Talk:Ímar Ua Donnubáin

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You may want to point out that there is considerable disagreement as to whether Imhar was the second son of Cathal. That assertion is the work of John Collins, which is not consistent with primary genaology writers, and whom is repeatedly denigrated by John O'Donovan as being without support.

Generally speaking, there were four authors credited with provising genealogies on the O'Donovans in the 1200-1400 time period: Peregrine Clery, writing in 1632; Duald Mac Firbis, writing in 1650; Geofrey Keating, writing in the 1500's, and Eugene O'Keefe, writing in 1703. John O'Donovan added a considerable amount of information (much of which was his own speculation), and the work of John Collins, who had the "unpublished manuscript", is generally regarded as without any verifiable resources.

The genealogies of Crom/Cathal of the four writers above do not list an Imhar as being a second son of Cathal.

The Annals of Innisfallen note in 1283:

AI1283.6 The son of Gilla Riabach Ó Donnubáin was slain by Gilla Mo-Chudu, son of In Dubshúilech Ó Súilliubáin. AI1283.7 The son of Echthigern Ó Donnubáin was slain by Siucraid, son of Gilla [na] Flann Ó Súilliubáin.

All of the reference materials in the Appendix to the Annals of the Four Master for this individual, which is the apparent source of the writings for your article, trace back to John Collins, whose work nobody could see or verify.

I do agree that the age of Imhar in 1284 is within an acceptable range to make him a son of Cathal: Ancrom, slain in 1254. Chief. Cathal, his son, was of age in 1254, so assume he is at least 25. In that case, Imhar, his son, could have been about 30 in 1283.

I for one, do not beleive the presentations of John O'Donovan, or John Collins, on the clan location or activties in 1283, for the following reasons (I just happened to be doing some additional reseach tonight when I saw your artcile, so please bear with me.)

John O'Donovan moved the entire O'Donovan clan, I believe, into Cork, by his justaposition of where Ancrom was killed. John O'Donovan notes that Ancrom was killed at " Inish an bheil, now Pheale, near Inishkeen, in County Cork". BY this entry alone, he supports the migration of the clan between 1169 and 1254 down into Cork.

The actual language from MAC CARTHAIGH'S BOOK, was Fínghin Reanna Róin son of Domhnall God Cairbreach [Mac Carthaigh] and the Uí Dhonnabháin killed Mac Craith son of Diarmaid son of Donnchadh na hImirce Timchill [Ó Mathghamhna] in retribution for the slaying of An Crom [Ó Donnabháin] at Inis Béil Átha Dos by the Uí Eachach, about a cowherds' brawl.

There are several points worth noting - Canon Mahoney, in his discourses on the Mahoney's could never figure out what the Mahoney's were doing in that area; he thought they were coming back from a jounrey to put them so far outside their territory as to be down into that area of Cork when a fight happens over a cowherd. The simple answer is, they weren't there.

If you look at a map for Broadford- Dromcollogher, you will see it is smack in the middle of the historical territories of the Ui Fidghente / Uí Chairpri. Broadford was formerly known as the parish of Killaliathan or Killagholehane. Broadford was originally called Béal an Átha which means "the ford mouth".

In 1254, Ancrom was still in his original territory, which bordered the Mahoney's and would certainly explain the conflict over a cowherd. (By misplacing this event, John O'Donovans moves the O'Donovan clan into Cork thrity years before they actually split and moved there)

In 1283, the O'Donovans split into distinct septs.

Domnall, son of Domnall Cairprech, and others of the Uí Chairpri made a treacherous plot against Domnall Mac Carthaig, king of Desmumu. The king obtained certain knowledge of it, and made a hosting which included the principal foreigners of Ireland, viz. Thomas de Clare, Maurice, son of Maurice, and Thomas, son of Maurice, John de Barry, the Roches, Condons, and many other foreigners, as well as the army of Desmumu itself. And the Clann Shelbaig abandoned(?) the stronghold of the Uí Chairpri and of the sons of Domnall Cairprech, and fled into In Fonn Iartharach and into Crecán Sifne and Béirre, and to every place they could throughout Desmumu, and the foreigners, moreover, obtained neither preys nor spoils. The king made a compact with all those great foreigners concerning the cattle of Uí Chairpri, and he obtained on his own lands their herds and steeds. And to many of those whom he plundered he gave, though he was not bound to, some of his cattle and livestock. And the same Domnall Óc, son of Domnall Cairprech, and all the people of the Uí Chairpri accompanying him, departed(?). Immediately after that the king caused great migrations into the borders of Clann Shelbaig on every side, so that famine well nigh killed all the Uí Chairpri who accompanied Domnall Óc and his kinsmen, and their wives and underlings went to every place they could, to obtain food.

