Landed Estates
NUI Galway

O'Brien (Birchfield)

Cornelius O'Brien was the son of Henry O'Brien of Ennis, county Clare and Helen O'Callaghan of Kilgorey. In 1816 he married Margaret, daughter of Peter Long of Waterford and widow of James O’Brien of Limerick. Trained in the Law Cornelius O'Brien represented county Clare in Parliament from 1832 to 1847. He regained his seat in July 1852 and died in 1857. In the early 1850s he purchased some of the estate of the Crowe family. At the time of Griffith's Valuation he held land in six baronies of county Clare but his estate was mainly located in the parish of Kilmacrehy, barony of Corcomroe and in the parishes of Dysert and Inagh, barony of Inchiquin and Feakle, barony of Tulla Upper. His son George O'Brien entered the King's Inns in 1855 under 20 years of age and married Helen Butler of Bunnahow. George O'Brien died in 1867. The Birchfield property then passed to Cornelius Keogh by his marriage to Mary O’Brien, youngest daughter of Cornelius O'Brien. William Henry McGrath, stated to be a brother in law of George O'Brien when entering the King's Inns, came into possession of Cornelius O’Brien’s Toonagh estate by his marriage to Bridget O’Brien in 1852. George O'Brien married Ellen, daughter of William Butler of Bunnahow. She married secondly Charles Vyse of Fermoy, county Cork, who is recorded as owning 1,340 acres in county Clare in the 1870s. The estate of Charles Vyse amounting to 1,677 acres in the barony of Corcomroe including part of Birchfield and Seamount House was advertised for sale in April 1880. The sale rental gives details of the O'Brien title to the Birchfield estate. see and


Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Birchfield Beaghy Kilmacrehy Ennistimon Ballysteen 57 Corcomroe Clare OSI Ref: R050 895
OS Sheet: 14
Discovery map: 57
Seamount Cloghaundine Kilmacrehy Ennistimon Ballysteen 57 Corcomroe Clare OSI Ref: R057 885
OS Sheet: 14
Discovery map: 57
Toonagh House Toonagh Dysert Ennis Templemaley 25 Inchiquin Clare OSI Ref: R308 823
OS Sheet: 25
Discovery map: 57

Archival sources

  • Affidavit of Cornelius O’Brien, attorney for plaintiff, case Robert Creagh v William Lopdell for recovery of rents of lands of Derreenfahagh & Killymailane, barony of Burren, with opinion by Daniel O’Connell, Nov 1821. MS 17,810; National Library of Ireland
  • Land Judges’ Court Rentals (Dunboyne), Vyse, 20 Apr 1880, Vol 19; James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Land Judges’ Court Rentals (O’Brien), Vyse, 20 Apr 1880, Vol 138 (28), MRGS 39/062, (microfilm copy in NUIG); National Archives of Ireland
  • Irish Tourist Association File, Parish of Liscannor, Clare North 12.; Clare County Library
  • Marriage Settlement of Jane Reilly of Dublin & Murrough O'Brien of Toonagh, Co Clare & of Dublin, 1824. Small Accessions Index 1/617, D.9302; National Archives of Ireland
  • Twigge Collections, Add. MSS 39259-39270, historical, topographical and genealogical collections relating to Clan Chuiléin "Macnamara's Country" in east Clare. Microfilm copies in Local Studies Centre, Clare County Library, Ennis.; British Library

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources