Ó Conaill

Rev Patrick Woulfe

Ó CONAILL—IO Conaill, O'Connell, Connell; 'descendant of Conall, ' (high-powerful, an ancient personal name Welsh Cynvall, British Cunovalos, Celtic Kunovalos); the name of at least three distinct families in Ireland, viz.: (1) Ó Conaill of Derry, a branch of the Oirghialla, who were anciently lords of Ui Mac Carthainn, now the barony of Tirkeeran; (2) Ó Conaill of Galway, a branch of the Ui Maine, who anciently possessed a territory in the south of Co. Galway, between the river Grian and the borders of Thomond; and (3) Ó Conaill of Kerry, who were anciently chiefs of Magh O gCoinchin, in the east of that county, until dispossessed by the O'Donoghues about the middle of the 11th century. From the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion down to the 17th century, the O'Connells were followers of MacCarthy More and hereditary castellans of Ballycarbery, near Caherciveen. Maurice O'Connell, the head of the family in Cromwell's time, was transplanted to Brentir, near Lisdoonvarna, in Co. Clare. Several of this family became distinguished in the Irish Brigades in the service of France, among whom may be mentioned Count Daniel O'Connell, uncle of the Liberator, Daniel O'Connell, by whom this surname has been made for ever illustrious. O'Connell is now one of the most numerous of Irish surnames. O'Heerin writes the name of the Kerry family Ó Conghaile, but Ó Conaill is the form now universally in use in Munster.

Alphabetical Index to Irish Surnames