The Kennelly or Kenealy Family

Kennelly or Kenealy family crest

(Crest No. 289. Plate 25.)

THE Kennelly family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through Ir, the fifth son of that monarch. They belonged to the Clanna Rory tribe, founded by Heber Donn, son of Ir. The founder of the family was Conal Kearneach, son of Amergin.

The name Kennelly—in Irish O’Ceannfaola—signifies “Perseverance,” and is taken from Cinfhaeladh, a chief. The chiefs of this sept had their ancient patrimony, or clan lands, in the present County of Limerick, where they ruled the baronies of Connello in conjunction with the O’Sheehans and O’Cullens.

The name is honorably mentioned in Irish history. One of this family was a lieutenant-colonel in the Regiment of Lally, in the Irish Brigade in France, and accompanied that gallant officer to India when he was sent thither to defend French interests against the English. This officer made a brave defense against a greatly superior force at Carangoly. He attained the grade of brigadier-general in 1769, and after his death his wife was pensioned in consideration of his services.

Edward Kenealy, a poet and one of the most learned of modern scholars and counsel in the celebrated Tichbourne case a few years ago, was another descendant of this family.

The name is still common in their original territory of Ui-Conaill-Gabhra, or the baronies of Connello, in the County of Limerick.