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Dunguaire Castle

Descendants of Eidhin

The Hynes/Hines name comes from the O'Heyne (Ó hEidhin) chiefs, who were descended from the 9th century Eidhin, or Eyne, son of Cleirigh (ancestor of the O'Clearys), a descendant of the 7th century King of Connaught, Guaire Aidhne the Hospitable. Eidhin's son was Flan, and his son, Mulrony "of the Prayer" O'Heyne (Maolrunaiddh na Paidre Ó hEidhin), so-called because of his piety, was styled Lord of Aidhne (tigherna Aidhne). He and his successors ruled the territory of the Uí Fiachrach Aidhne.

Mor ni Hyne (Mor Ní Eidhin), variously said to be daughter of Eidhin, Flan or Mulrony, married Brian Boru mac Cennétig, greatest king of Irish history and ancestor of the O'Briens, to become his first wife. They had at least three sons and two daughters, one of whom, Blanaid, is said to have married Malcolm II of Alba, King of Scots, whose grandsons, Kings Duncan I and Macbeth, were the subject of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth. (Some think Mor may actually have been the daughter of either Eidhin or Flan, and accounts of Brian's wives and children also vary. He may have had as many as 4 wives, some apparently at the same time.)

Irish warriors favoured axes Mulrony and Teige O'Kelly commanded the forces of Connacht in Brian Boru's army against the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf on Good Friday in 1014 AD. (Actually, there were Danes and Irish on both sides.) Although they won the battle, Mulrony, O'Kelly and Brian were all killed, as were as were Brian and Mor's three sons, Murough, Flann and Connor. Murough's son, Turlough, a boy of fifteen, was also slain and when his body was recovered from the sea he lay with one arm entwined in the hair of his dead Viking opponent! Had they not all been killed, the ruling dynasty of Ireland would have been cousins of the O'Heynes.

Mulrony was succeeded by O'Cleary, then by his brother, Mulfabhaill Ua hEidhin, who died in 1048 AD and was succeeded by his son, Cugaela Ua hEidhin, who slew Domnhaill Ruadh Ua Brian in 1055. After him came Giolla na Naomh "the Plunderer" O'Heyne (who is listed as the son of Aidhne, son of Congalach O'Clery, by O'Hart), King of Sil Muiredaigh & Connaught, who was slain in 1100 AD, and then his son, Flann O'Heyne, and his son, Conchobar. Then came Hugh O'Heyne (Aedh Ua hEidhin), who was killed in Munster in 1121. Aedh's son was Giolla Cheolaigh O'Heyne, who died with his son, also named Aedh, in 1153 during a battle between Connaght and the Northerners. Two other sons had been murdered at the mouth of the River Galway in 1125, but he was succeeded by another son, Giolla na Naomh. Maurice O'Heyne, who was killed by Munster men in 1180, may also have been his son, or grandson. The mother of Rory or Roderick O'Connor (Ruaidrí macToirrdelbaig Ua Conchobair), last native High King of Ireland (1166-86), was Caillech De O'Eidin.

13th Century drawing of Burke of Connaught In the 12th century the Anglo-Normans began to dispossess the Irish lords. William de Burgh conquered Connaught, and the de Burghs, or Burkes, remained the ruling power there for the next few centuries. Conchobar O'Heyne, son of Maurice, died in 1201. In 1211 Cugaola O'Heyne died and a year later his brother, Donnchadh O'Heyne, had his eyes put out by Hugh (Aodh), son of Charles the Red-handed (Cahal Croibhearg) O'Connor.

Owen (Eoghan) O'Heyne, son of Giolla na Naomh, become ruler of the Uí Fiachrach Aidhne by 1225. He fought along with the sons of Roderic O'Connor and other chiefs of Connaught against Hugh, son of Charles the Red-handed O'Connor, and the Anglo-Normans and defeated them at his castle at Ardrahan, which led to a temporary and uneasy peace. By the time Eoghan died in 1253, the O'Heynes were officially subordinate to Richard de Burgh and much of the O'Heynes territory was in Anglo-Norman hands. In 1261 Mulfavill (Maelfabhail) O'Heyne slew Hugh, son of Maolseachlainn O'Connor, and was himself killed by the English two years later. In 1264 Ardrahan Castle was captured by William de Burgo. By 1300 John, son of Eoghan, succeeded as chief of the name. He was succeeded by his son, Hugh, who was succeeded by his son, Donogh. Donogh's son, Eoghan, Lord of the Uí Fiachrach Aidhne, was killed by kinsmen in 1340 and was succeeded by his brother, Muircheartach O'Heyne.

