The O’Carrolls

The O’Carrolls were a fierce and brutal clan, continualling struggling for power and supremacy. They were known to be particularly violent and cunning in the attempts for domination.
John O’Carroll was thought to be the first Prince of Ely who lived at Leap Castle. It is very probable that it was he who was responsible for the construction of the earliest sections of Leap Castle. John O’Carroll died at Leap Castle, suffering from the plague. John O’Carroll was succeeded by his son named Mulrony O’Carroll.
Mulrony O’Carroll was renowned for his strength, bravery and valour and was considered a great leader. The Great Mulrony as he was known died (most likely) at Leap in 1532 after a rulership of fourty two years. Mulrony was succeeded by his son Fearganhainm.
Fearganhainm O’Carroll was rumoured to have murdered a guest at the dinner table, his steward killing the servant in the Guardroom. Fearganhainm was murdered in 1541 by the O’Mulloys. He was succeeded by his sons Teige ‘the one-eyed’, William, Maolruanuidh and Uaithne.
Teige was quick to assume command but was subsequently killed by his own kinsman Cahir (or Charles) O’Carroll. Teige fathered a son, Mulrony O’Carroll.
Cahir was in turn slain by Teige’s younger brother William Odhar O’Carroll in 1554.
William “The Pale” Odhar O’Carroll was murdered in 1581 by his O’Conor relations. William fathered four sons Teige, Mulrooney, John and Charles. William was succeeded by his son John.
John O’Carroll was slain the following year by his cousin Mulrony (son of Teige the one-eyed).
This murder was avenged swiftly by John’s brother Charles O’Carroll, killing Mulrony and becoming Prince of Ely. He was also knighted in 1586.
Charles O’Carroll was slain by in 1600. This was retaliation as Charles had previously killed 150 of his own men and some McMahon nobles. It was thought Charles had come to lose trust in some of his own men. Upon time to pay them for their services, Charles and his few trusted men slew them where they slept.
In 1629 John O’Carroll, nephew of Charles O’Carroll was given the official ownership of the Leap Estate.
The year 1649 the property of Leap Castle was handed over to the first of the Darby line, Jonathon. He was a soldier of the Cromwellian forces and was handed the property and land in lieu of pay.
1664 saw the property handed back to John O’Carroll due to his continued loyalty to Charles the 1st. This arrangement was unfortunately reversed in 1667 due to the differing views of Charles the 2nd. The Leap Castle was once again back in the hands of the Darbys.

50 Responses to “The O’Carrolls”

  • […] The O’Carrolls […]

  • Chance Blake:

    I want to visit here so badly. My lineage is actually to these Carroll’s. I hope to get the opportunity one day.

  • Almanya:

    I don’t know if you have noticed but this somehow is a contradiction to the story of the Priest in the Bloody Chapel…

  • leapcast:

    The history of Leap Castle is veiled in much mystery, part of it’s charm I guess!
    There is many versions accounting for the origins of many of the spirits that inhabit Leap.

  • Barbara Merson Burns:

    Am a direct descendant of the O’Carrolls of Leap Castle. One of the many Charles Carrolls came to the USA to Annapolis Maryland in the 1600s. The “O” was dropped and they subsequently became the Carrolls. He came here from the ancient town of Litterluna. Several generations back, my grandmother was Mary Clare Carroll, sister of Charles Carroll the Barrister of Annapolis and Baltimore. We traveled to Ireland first in 1985 and saw the castle when it was in total wrack and ruin. Nice to know it’s been updated. Would love to return when we travel to Dublin next Sept for the Notre Dame-Navy football game. Can’t wait!

  • Taylor:

    Also a descendant.

  • […] Castle is in County Offaly, Ireland. It was built by the violent O’Carroll clan in the early 1500s, and was the scene of numerous murders, often among family members. The victims […]

  • […] Castle is in County Offaly, Ireland. It was built by the violent O’Carroll clan in the early 1500s, and was the scene of numerous murders, often among family members. The victims […]

  • Michelle:

    Also a descendant, I suspect there are thousands of us…

  • John W Carroll:

    I am uncertain if I am a decendant because I can only trce my lineage back to Niagara Falls, Ontario and the Battle of 1812. (my ggg grandfather was a loyalist, therefore on the losing side) But this is all very interesting stuff and I am fiarly certain we all come from Cearbaill, the Irish prince that allied with King Brian Boru in defeating the Danes at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

  • Teremoana O'Carroll:

    I am a descendant of this family, I attended the O’Carroll homecoming celebrations early in the new millennium. We as an ancestral group of the Great Margaret were entertained at The Great Leap Castle. I can recall being interviewed by a reporter of the Midland Tribune….his name was Derick Fanning, who asked me if I was ashamed of having the ‘O’ in front of Carroll. I won’t print. The words that he got in his reply, on telling of this to my Uncle Patric he went looking for the reporter who had left ( he had gout),needless to say Derriick was a fortunate guy. If you have read of our warrior ways your own conclusion can be made.(ref:Midland Trribune…17Aug 2002) I am a New Zealander of Irish, English and Maori decent. My fathers name was Harold, son of Felix, son of Dr. Patric Joseph Felix Valentine Oneil O’Carroll. ..First Superintendant of New Plymouth Hospital. May I say that the history of my ancestry on that visit was simply awesome. Birr Castle,Kinnitty Castle and many others that we saw the sites of gave a sence of humility to me. Ireland you made me proud.

