Landed Estates
NUI Galway

O'Brien (Cahermoyle)


Estate(s)

Name Description
O'Brien (Dromoland) The introduction to the Inchiquin Papers in the National Library of Ireland records that, in about 1685, Sir Donough O'Brien, [created 1st Baronet of Leamanegh and Dromoland in 1686 and one of the wealthiest commoners in Ireland], decided to move from Leamaneh Castle near Corofin, county Clare to Dromoland. His son, Lucius O'Brien, and Catherine Keightley were married in 1701 and by 1707 were living in a house at Corofin built by the Lucas family. Lucius died in January 1717 predeceasing his father by a few months so it was his son Edward who became the second baronet. Lucius's half brother, Henry, founded the Stafford O'Brien family. In 1799, the grandson of the 2nd Baronet, another Sir Edward O'Brien, married Charlotte, co heiress with her sister Harriet Arthur, of William Smith of Cahirmoyle, county Limerick. Their second son, William Smith O'Brien, was to become very well known as a supporter of Catholic Emancipation and as a Young Irelander. He succeeded to his grandfather's property at Cahirmoyle. His elder brother, Sir Lucius, became the 5th Baronet and 13th Lord Inchiquin. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Sir Lucius's estate was mainly located in the parishes of Kilnasoolagh and Tomfinlough, barony of Bunratty Lower. He also had townlands in the parishes of Clareabbey, barony of Islands, Clooney, Kilfenora and Kiltoraght, barony of Corcomroe, Kilnamona and Inagh, barony of Inchiquin and Doora, barony of Bunratty Upper. In the 1870s the Dromoland estate was comprised of over 20,000 acres. The 5th Baronet (died 1872) was married twice, first to Mary Fitzgerald of Adelphi and secondly to Louisa Finucane. The Vere O'Briens were descended from another younger brother of the 5th Baronet. They lived at New Hall and Ballyallia and Florence Vere O'Brien was involved in the setting up of Limerick lace making. Her husband, Robert Vere O'Brien, was agent to the Inchiquin and de Vere estates in county Limerick. There is a collection of Vere O'Brien papers in Trinity College, Dublin. The Inchiquin estate was still comprised of about 20,000 acres in the early 1920s but was gradually sold off to the tenants in subsequent years. In 1962 Dromoland Castle itself was sold by the 16th Baron Inchiquin to an American developer. A large collection of estate and family papers in the National Library of Ireland documents the history of the O'Briens and their estates from the 17th to the 20th centuries and is now available for consultation.
O'Brien (Cahermoyle) William Smith O'Brien was born at Dromoland, county Clare in 1803. He was the second son of Sir Edward O'Brien 4th baronet and his wife Charlotte Smith. In 1832 he married Lucy Gabbett of High Park, county Limerick. Through his mother he inherited Cahermoyle House and estate, near Newcastle West, county Limerick, previously the home of his maternal grandfather William Smith. In the early 1850s Lady O'Brien's estate was in the parishes of Clonagh, Kilscannell, Nantinan and Rathkeale, barony of Connelloe Lower and Ardagh and Rathronan, barony of Shanid, Ardagh and Killeedy, barony of Glenquin, Cloncagh, barony of Connello Upper, Effin, barony of Coshma. In the 1870s Edward W. O'Brien's estate amounted to 4,990 acres. Members of the O'Brien family still lived at Cahermoyle in the early 20th century.
Smith (Cahermoyle) At the beginning of the 19th century William Smith, an attorney, had an estate in the western part of the county of Limerick, mainly in the baronies of Connello Lower and Shanid. Caleb Powell in his list of Jurors states that the Smiths were descended from Thomas Smyth, consecrated Bishop of Limerick in 1695. In 1774 William Smith purchased the lease of Cahermoyle from Boles Felan who held the property from the Southwell family. He was married to Grace Stevelly and died in 1809 leaving his two daughters as co heiresses. In 1799 Charlotte had married Sir Edward O'Brien baronet of Dromoland and it was their second son William Smith O'Brien, one of the leaders of the Young Ireland movement, who eventually inherited the Smith estate of Cahermoyle through his mother. Charlotte's sister Harriet married Thomas Arthur of Glenomera, county Clare. In 1864 William Smith O'Brien was succeeded by his son William Edward O'Brien who married Mary Spring Rice, sister of the 2nd Baron Monteagle of Brandon. Cahermoyle was sold by their son Dermod O'Brien in 1919.
Dunscombe (Mount Desert & Kingswilliamstown) A family originally from Devon who settled in county Cork in the mid 17th century. In 1703 William "Duncomb" purchased the lands of Currikippane East and West, in the South Liberties of Cork city, from the trustees for the sale of forfeited estates. In 1764 Nicholas Dunscombe of Mount Desert, barony of Cork, married Mary Parker of Inchigagin, county Cork and had seven sons. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Nicholas Dunscombe held land in the parishes of Inishcarra, barony of East Muskerry and Currykippane, barony of Cork. The ''Appendix to the 34th Report of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Woods, Forests and Land Revenues'' 1856, [published in the House of Commons Papers Vol 37 page 145] records the purchase of parts of the Kingwilliamstown estate by Nicholas Dunscombe (1,063 acres) in 1855. In 1858 Nicholas Dunscombe, son of Parker Dunscombe and his wife Jane Waggett, bought the Scully part of the Kingwilliamstown's estate in the parish of Nohavaldaly, barony of Duhallow, county Cork and went to live at Kingwilliamstown House. In July 1859 the county Limerick estate of Parker Dunscombe was advertised for sale. The estate amounted to over 4,000 acres in the barony of Connello Upper [actually in barony of Glenquin], county Limerick, most of it held from Dame Charlotte O'Brien by fee farm grant dated 1852. In the 1870s Nicholas Dunscombe of Mount Desert owned 1,126 acres in county Cork and Nicholas Dunscombe of Kingwilliamstown owned 2,678 acres.