The O’Hare Family

O’Hare family crest

(Crest No. 275. Plate 45.)

THE O’Hare family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of Heber, third son of that monarch and first absolute King of Munster, A. D. 177. The founder of the family was Cormac, King of Munster, A. D. 483.

The original name was Hehir, signifying “Man of Exploits.” The possessions of the sept were located in the present Counties of Clare and Armagh. The O’Hares were Lords of Magh-Adhair, in the former county.

Magh-Adhair was a level district lying between Ennis and Tulla, in the County Clare, i. e., Thomond, so called poetically from the land of Magh-Adhair, the place where the O’Briens were inaugurated. This place, now called in English Moyry Park, is situated in the townland of Toonagh, parish of Clooney, barony of Upper Bunratty, about three miles and a half west from Tulla. The mound on which the O’Briens were inaugurated is still to be seen at this place. It is of an irregular form, and measures 102 feet in length and 82 feet in breadth.

The O’Hares were driven from Magh-Adhair by the Ui-Caisin and they settled in Ui-Cormaic, on the west side of the River Fergus and between it and the mountain of Sliabh Callain. The tree of Magh-Adhair, under which the O’Briens were inaugurated, was cut down and the roots dug up from the earth in the year 981 by Mealseachlainn, son of Domhnall.

Among the modern nobility the Hares are barons in Coleraine, Tir-Owen, and barons of Ennismore, in the County of Kerry.

The name is still very numerous in Ireland, the United States, and the British Colonies. It has furnished many eminent men, especially in the ranks of the clergy. The Rev. P. F. O’Hare, the learned and eloquent pastor of St. Anthony’s Church, Brooklyn, N. Y., is a descendant of this family. Another eminent divine of this name is the Rev. John B. O’Hare of the Diocese of New York, equally distinguished for his piety, learning, and varied acquirements.