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The Corca Laoighdhe

The Corca Laoighdhe were a great clan in the southwest of County Cork. Their territory was coextensive with the Diocese of Ross, and their chief families were those of O’Driscoll,  O’Coffey, O’Dinneen, O’Flynn, O’Hea, 0’Hen-nessy and O’Leary.

The O’Driscolls (0 hEidirsceoil) were powerful chiefs in West Cork, being originally lords of the whole southwest of that county, the baronies of Carbery, Beare and Bantry. After the Anglo-Norman invasion, their territory was reduced by the encroachments of the O’Donovans, O’Mahonys and O’Sullivans, as a reaction to Norman pressure on those families. From that time the O’Driscolls possessed the seacoast area around the Bay of Baltimore, and were still a considerable power in the area in the seventeenth century, with several strong castles. They took an active part in the Munster wars during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. After the defeat of Irish forces at Kinsale, the property of the O’Driscolls was confiscated and given to Lord Castlehaven.


The O’Coffeys (0 Cobhthaigh) were formerly a powerful family of West Cork. They were seated in the barony of Barryroe, where Dun Ui Chobhthaigh, Dunocowhey, marks the site of their residence.


The O’Dinneens or Dennings (0 Duinnin) were a literary family, and became hereditary historians to MacCarthy Mor, chief of the MacCarthys, and also to the O’Sullivans.