Of Moenmoy, County Galway

From Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation by John O'Hart

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Arms: Ar. three eagles displ. gu. two and one, each holding in the beak a sprig of laurel ppr. betw. as many crescents, one and two az. Crest: An eagle, as in the Arms.

O'DUGAN in his Topographical Poems says:

"The Kings of Maonmagh of chiefs,

To whom the rich plain is hereditary,—

Two who have strengthened that side,—

O'Naghten [1] and O'Mullally;

Their fight is heavy in the battles;

They possess the land as far as Hy-Fiachrach."

Of the O'Mullallys, Doctor John O'Donovan writes: "This family was afterwards removed from Maonmagh to the parish of Tuam (in the county Galway), where they resided in the Castle of Tollendal, four miles to the north of the town of Tuam." . . . The Lallys and O'Naghtens were chiefs in turn of Maonmagh (Moenmoy), according to the power of each; but about the period of the English Invasion of Ireland they were driven out of Moenmoy, and obliged to settle at Tulach-na-dala (Tollendal), i.e. "hill of the meeting," in the territory of Conmaicne Duna Moir, where they became tenants to the Lord Bermingham. It appears from an Inquisition taken at Athenry, on the 16th of September, 1617, that Isaac Laly, then the head of this family, who was seated at Tullaghnadaly (or Tulach-na-dala, as it is above written); William Laly, of Ballynabanaby; and Daniel Laly, of Lisbally, were all tributary to the Lord Bermingham.

Moenmoy is the rich plain lying round Loughrea, and comprising Moyode, Finnure, and other places mentioned in old Irish documents. It was bounded on the east by the (O'Madden) territory of Siol Anmchada (now the barony of Longford), on the south by the celebrated mountain of Sliabh Echtghe (now known as "Slieve Aughtee"), and on the west by the diocese of Kilmacduagh; its northern boundary is uncertain; but we know that it extended so far to the north as to comprise the townland of Moyode.

After the defeat of the Irish, at the Battle of Aughrim, the head of the O'Mullally family removed to France, and was the ancestor of the celebrated statesman and orator Count Lally Tolendal, who was created Marquis by Napoleon I. "The French and Tuam branches of this family," says O'Donovan, "are now extinct, but there are many of the name still in the original territory of Moenmoy, who retain the original form of the name, except that in writing it in English they reject the prefix O', whicn has become a general practice among the Irish peasantry."

From an ancient pedigree drawn up about 1709 for the French branch of this family, from old Irish MSS., much curious information is given by O'Donovan (in his "Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many," p. 178). The document is entitled "Extracts from the Genealogy of the most ancient and illustrious House of O'Maollala, afterwards Mullally, or O'Lally, of the Kingdom of Ireland, collected from the old Irish MSS. Books of Pedigrees, as well as from the Records preserved in the Exchequer, Auditor-General and Rolls Offices in the said Kingdom. By WILLIAM HAWKINS, ESQ., Ulster King of Arms, and principal Herald of all Ireland, under the Seal of his office, &c."

From that document we can give ten generations of the "O'Mullally" family commencing with—

1. Melaghlin O'Maollala.

2. John: son of Melaghlin; was sirnamed Giallaoch, or the "warlike hostage," because in the siege of Boulogne, in 1544, he distinguished himself very much with his galloglasses, etc. He m. Shely (or Judith), daughter to Hugh O'Madden, chief of his name, and lord of the territory of Siol Anmchada, county Galway, by whom he had Dermod. His brothers were William O'Lally, Archbishop of Tuam, who d. 1595; and John O'Mullally, who, dissatisfied with the submission of his father to the crown of England, and with the supremacy of Henry VIII., went to Rome with his red eagles painted in black on his escutcheon, offered his services with many companions to the Pope, and warred for Octava Farnesse.

3. Dermod: son of John; chief of his Sept; d. 1596.

4. Isaac OMullally, of Tolendal: his son; d. 1621.

5. James O'Mullally, of Tolendal: son of Isaac; forfeited in 1652 part of his estate, consequent on the Cromwellian Confiscations; he d. 1676. His brothers Donal and William Lally espoused the cause of King Charles II.; were outlawed and all their estates forfeited. William m. and had Edmund Lally, who m. Elizabeth Brabazon.

6. Thomas O'Mullally, chief of Tully Mullally or Tolendal: son of James; m. a sister of Lord Dillon (the seventh Viscount), father of Arthur Count Dillon, Lieutenant-General in the French Service.

7. Colonel James Lally: their eldest son; was "sovereign" of the Corporation of Tuam, for King James II., in 1687; a member of James's last Parliament in 1689; was outlawed the same year, fled to France, entered the French army, a Colonel in that Service, Commandant of the Lally's battalion in Dillon's regiment in 1690, and killed in 1691 during the blockade of Mount Mellan (or Melian). Colonel James Lally had four brothers:—1. Sir Gerard,[2] who became highly distinguished in the French Service, and d. a Brigadier-General and designed Marechal de Camp in 1737; he m. Madlle. de Bressac, by whom he had Thomas-Arthur, of whom presently. 2. William, who was a Captain in Dillon's regiment, and killed in 1697. 3. Michael, who m. a Miss O'Carroll, by whom he had a son Michael, who was a Brigadier-General, and who d. at Rouen in 1773.

8. Thomas-Arthur, General, Count Lally of Tolendal: son of Sir Gerard Lally; was Colonel of an Irish regiment in the French Service, of his name; beheaded in 1766.

9. Trophime Gerard Compte et Marquis de Lally Tolendal, Peer of France, Minister of State, etc.; son of Thomas Arthur; m. Charlotte Wedderburne Halkett (having a common grandfather with Alexander Wedderburne, Lord Loughborough, who was Lord Chancellor of England,) by whom he had an only child (a daughter), who m. the Count D'Aux, to whom in 1817 the peerage of his father-in-law was to descend, as the genealogical notice appended to the Pedigree by Hawkins states.

"Authenticated by signature, dated 29th October, 1817.


"Peer of France and Minister of State."

The last survivor of the senior branch of the male line in Ireland of this very ancient family, who was named Thomas Lally, died without issue, in September, 1838. The calamitous history of some members of the family in France is very singular.

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[1] O'Naghten: While in the Third and present Edition of this work we give the pedigree of this family, we were, until lately, unable to trace the pedigree of the "O'Mullally" family.

[2] Gerard: On the death of his brother Colonel James Lally, this Sir Gerard succeeded to the Chiefship; he appears to have passed through the Irish war, and, after the capitulation of Limerick, to have accompanied the army to France. His son, Thomas-Arthur, bravely upheld the French flag in India; he was beheaded in 1766, but his cruel and undeserved fate stamped indelible disgrace on the Bourbons of France. Thomas-Arthur, General Count Lally of Tolendal, left a son Trophime Gerard, Count and Marquis de Lally, who laboured for many years to remove the stain from his father's name, in which he at length succeeded. He was made a Peer of France, on the second restoration of the Bourbons, and died in 1830, leaving an only daughter who brought the peerage of Lally Tollendal into the family of her husband, the Count D'Aux.