Lords of the Soil of West Cork

The whole territory lying between the Bandon River and the Kenmare River was formerly called Corca Laidhe, the original inhabitants of which were the descendants of Ith, the paternal uncle of Milesius, and the O'Driscolls were their descendants. The old diocese of Ross was co-extensive with Corca Laidhe. We have seen that every important tribe had a bishop of its own. The territory of the O'Driscolls was invaded by others, as we shall presently see, and the diocese suffered, becoming smaller and smaller. It would seem that the new-comers objected to be governed by the bishop of a tribe whom they conquered. Lynch, who was born in the year 1600, says that the length of the diocese of Ross in his time was 18 miles and the breadth four, and these are the dimensions at the present day. The O'Mahonys were the first to intrude; then the O'Sullivans, O'Donovans and McCarthys. We shall give a brief sketch of the history of each of these families.

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Early Irish History and Antiquities, and the History of West Cork

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