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King O'Conor Don of the Free State?


Little_Korean

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Was reading an article on an entirely different topic (Edward the Bruce's wars in medieval Ireland) when I came across this titbit:

Yet the notion of an Ó Conchobair king of Connacht or Ireland died hard. In 1643, a member of the family was alleged to have been inaugurated at Carnfree, just as had Fedlimid in 1309 and Ruaidrí in 1315. During the rural disturbances of the 1820s, an invitation was sent by locals to Matthew O’Conor Don, wishing to make him their king and represent their grievances. As late as 1919, members of the first Dail seriously considered giving the crown of Ireland to the then O’Conor Don.

That the position eventually became that of an elective president rather than a hereditary king – as is the case in republics such as Spain – had less to do with Irish notions of republicanism as with the then O’Conor Don, who politely refused for reasons of his own.
Woah, woah, woah...what?

Could we have ended up with King O'Conor Don of the Free State, with an Oath of Allegiance of a very different sort?

Anyone know anything else about this somewhat unusual footnote in Irish republicanism, such as who in the Dail supported this motion?
 


Riadach

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Should I be surprised that as late as 1820s, that local memory preserved the idea of the O'Conors as monarchs of Connacht? Funny old lot we are.
 

Riadach

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Or on 1919, on the cusp of republicanism???
That's less remarkable, given how much of those involved were exposed to the scholarship of the period. Not something that can be said for the average tater hoker in the 1820s.

It certainly wasn't the first time that supposed republicans had nominated aristocrats for the kingship of Ireland.
 

Hitch 22

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Some Irish nationalists considered offering the title of King of Ireland to Prince Joachim of Prussia.

 

dubhthach

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Well the current Ó Conchubhair Donn like his father were both born in England. They do at least have an unbroken line. The problem really for the O'Connors is that they disolved into factionism in the 14th/15th centuries and became rather minor players. Been divided into two main branches (The O'Connor's of Sligo were earlier Branch) these been Donn and Rua.

Of course the Donn line is directly descended from Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (High King of Ireland) via his son Cathal Crobhdearg Ua Conchobair (King of Connacht).

Ruaidhrí who was Cathal's older brother doesn't have any recognised descendants mainly as his line was basically obliterated during the 13th century between the fighting among the O'Connors and the arrival of the Normans into Connacht under the De Burgo's (Burkes)
 

Little_Korean

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Some Irish nationalists considered offering the title of King of Ireland to Prince Joachim of Prussia.

Wasn't that more during the 1916 Rising, should they win and be faced with a German-dominated Europe and a need to appease their 'Glorious Allies' by adopting on their (minor) royalty?

As far I've read, the offer to make O’Conor Don king or Ard Ri or whatever was entirely an indigenous one.
 

fontenoy

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Funny when you think that O'Connors and Connors is one of the larger of the traveller clans yet they reckon they are of a different ethnicity to the rest of us!
 

an Toimíneach

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Was reading an article on an entirely different topic (Edward the Bruce's wars in medieval Ireland) when I came across this titbit:



Woah, woah, woah...what?

Could we have ended up with King O'Conor Don of the Free State, with an Oath of Allegiance of a very different sort?

Anyone know anything else about this somewhat unusual footnote in Irish republicanism, such as who in the Dail supported this motion?
I'm 100% certain I read somewhere that De Valera thought about make some O'Brien "High King of Ireland" because he was the most senior descendant of Brian Boru. I can't remember the source, I'll see can I get it later.

He did say he wasn't a 'doctrinaire republican' and wikipedia (I know) gives us this:
Wikipedia said:
In 1948 the government suggested that there should be a "Council" of chiefs, accredited by the Herald, for emotive reasons.
 

Little_Korean

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I'm 100% certain I read somewhere that De Valera thought about make some O'Brien "High King of Ireland" because he was the most senior descendant of Brian Boru. I can't remember the source, I'll see can I get it later.
Would we then have another civil war over the O'Connor and O'Brien lines? To remain true to our history?
 

Riadach

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I'm 100% certain I read somewhere that De Valera thought about make some O'Brien "High King of Ireland" because he was the most senior descendant of Brian Boru. I can't remember the source, I'll see can I get it later.

He did say he wasn't a 'doctrinaire republican' and wikipedia (I know) gives us this:
Of course it's all nonsense when you realise that Irish kingship was not decided by seniority.
 

dubhthach

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Funny when you think that O'Connors and Connors is one of the larger of the traveller clans yet they reckon they are of a different ethnicity to the rest of us!
Many travellers bear Gaelic Irish names particulary those linked to West of Ireland. The other good example of course is Ward eg. Mac an Bhaird (the son of the Poet)

The Mac an Bhaird's of Galway were hereditary poets to the Ó Ceallaigh (O'Kelly) king of Uí Máine (basically modern East co. Galway).

