Landed Estates
NUI Galway


Some of the O'Donnells of Ulster settled in county Mayo in the 17th century, initially in the Ballycroy area. From there they branched out into Achill and by the 1760s were in the Newport area. They are believed to have been heavily involved in the smuggling trade and by 1781 were prosperous enough to purchase the estate belonging to the old Abbey of Cong on the Mayo/Galway border. In 1785 they bought the lease of the Manor of Burrishoole from the Medlycotts, which established them as the main landowners in the barony of Burrishoole, county Mayo. Patrick Knight, writing in 1836, stated that they also owned 30,000 acres in the barony of Erris. By 1850 the O'Donels were in severe financial difficulties. Much of the Achill part of their estate was bought by the Trustees for the Achill Mission in the early 1850s and the Cong estate was sold to Joseph Lambert and Manus Prendergast, trustees to Alexander C. Lambert. The sale of the different lots of the O'Donel estate is summarized in Appendix 2 of Peter Mullowney's thesis. In 1876 Sir Richard A. O'Donel of Newport and his son George still held over 7,500 acres in county Mayo. In 1911 Melicent Agnes Thomas O'Donel sold the remainder of the O'Donel estate to the Congested Districts' Board at the suit of the Scottish Amicable Life Assurance Society to whom it had been mortgaged.


Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Newport House Newport Burrishoole Newport Newport East 149 Burrishoole Mayo OSI Ref: L981 940
OS Sheet: 68
Discovery map: 31
Ross House Rosbeg Burrishoole Newport Newport East 149 Burrishoole Mayo OSI Ref: L961 910
OS Sheet: 76
Discovery map: 31
Milcum House Teevemore Burrishoole Newport Derryloughan 145 Erris Mayo OSI Ref: L968 939
OS Sheet: 67
Discovery map: 31

Archival sources

  • Westport Estate Papers, Collection List 78, includes copy of rentroll of O'Donel estate 1774; National Library of Ireland
  • Encumbered Estates' Court Rentals (O'Brien), O’Donnell, 6 July 1854, Vol 30, MRGS 39/013, (microfilm copy in NUIG); National Archives of Ireland
  • Encumbered Estates' Court Rentals (O'Brien), O’Donnell, 11 Nov 1852, Vol 19, MRGS 39/008, (microfilm copy in NUIG); National Archives of Ireland
  • Rental and tithe applotment re estate of Sir Neal O’Donel, 1774-1830. MS 5736; National Library of Ireland
  • List of leaseholders on Sir Neal O’Donel’s estate, 1775-1869. MS 5738; National Library of Ireland
  • Rentals of estate of Sir Neal O'Donel at Newport, 1855, 1862. MSS 5740-5741; National Library of Ireland
  • Accounts, 1837-1840. MS 5742; National Library of Ireland
  • Rental, 1810. MS 5743; National Library of Ireland
  • Memorandum of leases c 1828. MS 5744; National Library of Ireland
  • Rental 1826-1831. MS 5745; National Library of Ireland
  • 3 rent rolls of the estates of Sir Neal O’Donel, 19th century and 1777 rental of estate of Thomas Medlicott, evidence in legal case O’Donel v Medlicott. MS 5821; National Library of Ireland
  • Correspondence of John Lane, London, concerning a loan to Sir Neal O’Donel on the security of his estates at Cong, Co Mayo, 1823-1824. MS 13,886; National Library of Ireland
  • Lease by Thomas Medlicott of Dublin to George O’Malley of Newport, Co Mayo and Peter White of Dublin of lands in Burrishoole, Co Mayo, 25 Mar 1730. D. 18,644 ; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of O’Donnells of Ulster, Cos Roscommon, Leitrim, Tipperary and Newport, Newcastle and Erris, Co Mayo and of Austria, c 1400-1811. GO MS 112, 107 & 238-44; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of O’Donnell, Lords of Tirconnell, of Co Donegal, Newport and New Castle, Co Mayo, Larkfield, Co Leitrim, Greyfield, Co Roscommon, BC 1370-AD 1812. GO MS 169, 1-32; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of O’Donnell of Newport and other places, c 1391-1903. GO MS 177, 286-91; National Library of Ireland
  • Legal papers re lands in Cos Sligo and Mayo and the O’Donels of Newport, 1760s. D/313 & T/577; Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
  • Encumbered Estates’ Court notices re Co Mayo estates of Sir R A O’Donnell, 1853. M.5716 (1-3); National Archives of Ireland
  • O'Donel of Newport Papers, unsorted collection. Acc No 1207, PC 263-265 & PC 387; National Library of Ireland
  • Photos. 011/063 (Melcomb) & 011/076 (Newport); Irish Architectural Archive
  • Ross House, Newport, cuttings. 132/051; Irish Architectural Archive
  • O'Donel estate maps. Acc No 1434, F 18; National Library of Ireland

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources