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Clann Aodha Buidhe  (Irish)
of Clandeboye
Coat of arms
O'Neill of Clandeboye c. 1500
O'Neill of Clandeboye c. 1500
Common languagesIrish
GovernmentElective monarchy
King / Chief 
• 1295-1347
Henry O'Neill (first)
• 1618
Con O'Neill (last)
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Earldom of Ulster
Kingdom of Ireland
Today part of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Clandeboye or Clannaboy (from Irish Clann Aodha Buí, "family of Hugh the Blond") was a kingdom of Gaelic Ireland, comprising what is now south County Antrim, north County Down, and the barony of Loughinsholin, Northern Ireland. The entity was relatively late in appearance and is associated partly with the Gaelic resurgence of the High Middle Ages. The O'Neill Clandeboy (Ó Néill Clann Aodha Buidhe) who reigned in the territory descended from Hugh Boy O'Neill, a king of Tyrone. His descendants took advantage of the demise of the Earldom of Ulster during the latter 14th century and seized vast portions of territory. Clandeboye's main seats of power were Shane's Castle and Castle Reagh.

The kingdom came to an end at the dawn of the 17th century after Con O'Neill, the last head of the Clandeboye O'Neills of Upper Clandeboye, signed away two-thirds of his land to his close associates Hugh Montgomery and James Hamilton who proceeded to privately settle their land with settlers from Great Britain just prior to the larger Plantation of Ulster. Con died in 1618. James Hamilton became the first Viscount Claneboye in 1622.


The spelling of the name has varied over the years, and had been written variously as Clandeboye, Claneboye, Clandyboy, Clannaboy, and Clanaboy. Clandeboye has also been adopted as the name of an electoral ward of North Down Borough Council. It has survived as a geographical location in modern times as an area of Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland.

Kings and lords of Clandeboye[edit]

Below is a list of the chiefs of the Clandeboy O'Neills:[1]

  • Aedh Buidhe (Hugh the Blond) O'Neill, King of Tír Eóghain (1260 – 1283).


  • Conn (Constantine) of Edenduffcarrick (d. 1482)
  • Niall Mor O'Neill, King of Ulster (c. 1440 – d. 1512)
  • Brian Ballagh (Bernard the Freckled) O'Neill (1524 – 1529)
  • Hugh O'Neill (d. 1524)
  • Niall Oge O'Neill (d. 1537)
  • Murtagh Dulenach O'Neill (c. 1500 – bef 1567)

English recognised chiefs along the junior line of Phelim Baccagh O'Neill (1484 - 1559), son of Niall Mor O'Neill, and ancestor of the Lords O'Neill of Shane's Castle:

  • Sir Brian MacPhelim O'Neill (1540 - 1575)
  • Shane MacBrian O'Neill (c. 1560 - d. 1617), last chief of lower Clandeboye

Hereditary chiefs along the senior line:

  • Murtagh O'Neill (c. 1530 –)
  • Donal (Daniel) O'Neill (c. 1560 –)
  • Conn (Constantine) Boy O'Neill (c. 1590 – c. 1618), last chief of upper Clandeboye
  • Felix O'Neill
  • Ever O'Neill (c. 1625 – bef 1689)

The estates of Edenduffcarrick passed to the son of Shane MacBrian O'Neill, Sir Henry O'Neill, who obtained patents for them from King James I.


See also[edit]



Oxford Concise Companion to Irish Literature, Robert Welsh, 1996. ISBN 0-19-280080-9

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°38′31″N 5°43′01″W / 54.642°N 5.717°W / 54.642; -5.717