  • Joey:

    I am I descendent

  • Neil Carroll:

    Hello, I was always told that my real last name was O’Carroll since I was a boy! My family come from Oregon but can trace us back to Ireland! Cool castle I want to visit someday!

  • […] myths say that the Elemental is the spirit of an ancient O’Carroll who died in the castle from Leprosy.  This is said to be the reasoning for the decomposing facial […]

  • Barbara Merson Burns:

    Hello Sean,

    We are coming to Dublin for the Navy-Notre Dame football game on sat. Sept 1st. We are traveling with friends, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Gardiner. Mrs. Gardiner was Kathleen Ryan. Is there any change that we may see Leap Castle while there. We will be in Ireland until Sept. 7th. Thank you. I am a direct descendant of the O’Carrolls of Litterluna.

  • Aileen Carroll:

    I am not sure if i can be traced back to this clan i have been told that i came from ireland but have bo idea how to check any help?

  • John O'Carroll:

    Wow what a family history. I would love to know more.

  • Tim Carroll:

    My Grandfather told me his grandfather had dropped the “o” in O’Carroll in order to make the name more American. I suppose there is a large chance these are my ancestors.

  • rosemary taylor gipe:

    I am from the Carrolls of county mayo, Ballina. My family members still live there. Reading this webpage I find I’m of the town of Darby Pa USA. My grandfather and family want to Scotland in the early 1900’s for work. They emigrated to America in 1926. The primary names were Patrick, John and Thomas.I would be grand to be of the original band. Actually we must be!

  • jesse carroll:

    I had my roots trace back on my father side all the way back to here to the O’Carroll clan I have to say its pretty neat and interesting I am a descendant

  • Timothy O'Carroll:

    My old family seems really nice!

  • Judy Carrell:

    My family are descendants of the O’Carroll from here. We would love to go visit someday. We are from Texas and have a lot of our ancestry line. Many of the names I saw here came down through our line also.

  • Leap Castle and the O’Carroll’s was all to my attention when I watched a show called Ghost Adventures, I was told that at a very early age that our name was O’Carroll when we were from Ireland , So I have no clue if I have any conection to any of the names listed from the past !!

  • anna:

    I looked up my descendants and found to be of the o carroll clan.and mccubin (mcgregor) . I have found this to be interesting. I want to see this castle.

  • Cyndi:

    My maternal grandmother was a Carroll (O’Caroll) of Irish ancestry and married to a Knox. I would like to visit Leap Castle soon.

  • William P. Carrell II:

    The last John Carroll to own Leap Castle above had two sons–John by his first wife and Charles by his third. One of the great branches of the family that settled in Maryland descends from younger son Charles–producing Charles Carroll, Barrister (1723-1783), not to be confused with his distant relation Charles Carroll of Carrollton who signed the American Declaration of Independence. Older brother John (born ca. 1620), who fought for Charles I in the Civil Wars, disappeared after 1648. There is, however, a strong possibility that he is my American immigrant ancestor John Carroll (by 1630-1706), who came with a waive of royalist refugees to Virginia by 1661. This John has ties to several royalist Bristol families who also came to Virginia. I would love to visit Leap Castle someday!

  • Wow, maybe this explains the oddities in my family tree, wish I could find out more if I am directly related.

  • James carroll:

    I am told im a direct decendent cant wait to get the chance to see the place where it all started.

  • Naumai:

    Hello I am not sure if I am a decendent however my real father was Alan John Carroll born in 1935 (now passed on)in London, who moved to New Zealand, His father was Walter O’Carroll who said that the O was dropped back in the days when they left Ireland. As I now live in Scotland and I am tracing my family history and would appreciate any help am planning a trip to Ireland just not sure where to start.. Maybe start at this castle?

  • Alexandria Foster:

    Also a descendent through grandmothers line. I agree with James. It will be nice to see where it all began.

  • In re:L JOSEPH CARROLL ON Nov 3, 2014: I was told at a young age that the O’Harra’s and O’Carroll’s came America together- they were cousins- the O’Carroll and O’Harra’s made a barn into a Hall of the Clans- our two, that is. into a beer and shuffleboard with 500+ pictures all around the walls- in Homestead, Washington. south/east bottom left corner as I remember. I can be reached at: I live in Northern California. Thank you.

