Ó Conchobhair

Rev Patrick Woulfe

Ó CONCHOBHAIR, Ó CONCHUBHAIR—I—O Conchor, O Connour, O'Conor, O'Connor, Connor, Connors, &c.; 'descendant of Conchobhar' (high-will or desire, an ancient Irish personal name); one of the most numerous and widespread of Irish family names. There are, at least, six distinct families so called, viz.: (1) Ó C. of Connacht who derive their name and descent from Conchobhar, King of Connacht in the latter part of the 10th century, and were long the ruling race in that province, and of whom two became kings of all Ireland. They were divided into three great branches, namely Ó Conchobhair Donn (the brown O'Connor), Ó Conchobhair Ruadh (the red O'Connor), and Ó Conchobhair Sligeach (the O'Connor of Sligo). The present head of the family is known as The O'Conor Don. (2) Ó C. of Offaly who derive their descent from Ros Failghe, son of Cathaoir Mor, King of Ireland in the second century, and their surname from Conchobhar, son of Fionn, lord of Offaly, who died in the year 979. They were a powerful and warlike race, and for more than three hundred years successfully defended their territory against the English of the Pale. Their chief stronghold was Dangan, now Philipstown. They were dispossessed in the reign of Philip and Mary. (3) Ó C. of Kerry. Before the Anglo-Norman invasion, the head of this family was lord of that portion of Kerry lying between Tralee and the Shannon; but owing to the encroachments of the Fitzmaurices and other Anglo-Norman settlers this territory was narrowed down to the limits of the present barony of Iraghticonor (Oireacht Uí Chonchobhair), which remained in the possession of the family until the close of the reign of Elizabeth, when it was confiscated and given to Trinity College. The chief stronghold of the O'Connors was Carrigafoyle, near Ballylongford. (4) Ó C. of Corcomroe. This family derives its name from Conchobhar, son of Maelseachlainn, lord of Corcomroe, who was slain in the year 1002, and the head of the family was lord of the barony of Corcomroe, in West Clare, down to the close of the 16th century. (5) Ó C. of Keenaght. The head of this family was lord of Cianachta, now the barony of Keenaght, in Co. Derry, until dispossessed by the family of Ó Catháin, or O'Kane, shortly before the Anglo-Norman invasion. (6) Ó C. of Ui Breasail, a branch of the Oirghialla.

Alphabetical Index to Irish Surnames