Origin of the O'Callaghan Clan Name

The name Callaghan originated from the name Ó Ceallacháin, and means descendant of Ceallachán. This is Gaelic for a word meaning 'strife'.

The name comes from Ceallacháin Caisil, a king of Munster, who died in 954. It is said that he defeated Cinnéide, the father of Brian Boru in battle. They were displaced to the County of Cork, to an area near Mallow in around 1300. The first recorded spelling of the name in Ireland is dated back to 1605 in birth records in County Cork.

O'Callaghan Clan, O Callaghan sept

They were vassals to the more powerful Mac Carthys. In Cromwellian times they were again dispossessed and they moved to County Clare where the town O'Callaghans Mills still bears their name.

Today the name O'Callghan outnumbers those with Callaghan and about sixteen families are recognised by the Irish Genealogical Office as bearers of Chief of the Name.

Their unusual crest includes a wolf for perseverance in a siege or effort, set before some trees, the most ancient and important symbol of Ireland. The Oak tree was the most noble and ancient of tree symbols which the druids believed was the connection between the real and the otherworld.