Finnerty O'Finnerty Clans of Eire

Finnerty, O'Finnerty Clans of Ireland

Finnerty Monarchs




The Three Fionnachta Monarchs of Ireland

             There were three Monarchs of Ireland named Fionnachta, and one of these monarchs came from  each of three of the four sons of Milesius of Spain, and they came to Ireland and conquered it from the Tuatha de Danaan. One Monarch from the North [Uladh], one from the middle [Meath], and one from the South [Munster].  The sons who were ancestors of these Fionnachta monarchs were Heber, Ir, and Heremon; the son Amerghin the poet not leaving any issue.

 They were:


I. Finachta Fionn-sneachta [28th Monarch], also known as Fionnachta I, Elim, Finacta, Fin-shnechta, Feenaghta. The first Finnerty found in the Annals. 

Son of Ollamh Fodhla the 27th Monarch. ""In the year AM 3942.2. It was in the reign of Finnachta that snow fell with the taste of wine, which blackened the grass. From this the cognomen, Finnachta, adhered to him. Elim was his name at first." He died of the plague. His brothers were the 29th, 30th, and 31st Monarchs, and another brother was King of Uladh [Ulster]. He was descended from Ir, the son of Milesius of Spain. From his father's line came all of the historical and mythical characters of the Red Branch; Conal Cearnach, Cuchullain, Connor MacNessa and Fergus MacRoy.


II. Eiliomh, Elim I Oillfionnsheachta [36th Monarch of Ireland], also known as Eiliomh Ollfhionach, Éllim Ollfínsnechta, Feidhlimidh, i.e., a great bibber of wine. The 36th Monarch, was of the race of Heber, son of Milesius of Spain, whose descendants with few exceptions, became the Kings, Princes, and nobility of Munster. His grandfather Siorghnath Saoghalach [Sirna or Siorna] wrested the monarchy from the race of Ir where it had been for the reign of seven monarchs; and returned the monarchy to the descendants of Heber, son of Milesius of Spain. This was the race of the McCarthys, O'Briens, O'Sullivans, and O'Carrolls.

III. Fionnachta Fleadhach, also known as Finachta the Festive. This Finachtach was the 153rd Monarch, and began his reign in 673 AD. He gave his name to the Clann Finsnechtai, and the Moodys were descendants of this clan. Fionnachta was of the Sil Aeda Slaine named for his grandfather, the 141st monarch], and they were Southern Hy-Nialls, descending from Heremon the son of Milesius of Spain and Niall M'or, commonly called Niall of the Nine Hostages. After twenty years in the monarchy, he and his son Breasal were slain in battle by the two grandsons of two of his uncles.

Finachtach-Fleadach's nearest kin were the Coleman and Melaghlin Kings of Meath, who descended from Coleman M'or, a brother to his grandfather Aedh Slaine. Finachtach was the ancestor of Moody [O'Maolmodha], thought to be of King's County [Offaly]. The O'Maolmuaidh were Princes of Ferceall, comprising the present baronies of Ballycowen, Ballyboy, and Eglish or "Fercall," in the King's County. The people were called "Ua Mail Muaid."

Arms Moody: Azure a Chevron ermine between three pheons argent [silver/white].











Fionnachta Fleadhach was a strong king.  He lived in extremely troubling times as his distant Southern Hy-Niall cousins were very powerful and he was at constant warfare with them. There is more written about him in the Annals of Ireland than any other king.              What follows is about him.  He ruled Ireland for twenty years.

Saint  Adamnán, Abbot of Iona and King Finnachta



Adamán of Iona, Abbot (Adamnán, Aunan, Eunan) feast Day 23 September.

 Born in Drumhome, Donegal, Ireland, c. 624; died 704.  He was the 9th abbot of Iona (near present-day Argyll, Scotland), the monastery founded by Saint Columba in 563. Born c. 627, Adamnán became abbot c. 679.

At that time, abbots were members of the powerful Ui' Neill family, kings in Northern Ireland.  In Celtic monasteries there was a different method for dating Easter, a different tonsure. Conflict over practice came to a head when King Egfrith of North Umbria (Celtic) married a Kentish princess (English) and the Synod of Whitby followed in 664 to resolve the differences between the Celtic and English churches. The king was won over by the English, but the Columban factions remained unresolved until Adamnán used his diplomatic skills to convert the Columbans.

