Conor MacDonogh O'Brien

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Conor MacDonogh O'Brien

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Lemaneagh Castle, County Clare, Ireland
Death: Died in Lemaneagh Castle, County Clare, Ireland
Cause of death: Killed in a killed in a skirmish with Ludlow's army (Cromwell)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Donough MacConor of Lemeneagh O'Brien and Honora O'Brien
Husband of Máire Rúa (Red Mary) O'Brien
Father of Honora O'Brien; Sir Donat O’Brien, 1st Baronet O'Brien of Lemeneagh and Dromoland; Mary O'Brien and Tiege O'Brien

Managed by: John Peter Cowley
Last Updated:

About Conor MacDonogh O'Brien

Conor O'Brien was born in 1617. He died in 1651, killed in action against Cromwell's armies, and died in Lemaneagh Castle, County Clare, Ireland.

Parents: son of Donogh O'Brien D: 1635 and Honora Wingfield.

Married:

  1. Oct 1639 to Maire Rua (Maire ni Mahon) (abt. 1615-1686). She was the daughter of Turlough MacMahon.

Children of Conor O'Brien and Maire ni Mahon:

  1. Donough (or Donat) O'Brien, 1st. Baronet Leamaneh+ d. 1676 m. Lucia Hamilton
  2. Teige
  3. Turlough
  4. Murrough
  5. Honora
  6. Mary
  7. unknown daughter # 1 - may have died of the plague ca 1651
  8. unknown daughter # 2 - may have died of the plague ca 1651

LLéim an Eich or Fheidh - Leap of the horse or deer

Lemaneagh Castle, County Clare

The magnificent ruins of the great O'Brien stronghold of Lemaneagh stand on the fringe of that limestone wilderness known as the Burren. It is a lonely place, some call it bleak, and perhaps a surprising location for a splendid four-storey, high-gabled, early 17th-century mansion. The early part of the building at the east end is, by contrast, a rather grim fivestorey tower.

The earliest mention of the castle is in 1550 when the property was granted to Donough O'Brien, who was hanged in 1582. In the 1630s Conor O'Brien inherited the land and built the manor house on to the original tower.

Lemaneagh manor house was built for comfort with large windows to let in both light and air, extensive walled gardens, a summer house and fish pond. In addition to improving the house, he surround it with a fortified wall and an impressive front gate. The high and rounded entrance gate held an inscription that said "built in the year 1643 by Conor O'Brien and by Mary ni Mahon, wife of the said Connor." On either side hung the coat of arms belonging to Conor O'Brien 1643, and his son Sir Donat O'Brien 1690.

Maire Rua "Red Mary"

Conor O'Brien's wife was red haired Maire Rua. (Maire ni Mahon - daughter of Turlough MacMahon). She is said to have gone with her husband on raids against English settlers. Conor O'Brien was killed in 1651 while fighting against Cromwell's loyalists. Maire then married a Cromwellian soldier to preserve her son's inheritance. She was indicted for murdering this husband, John Cooper, but was acquitted. Maire Rua (Red Mary) died in 1686.

There are many tales about the formidable Maire Rua. It is said that she hung her disobedient men servants by the necks and her maids by the hair from the castle's corbels and used to accompany her husband on raids upon English settlers. When Conor was mortally wounded in a skirmish with Ludlow's army in 1651, she is said to have refused to open the gates to receive her stricken husband, declaring "We need no dead men here", but having found that he was still alive nursed him until his death a few hours later.

It was her son, Sir Donat O'Brien, who improved the property. In addition to work on the gardens, a canal was added and the carriage drive lined with trees. In 1705 Sir Donat left Lemaneagh Castle for Dromoland, ancient stronghold of the O'Breins. He took with him a fine stone fireplace and the impressive gate which now rests in the garden of Dromoland. After he left Lemaneagh Castle fell into ruins.

Of the many stories that surround the property, one is of a particular area near the fish pond. Inset into an entrance to a walled garden are 2 niches. Legend has it that they were built for a blind stallion belonging to Maire Rua. He was supposed to be so wild that when let free in the yard, his grooms had to jump up into the niches to keep from being trampled.

Another more haunting tale is that the famous Maire Rua roams along the front avenue, near what is known as the Druids' altar.

Ancestry

This family, one of the few native Irish houses now to be found in the peerage, is descended in an unbroken male line from Brian Boru, Prince of Thomond (North Munster), and chief of the Dalgais. Brian Boru became Supreme Monarch of Ireland in 1002. Brian was slain in battle at the decisive victory of the Irish over the Danes at Clontarf, on Good Friday 23rd April 1014. To this king, from whom the family take their name, succeeded a long line of kings and princes, which came to an end as a reigning dynasty at the death of Conor, King of Thomond in 1528.

The O'Brien Line of Conor O'Brien, Chief of the Name

There is some overlap with the Barons Inchiquin; those people are marked off in bold.

  1. Murrough an Taniste O'Brien, d. 1551.
  2. Donough O'Brien 29 Sep 1582
  3. Conor O'Brien d. 1603
  4. Donough O'Brien, d. 1635
  5. Conor O'Brien, 1617–1651
  6. Donough O'Brien, 1642–1717
  7. Lucius O'Brien, 1675–1717
  8. Edward O'Brien, 1705–1765
  9. Lucius O'Brien, 1731–1795
  10. Edward O'Brien, 1773–1837
  11. Lucius O'Brien, 1800–1872
  12. Edward O'Brien, 1839–1900
  13. Lucius O'Brien, 1864–1929
  14. Fionn O'Brien, 1903–1977
  15. Conor Myles John O'Brien, b. 1943

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Conor MacDonogh O'Brien's Timeline

1617
1617
Lemaneagh Castle, County Clare, Ireland
1639
1639
Age 22
1641
1641
Age 24
1642
1642
Age 25
County Clare, Munster, Ireland
1648
1648
Age 31
Clare, Munster, Ireland
1650
1650
Age 33
1651
1651
Age 34
Lemaneagh Castle, County Clare, Ireland
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