Portrait of Dr. John O'Donovan (1809-1861), Scholar, National Gallery on loan to Royal Irish Academy. . . Original Book Cornell University, New York Prom the Genealogical Table given at p. 4, it is clear that Cuchonnacht na Sgoile O'Daly, who died at Clonard, in 1139, was the first man of the O'Dalys who was celebrated for his learning. Prom his period forward poetry became a profession in the family, and the Corca-Adaim sent forth poetical professors to various parts of Ireland. About the middle of the twelfth century Eaghnall O'Daly settled in Desmond, and became chief professor of poetry to Mac Carthy, king of Des- mond. Prom him, no doubt, the O'Dalys of Muintir-Bhaire, in the south-west of the County of Cork, are descended ; but their pedigree has not been preserved by the O'Clery's or Mac Pirbises, and it is to be feared that it is irrecoverably lost. Dr. O'Brien, indeed, asserts in his Irish Dictionary (voce dala), that the O'Dalys of Munster are descended from the third son of Aenghus, king of Cashel, who was baptized by St. Patrick ; 'O'Beilly mentions twenty-eight poets of this family, and gives the first lines of upwards of one hundred poems written by them ; and we have in our own collection almost as many more which es- caped his notice ; but they are chiefly religious, being the compositions of Donough Mor O'Daly, who died in 1244, and of Aenghus O'Daly surnamed " na Diadhachta" (the Pious or Divine), who flourished about the year 1670. See O'Reilly's Irish Writers, p. cxxxix. But this is one of the very many unaccountable errors with which that work abounds. The same error has been interjiol- ated into several modern copies of Keating's History of Ireland. Of the O'Dalys of Muintir-Bhaire, of whom was Aenghus the Bard liuadli, some notices occur in the Pacata Hibernia, Book III., and in the MS. entitled Carbrim Notitia, which formed No. 591, of the sale catalogue of the late Lord Kings- borough's library,' which are here given, that tlie reader may have before him all the information respecting the sept of the O'Dalys at present accessible : — " 1603. Fourth [of May], Odalie was convented before the Lord President and Councell, and in regard it was proved that hee came from the Eebells, with messages and offers to Owen Sulevan. to adhere and combine with the Enemy, which the said Owen did first reveal to Captaine Flower, Ser- geant Major of the Army, and after publikely justified it to Odalie' s face ; the said Baly was committed to attend his tryal at the next sessions. "This Odalie^ s Ancestor had the country of Moyntirbary given unto him by the Lord President's Ancestor, many hun- dred yearcs past, at which time Carew had to his inheritance, the moity of tjie whole kingdom. This account of Carew is, however, not very accuratee of Corke, which was first given by King Heni-y the second unto Robert Fitz StepJien ; the service which Odaly and his progenie were to doe, for so large a proportion of Lands unto Carew and his successors was (according to the custom of that time) to bee their Eimers, or Chroniclers of their actions." this account is not very accurae; for . the family never had possession of this territory until the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and then only for a very short time. In the reign of Edward III. Thomas de Carew set up a claim, as heir to Eitz-Stephen, to all his ancient estates in Cork ; but by an Inquisition taken at Cork, before Sir Anthony Lucey, Lord Justice of Ireland, on the 31st. of August, in the fifth year of the reign of Edward III., it was found that " Robert Fitz-Stepheu died seized of the moiety of the estate granted by Henry II. to him and Milo de Cogan, and that the said Eitz-Stephen was a Bastard, and died without issue of his body J that the claim of Thomas de Carew, asserting that he and liis ancestors were heirs to Eitz-Stephen, could not be true, because the said Fitz-Steplien was a Bastard, and died without issue of his body." Notwithstanding this Inquisition the claim was again set up in 1568, by Sir Peter Carew, whose brother Sir George, was afterwards President of Munster ; but Sir Peter died in 1575, and his heir Peter junior, was slain by the O'Byrnes at Qlen- malure in 1580; and the prosecution of the suit ended in nothing. (Four Masters, A. D. 1580). From this it is very clear that the O'Dalys of Muintir- Bhaire had little or no connection with the Carews either in the reigns of Edward III. or of Elizabeth. The Author of Carbrice Notiiia, evidently seeing through the fallacy of this statement in the Pacata Hibernia, thus modifies it in his account of the south-west of the County of Cork. " And soe [crossing Dunmanus Bay] you come to Mynter- vary, which lyes between Dunmanus Bay and Bearhaven, in which there is nothing worth observation except Coolnalong, a pretty seat belongingformerly to Mucklagh, a sept of the Cartys. This country was, according to Irish custome, given to O'Daly, who was successively Bard to O'Mahony and Carew ; and to O'Glavin, who was his Termoner or receiver." Dr. Smith also describes Minterbarry, and calls it " a most barbarous country, lying between Dunmanus Bay and Bantry ^^"j " (The story of Cork, Book II, c. ^.), but says nothing of the O'Dalys in connection with it ! ! The head of this family had his residence at Druim-Naoi, or Drumnea, in the parish of Kilcrohane, where a portion of his house, commonly called " The Old College House," still remains, and forms the residence of a farmer, Mr. George Nicolas. The walls are well built, and cemented with lime and mortar, and from fragments of ruins still to be seen close to what remains, it may be inferred that it was once a house of some importance. According