A history of the early MacCarthys


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This is an academic standard history of the early MacCarthy clan in Ireland. This is the real deal, not some half baked work

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A history of the early MacCarthys

  1. 1. The origins of the Clann Carthaig Dr. Paul MacCotter
  2. 2. What I’m going to talk about 1.Origins of the Eóganacht 2.Early Eóganacht genealogies 3.Origins of the MacCarthys in Tipperary 4.Migration to Cork and Kerry 5.Early MacCarthy genealogies
  3. 3. • The story does not begin with the McCarthys but much earlier, with the Éoganacht • The Éoganacht are of unknown origin, and even the ‘true’ Éoganacht lineages are unknown, as several later peoples claimed spurious connections with them • The Éoganacht were a confederation of polities claiming a common ancestry and dominating Munster politics from the dawn of recorded history • Branches were located in Tipperary, east Limerick, northern Clare, Kerry, and the Bandon Valley area. Their capital was at Cashel • Scholars differ regarding their origins: returned Roman mercenaries who establish Cashel (castellum), a dynasty originating in Kerry and spreading eastwards, a group established as late as the early 7th century
  4. 4. • It is safe to suggest that the principal lineages descend from one Conall Corc mac Láire, the founder of Cashel, depicted as having lived during the first half of the fifth century • In the tales this Corc and his five sons are shown as establishing a new ruling coalition in Munster at the expense of an older alliance of polities, the Érainn • The main branch of the Éoganacht were those of Cashel, who would in turn divide into several competing branches over time, and these would dominate the kingship of Munster for six centuries
  5. 5. Óengus (492) Echach Fedlimid Crimthaind Srem Crimthaind Coirpre Crom (580) Áeda Dub Éog. Glendamnach Failbe Flann (645) Finguine (619) (Uí Cáim) Colgu Sechnasech Nad Fraoch Rechtabrat Fiachrach (Cenél Failbe Flainn) (Cenél Finguine) Fáelgusa Snedgusa (Uí Donnchada) (Uí Suildubáin) (MacCarthaig) (Uí Ecertaig) (Uí Cuill) (Uí Cellacháin) (Uí Condligán)
  6. 6. • McCarthy line descends from Colgu son of Fáilbe Flainn by 8 anonymous generations to Cellachán son of Buadacháin • Cellachán of Cashel was a powerful king, the last Eoganacht king of Munster for over a century, who campaigned in the midlands dies in 954 • Succeeded by his son Donnchad who was killed by his brother in 963 • After this Eoganacht Chaisil ruled mostly by the Uí Donnchada for a period, and Cellachán descendants retreat to Emly • Eventually Cartach challenges for the kingship of Eoganacht Chaisil and a civil war wages between 1030 to 1080 when Muiredach MacCarthy emerges dominant
  7. 7. The early MacCarthys and O Callaghans
  8. 8. • By 1090s McCarthys and O Callaghans in dispute for the kingship, and by 1101 both have been driven southwards to Cork by the O Briens, who donate Cashel to the Church • Yet the traditional view of a complete break is not totally accurate • McCarthys appear to have retained lands around Emly into the 1120s at least, and are still associated with Cashel itself well into the 1130s. • Ráth Áine was one royal residence c.1120, now Rathanny four kilometers west of Emly. The ringfort survives • At the same time they also have demesne lands in western Limerick and around Cork. • By the 1160s the focus of McCarthy power in east Munster has shifted to Lismore and Molana (and perhaps Ardfinnan), their main base. From here they were still attacking the O Briens around Cashel as late as the Invasion
  9. 9. Cormac’s Chapel, Cashel Thought to have been built by German masons imported by Cormac MacCarthy,king of Munster, around 1130
  10. 10. The Anglo-Norman Invasion of course changed everything. The McCarthys are fragmented under the ‘divide and rule’ policy and gradually pushed into the poor lands of the west Here they fight each other, as for instance at Callann, eventually breaking into four main power blocks: • MacCarthy Mór • MacCarthy Riabhach (displacing Uí Mathghamhna) • MacCarthy Múscraighe • MacCarthy Dúiche Ealla From the period 1252 onwards to the early 1320s the MacCarthy Mór and MacCarthy Riabhach are locked in mortal combat, with MacCarthy Mór supporting the Normans against MacCarthy Riabhach. In 1280 the River Lee is marked as the boundary, and this remains largely unchanged apart from being forced south to the southern watershed by McCarthy Muskerry in the late 1300s, apart from the MacCarthy Riabhach extensions eastwards against the Barrys and Courcys to the Lower Bandon
  11. 11. Muiredach († 1092) Tadhg Cormac Muigh Thamnaigh († 1138) (MacAuliffe) Diarmuid Cille Badhúna († 1185) Domhnall Mór na Corre († 1206) Cormac Liathanach Cormac Fionn († 1247) Domhnall Got († 1252) Diarmuid Dúna Draighnean († 1229) Clann Tadhg Ruadh na Sgairte Domhnall Ruadh († 1302) Diarmuid Ruadh († 1297) MacCarthy Mór, Muskerry, etc. MacCarthy Duhallow From whom descend over one dozen 16th century septs, such as MacCarthy Riabhach, Clann Diarmuid Reamhair (Kilcoe), Clann Tadhg Aighlinn, Clann Sean Ruadh (Enniskeane), Clann Donnchadha (Ballinspittle), Sliocht Mhaicne Uí Chruimín, MacCarthy Glas, Sliocht Diarmuid of Enniskeane, Sliocht Cormac na Coille, etc. etc.