  • Justin Carroll:

    “Tim Carroll” Your grandfather was right but he had to drop the O in O’Carroll. If I am correct a long time ago one of the kings made people drop the O on a lot of names for some reason when coming to America. Not sure why though. Research it. it is interesting.

  • Patricia Carroll:

    The Carroll’s Iam descended from come from Tipperary. There sure were a lot if Carroll’s. They were amongst the first Carroll’s to come to Australia.

  • kevin carroll:

    I am a descendant of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Very interesting read.

  • David Rardin:

    I am a Rardin, a shortened version of O’Riordan descendant of Ó Ríoghbhradáin as written by Keating; the name of a family originally of Ely-O’Carroll, in the present Offaly, and probably a branch of the family of O’Carroll of that district, deriving its name and descent from Ríoghbhardán, son of Cúcoirne (Ó Cearbhaill), lord of Ely.

  • tyler o'carroll:

    kiaora O’Carroll made it to taranaki new zealand.

  • Ronald CARROLL:

    Hi My mame is Ronald Carroll all of the Carrolls whom are lives are all related

  • Jennifer Rossey:

    I married an O’Carroll and have always been interested in the history. I’m sure his family and my children are descended from this lineage.

  • Lewis Dee Robinson Carroll:

    This is also my heritage and clansman. My email is please cantact me and lets comoare notes and relatives.. My number is 806-662-3151. You can text or call.

  • Kathy McCabe:

    I am a descendent of the O’Bannons who originally built the keep. Would love to visit there someday!

  • Kristi McFadden:

    I was told my great grandfather was an O’Carroll from Tipperary, Ireland. He married a small Scottish woman and probably came over to the United States in the late 1800’s (my grandmother was born early 1900’s). I’m not sure if I’m related to the O’Carroll’s of Leap Castle but I’m open to the possibility ?

  • Brenda Adams Patterson:

    I am a decendent of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. My mothers mother maiden name was Carroll. Her mother. Was Mary Carroll

  • I am a retired Canadian soldier of 25 years and have always felt a very strong tie to my Irish roots. The OCarroll and north American Carroll lineage is extremely diverse, I am sure I am a direct descendant of this clan. I cannot say why but I have felt this since childhood. Maybe why I chose Soldiering as a career. Would love to visit and see my family home. All the very best from the Rocky Mountains of western Alberta!

  • Rylan Carroll:

    My family immigrated to the US in the early 1900s with relatives first arriving here in the 1700s and my father and mother, born a Lee, were both soldiers in the US military. I and my father, my grandfather, and so on are all sure we are DIRECT descendants of the Carroll line and this clan in particular, although my mother’s family are proudly French with some African Ancestry, my entire family celebrates our Irish ways and we still communicate and annually visit our family in Ireland, although I have never been to Southern Ireland. Most of my relatives live in Northern Ireland, so I would really like to visit Southern Ireland someday. My family and I are truly blessed to be O’Carrolls. Although we have dropped the O’ I always identify with it.

  • Michael O'Carroll:

    I am researching the O’Carrolls of the Ossory region (now generally Counties Kilkenny and Carlow). If anyone has DNA test results, please get in touch – – or search on Ancestry, 23andMe or FTDNA – I’m on them all and have other Carrolls from Ossory there too.
    Edmond McRichard Butler (1420-1464) of Paulstown, Kilkenny married Catherine O’Carroll who died in 1506.
    Catherine was the daughter of Mulroney O’Carroll, Chieftain of Ely O’Carroll
    Edmond’s father was the 3rd Earl of Ormonde. Kilkenny Castle belonged to this general Butler family

  • My maiden name is Carroll and my father’s great grandfather was from Wexford Ireland. Their child was Francis Augustine Carroll and was born in Connecticut 1860 and buried in Nebraska. I am real interested in ancestry.

  • hello i am audrey susan carroll i’m looking for our family members from irish my dad is dennis carroll i know we all over the world can you please give me more info thank you

  • Michael carroll:

    this is something else, i am from Scotland, Edinburgh a have always known my family is originally from Ireland, but my family of Carroll’s are av told to be in Australia, America and Ireland! My father was Joseph Andrew Carroll! Sadly passed away 6 years ago, grandfather was William aka billy carroll! He was a coal man back in his days, my grans name was Janet, I knew I had a big family but when you start to check up you realise there are so many of us! God bless you lot and mucho love!

  • Gene Carroll:

    I am a Carroll my grandfather sailed to the us and died in the 1950s when I was a boy
    I don’t know anymore I was searching my name origin to break curses on my bloodline,
    I assumed I had an English background now I wonder, my grandfather was 72 when he died
    I just new he was a sea captain

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