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Royal House of O'Conor
Ó Conchubhair
Parent houseUí Briúin Ai / Síl Muiredaig
FoundedAD 74[citation needed]
FounderConchobar mac Taidg Mór
Current headDesmond O'Connor Don
Final rulerFedlim Geancach Ó Conchobair

O'Conor (Middle Irish: Ó Conchubhair; Modern Irish: Ó Conchúir, also anglicised as O'Connor), is an Irish aristocratic house and former royal line of Gaelic leaders, which included many historic Kings of Connacht and the last High Kings of Ireland. The family seat is Clonalis House outside Castlerea in County Roscommon.

The current O'Conor Don is Desmond O'Conor (b. 22 September 1938) who lives in Rotherfield, East Sussex in England.[1]


The Ó Conchubhair Donn is the head of a lineage which provided about one hundred Kings of Connacht,[citation needed] thirty Chiefs of the Name and two High Kings of Ireland, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (1088–1156), and his son Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair (c. 1115–1198), the last High King.

The O'Conor family can trace their lineage back to the 5th century without dispute.[citation needed] Some medieval accounts[citation needed] suggest descent from the Milesian kings, whose pedigree was claimed to lead[citation needed] to Japheth the son of Noah, ten generations from the Biblical Adam.

During the late 14th century, the Ó Conchubhair dynasty grouped into two main divisions, one led by Toirdealbhach Ruadh, the other by Toirdealbhach Óg (also called Toirdealbhach Donn), both in the seventh generation of descent from Cathal Crobhderg. From these descended the families of Ó Conchubhair Ruadh (now extinct) and Ó Conchubhair Donn.

One of Ireland's preeminent 19th-century historians, John O'Donovan, once said of the O'Conors that "No family in Ireland claims greater antiquity and no family in Europe, royal or noble, can trace its descent through so many generations of legitimate ancestors."[2][full citation needed]


The clan name originated in the 10th century as a derivative of its founder Conchobar mac Taidg Mór; the family contributed to Irish society in art, history, language, politics, diplomacy,[citation needed] and other areas before, during and after foreign rule in Ireland. They descend in the paternal line from the Connachta's Uí Briúin Ai.

O'Conor Nash of Clonalis[edit]

On the death in 1981 of Rev. Charles O'Conor Don SJ, Clonalis House, built in 1878 ancestral seat of the O'Conor Don family, passed to his sister Gertrude O'Conor Nash, her son Pyers is not the present O'Conor Don as the title (like most hereditary titles) passes through the male line, and the current O'Conor Don is Desmond O'Conor of Horsegroves House, Rotherfield, East Sussex.

Key figures[edit]

Kings of Connacht[edit]

Chiefs of the Name[edit]

  • Toirdhealbhach Óg Donn mac Aodha meic Toirdhealbhaigh, d. 9 December 1406.
  • Cathal mac Ruaidhri Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 19 March 1439.
  • Aodh mac Toirdhealbhaigh Óig Ó Conchobhair Donn, d.15 May 1461.
  • Feidhlimidh Geangcach mac Toirdhealbhaigh Óig Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1474 – last fully recognised King of Connacht.
  • Tadhg mac Eoghain Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1476.
  • Eoghan Caoch mac Feidhlimidh Gheangcaigh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1485.
  • Aodh Og mac Aodh Ó Conchobhair Donn
  • Toirdhealbhach Óg mac Ruaidhri Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1503
  • Conchobhar mac Eoghain Chaoich Ó Conchobhair Donn
  • Cairbre mac Eoghain Chaoich Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1546
  • Aodh mac Eoghain Chaoich Ó Conchobhair Donn, deposed 1550
  • Diarmaid mac Cairbre Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1585
  • Sir Hugh/Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1632
  • An Calbhach mac Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1654 – popularly inaugurated king in 1643.
  • Hugh Óg mac Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1662.
  • Andrew O'Connor Don of Clonalis
  • Dominick O'Connor Don of Clonalis, d. 1795
  • Alexander O'Connor Don, d. 1820
  • Owen O'Connor Don of Clonalis and Ballinagare, d.1831
  • Denis O'Conor Don of Clonalis, 1794–1847
  • Charles Owen O'Conor Don, 1838–1906
  • Denis Charles O'Conor Don, 1869–1917
  • Owen Phelim O'Conor Don, 1870–1943
  • Fr. Charles O'Conor Don, 1906–1981
  • Denis O'Conor Don, 1912 – 10 July 2000
  • Desmond O'Conor Don (Chairman of the British-Chile Chamber of Commerce, former banker, resides in Sussex), b.1938

Other notable members of the family[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Curley, W. Vanishing Kingdoms. Dublin. Lilliput Press.
  2. ^ tales-from-the-big-house-rte/


  • Byrne, Vincent (2003). The Hidden Annals: A Thousand Years of the Kingdom of Connaught, 366-1385. Universal Publishers. ISBN 1581125682.
  • O'Connor, Roderic, A Historical and Genealogical Memoir of the O'Connors, Kings of Connaught, and their Descendants. Dublin: McGlashan & Gill. 1861.
  • O'Donovan, John and the Rt. Hon. Charles Owen O'Connor Don, The O'Conors of Connaught: An Historical Memoir. Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, and Co. 1891

External links[edit]