Redcastle and Whitecastle

Descendants of Aibhne

The following genealogy is taken from a text within the O Clery Book of Genealogies [1] a genealogical collection compiled in the seventeenth century. The names of most of those appearing in the terminal generations have been omitted for reasons of clarity. The numbers in square brackets are the paragraph numbers in the published edition. Names have been standardised. It has not been possible to determine where the line in paragraph 322 fits into the wider genealogy. I have presented the chart in a semi-vertical format in order to allow it to display fully on the screen.

Aibhne/Fhoibhne [2]
 |                                                                                         |
Aedh                                                                                       |
 |                                                                                         |
Diarmaid                                                                                   |
 |____________________________________________________                                     |
 |           |                       |                |                                    |
Dubhaltach  Eoghan                  Maghnus murrae   Emann                                 |
 |           |_____________          |                |                                    |
 |           |             |         |                |                                    |
5 sons      Aedh carrach  Niall     1 son            Brian modardha                        |
[312]       Eoghan gorm    |        [314]             |                                    |
            [313]          |                          |                                    |
                          Maghnus                    1 son                                 |
                           |                         [315]                                 |
                          Emann                                                            |
                          [316]                                                            |
 |                                                                                         |
Niall                                                                                      |
 |________________________________________________________________                         |
 |                         |                                      |                        |
Giolla glas               Torlach caoch        Felim fhairsing   Giolla dubh               |
 |________________         |_________           |                 |                        |
 |        |       |        |         |          |                 |                        |
Maghnus  Niall   Felim    Brian     Eoghan     Sean              Uilliam                   |
 |        |       |        |         |          |                 |_________________       |
 |        |       |        |         |          |                 |                 |      |
3 sons   3 sons  2 sons   Domhnall  Diarmaid   2 sons            Donncha riabhach  Aibhne  |
[317]    [318]   [319]    + 4 sons  + 3 sons   [322]              |                 |      |
                          [320]     [321]                        2 sons            2 sons  |
                                                                 [323]             [324]   |
 |               |
Giolla gruama   Domhnall riabhach
 |               |
Brian           Aedh bui
 |               |
3 sons          Uilliam
[325]            |
                4 sons

An English state paper of March 1601 identifies the clans and chiefs of Inishowen and gives the names of those taken as hostage by the governor of the newly established English colony in Derry [3]. It states that:

Of the Clan Laughlins Brian oge being chief is flead and Owen gorme pretends to be next in his place whom for the suspition I have of his honestie and certeine knowledge of ill caryage hencetofore I have taken and keepe as a prisoner

I have the sonne of Phelim oge the false O Dohirty and the sonne of Brian oge McLaughlin whom I took prisoners in the country as their fathers wear flieinge away

So the chief of the MacLochlainn family in March 1601 was named Brian oge. This was soon to change as an English state paper of April 1601 [4] states that:

within four miles is a small castle, called Caire MacEwlyn. Here dwells Hugh Carrogh McLaughlyn, chief of his sept

Two miles above that is another small castle, called Garnagall. Here dwells Brian Oge McLaughlyn

In subsequent sources Caire MacEwlyn is referred to as Redcastle and Garnagall is referred to as Whitecastle but neither of these structures appear to have survived the seventeenth century [5]. Hugh carrogh can be identified with Aedh carragh whose brother is Eoghan gorm, presumably the Owen gorme who claimed to be next in place to Brian oge. At an English inquisition held in Derry in 1602 the address of Aedh carragh is given as Ballybrack while Redcastle is given as the address of a person with surname MacDaibheid [6] so it would appear that Aedh carragh lost Redcastle to the rival MacDaibheid family between 1601 and 1602. It would also seem that Aedh carragh lost the chiefship to Brian oge around that time as he is the first MacLochlainn named in a 1602 pardon list [7] but Brian oge is the first named in a 1609 pardon list [8]. In any event the MacLochlainn chiefship became an empty office when Whitecastle and by implication the vestigial MacLochlainn lordship was captured by English forces in 1608 [9]. The only Brian oge given in the genealogy appears in one of the lines that terminate in the fifteenth century which is too early for him to be identified with the Brian oge of the seventeenth century. We shall see later that records of the Plantation period attest the existence of a Domhnall mcBrian oge so it would appear that Brian oge had a son named Domhnall. No Brian oge appears in the 1602 pardon list but a Brian mcTorlach caoch does appear immediately before a Domhnall mcBrian and a Torlach mcBrian to form what would appear to be a family group [10]. We shall see later that a confirmation of arms of 1702 indicates that an Eoghan who was son of Torlach and father of Diarmaid lived at Whitecastle in the early seventeenth century. These three pieces of evidence when taken together clearly identify Brian of paragraph 320 (who is shown as father of Domhnall, father of Torlach, brother of Eoghan, uncle of Diarmaid and son of Torlach caoch) as Brian oge of Whitecastle, chief of the family.



  1. The O Clery Book of Genealogies, S. Pender, Analecta Hibernica 18.
  2. The h in Fhoibhne does not appear to be the result of lenition in context. Fh is silent and so Fhoibhne and Aibhne would appear to be alternate spellings of the same underlying name.
  3. State Papers - Ireland, January-March 1601, Number 127, PRO London.
  4. Calendar of State Papers Relating to Ireland, 1600 - 1601, 276.
  5. The castles of Inishowen, O. Davies and H.P. Swan, Ulster Journal of Archaeology, third series, 2.
  6. The Bishopric of Derry and the Irish Society of London 1602 - 1705, T.W. Moody and J.G. Simms, volume 1, document 1.
  7. 18th Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records of Ireland, fiant 6655.
  8. Calendar of the Irish Patent Rolls of James I, 136, CIII-37.
  9. Calendar of State Papers Relating to Ireland, 1606 - 1608, 601.
  10. 18th Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records of Ireland, fiant 6655.