The O Driscoll Clan
Clann Ó Drisceoil, the O Driscoll Clan have, for over 1,500 years, been anchored in the ancient district of Corcu Lóegde, now known as Carbery, in West Cork, Ireland. Genealogists give the family a descent from Ith son of Bregon, a paternal uncle of Mil who was one of the first to settle in Ireland.
The Ui Etersceoil or O Driscolls are named from one Eterscél who was head of the family sometime in the first half of the tenth century or from a later descendant Eterscél, son of Finn, who lived in the mid-eleventh century. Baltimore and the three islands of Cape Clear, Sherkin and Heir in Co. Cork are the heart of the territory which was left to the O Driscolls after the Battle of Kinsale 1601.
The ruins of ancient castles and churches associated with the O Driscoll family are to be found on the islands of Cape Clear and Sherkin. Dún na Séad, their stronghold at Baltimore has now been beautifully restored. No other Irish family have remained so long and so strong in numbers in their own place as the O Driscolls of West Cork.
The focus of the Annual O Driscoll Clan Gathering in the month of June is always on people, because all those who do attend are coming home to their O Driscoll ancestral home place. All who bear any form of the name Driscoll are descended from an O Driscoll, who at one time lived in West County Cork, especially in the area around Baltimore and the islands of Cape Clear, Heir and Sherkin. In this area are the ruins of seven O Driscoll castles and other buildings and sites associated with O Driscolls. Those who attend the O Driscoll Clan Gathering at Baltimore and the islands are always welcomed as being part of the family. They are in the home place from where one of their O Driscoll distant ancestors was born and from where a subsequent descendant left. Click here for details of Clan Gathering Events.
Having been closely associated with the O Driscoll Clan Gathering since its inception in 1986, Dr. Éamon Lankford has gathered much documentation relating to people named O Driscoll. His absorbing account of the fortunes of the Clan in O Driscolls: Past and Present (2005) is a comprehensive historical account which highlights the local origins of the O Driscolls as well as their power, wealth and influence down the centuries. It also tries to show their wider international and national connections. The constant maritime theme gets particular mention, as well as the ecclesiastical, literary and legal ones that have characterized the recorded activities of O Driscolls through the ages.