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.

18 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.

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