to tradition, two sons of a king of Spain, who were at school here under the tuition of O'Daly, died and were buried in Drumnea. The head of this family, Aenghus, son of Aenghus Caech O'Daly Cairbreach, died in the year 1507'. The last profes- sional poet of this house was Conchobhar Cam O'Dalaigh Cair- 'A branch of this family of the O'Dalys, removed to the County of Kerry, a member of whom was the celebrated Daniel or Dominick O'Daly, who wrote the History of the Geraldincs. He was born in (he year 1505, and died at Lisbon in the year 1662. breacbj wlio wrote an elegy of forty ranns or quatrainSj on the death of Donnell O'Donovan, chief of Clann-Cathail, who died in 1660, beginning: — " CiteAb bo tiU3 A1% tpAitcttAift ?Ou)ii)i)eAC ? " " What has overtaken the Momonian Youths ?" He also addressed a poem of thirteen ranns or quatrains, to his pupil Donough, the son of Donnell O'Donovan, and brotlier of said Donnell, who died in 1660, beginning : — " Saoc lcAii)-i-A luibe feof)ijcAi8. " " Sorrowful to mo is the lying [siolmessj of Donnchadh." This Donough, who was the foster-son of O'Daly Cairbreach, is the ancestor of Mr. James O'Donovan of Myross, in the County of Cork. Conchobhar Cam O'Daly also addressed a short poem' of nine quatrains, to Joan, daughter of Sir Owen Mac Carthy Eeaglt, and wife of O'Donovan (Donnell, son of Donnell, son of Teige), beginning : — " O 1 Joan, confirm our treaty.'' The last descendant of O'Daly of Drumnea, who was recog- nized in the country as the head of the sept, and who claimed the O'Daly tomb at Kilcrohane, was Mr. James Daly of Bantry. He removed from Bantry to Cork, where he became a distiller, and kept a respectable establishment in John-street. He died some three or four years since, leaving a son, Mr. James O'Daly, who is still living at Cork. That Aenghus O'Daly the Bard Ruadh, was of this family, but not the chief of it, little doubt can be entertained ; and O'lleilly believes that he was the Angus O'Daly of Balliorrone, wlio according to an Inquisition taken at the Old Castle in Cork, on the 1 8th. of September, 16?,4, died on the 1 6th. of Decem- ber, 1617, leaving a son Angus Oge O'Daly. The Ballyorrone mentioned in this Inquisition is now called Ballyrune. It originally comprised the present Ballyrune, as well as Cora, Laherdoty, and Ballyieragh. Laherdoty was for- merly called Mid-Ballyrune, and Ballyieragh (BA^le iA|iCA|tAc, i. e., west town), West-Ballyrune. The site and small portions ' Copies of these poems are preserved in paper MS. about one hundred and sixty years old, which was in the possession of Mr. Peter Lavalli, late Peruquier of the Four Courts, Dublin ; and now living in Paris. Of the walls of Aenglius O'Daly's, or the Bard Ruadfi's house, are still pointed out in that subdivision of Ballyrune called Cora. The walls are built of freestone and cemented with lime and hair mortar. There is a rock near the Tower at Sheep's Head, called Bfto Sleugun*, (i e., Angus's Quern), which is locally believed to have received its name from Aenghus na n-Aer O'JiiAy. Several of the Dalys, or 0' Dalys of Muintir- Bhaire, claimed descent from him, namely, Daniel Daly of Ahakista, deceased, and several others, but the widow Connell alias Mary Daly, now in the Bantry work-house, is believed to be the nearest akin to him now living. Her friends have emi- grated to America. Several verses attributed to the Bard Ruadh of Ballyrune, and having reference to his coshering pro- pensities, in his old age, when he was poor, are still locally recited, which corroborate O'Reilly's opinion, that he was the Angus O'Daly mentioned in the Inquisition above referred to ; but never, at any period of his life, was he poet to O'Keeffe, as O'lleilly thinks. The family of O'Daly was always considered as forming about the one-twelfth part of the population of Muintir-Bhaire, now included in the parish of Kilcrohane. Prom a census of the population taken by the Eev. John Keleher, P. P., in October, 1834, it appears that the total popu- lation of the parish was then 4448 souls, of which th6 O'Dalys were 345, including 183 males, and 163 females, i. e., about one-twelfth of the entire population. In December, 1849, a census of the parish was also taken by the Eev. Jeremiah Cummins, R. C. C, from which it appears that the population had decreased to 2820 souls, of which the O'Dalys constituted 217, (125 males, and 92 females), i. e., one- thirteenth of the entire population. Both censuses prove that the O'Dalys have kept up their old proportion to the population, although they are as liable to disappear by starvation and emi- gration as the other families of Muintir-Bhaire. The O'Dalys (who appear to have forfeited the last remnant of their property in Muintir-Bhaire, at the Revolution), are now reduced to the condition of cottiers or struggling farmers, in this wild district. The principal proprietors at present are, Richard O'Donovan, Esq., J. P., Fort Lodge, Bantry ; Dr. Daniel O'Donovan of Skibbereen, J. P. ; Timothy O'Donovan, Esq., J. P., O' Donovan's Cove; and Timothy O'Donovan, Esq., of Ardahill. The ancestor of the three first-mentioned proprietors, took this large tract of land for 999 years, from a Mr. Congreve of Mount Congreve, in the County of Waterford, an undertaker ; to whose descendant they still pay some small head rent. Ti- mothy O'Donovan, Esq., of Ardahill (who descends from Kedagh Mor, the youngest son of O'Donovan, by the daughter of Sir Owen Mac-Carthy Reagh), was himself the purchaser of Arda- hill, Oarravilleen, Derry-clovane and Taunmore.
Dr. John O’Donovan L.L.D., The O’Daly Family (Bards Muintervara) 1852, Extract
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