Per pale indented or and gules
two lions rampant combatant
Crest: A dexter arm armed
embowed the hand grasping
a sword all proper.
This name, which is of Irish origin, is quite
numerous in counties Clare and Galway and has mainly been anglicized
to Hynes or Hines. It is, however, a distinguished Irish name,
bearers of which may assume they are descendants of the O'Heyne
sept, whose territory corresponded originally with the Barony
of Kiltartan in Co. Galway. The well-known Dunguaire Castle
with its fine bawn near Kinvarra was once a stronghold of their
chieftains. It is a name of long standing and said to have come
down from Guaire the Hospitable, King of Connacht, from whose
genealogical tree it is noted that Brian Boru took to wife More,
the daughter of the O'Heyne, then chief of Hy Fiachrach Aidhne.
The forces mustered in Connacht in response to Brian Boru's
call to arms and which later engaged in the Battle of Clontarf
were known to have been placed "under the command of the
The O'Heyne continued to hold on to their extensive
lands for several centuries, possibly in co-operation with the Norman
barons and later shared power again with another powerful clan, The
O'Shaughnessy, also named as Lords of Aidhne. The extensive monastic
foundation at Kilmacduagh, with its perfect round tower, is an indication
of the influence of this once local royal family. A kinsman, St. Colman
is said to have founded this remarkable group of churches in the 13th
century which includes the restored Abbots House and the O'Heyne Chapel
which together represent the finest collection of mediaeval churches
in the country.
The well-preserved O'Heyne Chapel with its fine east window
stands north west of the main group. Many of its original features remain,
the colums and capitals of the chancel arch are of a high quality and
display a number of well-executed floral and animal designs. This fine
example of an Irish Romanesque building is credited to Maurice O'Leaain
who was Bishop of Kilmacduagh during the mid-13th century.
East Window, O'Heyne Chapel, Kilmacduagh
Its founder St. Colman is said to have been laid to
rest in the centre of the adjoining cemetery, a site now marked by the
grave of Bishop Edmund French O.P. who died in 1852. The O'Heyne clan
gave many priests to the church and to the missions, notable among them
being Father John O'Heyne O.P. (1715) who was historian of the Dominican
In the graveyard at Ardrahan, County Galway, there
is an old gravestone on which is carved a detailed version of the O'Heyne
arms. This stone is said to have been recovered from the ruins of Ardrahan
Castle. The two lions rampant are represented but now hold a tower between
them - also an Irish elk and minute impressions of insects.
Fahey, Jerome, 'Some places of interest near Gort' in "Journal
of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland", vol. 34 (1904),
and vol. 38 (1908).
O'Donovan, John and Eugene Curry, "The antiquities of County Clare:
letters containing information relative to the antiquities of the County
of Clare collected during the progress of the Ordnance Survey in 1839."
Ennis, Clasp Press, 1997.