During this time he also established a law to protect women, children, and clergy from injury or participation in war ("Cai'n Adomnán" or "Law of the Innocents" (697)) and wrote the "Vita Columbae".  The "Vita Columbae" stresses Saint Columba's relationship with God and his fight against exploitation, carelessness, falsehood, and murder.

There is the saint of popular devotion of whom it is related: Sometimes it's okay to cry over spilled milk.

When Adamnán was just a young boy, he was walking along a country road carrying a large earthenware jar of milk on his back.  He walked slowly and carefully because the jar was full and he did not want to spill a single drop. He had collected it by going from house to house, for three older boys who were studying to be priests and had no time to beg for their food. 

Suddenly he heard the noise of horses galloping behind him, and he heard men talking and laughing. He saw at once that they were grand people.   Adamnán hid behind the bushes at the edge of the track so as to let the horsemen pass.  In spite of all his care, one of the horses brushed against him.  The jar rolled off his back, broke into pieces, and all the milk was spilled.  The angry young saint jumped up and shouted that they should at least replace the broken jar, which he had borrowed.  The men just rode on, and Adamnán tore after them. You'll have to get me some more milk, he yelled after them.  The men rode on, but looked around and saw the little boy still at the tail of the last horse!  Now one at least of that company was a good man at heart, only careless as men often are.

He reined in his horse and he said to the others, 'Let's hear what the lad has to say.'  Adamnan spoke up to them without fear, telling them they must get him another jar of milk because that jar had only been lent to him and I collected that milk, cupful by cupful, from many houses for the use of three poor students.'  When Finnachta, who would become high king of Ireland, heard his tale, he agreed that the boy was right. He sent to the palace for another jar of milk of equal size to be brought by chariot to them.

But the incident raised the curiosity of Finnachta about the way the poor scholars lived. While they waited for the milk, he asked many questions of Adamnán. Later Finnachta invited to his own house those three older boys for whom Adamnán had been running errands. He never forgot Adamnán, and when he became king of Ireland, he appointed Adamnán as abbot of a great monastery.

"In art, Saint Adamnán is depicted praying with the moon and seven stars near him. He may also be shown writing the life of Saint Columba (Roeder). He is the patron of Raphoe, which includes Donegal, Ireland.


Finachtach-Fleadach in the Annals of Ireland

  Coleman       Melaghlin  

 Finachtach-Fleadach’s distant cousins were the Coleman and Melaghlin Kings of Meath, who descended from Coleman M'or, a brother to his grandfather Aedh Slaine.  They eventually succeeded to the monarchy.  Finachtach  was the ancestor of Moody [O'Maolmodha], thought to be of King's County [Offaly].  The O'Maolmuaidh were Princes of Ferceall, comprising the present baronies of Ballycowen, Ballyboy, and Eglish or "Fercall," in the King's County.  The people were called "Ua Mail Muaid."

 Arms: Moody:  Azure a Chevron ermine between three pheons argent [silver/white].  A pheon is a spear head.

 Finnachta Fleadhach from the Annals of the Four Masters:

 Age of Christ 673.  After Ceannfaeladh [152nd Mon], son of Blathmac [150th Mon], son of Diarmaid, had been four years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain by Finnachta Fleadhach, in the battle of Aircealtair, at Tigh-Ua-Maine.

 Note: There is a place in the country of the Ui-Maine in Connaught called Ait-tighe Ua Maine, now called Attymany, situated in the parish of Cloonkeen-Kerill, barony of Tiaquin, in county Galway.  Ceannfaeladh was a Northern Hy-Niall, and Finachtach was a Southen Hy-Niall; both of the Race of Niall & Heremon.

Age of Christ 674.  The first year of Finnachta Fleadhach, son of Dunchadh, in the sovereignty over Ireland.  The destruction of Aileach Frigreinn, by Finnshneachta, son of Dunchadh. 

