Origin of the O'Donoghue Clan Name

The Irish surname O'Donoghue comes from the gaelic name Ó Donachadha, meaning descendant of Donnchadh. This ancient Irish name means brown-haired man. They originated from Kerry where they held a family seat from ancient times.

The O’Donoghues were a significant sept in County Kerry, in Desmond territory and had been driven there by the McCarthys.They also existed in Cashel, Galway and Cavan.

Variations of the name are numerous and include Donoughue, Donough, Dunphy, Donohoe and many more. The first recorded settler of this name in the United States was Bridget Donaghue in 1850 in Boston.

O'Donoghue Clan

One of the Eóganachta clans, they fought beside Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

According to tradition, The O'Donoghue Mór and The O'Donoghue of the Glens descend from sons of Auliffe Mór O'Donoghue (d. 1158), a powerful warlord who fought against the Dal gCais.

Their family seat was Killaha Castle, (now owned by the OPW) overlooking the Glen of the Flesk River, built near Killarney in the 16th century. Ross Castle in Killarney was also the seat of the O'Donoghue Mor until it was lost to the Brownes. The O'Donoghues participated in the Desmond Rebellion against the English Crown and were punished thereafter. Their lands and castle suffered in Cromwellian times.

On their unusual crest, there are 2 silver foxes which represent wit and guile, and a black raven for warfare and achievement in battle.