The story of a Connacht family,
by the late Sir Dermot MacDermot, Prince of Coolavin.


"MacDermot of Moylurg" the Story of a Connacht family is perhaps the most comprehensive account of an ancient Gaelic family ever published. Sadly its author did not live to see his work published, so it was left to the members of his family to bring the fruit of his many years of research to the bookshelves. Dermot MacDermot died in 1989, the year his wife Betty published her well-known history of the O'Rourkes of Breifne.

3D Book GraphicDermot MacDermot's book opens with a clear, concise account of the Celtic world with sections on the government, the social classes, the economy, living conditions, tribal conflict, religion and culture. Next, the MacDermot story between the 6th and 12th centuries is thoroughly analysed. The author chronicles the decline of the MacDermot power with the coming of the Normans and the subsequent recovery up until the Tudor conquest finally destroyed the Gaelic order. What follows is not just the story of the MacDermots but the history of the whole county - dispossession, conquest, colonization and diaspora. The book also contains a section on religious establishments in Moylurg plus the story of Coolavin from 1700 to 1847.

The author does not confine his account to one branch only of the MacDermots but expands it to include other families of the name and he reconstructs the marriage alliances which brought the great Gaelic families together. Important events pertaining to the history of the West of Ireland such as The Composition of Connacht, The Sydney Report 1576, and the Battle of the Curlews are all detailed.

The book contains some 36 family trees of branches of the MacDermot family and of leading Connacht families with whom they were connected. Maps of the area and photographs have also been included.

The book is a work of scholarship, beautifully written, concise and stimulating. It is fully indexed and the reader is referred to sources throughout. Running to 540 pages it will remain not only the definitive account of the MacDermots but also one of the most important works on the history of Ireland west of the Shannon.

Order Now

Table of Contents

Introduction.................................................................Page 11
Chapter 1

The Celtic Beginnings

Page 15
Chapter 2MacDermot OriginsPage 33
Chapter 3Anglo-Norman AscendancyPage 53
Chapter 4The Gaelic Revival in ConnachtPage 87
Chapter 5The Tudor Reconquest of IrelandPage 151
Chapter 6Religious Establishments in MoylurgPage 201
Chapter 7The DiasporaPage 213
Chapter 8CoolavinPage 245
Chapter 9MacDermot FamiliesPage 295
Chapter 10Other FamiliesPage 371
Chapter 11Topographical SurveyPage 435


Appendix 1Inauguration of Cathal Crobhderg
as King of Connacht
Page 473
Appendix 2The Bardic FamiliesPage 479
Appendix 3Sir Henry Sidney's Tour of ConnachtPage 489
Appendix 4The Composition of Connacht, 1585Page 493
Appendix 5The Battle of the Curlew Pass, 1599Page 501
Appendix 6WardshipsPage 512
Appendix 7Legend of Una Bhan & Tomas CostelloPage 514
Appendix 8HeraldryPage 521
Appendix 9Glossary of PlacenamesPage 524
Appendix 10Glossary of Given NamesPage 529