 Note:  The royal fort of Aileach was sometimes called Aileach Frigreinn, from Frigreann, the architect who built it.  This would be in north Ulster, east of Londonderry.

 Age of Christ 675.  The second year of Finnachta.  A battle [was fought] between Finnsneachta and the Leinstermen, by the side of Loch-Gabhair; and the battle was gained over the Leinstermen. 

 Note:  Loch-Gabhair. -- Now Loughgower, or Logore, near Sunhshaughlin, in the country of Meath.  Date given as 676 in Annals of  Ulster.

 Age of Christ 677.  The fourth year of Finachta.  the battle of Tailltin [was gained] by Finshneachta Fleadhach over Becc Boirche.

 Age of Christ 678.  The fifth year of Finachta.  Fianamhail, son of Maeltuile, King of Leinster, was mortally wounded by Foicseachan, [one] of his own people, at the instigation of Finshneachta Fleadhach.  Cathal the son of Raghallach [King of Conacht] died.

The Age of Christ, 678 .  The sixth year of Finshneachta.  St. Ciar, virgin, daughter of Duibrea, died on the 5th of January.

 The Age of Christ, 680 .  The seventh year of Finachta.  The battle of Rath-mor-Maighe-Line [was gained] over the Britons, wherein were slain Cathasach, son of Maelduin, chief of the Cruithni [Dal-Araidhe], and Ultan, son of Dicolla.

 The Age of Christ, 681.  The eighth year of Finachta.  Duncadh Muirisce, son of Maeldubh, King of Connaught, was slain.

 Note: Duncadh was Prince of Hy-Fiachrach-Muade; had been fostered in the territory of Muirisc, barony of Tireragh, Sligo.

 The Age of Christ, 682.  The ninth year of Finachta.  Loch nEathach was turned into blood.

 The Age of Christ, 683.  The tenth year of Finachta.  the devastation of Magh-Breagh, both churches and territories, by the Saxons, in the month of June precisely; and they carried off with them many hostages from every place which they left, throughout Magh-Breagh, together with many other spoils, and afterwards went to their ships.  Congal, son of Guaire, died.

 Note: Egfrid, King of the Northumbrians sent Berctus, his general, with an army to Ireland.  Magh Breagh is in East Meath; between Dublin and Drogheada, and between the Rivers Boyne and Liffey.

 The Age of Christ, 684.  The eleventh year of Finachta.  A mortality upon all animals in general, throughout the whole world, for the space of three years, so that there escaped not one out of the thousand of any kind of animals.  There was great frost in this year, so that the lakes and rivers of Ireland were frozen; and the sea between Ireland and Scotland was frozen, so that there was a communication between them on the ice.  Adamnan [Saint] went to Saxon-land, to request [a restoration] of the prisoners which the North saxons had carried off from Magh-Breagh the year before mentioned.  He obtained restoration of them, after having performed wonders and miracles before the hosts; and they afterwards gave him great honour and respect, together with a full restoration of everything he asked of them.

 The Age of Christ, 685.  The twelfth year of Finachta.  Finshneachta, the king, went on his pilgrimage. 


 The Age of Christ, 686.  The thirteenth year of Finachta.  St. Seghene, Bishop of Ard-Macha, died.  St. Cuthbert, Bishop of Fearna, in England, died.

 The Age of Christ, 687.  The fourteenth year of Finachta.  Congal, son of Maelduin, son of Aedh Beannan, King of West Munster, was slain.  Bran, son of Conall, King of Leinster, died.

 The Age of Christ, 688.  The fifteenth year of Finachta.  Fidhgellach, son of Flann, chief of Ui-Maine, [died].

 The Age of Christ, 689.  The sixteenth year of Finachta.  Fearghus, son of Lodan [Aedain], King of Ulidia, was slain by the Ui-Eachdhach [people of Iveagh].

 The Age of Christ, 690.  The seventeenth year of Finachta.  Bran Ua Faelain, King of Leinster, died.  A battle between the Osraighi and the Leinstermen, wherein Faelchar Ua Maelodhra was slain.  It rained a shower of blood in Leinster this year.  Butter was there also turned into lumps of gore and blood, so that it was manifest to all in general.  The wolf was heard speaking with human voice, which was horrific to all.

