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Clerics and Clansmen: The Vicarages and Rectories of Tradraighe in the Fifteenth Century
By Luke McInerney

   The Diocesan Economy of Killaloe

   The Role of Kinship and Clan

   The Mac an Oirchinnigh of Tradraighe
          Kilmaleery and Kilnasoolagh
          Bunratty and Clonloghan
          Adjacent Parishes: Quin and Kilfintanan
          Mac an Oirchinnigh clerics recorded as holding parish          benefices in 15th century Tradraighe and adjacent


See also:
Survey of the McInerney Sept of Thomond by Luke McInerney
The West Clann Chuiléin Lordship in 1586: Evidence from a Forgotten Inquisition By Luke McInerney
Land and lineage: the McEnerhinys of Ballysallagh in the 16th Century by Luke McInerney
A 16th century bardic poem composed for Seán Mac Conmara by Luke McInerney

Tradraighe from the Down Survey (1658) 
Tradraighe from the Down Survey (1658)


The printed volumes of the documents known as the Papal Registers relating to Ireland for the period 1396-1521 are utilized to study the innerworking of ecclesiastical administration in Killaloe diocese during the fifteenth century. A case study is presented on a selection of parishes in, and adjacent to, the old deanery of Tradraighe with a particular focus on the Mac an Oirchinnigh (McInerney) of Tradraighe. The registers offer a valuable perspective on the role of vassal-septs at the parish level, as well as insight into the machinations of ecclesiastical administration in Gaelic dioceses.

Little is known of the inner-workings of either the Uí Bhriain kingdom of Tuadh Mumhan (Thomond) or the Mac Conmara lordship of Clann Chuiléin in east Clare.
The Mac an Oirchinnigh were a vassal-sept of the Mac Conmara Fionn clan whose patrimony was the territorial division of Uí Caisín which centered on the parish of Quin. The Papal Registers adds significantly to our understanding of administration in Killaloe diocese. This study, which focuses on Mac an Oirchinnigh clerics, provides evidence that the leading lineage of the sept were regarded as a noble second-order sept in the hierarchy of the Mac Conmara lordship. The surviving entries can yield useful hints to clan and kinship networks that formed a dominant feature of the political economy of Gaelic lordships. The client-patronage networks that were at the core of Gaelic society until the submission of Murchadh Ó Bhriain to the crown 1543 can be studied, as can the presence of hereditary incumbencies of local septs in certain parishes.[1]

Clare County Library is grateful to Luke McInerney for donating this article which was originally published in the North Munster Antiquarian Journal, vol. 48, 2008, pp 1-21. Luke ( welcomes queries from people researching late medieval and early modern County Clare.

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The Diocesan Economy of Killaloe