The Larkin Family

Larkin family crest

(Crest No. 128. Plate 38.)

THE Larkin family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Fiacha Baiceada, son of Cathire More, or Cathire the Great, King of Ireland, A. D. 144. The ancient name was Loiorchan, which signifies “Inquirer.”

The possessions of the sept were located in the present Counties of Wexford and Galway. In the former county the O’Larkins were Chiefs of Fothart, the territory of Fotharta, now the barony of Forth; the O’Larkins had their fortress at Carn, now the headland called Carnsore Point. They were chiefs in Hy Maine in the County of Galway, as also in that part of Orgiall afterward forming the County of Armagh. They were a clan of note, especially from the tenth to the sixteenth century.

Of this family was Larkin, one of the three young men hanged in Manchester, England, in 1867, and known as “The Manchester Martyrs.” He was one of a party of Fenians who attempted the rescue of Colonel Kelly and Capt. Deasy from a prison van guarded by the police. In the rescue one of the policemen inside the van was accidentally killed. Larkin and four others were tried, convicted on confessedly perjured evidence, and sentenced to death. Larkin, Allen, and O’Brien were hanged; Maguire, who was convicted on the same evidence, was pardoned, and Condon, an American citizen, had his sentence commuted and was subsequently released. Larkin, Allen, and O’Brien were executed in order to terrorize others, and to glut the savage desire of the English masses for blood. They died in a manly manner, uttering with their last breath the words: “God Save Ireland.” The anniversary of their death has since been commemorated in Ireland and elsewhere every year.

This name is still very common in the neighborhood of Loughrea, in the County of Galway.

A noble-hearted and highly-esteemed representative of this family was the Rev. Father John Larkin, late pastor of the Church of the Holy Innocents, New York City.