Irish Family Research Discover the secrets of your ancestors’ past Brendan Mullins Genealogist

      Second Selected Surname:  

      Ó hEaghra  -   O’Hara  -   O’Hora

      O’Hara is the Anglicisation of the name Ó hEaghra which originated in Luighne, now named  Leyney, a barony in Co. Sligo, however it was then much larger extending into county Mayo. O’Hora, however, is usually a variant of O’Hara found mainly in the north Co. Mayo area of the homeland, although in a small percentage of cases, it is a variant of the surname Horahoe, which is found in the Swinford area today.

      Eaghra, who died in 976 A.D., was descended from the family of Olioll Olum, who was a King of Munster in the third century17. They held the title of Lord, or Chief, of Luighne from the 12th to the 17th century and had large possessions until the arrival of Cromwell18.  There is also ‘The Book of O’Hara/Leabhar Uí Eadhra’, which was created by Irish bardic poets in the late 16th Century, as mentioned under ‘Gaelic Genealogical Sources’, and some additional information can be found here19.

Leyney KILLALA BAY The Barony of Leyney, Co. Sligo

        The following chart show twelve generations, from Eaghra, the source of the surname, and showing Aodh Ó hEaghra, the first to use it.

      About 1350 A.D., the Ó hEaghra sept split into two divisions in Co. Sligo, each being ‘Chief’ or ‘Lord’ of their own area. These were Ó hEaghra Buidhe, seated at Collooney, in the east of Luighne, and Ó hEaghra Riabhach, seated at Ballyharry, in the west. A smaller branch moved to the Route, Co. Antrim.  

       The first to use the surname was Aodh Ó hEaghra, who was slain about 1234 A.D. for killing his brother and five sons. A house he was in was set alight and he was killed in the doorway as he tried to escape20.                                                                                                                               He was the son of Conchabhar Got. In 1207 A.D. the area of Tirerrill was ravaged by Cathal Carrach MacDiarmada, who was then pursued by Conchabar Got and he was captured and blinded21. In  1209 A.D. Conchabhar Got was given by Ó Chonchubhir as a hostage to the King of England. Three other Lords/Chiefs from Connaught were also given as hostages and the King returned to England with them. They were allowed to return to Ireland the following year. Conchabhar Got died in 1231 A.D.                                                                                                                               The son of Aodh Ó hEaghra was Diarmuid Ruadh Ó hEaghra, who died about 1250 A.D. while being held prisoner by the English chief, Maurice FitzGerald, of the FitzGeralds of Kildare. Fighting with the English continued over the next century and many more of the Ó hEaghra family died.                                                                                                                               Diarmuid Ruadh Ó hEaghra was succeeded by his son, Art na gCapall Ó hEaghra, who with Brian Ó Dowda, went to battle and defeated the army of the Irish Baron, Mac Feorais- Birmingham in 1278 A.D.


Lord of Luighne  died about 976 A.D.



Lord of Luighne



Lord of Luighne



Lord of Luighne  slain about 1023 A.D. By O’Connor,

King of Connaught22



Lord of Luighne


Taithleach of Urmhumhain

Lord of Luighne  slain by the tribes of Leitrim about 1095 A.D23.


Although not shown in ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, there

 must be more generations here.



Lord of Luighne  slain in his house on Lough Talt about 1183 A.D.


Conchabhar Got

Lord of Luighne  taken hostage in 1210 A.D.  died about 1231 A.D.


Aodh Ó hEaghra

Lord of Luighne  slain about 1234 A.D.


Diarmuid Ruadh Ó hEaghra

Lord of Luighne  died in prison about 1250 A.D.


Art na gCapaill Ó hEaghra

Lord of Luighne  went to battle in 1278 A.D.


Domhnall Cléireach Ó hEaghra

Killed by English while burning Ardnarea in 1266 A.D.

Genealogy of O hEaghra Mary O'Hora Mary O’Hora 1888 - 1868 Knockduff, Co. Mayo

 17 Edw. MacLysaght, Irish Families, pp. 101 & 129.


18 Michael C. O’Loughlin, The Book of Irish Families, Great and Small, Third Edition 2002, Published by Irish Roots Café, Dublin


19  Michael Farry, Killoran and Coolaney, First Edition 1985, Electronic Edition 2005, , Chapter 5.   Viewed 18 Nov. 2011.


20 H. T. Knox, ‘The History of the Co. of Mayo to the close of the 16th Century’, DeBurca Rare Books 1982, First Published 1908 Hodges, Figgis & Co., Dublin, NLI, Dublin


21  W. G. Wood-Martin, ‘A History of Sligo, County and Town’, Published in 1882, Hodges & Figgis, Dublin, page 180, NLI, Dublin

 22  Knox, ‘The History of the Co. of Mayo’, page 41


23 W. G. Wood-Martin, ‘A History of Sligo, County and Town’, Published in 1882, Hodges & Figgis, Dublin, NLI, Dublin

Copyright © All rights reserved. Made By Serif. Terms of use | Privacy policy