Ó Conchubhair
Parent house Uí Briúin Ai / Síl Muiredaig
Country Ireland
Founded AD 74
Founder Conchobar mac Taidg Mór
Current head Desmond O'Connor Don
Final ruler Fedlim Geancach Ó Conchobair

O'Conor (Middle Irish: Ó Conchubhair; Modern Irish: Ó Conchúir, also anglicised as O'Connor), is an Irish princely and noble family of Gaelic origin, whose line included the historic Kings of Connacht and the last High Kings of Ireland. The family seat is Clonalis House outside Castlerea in County Roscommon.

The current O'Connor Don is Desmond O'Connor Don (b. 22 September 1938) who lives in Rotherfield, East Sussex in England.[1]


The Ó Conchubhair Donn is the head of a lineage which provided about one hundred Kings of Connacht, thirty Chiefs of the Name and two High Kings of Ireland, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (1088–1156), and his son Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair (c. 1115–1198), the last High King.

The O'Connor family can trace their lineage back to the 5th century without dispute. Some medieval accounts suggest descent from the Milesian kings, whose pedigree was claimed to lead to Japheth the son of Noah, ten generations from the Biblical Adam.

During the late 14th century, the Ó Conchubhair dynasty grouped into two main divisions, one led by Toirdealbhach Ruadh, the other by Toirdealbhach Óg (also called Toirdealbhach Donn), both in the seventh generation of descent from Cathal Crobhderg. From these descended the families of Ó Conchubhair Ruadh (now extinct) and Ó Conchubhair Donn.

One of Ireland's pre-eminent 19th-century historians, John O'Donovan, once said of the O'Conor's that "No family in Ireland claims greater antiquity and no family in Europe, royal or noble, can trace its descent through so many generations of legitimate ancestors."[2]


The clan name originated in the 10th century as a derivative of its founder Conchobar mac Taidg Mór. The family contributed to Irish society in art, history, language, politics, diplomacy, and other areas before, during and after foreign rule in Ireland. They descend in the paternal line from the Connachta's Uí Briúin Ai.

The O'Conor name has produced many other surnames, some of which are O'Connor, Connor, Conner, Conners, Connors. People of all of these names may still descend from Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, but many would descend from other O'Connor septs such as O'Connor offaly or O'Connor Kerry.

O'Conor Nash of Clonalis

On the death in 1981 of Rev. Charles O'Conor Don SJ, Clonalis House, the ancestral seat of the O'Conor Don family, passed to his sister Gertrude O'Conor Nash. Consequently, and not for the first time, the family title and family seat were separated. The O'Conor Nash family now reside at Clonalis House where they maintain the O'Conor archives.

Key figures

Kings of Connacht

Chiefs of the Name

  • Toirdhealbhach Óg Donn mac Aodha meic Toirdhealbhaigh, d. 9 December 1406.
  • Cathal mac Ruaidhri Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 19 March 1439.
  • Aodh mac Toirdhealbhaigh Óig Ó Conchobhair Donn, d.15 May 1461.
  • Feidhlimidh Geangcach mac Toirdhealbhaigh Óig Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1474 – last fully recognised King of Connacht.
  • Tadhg mac Eoghain Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1476.
  • Eoghan Caoch mac Feidhlimidh Gheangcaigh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1485.
  • Aodh Og mac Aodh Ó Conchobhair Donn
  • Toirdhealbhach Óg mac Ruaidhri Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1503
  • Conchobhar mac Eoghain Chaoich Ó Conchobhair Donn
  • Cairbre mac Eoghain Chaoich Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1546
  • Aodh mac Eoghain Chaoich Ó Conchobhair Donn, deposed 1550
  • Diarmaid mac Cairbre Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1585
  • Sir Hugh/Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1632
  • An Calbhach mac Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1654 – popularly inaugurated king in 1643.
  • Hugh Óg mac Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1662.
  • Andrew O'Conor Don of Clonalis
  • Dominick O'Conor Don of Clonalis, d. 1795
  • Alexander O'Conor Don, d. 1820
  • Owen O'Conor Don of Clonalis and Ballinagare, d.1831
  • Denis O'Conor Don of Clonalis, 1794–1847
  • Charles Owen O'Conor Don, 1838–1906
  • Denis Charles O'Conor Don, 1869–1917
  • Owen Phelim O'Conor Don, 1870–1943
  • Fr. Charles O'Conor Don, 1906–1981
  • Denis O'Conor Don, 1912 – 10 July 2000
  • Desmond O'Conor Don (Chairman of the British-Chile Chamber of Commerce, former banker, resides in Sussex), b.1938


See also



  1. Curley, W. Vanishing Kingdoms. Dublin. Lilliput Press.
  2. tales-from-the-big-house-rte/


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