

Thanks, that's awesome!