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Origin of the O'Connor Clan Name
O’Connor means descended from Conchobhair ( dog or hound-loving) , and is today one of the most common surnames in Ireland. Conchobhair was descended from the Milesian Kings of ancient times and Conchobhair ruled Connaught in 971, during the Viking Age.
The O’Conor clan was subdivided again into the O’Conor Don, O’Conor Roe and O’Conor Sligo families. The former survives to the present day and their seat is at Clonalis near, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon.
Their motto is ‘From God every help.’ ‘O’Dhia gach aon cabhair’ and religion was of great importance to the O'Connor clan. Cathel founded many abbeys such as Ballintubber Abbey in 1216. The O’Connors also built many castles and Turlough it is said built the first three stone castles in Ireland as well as the first stone bridges over the Shannon and the Suck. He is also remembered as the founder of Tuam Cathedral with its splendid chancel-arch and the unique cross.
Visit the Castles of the Famous O'Connors
Ballintubber Castle, the seat of the O’Connor Don until the 1600s, was built by Hugh O’Connor in the 14th century. Lost in Cromwellian times it was regained in the 19th century by Charles Owen O’Connor, who became O’Conor Don and inherited Clonalis estate. The title is today held by Desmond O’Conor Don of Sussex.
Clonalis House is open daily to visitors and provides accommodation.
Roscommon Castle was also an O’Connor stronghold.
Carrigafoyle Castle, known as the Guardian of the Shannon was the seat of the O’Connors of Co. Kerry, near Ballylongford in Kerry. The O’Connors of Ulster were known as the O’Connors of Keenaght and were quashed by the O’Kanes.
Rathangan Castle was the original family seat of the O’Connors of Offaly (Fály) who also have a royal line, and are descended from King Cathaoir Mór of the 2nd century. Their castle was captured by the Fitzgeralds in the 1400s and so the seat moved to Daingean recalling Daingean Ua bhFáilghe the ancient island fortress of the O'Connors.
Thank you Stephanie! I have been meaning to write you a note and have been so crazy with work since we returned. The trip was unbelievable! We had a wonderful time and loved every minute of the trip.
Andrea Stevens, Plantation, Florida