The Arms of Mac Carthy (MacCarthy, M'Carthy)

From The Irish Fireside, Volume 1, Number 28, January 7, 1884


MacCarthy Arms

Argent, a back trippant; gules attired and unguled or.

Crest—a dexter arm couped below the elbow, clothed with mail argent; the hand ppr, holding a lizard ppr.

Motto:Forti et Fideli nil Difficile

In 489 A.D., died Aenghus, son of Nadfreach, King of Munster, the common ancestor of the MacCarthys, O'Keefes, O'Callaghans, and O'Sullivans—

'Died, the branch, the
spreading tree of gold—
Aenchus, the laudable son of Nadtreach;
His prosperity was cut off by Illann
In the battle of Cell-Osnadha, the foul.'

The primal ancestor of this great family, whose mem bers are spread and multiplied all over the face of the earth, received baptism from the hands of the great Apostle, St Patrick, at Cashel.

The Saint pierced the King's foot unintentionally with his crozier, and a stream of blood issued fortn, which the innocent Aenghus believed to be part of the ceremony, and remained unmoved.

For this happy instance of sincerity Aenghus and his descendants got a special blessing, and, undoubtedly, have multiplied to the ends of the earth.

The MacCarthys belonged to the great Eugenians of Desmond, and were princes and kings of the regal house of Cork.

The MacCarthys 'to whom every tribe owed allegiance from the Shannon to the Lee,' were the great sept in those halcyon days, when Gaul, and Saxon, and Iberian pursued their studies side by side in the famous Irish universities, when not in memory, but in reality, our fatherland was the 'Island of saints and scholars.'

Dermod MacCarthy, King of Desmond, beleiving that discretion was the better part of valour, surrendered to Henry II, imagining that the English monarch merely required a formal surrender, and would return the land again to the rightful owner when he had acknowledged himself a subject.

But Henry granted the kingdom of Cork to his faithful followers, Robert Fitz-Gerald and Miles de Colgan, and never compensated MacCarthy for the injustice.

The celebrated monastery of Kilcrea was founded by MacCarthy Laider, who was also the founder of the renowned Blarney Castle, sung by Dick Millikin.

There are various branches of the great sept—Laiders, Mors, Reaghs, Donoughs, Spanish, &c.

Like most grreat lines, this, too, has its romance. The marriage of Florence MacCarthy Reagh and Lady Ellen MacCarthy might be beaten out into a three-volume novel, full of incident, crises, and love.

It occurred in the reign of Elizabeth, and has been recorded in a volume which will amply repay perusal.