O’DALY, Edmund Emmet. History of the O’Daly’s. The story of an Ancient Irish Sept, the Race of Dalach of Corca Adaimh. With illustrations, coat of arms, plates, folding genealogical tables.


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New Haven: Turtle, Morehouse and Taylor, 1937. First edition. Octavo. pp. xix, 546. Modern blue buckram. Ex lib with neat stamps. A very good copy. Very scarce.
O’Daly may be said to be the greatest name in our Gaelic literature. Other septs may have produced one or two more famous individuals, but the O’Dalys have a continuous record of literary achievement from the twelfth to the seventeenth century and, indeed, even to the nineteenth. Hardiman speaks of no less than thirty O’Dalys distinguished as writers between 1139 and 1680. The first of these famous poets was Cuconnacht Ó Dálaigh (such is the Irish form of O’Daly), who flourished in the early twelfth century. He presided over a bardic school in County Meath, not far from the territory traditionally belonging to the parent sept of O’Daly, who were located in the barony of Magheradernon, County Westmeath. They were of the southern Ui Neill. Thence they spread to other parts of the country, always continuing the literary tradition and forming sub-septs in each of the places they settled in pursuit of their calling. One was the first of a line of poets in north Clare on the shore of Galway Bay. The most famous of these was Donogh Mór O’Daly (d. 1244), who was born at Finvarra, County Clare: he has been called “the Irish Ovid.” In the same way the O’Dalys became associated with County Cork and County Cavan. Diarmuid Óg O’Daly was made the official poet of the MacCarthys of West Cork, thus acquiring for his family lands and privileges in the barony of Carbery. One of these, Angus O’Daly (d. 1617), was somewhat of a renegade, being the author of the anti-Irish propagandist satire The Tribes of Ireland. The Cavan O’Dalys were similarly attached to the O’Reillys of Breffny. The Dalys, who became Barons Dunsandle in Co. Galway- achieved great wealth and power in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Catholic Church, besides several mediaeval bishops of western dioceses, has Rev. Dominic O’Daly (1595-1665), a Kerryman who had a most distinguished career in Portugal, both as ecclesiastic and statesman. He was descended from the learned bardic family of Ó Dálaigh who were, for centuries, poets to the Desmond Fitzgeralds. Many of the name were attainted under the Cromwellian and Williamite régimes for their support of the Irish and Stuart cause.

[TVR 4D]


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