 Note: Annals of Clonmacnoise: A.D. 688.  It reigned [rained] Blood in Lynster this year; butter was turned into the colour of Blood; and a wolf was seen and heard speak with human voice. At the year 685 the Saxon Chronicle records that a shower of blood fell that year in Britain, and that the milk and butter were moreover turned into blood.  Annals of Tighernach:  At the year 693; blood flowed in streams for three days and three nights.

 The Age of Christ, 691.  The eighteenth year of Finachta.  Becfhola, bishop died.

 The Age of Christ, 692.  The nineteenth year of Finachta.  Cronan Beg, abbot of Cluain-mic-Nois, died on the 6th of April.

 The Age of Christ, 693.  The  twentieth year of Finachta.  After Finachta Fleadhach, son of Dunchadh, had been twenty years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he was slain by Aedh, son of Dluthach [his cousin], son of Ailill [his uncle], son of Aedh Slaine [his grandfather], chief of Feara-Cul [the barony of Kells in Meath], and Congalach, son of Conaing [his cousin], son of Congal [his uncle], son of Aedh Slaine, in a battle at Greallach-Dollaith [2 miles south of the town of Kells, in Meath].  Breasal, son of Finachta, also fell in this battle along with his father.


Finachta: Son of Dunchadh (Donnchadh, son of Aedh Slaine #141.  In 680 (Keating says 684), the battle of Rath Mor Maighe Line was gained over the Britons. In 683, the Annals note the devastation of Magh Breagh by the North Saxons of "Saxon Land." Keating says that, in 684, the British (a host of Egberthus, king of Sacsa) "plundered a large part of Ireland." In 684, the lakes and rivers of Ireland, and the sea between Ireland and Scotland, were frozen. There was a communication between Scotland and Ireland on the ice. There was "a great mortality of animals." Married to Conchend, the daughter of Congal Ceannfoda, King of Ulidia.  Slain by Aedh, son of Duithach, son of Ailill, son of Aedh Slaine #141, chief of Feara Cul, and Congalach, son of Conaing, son of Congal (Conaing), son of Aedh Slaine #141, at Grellach Dollaig, perhaps in Louth. Mac Niocaill: Finnechta Fledach, Southern Ui Neill †695.

Note: Slain by the sons of two of his cousins.


Finnerty Provincial Kings of Ireland



 Finshnechta Luibnighe-Sanctus Luimnigh, King of Connacht & Anchorite

 According to O’Hart in his book Irish Pedigrees, otherwise known as the Line and Stem of the Irish Nation; Fionnachta Luibhne called Sanctus Luimnigh, son of Tomaltaigh, son of Murghal, son of Inrachtach, son of Muiredach was the 33rd Christian King of Connacht. . 

He was descended from Heremon, son of Milesius of Spain.  Fionnachta was of the Siol Muiredach a branch of the Ui Bruin of Connacht, from which most of the kings of Connacht came. 

King Muiredach Muilleathan from whom the Siol Murry took their name was Fionnachta’s great-great-grandfather.  The Ui Bruin were named after Brian, the last pagan king of Connacht, and the eldest son of the Monarch of Ireland, Eochy Moyvaine.  Brian was a half-brother of Ireland’s most spectacular Monarch, Nial of the Nine Hostages. 

Some say Fionnachta ruled as King of Connacht from 843-848 AD.  He is said to have abdicated and entered religious life.  The only notice of him in the Annals of the Four Masters is:  “The Age of Christ 846.  Finsneachta Luibnighe, son of Tomaltach, King of Connaught, and who was afterwards an anchorite, died.” 

A foot-note says that Luibneach is a place on the borders of ancient Meath and Munster, where it is probable he was fostered. See Book of Lecan, folio 260 b. and Leabhar-na-g Ceart, page 10, note u.  The Annals of Ulster under the year 848 say: Finnechta of Luibnech, anchorite and formerly king of Connacht, died. 

