Wednesday, August 15, 2012

MacFarlane in Ulster

Members of the MacFarlane Highland Scottish clan settled in Ulster in the sixteenth century, as did many other families from the Scottish Gaeltacht.  The MacFarlane, or more properly, Mac Pharláinn, families were native to the lands west of Loch Lomond.  Many of the Mac Pharláinn families that settled in Ulster were in the Redshank colony in the old Portlough precinct in east Donegal. The Redshanks in the Portlough precinct were part of an elaborate plan initiated by the fifth Earl of Argyll, Giolla Easpuig Donn Caimbeul.  His niece was the famous Iníon Dubh, mother of Aodh Rua Ó Dónaill, and it was on her lands that many Caimbeul sponsored Highland Gaels settled. 

The ruins of Iníon Dubh's castle near Porthall; photo copyright  Jim McKane 2012

In the sixteenth century  Clann Chaimbeul spread from their homelands in mid Argyll extending their bases and influence in both the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland.  Clann Chaimbeul was the most successful kinship group in early modern Scotland.  Their great advantage was they were Gaels, but could operate not only in their traditional Gaelic society, but also in the emerging British world, including the Scottish Lowlands. The earls' (of Argyll, head of Clann Chaimbeul) main base was Inveraray on Loch Fyne, and there they had access to the Firth of Clyde and the western seas including the North Channel passage to Ireland.  The Mac Pharláinns of Arrochar were drawn into Lord Argyll's elaborate network of allies and they were one of the many Redshank families that settled in east Donegal.

For more information of Mac Pharláinn families in Ulster follow the link below.

Link:  Mac Pharláinn in Ulster

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