Originally published in 1933 as The O’Dwyers of Kilnamanagh, this seminal work remains today the most complete history yet compiled of this illustrious Celtic clan. Now enhanced and expanded, this new edition is an essential reference for those with an interest in the history of the O’Dwyers and their ancient territory of Kilnamanagh, Co.Tipperary.
From Celtic pre-history down to modern times, the author chronicles the characters, stories and lore associated with the clan.According to tradition the O’Dwyers were descended from the Laighin of south Leinster. By the tenth century the had established their main stronghold in Munster, in the heavily wooded mountain country known as Kilnamanagh between Tipperary and Limerick.
A beligerent martial race, the O’Dwyers fought alongside Brian Boru, and played a role in the Desmond-O’Neill rebellions. Their active involvement in the Civil War of 1641 however, was to prove a turning point. despite stiff resistance, they were ultimately overwhelmed by the Cromwellian army, and compelled to abandon their ancient territory. forced into exile, most of the clan dispersed across Europe, where their descendents can be found today.
Despite the upheavals of history, the Kilnamanagh district remains the numeric heartland of the O’Dwyer surname-testament indeed to the renowned unshakeable attachment of an Irishman to his native place