Ó Néill dynasty

Ó Néill
Ó Néill
O'Neill coat of arms.png
Parent houseCenél nEógain
FoundedLate 10th century
FounderFlaithbertach Ua Néill
Current headBy sept Chief
Final rulerAodh Mór Ó Néill

Sept titles:

  • Ó Néill Mór
  • O'Neill of Tyrone
  • O'Neill of Clandeboye
  • O'Neill of the Fews

International titles:

The Ó Néill dynasty (anglicised O'Neill) is a lineage ultimately all of Irish Gaelic origin, that held prominent positions and titles in Ireland and elsewhere. As Kings of Cenél nEógain, they are historically the most prominent family of the Northern Uí Néill, along with the Ó Dónaill, Ó Dochartaigh and the Ó Donnghaile dynasties (the head of the Ó Donnghaile lineage being the hereditary Marshal of the O'Neill forces). The Ó Néills hold that their ancestors were Kings of Ailech during the Early Middle Ages, as descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages.

Two of their progenitors High Kings of Ireland, Niall Glúndub (from whom they take their name) and Domnall ua Néill. From 1185 until 1616, the Ó Néills were sovereign Kings of Tír Eógain, holding territories in the north of Ireland; particularly around modern County Tyrone, County Londonderry and County Antrim. After their realm was merged with the Kingdom of Ireland and the land was caught up in the Plantation of Ulster, they were involved in a number of significant events, such as Tyrone's Rebellion, the Flight of the Earls, the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and the Irish Confederate Wars.