From this, it is clear the clan split - some went with Domnall Oc, (and ultimately, became the MacCarthy ruling septs of MacCarthy Reagh) and some did not. Those that did not, he gave some cows and livestock, and they stayed in the territories of what becase the lands of the Earls of Desmond and the Earls of Kildare. There are a number of O'Donovans that never left their Fidghente territories, which John O'Donovan took great pains to ignore. Clearly, if the victors were carving up the castles of the Chairpri with the foreigners, the O'Donovans had to be there in 1283, not down in Cork.

But, with the migration arising from the clan split, some O'Donovans went south, and the taking of new territories in the Skibereen and southwest area of Cork put them into conflicts with those holding those territories - the O'Sullivans. And hence, in 1283, after the clan split, you see the two citations for the conflicts with the O'Sullivans, and two O'Donovans were slain.

Whether those two were directly related to Cathal, is unknown. Collins is a weak reference, because he wrote without any citing any support or authority. A number of the families/researchers have tried to get their hands on his manuscript for more than a hundred years, to no avail. John Collins wrote for General Richard O'Donovan, who only wanted to hear some things, and not others. There is no doubt O'Collins embellished, and even John O'Donovan was frustrated. So, in the end, I would recommend two things:

Note that a writer (Collins) believed Imhar was a son of Cathal, but there is not additional evidence of that. And, two, where did you get the reference for his hobbies? Some of that was quite a surprise. Your articles tend to end up going into a billion other web crawlers that cite them as fact, so if there is something without fact, it won't be possible to eliminate it from the web libraries later on. We've been trying for a hundred and fifty years to fix O'Hart's writings, so I know something about undoing errenoeous information. Modonovan (talk) 08:29, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I've recently emailed a little with Brian at Trinity and although we haven't discussed Iomhar he has said that Kenneth Nicholls told him that Collins was using other sources and preserved some valuable material. Also if you check at the NLI you'll see that one or two O'Donovan pedigrees done by one or another Collins actually survive.[1][2] It seems there were two Collins, the first doing a commission for Clanloughlin/Ballymore in the 18th century, his work ending up in the hands of Collins II in the 19th, and probably used in part for the one for General Richard. I have found references in small snippets of the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, which I do not have access to, to the Collins II pedigree still being extant in the early 20th century. But it now seems to have gone missing. If you have access to that journal then check the years maybe from 1917 to 1922. I have not seen the ones at NLI because I live in a rural area in the United States.
Concerning Iomhar, obviously it is possible or likely that he and Gilla Riabach were not the same person. And yet we're faced with the fact that we have this historical maritime sept on the western side of Glandore who were called the Sliocht Iomhair and who were definitely considered family. Somehow alive or dead they became celebrities.
There are several possibilities. Maybe we are simply dealing with some remnant from Limerick or Waterford of the Ui Imair themselves, trying to remain distinct. This is more or less supportable and an academic argument can be made. They were family too (of the O'Donovans). In fact I have considered writing a paper on the subject. Alternatively Iomhar is simply attached in the wrong place. Maybe he was a son of Gilla Riabach and we should be reading it Iomhar mac Gilla Riabhaig or whatever. Finally I personally am not confident in O Murchadha's reading of Maol Iosa mac Iomhair. The corrupted form given in his Norman source, which he provides himself, is Molise O Donovan M'chekyr. That looks to me like it should be Maol Iosa mac Echthigeirn. So now we possibly have no contemporary references to Iomhar. Concerning his other "activities" like necromancy I'm just saying what John O'Donovan says.
That long passage you quote above from the Annals of Inisfallen I have seen before. It is quite confusing and it is uncertain the Ui Donnubain are actually meant. But you are mistaken about O'Donovan moving much of the sept to Cork because of An Crom. If you check his notes in the AFM main text you'll find that we are talking 1201 or before because of Amlaíb Ua Donnubáin. Olaf is also the very last known king of Carbery and both the Annals of Inisfallen and Mac Carthaigh's book are careful to style him ri. From 1201 it's all downhill and the royal sept lose a lot of sovereignty. Going back a little, we can be fairly certain from both the sagas, Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib and Caithréim Chellacháin Chaisil, that the Ui Cairpre and Ui Donnubain were still among the stronger powers in Munster into the 12th century. Later Ui Briain redactors appear to have edited the Ui Donnubain out of the Annals of Inisfallen until 1201, probably because efforts to achieve their submission were unsuccessful. In CGG the major territorial gains made by the Ui Donnubain the author refers to may or may not belong to the 10th century and can be argued to have been later, in spite of Ui Briain successes at the national level. The account in CCC is also quite telling because the MacCarthys (Cellachan) actually need reinforcements to defeat the O'Donovans (Uainide mac Cathail)! Fast forwarding, I don't know so much about the O'Sullivans but despite pleas to the contrary they probably moved south before the O'Donovans. Perhaps we are looking at an unsuccessful O'Donovan attempt to penetrate into Beare. DinDraithou (talk) 18:13, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

This issue we all run into is which documents can be relied upon, and to what extent. It is my understanding that Brian has the original John O'Donovan manuscripts, so he will always be a very good source of information. And, Ken Nicholls is the preeminent scholar on all these matters. For myself, I place very little reliance on CCC, as it was certainly an O'Brian propoganda piece written two hundred years after the fact.

As to Amlaíb Ua Donnubáin getting whacked in 1201, there was a bit of contraversy on the location of that event. O'Brian, O'Connor and MacCarthy came against him, and those forces were still to the north or adjacent to the Ui Cairbre historical territory in the north, before they moved south. I'll check all my files, but I remember a complaint (and it may have been in a Nicholls work) that John O'Donovan slightly mis-translated that passaage, and placed the event at Cenn Eich, rather than describing the opoosing forces as traveling there after the event. When you talk to the various families still in Ireland on this subject, some are quite adamant their family never moved south, and there is a considerable "debate" on some of these matters. Being in the US, it's sometimes hard to fathom the level of agitation on this subject that still exists in person in Ireland, but the agitation is considerable amoungest some of the family researchers (and that there are six families that claim the senior descent, but that is a whole 'nother fight which I will stay out of...)

I agree with you regarding the Waterford presence. Cearly, the Ui Imair were in Waterford, and the death of A Donovan in 996 there was cearly a son or newphew of the Limerick group. But, beyond that, I have not been able find a lineage in that area. Brian will continue to remain the best resource on that subject and area.

As to what happended to the Imair, from what I have gathered, is that after the Battle of Clontarf, they did not leave, but regrouped and migrated a bit south. The O'Donovans were still at Croom (Cromadh) in 1151 (M1151.18 A great predatory excursion was made by Ruaidhri, son of Toirdhealbhach Ua Conchobhair, into Thomond; and he carried away many cows, and burned Cromadh.) This was three years after beating on the Danes at nearby Rathmore (about three miles away from Croom) (In 1148 A.D., the King of Munster, Turlough O'Brien, defeated the Danes at the nearby fort of Rathmore.) So, at least at that point in time, and given the O'Donovans' extensive involvement and alliances with the Danes, we still see them together and both getting beat on in the Croom area around 1150 by the O'Brians. Whether the Danes were able to stay together in a recognizable clan form until 1284 is uncertain. We both recognize that the Cairbre/ O'Donovans carried Danish names for three hundred years after Donovan was slain in 977, and so the Ivar name by iteself does not convince me there was a separate sept; it could just have been he was a son of Gilla the Swarthy. It's not likely we will every know.

Also, I'm not sure where that other Collins manuscript is. One of my ancestors tried to get his hands on it circa 1910, and he had no luck even then, and he was pretty persistent in his efforts. If all the manuscripts in the Skibereen area ever see the light of day, maybe it will appear. Most of the Journal excerpts came from John O'Donovan's writing, and he would quote the manuscripts, so even referencing the Journal articles may not reveal what was contained in the manuscripts. However, it has been my experience that more and more materials continue to become available online, so maybe it will aappear.

I think there will still be considerable discussion on how much of, and when, the clan moved south, and whether it was 1169 or 1283. Some of the O'Donovans I spoke to are adamant their family moved in 1250 (not 1169, not 1283), and they have their family histories, etc. Based on my reading of the 1283 entry, I have an opinion, but others hold other opinions. From what I see, people argue their points to support their place in the "senior descent", and John O'Donovan certainly had an objective there. Your the beneficiary of his reasoning, recognizing of course that he changed his tune over the years from claiming he was the senior descendent under Donal I to the descendent of tenth (unnamed) son of Donal I. That is worthy of its own article, but only those interested in yapping at his work (i.e those six familes...) would care.

