O Driscolls: Past and Present

posted in: book, Cape Clear, O Donovan, Uncategorized | 0

Book Launch at O Driscoll Clan Gathering, Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland, 7.30pm, Saturday 25th June, 2005, in Baltimore Sailing Club.

The author of this excellently researched and attractively produced 193 page book is Dr. Éamon Lankford founder / director of Cape Clear island Museum and Archive. It is beautifully illustrated with maps, drawings, plans, genealogical charts, 70 B/W and colour photographs.

The O Driscolls have, for over 1,500 years, been anchored in the ancient district of Corcu Lóegde, now known as Carbery, in West Cork, Ireland. They can boast of their connection to the early Christian pilgrim, Saint Ciarán, born in Cape Clear island , who became, the patron saint not alone of Ossory, but also of Cornwall.

From the twelfth century, O Driscolls were confined to an area consisting of poor land and a long and dangerous coastline, from Castlehaven to Baltimore and the islands of Sherkin, Heir and Cape Clear. Here, from their many castles, they established themselves as great mariners on the south coast , engaging in piracy, feuds, warfare and controlling some of the richest fishing grounds in Europe.

The seventeenth century Fínghin Ó Driscoll, Fineen the Rover, although famous in song and story, set in train a series of events and land deals which were to reduce the O Driscolls to poverty and cause their leaders and many of their descendants to emigrate to England, Canada, America and Australia. They went as ‘Wild Geese’ to France and Spain and other places where they made a name for themselves in military, religious, economic, medical, cultural and political life of many countries. In time, in Ireland, they adapted to new ways and became merchants, journalists, authors, poets, educationalists, religious and legal figures.

Also treated is, the tantalizing mystery of who today should be called ‘The O Driscoll’, the hereditary chieftain of the clan. The story of some who form the international family is told in the chapter titled The O Driscoll Diaspora. Today, there is a new spirit among O Driscolls worldwide which owes much to the Annual O Driscoll Clan Gathering which takes place in June each year at Baltimore and the islands. O Driscolls:Past and Present tells some of the ever evolving O Driscoll story worldwide. It makes an ideal present for anyone remotely related to an O Driscoll.

Available from Book Shop

Bookshops in Cork, Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Caseys of Baltimore Hotel, Cotters of Baltimore etc. Price: Euro 15, plus 3 Euro packing and postage to Europe. 26 US Dollars per copy including postage. Bank drafts in Euro currency or bank cheque cashable outside the USA etc (will speed dispatch). ISBN 0 9534898 4 1

Commodore John J. Kavanagh (Retrd) Irish Naval Service who launched O Driscolls:Past and Present at the O Driscoll Clan Gathering 2005 at Baltimore and author Éamon Lankford.

O Driscolls at the 2005 O Driscoll Clan Gathering prior to the launch of O Driscolls:Past and Present.