Clare County Library
Clare Genealogy
Home | Library Catalogue | Forums | Foto | Maps | Places | Archaeology | History | Search this Website | Copyright Notice | Visitors' Book | Contact Us | What's New

O'Loughlin, O'Loghlen, O'Loughlen, Loghlen

O'Loughlin Family Crest

Gules a man in complete armour
facing the sinister shooting an
arrow from a bow all proper.
Crest: An anchor entwined
with a candle proper.

The O'Loghlens are numbered among the more distinguished families of County Clare who also have had a longtime association with the county. During the nineteenth century they became prominent in public life, more especially during the era of Daniel O'Connell to whom they lent support. Originally descendants of the Clan Corc, they became one of the most powerful tribes of Cinceal Eoghan and took their name from Lochlainn, a formidable chieftain of the 10th century.

The O'Loghlens were closely associated with their fellow clan The O'Connors and between them, in former times, ruled over much of present day North Clare. The O'Loughlens held much of the districts comprising the Baronies of East Corcomroe and Burren wherein stands the well-known Cistercian Abbey of Corcomroe, while the O'Connors were for long in possession of West Corcomroe and further territory bordering the southern shore of Galway Bay.

A most extensive pedigree of the O'Loghlens, prepared by Duald MacFirbis, is still extant and preserved among his genealogical manuscripts. Also surviving is a poem in praise of their prowess composed by Gilla na Neev O'Heerin during the early part of the 15th century.

"O'Loughlen, a hero commanding battalions
Rules over the fertile fields of Burren;
Over Teallach Corc, his rightful inheritance
The land of the cattle and a wealthy port."

Teallach Corc mentioned here in the poem was the tribe name of the family while the "wealthy port" appears to have been the old harbour on the Finnavarra peninsula which flourished for a long time but was replaced in 1828 by the fishing board and appropriately named New Quay.

The MacFirbis manuscripts also contain a number of interesting entries such as Conghalach O'Loughlen who is named as Bishop of Kilfenora (which included the Baronies of East and West Corcomroe) from 1281 to 1300; Richard O'Loughlen who ruled the Diocese from 1316 to 1359; while Bernard O'Loughlen is noted as having been elected Prior in 1576 of the Dominican monastery at Lorrha in Co. Tipperary. The most representative member of the family in later times was Sir Michael O'Loghlen (1789-1842), the first Catholic to be raised to the high office of Master of the Rolls. An impressive memorial sculptured by Joseph R. Kirk, R.H.A. is on display in the foyer of the Courthouse in Ennis and is an indication of the esteem in which he was held. He was succeeded by his son, Sir Colman O'Loghlen, M.P. (1819-1877) who championed the Nationalist cause and an active member of the committee entrusted to the task of raising a fitting monument to Daniel O'Connell in Ennis.

Sir Bryan O'Loughlen, M.P. (1828-1905), his brother, was also called to the Bar and spent five years on the Munster Circuit, while devoting some time as well at improving the family estate at Drumconora outside Ennis. He later emigrated to Australia and was admitted to the Bar at Melbourne. It was politics, however, which became his main occupation. He stood for Parliament and was duly elected and served in several junior positions while in both government and opposition. Later he was appointed Attorney General and finally in 1881 elected Prime Minister of the State of Victoria.

Further Reading:
O'Donovan, John and Eugene Curry, "The antiquities of County Clare: letters containing information relative to the antiquities of the County of Clare collected during the progress of the Ordnance Survey in 1839." Ennis, Clasp Press, 1997.

Back Arrow
Learned Families of Thomond