From the following information which was found in the Onomasticon Goedelicum it appears that the King of Connacht, Fionnachta returned to Leinster where he set up his abode in Ui Cennsalaig [Hy Kinsley], on or near the hill of Formael, which appears to be a territory today known as Fermoyle, in which lies Limenagh or Luimneach Laigen otherwise known as “Little Limerick.” 

This place became known as Cell Fionnachta Luimnigh.    In Lbl. 908; he is called Sanctus Luimnigh, Chr. 148; in Four Masters and Annals Ulster he is calledFinshnechta Luibnighe; fiad Luibnide, Lct. 10; "Limenagh, otherwise Limericke, "granted to Sir L. Esmonde in 1618," Mm. 490; now Little Limerick opposite Sir T. Esmonde's hall door at Ballynastragh, Gorey; a townland and a churchyard on the slope of Limerick hill, which last is, I think, Sliab Luimnig; cf. "All the Mannor of Esmonde and all the lands of Lemenagh and Formoyle," Esmonde MSS., document of date 24 May, 1637. 

Note:  There is a town named Gorey [Guaire] in north Wexford, on the road south from Arklow to Ferns.  Fionnachta was king of Connacht during the reign of Malachy the First, a Monarch of the Southern Hy Niall.

Onomasticon Goedelicum

 Cil fhinnachta; in Luimneach Finnachta in Huaibh Deaga Móra, I. 108 a, col. 8;

Formael; a hill on the land given by King of Leinster to Dubthach maccu Lugir, Ll. 45 b, where the boundaries and features are described; al. Formaoil na bFian, in Hui Chionnsiolaigh, where Luimnioch Laighion now is, K. 147 b 1; .i. Limenagh, otherwise Limericke, Mm. 490; now Limerick or Little Limerick, opposite Sir. T. Esmonde's hall-door; Fermoyle and Cooletegart formed one townland. of 310 Irish acres of the Manor of Esmonde, Esmonde MSS.; Cooltegart is well known still.

Formael; between Senbotha and Abaind in Huibh Cennsellaig, where Fiandachta, King of Connacht, set up his abode, Lbl. 908; same as previous

Luimnech; al. Luimnech Laigen in Ui Cennsalaig, Keating History 147 b, Ods. 672, Chi.; L. i Laignib, I. 41 a; al. Luimnech Finnachta, Cell Fionnachta


Finactha Kings of Leinster




There were at least two Finnertys who were Kings of Leinster; the first being Findchada [Finnachta] son of Garrchon  who ruled in 485.  His son Froech ruled after him from 485 to  495.  The second King was Finsnechtae Cetharderc son of Cellach who ruled from 795 to 808.  Eight Kings of Leinster descended from Finsnechtae Cetharderc.

The Genealogy of these two Kings follow

Finsnechtae Cetharderc - King of Leinster 795 to 808 (son of Cellach macDunchada) 

Cathaír Már - King of Ireland & Leinster 120 to 123 (descendant of Cú Chorb)       Fiachu Ba hAiccid son of Cathaír Már [was not a king of Leinster]
Bressal Bélach  son of Fiachu Ba hAiccid - King of Leinster to 436

Garchu [Garrchon] son of Bressal Belach [may have been half king of Leinster]
Findchada [Finnachta] macGarrchon - King of Leinster to 485 (grandson of Bressal Belach)
Fróech macFindchada macGarrchon - King of Leinster 485 to 495 (son of Findchad)

 Froech appears to be the last king of Finnachta of Hui Garrchon’s line.



Ailill macDúnlainge - King of Leinster 527 to ?? (great grandson of Bressal Bélach noted above)
Cormac macAilill macDúnlainge - King of Leinster 567?? (son of Ailill)
Coirpre macCormac O'Dúnlainge - King of Leinster 5?? (son of Cormac)
Colmán Már macCoirpre O'Dúnlainge - King of Leinster 576?? (son of Coirpre)
Fáelán macColmáin Máir O'Dúnlainge - King of Leinster 633 to 666? (son of Colmán Már)
Bran Mutt macConaill O'Dúnlainge - King of Leinster 680 to 693 (g-son of Fáelán)
Murchad macBran Mutt O'Dúnlainge - King of Leinster 715? to 727 (son of Bran Mutt)
Dúnchad macMurchada O'Dúnlainge - King of Leinster 727 to 728 (son of Murchad macBran)
Cellach macDúnchada - King of Leinster 760 to 776 (son of Dúnchad macMurchada)
Ruaidrí macFáeláin - King of Leinster 776 to 785 (son of Fáelán macMurchada)
Finsnechtae Cetharderc - King of Leinster 795 to 808 (son of Cellach macDunchada) This King is noted for taking the kingship by burning his predecessor Bran [K.L.785-795] and his wife.  He was also known as Finerty, Finchada, Findchad, &etc.

