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The Barony of Tirkennedy

Tirkennedy is a barony of Fermanagh.[1] To its west lies Lower Lough Erne and south Upper Lough Erne, and it is bordered by seven other baronies: Clanawley and Magheraboy to the west; Lurg and Omagh East to the north; Clogher to the east; Magherastephana and Knockninny to the south.[1]

The name is from the Gaelic Tír Cennfhota, menanig "Country of the long-head".


Despite its name, Tirkennedy has nothing to do with the modern personal name of Kennedy, which derives from Cennétig ('ugly/rough headed'). Rather it takes its name from the epithet of Fergus son of Cremthann, the eponymous ancestor of the Ui Chremthainn, the predominant tribe of the western Airgialla.[2][3] Fergus lived in the late fifth century and was known as Cennfhota (long-head). His descendants became known as the Ui Chennfhota, with the kingdom of Tir Cennfhota receiving its first mention in the Annals in 1349.[4][3]

The Devine (Ó Daimhín) sept were cited as Lords of Tirkennedy,[3][5] and were a leading Fermanagh sept up to and including the fifteenth century, when their power was broken by the O'Neills to the north and the Maguires to the south.[5] Under the Maguires, the MacManus sept became hereditary supervisors of the fisheries in Tirkennedy.[6]

The early Anglicisation of "Tircannada" recorded in the 1609 escheated counties map is claimed as being more accurate than the present form of "Tirkennedy".[2]

Villages and parishes

The main villages of the barony are;

The parishes of Tirkennedy are:[7]

  • Cleenish (split with baronies of Magheraboy and Clanawley)
  • Derrybrusk (split with barony of Magherastephana)
  • Derryvullen (split with barony of Lurg)
  • Enniskillen
  • Magheracross (split with barony of Omagh East)
  • Trory (split with barony of Lurg)


  1. 1.0 1.1 PRONI Baronies of Northern Ireland
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Strabane Lower". Placenames Database of Ireland. Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. http://www.logainm.ie/58920.aspx. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Letters of John O'Donovan
  4. The barony of Tirkennedy in Co. Fermanagh
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bell, Robert; The Book of Ulster Surnames, page 51. The Black Staff Press, 2003. ISBN 0-85640-602-3
  6. The Baronies of Ireland - Family History
  7. PRONI Civil Parishes of County Fermanagh