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O'Molloy History

'The prince of Firceall of the ancient sword is
O'Molloy of the freeborn name
Full power was granted to him and he held
His country uncontrolled'.

- O’ Dugain.

From Tuathal an Tuaiscirt and Eachadhfinn, sons of Fiacha Mac Neill Naoi nGiallach descended respectively the Mageoghegans of Kineleagh and the O'Molloys of Firceall. Kineleagh, the anglicised form of Cineal Fhiachaigh, is now the name of a townland between Kilbeggan and the hill of Uisneagh in Westmeath. Originally the Cineal Fhiachaigh was a folk group which included the O'Moloys of Firceall. Cineal Fhiachaigh was the older and more embracing title.

Firceall is thought to be Fir Cealla - 'Men of Churches'. The Annals of Clonmacnoise says Kineleagh extended from Birr to Killare adjoining Uisneagh.The Magoeghegans ruled the northern end of this area and the O'Molloys the southern end which came to be known as Firceall and covered approximately the baronies of Ballycowan, Ballyboy and Eglish in county Offaly. Rahan, Durrow, Moylena, Lynally, Kilmore, Pallas, Eglish, Rathline, Ballyboy, Kilcormac, Ballindown and Drumcullen were all in Firceall. Rahan and the district around it, was the cradle of the O'Molloys.

Some ten generations down from Eachadhfinn emerged Mael Mhuaidh, slain in 1019, from whom derived the family name of O'Maelmhuaidh, anglicised to O'Molloy. Mael Mhuaidh had two sons: Donnchadh and Lorcan. The latter was father of Gillabhride who became Lord of Firceall in 1048. Gillabhride died in 1069 and in 1110, his grandson Gillacholam O'Molloy was killed along with his wife at a place called Inis Iocha Mhic Dubhrai (Lough Coura or Douras), by Cuchonnacht O hAilleain of Firceall.Gillacholam left three sons: Donnchadh, Murchadh and Fearghal. In 1131 Donnchadh who was Lord of Fircall was put to death while in captivity by Murchadh O'Mealeachlainn, King of Meath. The latter handed Donnchadh over to the Muintir Luainim who murdered him and hid the body in a bog so that it was never recovered.

O'Molloy Clan Association - Molloy Family Tree
Firceall, County Offaly, Midlands, Ireland.
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