Landed Estates
NUI Galway

O'Brien (Ballynalackan)

Terence O'Brien was established at Elm Vale, south east of Kilfenora, county Clare, from at least the middle of the 18th century. Elm Vale originally known as Cross, came into O'Brien possession through his marriage to Eleanor O'Hogan. Their second son James O'Brien succeeded his father and married in 1791 Margaret Long. She married secondly Cornelius O'Brien of Birchfield. James and Margaret's eldest son John O'Brien restored the castle at Ballynalackan and was the father of nine children including Sir Peter O'Brien, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, known as 'Peter the Packer'. The O'Briens held an extensive estate in the barony of Corcomroe and in the 1870s James O'Brien of Ballinalackan owned 5,575 acres in county Clare and 36 acres in county Limerick. About 1,300 acres in counties Clare and Limerick including Elmvale were advertised for sale in the Encumbered Estates' Court in December 1856. In 1904 Turlough/Torlogh O'Brien succeeded his uncle James O'Brien and his estate of over 3,200 acres was vested in the Congested Districts' Board in March 1915.

Associated Families


Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Ballynalackan Ballynalackan Killilagh Ennistimon Cloghaun 58 Corcomroe Clare OSI Ref: M103 003
OS Sheet: 8
Discovery map: 51
Elmvale Elmvale Killinaboy Corrofin Killinaboy 16 Inchiquin Clare OSI Ref: R256 917
OS Sheet: 16
Discovery map: 51

Archival sources

  • Lithographed map (for Encumbered Estates’ Court) of part of estate of James O’Brien in barony of Corcomroe, made by John Petty. Ms 5099; Trinity College Dublin
  • Pedigee of O’Brien of cities of Limerick & Dublin & of Ballynalacken, Co Clare, c 1730-1855. GO MS 179: 91-92; National Library of Ireland
  • Copy of confirmation of arms to Rt Hon Peter O’Brien, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, son of John O’Brien of Elmvale & Ballynalacken, Co Clare & grandson of James O’Brien of Limerick, 1 Sept 1891. GO MS 110: 139-140; National Library of Ireland
  • Genealogical notes on O'Brien of Ballynalacken Castle by Charles French Blake Foster, c 1865. MS 13,560; National Library of Ireland
  • Encumbered Estates’ Court Rentals (Dunboyne), O’Brien, 9 Dec 1856 (adjourned to 5 May 1857), Vol 9, 127-168; James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Encumbered Estates’ Court Rentals (O’Brien), O’Brien, 9 Dec 1856, Vol 43 (15), MRGS 39/020, (microfilm copy in NUIG); National Archives of Ireland
  • Encumbered Estates' Court rental of estate of James O'Brien in baronies of Corcomroe & Inchiquin, including Elmvale, 9 Dec 1856. P23/6; Limerick City Archives

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources