Ó Maolconaire

Ó Maolconaire, more properly Ó Maol Chonaire, sometimes Ó Mhaoilchonaire, Ó Maolchonaire, etc..., was the surname of a family of professional poets and historians in Medieval Ireland. Traditionally it would have been spelled without the 'h', but with a dot over the 'c', either of which indicate an aspirant. In a period prior to the surrender of the Ó Conchubhair Donn and the other Connacht chieftains, it was Anglicised O'Mulconry, however the family was required to drop the national prefixes as part of the terms of surrender. Specific families, particularly the educators were systematically targeted, as part of the plot to destroy the Irish culture and language, as well as the Catholic religion. This can add great confusion to researchers of this important literary and religious family. It is now rendered most commonly Conry, sometimes Conroy, possibly sometimes King. There are many distinct groups of Conroys, some of whom also, though less commonly, use Conry, which are Anglicisations of disparate Irish Gaelic names.


A bardic family descended from Maine of Tethba, based in County Roscommon in Connacht, many Ó Maol Chonaire's were successive Ollamh Síl Muireadaigh to the Síol Muireadaigh and other Irish dynastys from the 12th to 17th centuries. Their principal seat was at Cluaine na-hOidhche near Strokestown and their primary patron the Ó Conchobhair Donn, but they also served the McDermot Kings of Magh Luirg, among many of the other principal chieftains of the Síol Muireadaigh, as well as various other dynasties throughout Ireland. As chiefly historians and poets of the royal variety, they had immense land holdings on account of their profession. In Gaelic Ireland the filídh and séanachie were held in high esteem, with the Ollamh considered to be of equal stature to the Ard-Rí.


Among their principal surviving works are the Annals of Connacht, which covers the years 1224 to 1544. Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire was one of the "four masters" who were credited with compiling the Annals of the Four Masters. The family were also responsible for the literary manuscript now known as 23 N 10, and Egerton 1782.

Students of the family included John de Burgh (Archbishop), Archbishop of Tuam. In a much later period, William J. Higgins, Speaker of the Newfoundland House of Assembly, and leader of the Liberal-Labour-Progressive Party, was the student, law partner and protegé of Charles O'Neill Conroy, only son of James Gervé Conroy.

Flaithri Ó Maolconaire, also Florence Conry (Conroy, O'Mulconry), Irish Franciscan and theologian, founder of the College St. Anthony at Louvain, and Archbishop of Tuam.

Ollamh Síol Muireadaigh

Ó Maolconaire's in the Annals

later descendants of the Ó Maol Chonaires


From 180.7, pp. 402–03, Leabhar na nGenealach, volume I.


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