O'Reilly

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O'Reilly
Ó Raghallaigh
Parent houseUí Briúin Bréifne
CountryKingdom of Connacht
FounderRagheallach mac Cathalan
Current headJoseph Martin O'Reilly [1]
Final rulerMaelmordha O'Reilly
Titles
  • King of East Bréifne
  • King of Muintir Maelmórdha
  • Conde de O'Reilly
Dissolution1607
Cadet branchesBrady
Vesey

O'Reilly (Irish: Ó Raghallaigh)[2] is a group of families, ultimately all of Irish Gaelic origin, who were historically the kings of East Bréifne in what is today County Cavan. The clan were part of the Connachta's Uí Briúin Bréifne kindred and were closely related to the Ó Ruairc (O'Rourkes) of West Bréifne. O'Reilly is ranked tenth in the top twenty list of Irish surnames.

It is also the patronymic form of the Irish name Reilly (Irish Gaelic: Uí Raghaile).[3] It is commonly found throughout Ireland, with the greatest concentration of the surname found in County Cavan followed by Longford, Meath, Westmeath, Fermanagh and Monaghan, and the Province of Leinster.

Naming conventions

Male Daughter Wife (Long) Wife (Short)
Ó Raghallaigh[4] Ní Raghallaigh Bean Uí Raghallaigh Uí Raghallaigh

Overview

It is usually anglicised as Reilly, Riley and O'Reilly. The original form of the name, Ó Raghallaigh, denotes "from/of Raghallach", the name Raghallach thought to be derived from the compounds ragh (meaning "race") and ceallach (meaning "sociable").

The Ó Raghallaigh family were part of the Connachta, with the eponymous Raghallach said to have died at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. The family became the kings of East Breifne, modern-day County Cavan and County Longford.

The name is common and widespread throughout Ireland, ranked 8th most common in 1890 and 11th in 1996.

The O'Reilly Clan Chieftain to this day is at odds with the O'Rourke Clan Chieftain, because both clans viciously contest each other for the title Prince of Breifne. This was settled in 1994 when the Chief Herald of Ireland made the O'Rourke Chief the Prince of Breifne, but the Office of the Chief Herald stopped granting courtesy titles to Gaelic Chiefs in 2003 (see O'Rourke). In 2017, with the election of the new O'Reilly Chief, the rivalry has been re-kindled.

People

O'Reilly

People with the surname O'Reilly include:[5]

O'Riley

  • Christopher O'Riley (born 1956), American classical pianist and public radio show host
  • Don O'Riley (1945–1997), Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Bunny Wailer (born 1947), reggae musician sometimes known as Bunny O'Riley
  • Jon Riley (1824–1879), US army deserter also known as John O'Riley

Riley

Fictional people

  • Mr. O'Reilly, Fictitious Irish character/builder portrayed by the Irish actor David Kelly on the episode "The Builders" from Fawlty Towers
  • Aloysius Umbongo N'Danga O'Reilly, fictitious character in the song "Baguette Dilemma for the Booker Prize Guy" by the band Half Man Half Biscuit on their 2014 album Urge for Offal
  • Corporal Walter "Radar" O'Reilly, character in the M*A*S*H media franchise

Other entities

See also

References

  1. ^ O'Reilly, Joseph Martin. “Biography of Lord Martin O'Reilly – Prince of Breifne.” Royal Court of Breifne Site Wide Activity RSS, O'Reilly Clan, 2017, royalcourtofbreifne.com/prince/.
  2. ^ Information on the last name O'Reilly
  3. ^ Information on the last name O'Reilly (2)
  4. ^ "Ó Raghallaigh". Sloinne. 5 December 2015.
  5. ^ "O'Reilly coat of arms, family crest and O'Reilly family history". irishsurnames.com. Retrieved 1 January 2008.

External links