Likweise McDonagh another common name found among Travellers in West of Ireland is associated with both the McDermots and the O'Connors:
SIOL MUIREADHAIGH (Silmurray), seed of Muireadhach Muilleathan, King of Connacht, who died in the year 701; the clan-name of the O'Connors and their correlatives in Connacht, including the MacDermotts, MacDonoughs, O'Beirnes, O'Flanagans, Mageraghtys and O'Finnaghtys.

CLANN MHAOLRUANAIDH, race of Maolruanaidh (O'Connor), son of Tadhg an eich ghil, King of Connacht, A.D. 1014-1036; a branch of Siol Muireadhaigh (which see), of which the MacDermotts of Moylurg and the MacDonaghs of Tirerrill were the chief families.

Mac DONNCHADHA, Mac DONNCHAIDH—IV—M'Donoghue, M'Donnoghie, M'Donaghy, M'Donchie, M'Denis, MacDonnagh, MacDonough, MacDonogh, MacDonagh, MacDona, MacDunphy, Donoghue, Donohoe, Donaghy, Donogh, Donagh, Dunphy, Duncan, Dennison, Denison, Dennis, &c.; 'son of Donnchadh' (brown warrior, or strong warrior, an ancient and very common Irish personal name, anglicised Donough, Denis.) There are at least three distinct families bearing this surname: ... (2) A branch of the MacDermotts of Moylurg, who were chiefs of Tirerrill and Corran, in Co. Sligo, and resided at Ballymote. The Book of Ballymote was compiled under their patronage. an offshoot of this family settled in Co. Clare, and thence spread into Co. Limerick. ...

Mac DIARMADA—IV—M'Dermody, M'Dermot, M'Dermonde, M'Derby, MacDiarmod, MacDermott, MacDarby, Dermody, Darmody, Diarmid, Dermid, Dermond, Darby, &c.; 'son of Diarmaid' (an ancient and very common Irish personal name, anglicised Dermot, Darby and Jeremiah). The most important family of this name are the MacDermotts of Moylurg. They were a branch of the Sil-Murray, long the ruling race in Connacht, of which, next to the O'Connors, they were the most powerful family. Their clan-name was Clann Mhaoilruanaidh, so called from Maolruanaidh, who was son of Tadhg O'Connor, King of Connacht, in the 11th century. They are, therefore, of the same stock as the O'Connors. From Diarmaid, who was the grandson of Maolruanaidh and died in 1159, they took the surname of Mac Diarmada, anglicised MacDermott. About the middle of the 14th century, they divided into three distinct septs, each with a chief of its own, namely: MacDermott of Moylurg, who was overlord of all the MacDermotts, and had his fortress at the Rock of Lough Key, near Boyle; MacDermottroe, or the Red MacDermott, who was chief of Tir-Thuthail, comprising the parish of Kilronan, and had his residence at Alderford; and MacDermott Gall (or Gallda), the English or Anglicised MacDermott, who was chief of Artagh, comprising the parish of Tibohine. The two baronies of Boyle and Frenchpark now represent the patrimony of the MacDermotts. The MacDermotts played a conspicuous part in the history of Connacht. They retained their rank as lords of Moylurg down to the end of the 16th century; and as successors to the O'Garas continued to hold considerable property at Coolavin, in Co. Sligo, down to recent times; and The MacDermott is still known as Prince of Coolavin. See Mac Dhiarmada.
If anything if you ask me the genesis of the formation of a distinct traveller community was in the destruction of Gaelic Ireland during the 16th and 17th centuries.
 

Riadach

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Many travellers bear Gaelic Irish names particulary those linked to West of Ireland. The other good example of course is Ward eg. Mac an Bhaird (the son of the Poet)

The Mac an Bhaird's of Galway were hereditary poets to the Ó Ceallaigh (O'Kelly) king of Uí Máine (basically modern East co. Galway).

