Firceall 12th August to 13th August 2011
The O’Molloy Association has a full weekend of events planned with something for everyone. You do not have to hold the Molloy name to participate. In this area of Firceall, most families have some Molloy connection as the O’Molloy ruled the area for centuries. A Mr Molloy founded the Distilleries in Tullamore that made Tullamore Dew famous. No clan would be complete without a Chieftain! The present Chieftain of the O’Molloy Clan is Frances Molloy Berry who resides in Durrow in the north of Firceall. We are calling all members and friends to come together once again to celebrate our heritage and forge and renew family links. A programme of events has been set out, which will include lectures by a guest speaker, and a tour of locations of particular connection to the O’Molloy clan.
The O’Molloys are descended from the famous Niall of the Nine Hostages, High King of Ireland in the fifth century. Following the battle of Druim Deirg in the year 515, the descendants of Niall established control over extensive lands including Firceall, which stretched from north of Tullamore as far south as the edge of Birr. Ownership of these lands remained with the O’Molloy’s until the first half of the seventeenth century, when the area was subjected to the plantations of James I and Cromwell.
Firceall means ‘Men of the Churches’, due to the great number of ancient churches in the area such as Durrow, Drumcullen, Killyon, Kilcormac, Lynally and Rathline. Firceall was comprised of the baronies of Eglish, Ballyboy and Ballycowan. Surrounded by strong warlike septs such as the O’Carroll’s of Ely, the MacCoughlan’s of Delvin Eathra and the O’Connor’s of Offaly, the O’Molloy territory was the scene of regular conflict over the centuries with neighbour and Crown forces alike. The ruins of a number of important castles are found here, such as Broughal, Eglish, Ballindown, Dowras, Le Porte near Whigsborough, Kiltubrid, Rathmackilduffe (Rath), Ballyboy, Derrydolny, Rathline, Rathrobin, Garbally, Cully, Killooly and Pallas.
For more information please see the O’Molloy Clan Association website