Thanks for your efforts. If you want access to my library, collected over 25 years, let me know. Some of the books (Letters of Florence McCarthy, Gleanings from History, Pacata Hiberna, etc are not online yet, and the Gleanings book would be of huge benefit if you are writing on your specific line.

```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by Modonovan (talkcontribs) 05:55, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you. That's a very kind offer. I nearly ordered a copy of the Life and Letters of Florence MacCarthy a few months ago, in fact the only perfect reprint available in the world, but ended up ordering a pair of Armani pants instead and ran out of money. Florence and Donal II had a history, which after beginning well seems to have degenerated into D.II helping himself to some of the prince's estates while he was imprisoned in the Tower. He seems to have helped himself to rather lots of other people's estates and made himself overlord of maybe a third of Carbery following the war. By the beginning of the next the family were nearly as strong as the MacCarthys Reagh themselves. Donal II is in my pedigree, and by some accident so are his son Teige and grandson Murrough, who of course give us the sept of our modern Captains. My paternal grandmother was a descendant of Murrough's fifth son Richard. Technically I'm not an O'Donovan but since she made a very bad mistake (which I won't discuss) it has become my primary lineage by default. But I understand Irish custom and have not used the name legally, only for the occasional informal purpose. Butler I would certainly love to read as well because he discusses the family quite positively in his article "The Barony of Carbery".[3] Pacata Hibernia is now online and I have linked to a couple of editions in Donal II's article. He would appear to be one of the best documented Gaelic lords of his era, popping up in just about every concerned source there is to find, and then some.
That's interesting about the northern septs. It's extremely unfortunate the sources aren't better. Those for County Limerick are particularly limited. We can be fairly certain the family were still trying to hold onto Croom in the late 12th or even early 13th century, which I have discussed at Croom Castle, objectively criticizing the claims of "my" own sept. Looking at it now I think I will come up with a way to change it to say "some of the family leadership". I have also encountered references to an old local tale or two in Bruree and possibly elsehwere about the O'Donovans, each involving princesses from what I can recall. Strangely as obsessed with Bruree as Dr. John was the family are nowhere associated with it in any surviving reliable source. In fact it was probably in Ui Chonaill by that time, for which see Paul MacCotter's Medieval Ireland: Territorial, Political and Economic Divisions (2008). The O'Donovans originally come from northeastern Ui Fidgenti/County Limerick and our territory looks like it once included some of western Tipperary too. See Donnubán_mac_Cathail#Territory. When we first got our half-breed paws on Croom and some of the Maigue is far from clear, but it was certainly by the early 12th century.
I didn't know about that tradition the O'Briens won a battle against the Danes at Rathmore in 1148. This is not recorded in the annals but of course many of them are lacunose for these years, most importantly AI, so who really knows. You have inspired me to look for Cromad in the annals and this will help improve the article on Croom Castle, for which we also need a picture. I have already found Croom reported "plundered and consumed" by O'Conor in 1132 in the Annals of Tigernach.[4] CELT have just put up a new translation by Gearóid Mac Niocaill.
Back to Iomhar, I agree we'll never know (for sure). But there is at least one more important pedigree left that Brian and I have discussed. This is the Lambeth Palace one done by Sir George Carew on the Carbery sept. John O'Donovan used it but doesn't give us much of a picture of it. Carew recorded additional members of the family who appear nowhere else. Brian has said it would be interesting to look at. Assuming it still survives and depending on how long it is it could cost one of us some money to have it copied, but I think all these should be checked first in case one of them happens to be a copy itself.[5] Maybe Iomhar will turn up somewhere other than Collins or a derivative. DinDraithou (talk) 03:42, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
UPDATE. So I've gone ahead and corrected that. I understand the northern septs must feel some frustration. Also it has occurred to me that the author of the treatise attempting to convince the world the Carbery sept really belong to the Corcu Loigde was pretty well misled by John O'Donovan's conjecture.[6] In fact the heavy occurrence of Norse names in the sept, in otherwise purely Gaelic Carbery, might suggest that a substantial number were really Norse or Norse-Irish people who needed a Gaelic lineage to be able to thrive as magnates. This is known to have happened in Scotland with the great Clann Somhairle, who incidentally are probably distant relatives of the O'Donovans through the Ui Imair. A major problem with the Corcu Loigde theory is that it does not follow Mac Firbis' Law among others. There were never many of the Ua Donnamhain to begin with and the circumstances are all wrong. Simply claiming to belong to the Ui Fidgenti would not have done them any good, since the Corcu Loigde were highly respected. The major additional element in the Carbery sept is clearly Norse. Some of it surely comes from the old Limerick families who moved inland and eventually became assimilated, probably becoming totally indistinguishable from the "real" Ui Donnubain by the end of the 13th century. But Waterford appears to have made its own contribution, because not only do we have the 10th century contact and intermarriage, we have the later very prominent occurrence of the name Ragnall, the principal Waterford name, among the Carbery O'Donovans. It's a dead giveaway. The new O'Donovan territories in Carbery, especially Glandore, have all the appearance of having become a haven for the Norse-Irish of Munster. They already knew the coast well and it was only a matter of finding a safe home. After initially receiving preferential treatment and various promises of rights from the Normans, the Norse-Irish soon found themselves treated quite badly. Since they were urbanites their options were very few and I imagine they would have depended greatly on friendly Gaelic families to settle them. DinDraithou (talk) 17:49, 4 December 2010 (UTC)