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Home: Surnames: McSweeney Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Castles in Co. Cork
Posted by: Julian McSweeney (ID *****6571) Date: October 04, 2010 at 15:28:22
In Reply to: Re: Castles in Co. Cork by Noel McSweeney of 266

Well the McSweeneys did actually aquire castles in Cork. Blarney being one such. Brian McSweeney was constable of that castle c. 1500's. The McSweeneys became 'gentrified' after the Elizabethan period, with many being given titles and estates in England in return for cooperating with the English crown; hence, the Montagues, Seymours, Spencers, Earls of Manchester and Buccleach are all actually McSweeneys who changed their names during the time of Charles II. As for the claim that we came from Ireland originally, that is utter nonsense. The 'Milesian myth', which links us to the O'Neills and the Kings of Cenel Eoghan is a medieval fabrication, devised for political reasons. The fact is, we were one of the original Hebridean and West Highland warrior kindreds, descended from the Norse kings of Dublin and Man. We were never mercenaries, unlike the other galloglas families. We chose who we fought for and conquered our own territories, becoming fosterers, protectors and kingmakers to the O'Donnels, to whom we were also related by marriage. Suibhne, though claimed to be an Irish name, is in this case a Hibernianised version of Sweyn or Sueno, our eponymous ancestor. Sweyn/Sween/Suibhne died in 1034, having earlier fought at the battle of Clontarf(1014). His father was Cinead (Kenneth), the brother of Reginald of Man, who retook Man and the Sudreys from Gilla, brother-in-law of Sigurd, the Earl of Orkney. When Kennth died Sweyn took over the governance of Man and the Isles until defeated by Thornstein the Red, son of Sigurd. Sween/Suibhne was the original 'Lord of the Isles, styled 'King of the Gal-Gaidhil (Foreigner-Gaels). Best wishes Julian McSweeney.

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