 The following eight Kings, of Finsnectae’s line would rule after him.

Bran macFáelán O'Dúnchada - King of Leinster 834 to 838 (grandson of Finsnechtae)
Ruarc macBran O'Dúnchada - King of Leinster 854 to 862 (son of Bran macFáelán)
Muiredach macBran O'Dúnchada - King of Leinster 884 to 885 (son of Bran macFáelán)
Fáelán macMuiredach O'Dúnchada - King of Leinster 917 to 942 (son of Muiredach macBran mac Fáelán)
Lorcán macFáelán O'Dúnchada - King of Leinster 942 to 943 (son of Fáelán macMuiredach)
Cellach macFáelán O'Dúnchada - King of Leinster 958 to 966 (son of Fáelán macMuiredach)
Domnall Cláen macLorcán O'Dúnchada - King of Leinster 978 to 984 (son of Lorcán macFáelán)
Donnchad macDomnaill Cláen O'Dúnchada - King of Leinster 984 to 999 (deposed) (son of Domnall Cláen)  Note: This appears to be the last king of Finsnectae Cetharderc’s line.

Findachta, Prince of Aileach


  This Findachta was the son of Eugene or Eoghan, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, who is of the Line of Hermon.   I found no records of descendants of Findachta. Finachta' mother w2as Indorba a princess of Britain.  His brother Muireadach was a powerful king and was the ancestor of the Kings of Scotland. What follows is attributed to Findachta's father Eoghan m'or. 

Before the arrival of St. Patrick in Ireland, this Eoghan son of Niall the Great acquired the territory of Aileach, in Ulster, which in many centuries afterwards was called after him, Tir-Owen, or Owen's Territory.
     Eoghan, was baptized by Saint Patrick at the Royal Palace of Aileach in A.D. 442; and Ulster analyists claim it was the foot of his grandson Eochaidh, son of Fiachra, that was pierced by the crozier [Bachal Iosa] during the ceremony.  This same story is given to Aongus [Aeneas] the 1st Christian King of Munster.  It is said that, at this ceremony Saint Patrick consecrated the most ancient and celebrated seat of Kings.

     In the 13th century the Kingdom of Aileach ceased to be so called, and the designation Kingdom of Tir-Owen, in its stead was applied.  Sixteen of the Ard Righs or Monarchs of Ireland were princes or kings of Aileach -- descended from this Eugene or Owen.  Both the O'Neills and O'Loughlans/MacLoughland were descended from this Eoghan, and were kings and princes of Aileach.

     The Grianan of Aileach (also spelled Ailech; Irish: Grianán Ailigh) is a group of historic monuments in County Donegal, Ireland built on the hill of Grianán which is 244 metres high. Most writers have identified the site as being the great “royal fort” of Aileach. The main monument is that of an Iron Age stone fortress. It is generally accepted to be the seat of the Kingdom of Aileach although the true capital is now believed to lie further to the east. The kingdoms of Ulaidh and Kingdom of Oirialla were two subject kingdoms in the North under the general rule of Aileach.[dubious – discuss] Whatever its true status, the Grianán was a historical centre of culture and politics during the rule of early Irish chieftains (c. 800 BCE-1200 CE).

If you are a Finnerty from northeast Donnegal you could be a descendant of this Eoghan the father of a Finnerty, or you may be closely related to the McCartins of Loch Foyle.  You could be entitled to the basic shield of McCartin without embellishments occurring after the Anglo Norman occupation.

Eoghan had three brothers: Laeghaire, Conall-Crimthann and Maine, and  who were ancestors to other Finnertys.