Irish Warrior In 1407 the O'Heyne chieftain (probably Hugh Boy) fought alongside William Burke against Conor Roe at the Battle of Cillachaiah in Ui Maine, in the barony of Athlone, County Roscommon. Burke and O'Heyne were taken prisoner. Hugh Boy (Aodh Buidhe) O'Heyne (whose name means Hugh "the Yellow-haired") was followed in 1417 by Brian O'Heyne, and after him came Conor (Conchobar) O'Heyne. Conor's son, Flann, had four sons, from whom descended four separate branches of O'Heynes. Flann's son, Rory "of the Wood" (Ruaidhri na Coille), was chief of Aidhne until he died in 1578. He was followed by his nephew, Owen "the Toothless" (Eoghan Mantach) O'Heyne of Lydacan Castle, son of Flann's son, Edmond. Flann's son Hugh Boy (Aodh Buidhe) was the ancestor of the O'Heynes of Dunowen Castle, and his fourth son, also named Flann O'Heyne, was the ancestor of the O'Heynes of Dunguaire Castle, which was built in 1520.

Owen "the Toothless" (Eoghan Mantach) O'Heyne, died in 1588 and his son, Hugh "the Yellow" (Aodh Buidhe) was elected in his place. He surrendered his lands and castles to the English Crown and in return the O'Heynes received the same territory under royal grant. Hugh Boy O'Heyne died in 1594 and was followed by his son, also named Hugh Boy, who was followed by his son Owen (Eoghan) of Lydacan. Owen was the last recorded Chief of the Name. Thereafter, the Gaelic Order was destroyed by the English. What happened to the senior line after Owen is not known, but apparently Dominick (Domingo) O'Heyne, who was knighted in 1709 by the King of Spain, was recorded as a grandson of Owen through his father, Edmund O'Heyne, the son of Owen.


Conor Crone O'Heyne, tanist to Owen Mantach, lived in Lydacan Castle in 1612 when he willed his property to his son, Bryan O'Heyne, but after his death at over 100 years of age his lands were divided up by other members of the family. In 1615 the Martyns of Tullira occupied Dunguaire Castle. In 1641 Flan Boy O'Heyne of Kinturlough was living in Curranroe Castle, which fell in an earthquake in 1755, and his son, Peter O'Heyne, was probably the last to live there. Peter's son was Brian, whose line continued with John Hynes, died 1746; James Hynes, died 1802; John Hynes, born 1785, whose children were James; Dr. Patrick Hynes of London, Thomas, died 1841 in Ardrahan; Michael, a merchant in Kinvarra; and John Hynes. Patrick's grandson, or great-grandson, was Edmund Hynes, who was born in London and later lived in the family home, Bayfield House, and died in the late 1970's.

Not much is recorded of the O'Heynes after 1600, although there were several noted Catholic priests. The Catholic Encyclopedia lists O'Heyne as Bishop of Cloyne from 1540-68. In the 17th and 18th centuries penal laws destroyed the power of the Gaelic chieftains and their lands were their lands were taken by the English. Edward Mac Lysaght, in his book, Irish Families (3rd ed., Dublin, © 1972), adds:

The abbey of Kilmacduagh is called O'Heyne's Abbey. When the Anglo-Normans occupied considerable portions of Co. Galway in the thirteenth century the O'Heynes and the O'Shaughnessys were left in possession of large tracts of their ancient patrimony, and as late as 1878 the head of the family was in possession of 4,169 acres, near Ballinasloe, where his residence then was. In 1608 the O'Heynes are recorded as owning 8,640 acres in the northern part of Aidhne around Kinvarra. As might be expected the name is still found most plentifully in Counties Galway and Clare. Since the middle of the seventeenth century the O'Heynes have been chiefly notable as missionary priests. The most remarkable was Father John O'Heyne, O.P. (d. 1715), historian of the Dominican Order.

During the English occupation, the O'Heyne surname became Anglicized as Hynes, Hines, Hinds and other variations. The Hynes dispersed and moved to other parts of Ireland, and joined the world-wide Irish diaspora, settling in England, Europe, North America, Australia, and elsewhere. Today, thousands of Hynes may be found around the globe. Some have become notable in science and politics, such as John B. Hynes, mayor of Boston in the 1950's, after whom the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center was named, and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, who recently ran for governor of New York. Other notable Hynes/Hines may be found on the Hynes Hall of Fame.

With the recent resurrection of the Hynes Clan a whole new chapter in Hynes/Hines history has begun. Perhaps future research will reveal the heir to the last known Chief of the Name, or else a new line of chiefs may be established, elected by the Clan in the ancient Irish fashion.

Hynes Clan Chief
Hynes Castles
Hynes Surname
Hynes Coat of Arms
Descendants of Adam
Descendants of Milesius
Descendants of Fiachra
Descendants of Guaire Aidhne
Uí Fiachrach Aidhne
Territory of O'Heyne
Historical Works by James P. Hynes

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