Delbhna Tír Dhá Locha

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Early peoples and kingdoms of Ireland, c.800

Delbhna Thíre Dhá Loch(a) ("The Delbhna of the Two Lakes") was a tuath of Gaelic Ireland, located in the west of Ireland in what is now Co. Galway.

The Delbhna Thira Da Locha were one branch of a much larger population group called the Delbhna which broke into fractions following the influx of other groups and internal warfare.[1]

The two lochs to which the name of the territory refers are Loch nOirbsean, and Loch Lurgain. The territory occupied nearly all the land between the two lakes and the River Corrib. It was roughly coextensive with the later barony of Moycullen, which took in the civil parishes of Moycullen, Kilcummin, Killanin, and Rahoon.

The chiefs of the Delbhna Thira Da Locha eventually took the surname MacConraoi, or Conroy, and their title as chief of their name was Mac Mheic Con Raoi ("son of the grandson of the hound of the battlefield") while their title as rulers was Ri (King of) or Tighearna (Lord of) Thira Da Locha.[2]

Mac Conraoi was chief of Delbhna Thira Dha Locha, directly ruling Gnó Mhór, which was later the civil parishes of Kilcummin and Killannin. MacConraoi's eldest cadet was Ó hÉanaí, or Heeney, and he ruled Gnó Beag, made up of the civil parishes of Rahoon and Moycullen. Loch Lonáin north of the village of Maigh Cuilin (Moycullen) and the Aille River between the villages of An Spidéal (Spiddal) and Indreabháin (Inverin) are the principal features which mark the divide between Gnó Mór and Gnó Beag.[3] All four parishes were combined into the barony of Moycullen (distinct from the parish) soon after the Cambro-Norman invasion.

In time, a large portion of the clan, including the chiefs, migrated west to the barony of Ballynahinch, where their seat became Ballymaconry (later Kingstown Glebe, though now the more ancient name is used) in Connemara along Streamstown Bay near Clifden, and they had another, Ballyconry in Co. Clare in the barony of Ballyvaghan. By the 19th century, almost all members of the family had Anglicized their name to King and Ballymaconry became Kingstown. In the early 20th century, styles changed and the family used the Anglicization "Conroy".

The MacConroys were counted among the sea-kings of Connacht, the others being the O'Malleys, the O'Dowds, and the O'Flahertys.

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References[edit]

  • Medieval Ireland: Territorial, Political and Economic Divisions, Paul MacCotter, Four Courts Press, 2008, pp. 140–141. ISBN 978-1-84682-098-4