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1993. In The Shadow of Mount Leinster by Art Kavanagh

Maisels, Charles Keith. 'Early Civilizations of the Old World: The Formative Histories of Egypt, The Levant, Mesopotamia, India and China', published in 1999 by Routledge in hardback with dustjacket, 479pp, ISBN 0415109752. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon
1993, Self Published Edition, pbk
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About this book: The full title is 'In the Shadow of Mount Leinster, A history of Ui Cinnsealaigh from the earliest times up to 1650, with special emphasis on the Kavanaghs, plus extensive notes on the leading Gaelic families of the district and copious references to the Anglo Norman and English families who found their way here between 1170 and 1650'.

The author's research on the subject was inspired by Bill Colfer and some of the knowledge that went into the research came from the author's daughter Deirdre, who wrote a thesis on 'Monastic Dissolution in The Diocese of Ferns'. Most of the drawings in the book (particularly the castles) are those of Hilary Murphy

Contents: Acknowledgements; Introduction; Foreword
1. The Gaelic System of Life in the Middle Ages
2. Ancient Origins of the Kavanaghs and other Irish Clans
3. The Career of Diarmuid McMurrough up to 1169 A.D
4. The Coming of the Normans
5. The Resurgence of the Native Irish
6. The Caree of Art McMurrough Kavanagh
7. A Century of Relative Calm
8. The Tudor Plans to Conquer Ui Cinnsealaigh
9. Ui Cinnsealaigh and the Early Tudor Adventures
10. The Elizabethan Adventures in Ui Cinnsealaigh
11. In the Melting Pot
12. The Swansong of the Gaels
13. Towards Total Disintegration
14. Into Oblivion
15. The Main Septs of the Kavanaghs

History of the families and the area - introduction: At the time of the Viking invasion, in the 10th Century, the district of Ui Cinnsealaigh encompassed all of modern County Wexford, Co. Carlow and parts of Counties Kildare, Wicklow and Kilkenny. Ui Cinnsealaigh (translated liberally as 'dominant race') derived its name from a tribe of invaders who came from Munster through the pass of Gowran in the 4th Century and set up a huge settlement in the area of Rathvilly in Co. Carlow.

From this secure base they moved down the valleys of the Slaney and Barrow rivers and pushed the older inhabitants - the Fothairt and the Ui Bearraic peoples in front of them and to the sides towards the mountains. The Fothairt settled in two distinct areas where their names are still remembered - in the Barony of Forth in Wexford and in the Barony of Forth in Carlow. The Fothairt adopted the name Larkin in Wexford and in Carlow they became known as Nolans. The Ui Bearraic are still remembered in both counties. In Wexford, they are remembered in the name of the Barony of Bargy and in Carlow they settled in an area which became known as Leath Bhearraic (in the Middle Ages this was called the Leverock), which today has as its epicentre the townland of Barrack near Kildavin. In the South Wicklow or North Wexford mountain area, the Ui Bearraic adopted the name O'hAodha or Hughes, while the Carlow brand adopted the name O'Neill and the area of the Leverock encompassed a district then called Fearann O Neill (the district of the O'Neills). The South Wexford Ui Bearraic seem to have adopted the name Cosgar or Cosgrave.

The Ui Cinnsealaigh themselves were composed of several sub tribes that settled in the different areas of the Slaney and Barrow valleys and in the course of time they adopted such names as Kinsella, Kavanagh, Doran, McWadock (Maddock), Redmond, Davis (McDavymore), Murphy and Hanrick. The Breens and Briens are descended from a tribe that inhabited the area around Fethard and Ross before the Viking invasions and who moved sometime in the 10th Century to the area known as Duffry (an area near the Blackstairs stretching from Rathnure to Carnew and from the Mountains to Enniscorthy, and which got its name from the colour of the oak trees in summer, when seen from a distance, - black). The Doyles, who are very numerous now in Wexford and in the surrounding counties are descended from the Vikings who inhabited the coastal areas in Wicklow and Wexford. The Byrnes came to Wicklow originally from Laois following the Norman land confiscations and spread into Wexford in the succeeding centuries.

Families included (who inhabited the district and played such a crucial part in the history of the area):
Byrnes, Bolgers, Breens, Briens, Cosgraves, Cromiens, Davises, Dorans, Foleys, Hanricks, Hartleys, Harts, Kavanaghs, Keoghs, Kinsellas, Larkins, McDonnells, Murphys, Neills, Nolans, Redmonds, Ryans, Waddocks

The author states that most of the families mentioned above and whose descendants now inhabit the area are unaware of the part played by their ancestors in the rich pageant of history that unfolded before the coming of Cromwell, who landed in 1649 with a mission to reconquer the country and who seized enormous tracts of land. Many of the stories of the great battles fought by the Irish against the English in the late 16th and early 17th Centuries have been lost partly or wholly and this book has been written to try and redress that balance and restore some of what was lost.



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