Origin of the O'Keeffe Clan Name

The O’Keeffes are descendants of Caomh meaning”Kind, or gentle”. He lived in the eleventh century and was descended from Cathal mac Finguine, an 8th century King of Munster. An Eóganachta clan, they were active in the area of Fermoy, Co. Cork on the banks of the River Blackwater.

With the arrival of the Normans many clans were pushed west and so the O'Keeffes settled in the barony of Duhallow, in Dromagh, Dromtarriff parish. O’Keeffes are found today mainly in counties Cork and Kerry.

O'Keeffe Clan

Their crest includes the lion rampant, or Griffin, which was often used in medieval Ireland to represent the sun, an important Celtic symbol.

The open hand also was used to communicate the ancient Celtic language, Ogham, and was thought to be a symbol for the sun, and the two hands are yellow, the heraldic colour of generosity.