Likweise McDonagh another common name found among Travellers in West of Ireland is associated with both the McDermots and the O'Connors:


If anything if you ask me the genesis of the formation of a distinct traveller community was in the destruction of Gaelic Ireland during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Another interesting point is that poets would have been itinerant themselves prior to the collapse of the Gaelic order. As, it seems, were mercenaries, prostitutes, jugglers, gamblers, balladeers, musicians, etc etc. Indeed, some evidence suggests they travelled in troops together.
 

dubhthach

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Another interesting point is that poets would have been itinerant themselves prior to the collapse of the Gaelic order. As, it seems, were mercenaries, prostitutes, jugglers, gamblers, balladeers, musicians, etc etc. Indeed, some evidence suggests they travelled in troops together.
That and there was a general form of migration when it came to cattle herds, been migrated from winter to summer grounds (going on the booley)
 

Riadach

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That and there was a general form of migration when it came to cattle herds, been migrated from winter to summer grounds (going on the booley)
And then there is the caoruigheacht, mobilised herds of cattle that may have been the movable wealth of some sort of Irish knight errant, or in later periods, a weapon of war.
 

an Toimíneach

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Should I be surprised that as late as 1820s, that local memory preserved the idea of the O'Conors as monarchs of Connacht? Funny old lot we are.
Nope.
As I'm sure you know yourself, John O'Donovan went around making a list of the local "Kings" when he was at work in the 1830s. I recall him saying that he met the "Rí Gall" in Kilkenny and the chieftain of the O'Flynns in Mayo (a chap called Edmond O'Flynn in the parish of Annagh), for instance.

I have a list of them buried in a word document somewhere.

It's amazing to think that while Daniel O'Connell was organising the "Monster Meetings" and talking about Parliamentary Democracy etc a sizable proportion of people were still as happy to recognise the old kings/chieftains.

Of course it's all nonsense when you realise that Irish kingship was not decided by seniority.
Of course. It was that kind of Celtic Revival stuff that was wide open to ridicule for its inaccuracy.

P.S. Here's another example that I found in one of my papers: In 1821 the last of the Purcell Landlords of the townland of Attyflynn in Galway died (without it being clear as to who should inherit the Freehold). The tenants of the townlands decided that they should pay their rents to a fellow called John Burke who lived in Kilmaine, Co. Mayo because he was a descendant of the last Landlord over Attyflynn before the Purcells had gotten it (the Burkes had owned it before the Purcells). But the last of those Burkes had it back before Cromwell's time! That's a long memory in the community!
 

Riadach

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Nope.
As I'm sure you know yourself, John O'Donovan went around making a list of the local "Kings" when he was at work in the 1830s. I recall him saying that he met the "Rí Gall" in Kilkenny and the chieftain of the O'Flynns in Mayo (a chap called Edmond O'Flynn in the parish of Annagh), for instance.

I have a list of them buried in a word document somewhere.

It's amazing to think that while Daniel O'Connell was organising the "Monster Meetings" and talking about Parliamentary Democracy etc a sizable proportion of people were still as happy to recognise the old kings/chieftains.
Indeed, Daniel Corkery wasn't far wrong with his Hidden Ireland.


Of course. It was that kind of Celtic Revival stuff that was wide open to ridicule for its inaccuracy.

P.S. Here's another example that I found in one of my papers: In 1821 the last of the Purcell Landlords of the townland of Attyflynn in Galway died (without it being clear as to who should inherit the Freehold). The tenants of the townlands decided that they should pay their rents to a fellow called John Burke who lived in Kilmaine, Co. Mayo because he was a descendant of the last Landlord over Attyflynn before the Purcells had gotten it (the Burkes had owned it before the Purcells). But the last of those Burkes had it back before Cromwell's time! That's a long memory in the community!

Indeed, preserved no doubt by the local purveyor of seanchas. That is one delicious nugget of information.
 

Little_Korean

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Here's another example that I found in one of my papers: In 1821 the last of the Purcell Landlords of the townland of Attyflynn in Galway died (without it being clear as to who should inherit the Freehold). The tenants of the townlands decided that they should pay their rents to a fellow called John Burke who lived in Kilmaine, Co. Mayo because he was a descendant of the last Landlord over Attyflynn before the Purcells had gotten it (the Burkes had owned it before the Purcells). But the last of those Burkes had it back before Cromwell's time! That's a long memory in the community!
Was there a practical reason for their choice? Or, by deciding their own landlord, they gave themselves de facto more power in matters like rent (as in, less of it!)?
 

dubhthach

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Anyways back to the O'Connor's, if you believe the pseudo-history the O'Connor's descended from Brion the half brother of Niall (of the Nine Hostages), and thus form part of the Uí Bhriúin (one of the three Connachta). What's interesting is we do some genetic links connecting surnames associated with the Uí Bhriúin and Uí Fhiachrach and those of the Uí Néill, for example Gallagher, Doherty, O'Donnell, McGonigel (Cenél Chonaill)
 

an Toimíneach

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Was there a practical reason for their choice? Or, by deciding their own landlord, they gave themselves de facto more power in matters like rent (as in, less of it!)?
I don't know. I just had a little note made in a word document, no other details.
Since posting it, I googled "Attyflynn Purcell" and got this link where you can get the story:
GALWAY Ireland
 

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