The Gormley Family

Gormley family crest

(Crest No. 221. Plate 15.)

THE Gormley family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Eogan, ancestor of the Northen Hy Nials, and son of Nial of the Nine Hostages, King of Ireland, A. D. 379. The ancient name was Gormleaghad, which signifies “The Obstinate.”

The possessions of this sept were located in the present Counties of Mayo and Donegal. In the latter county the O’Gormleys were Chiefs of Kinel Moain, or Moen, now the barony of Raphoe. In the County of Mayo they were, with the Dorchys, Chiefs of Partraighe, or Partry, an ancient territory in the Partry Mountains in that county. The present parish of Ballyovey, also called the parish of Partry, shows the situation of this ancient territory.

A woman of this name, Lady Gormley, was in her day a somewhat noted personage. She was the daughter of Flann Sinna, and had been successively married to Cormac, King of Munster, Carroll, King of Leinster, and to Nial Glendubh, King of Ireland. She was the author of several poems of merit, some of which still exist. Notwithstanding all of those royal marriages she passed a miserable old age, begging from door to door, forsaken by all her friends and allies, and glad to be relieved by her inferiors. She died in the year 946. The O’Gormleys were a warrior sept, and many of their chiefs and leading men were slain in battle from the tenth to the sixteenth century.