O'Donoghue is one of the most popular names in Ireland. It is prevalent throughout Counties Galway, Cavan, Kerry and Cork.
O'Donoghues, Donohoes, Donohue, Dunphys and Donoges are descendants of O Donnchadha, a personal name that has been Anglicized into Donogh.
The family traces its lineage from the eleventh-century Eoghanacht dynasty of Munster, which participated in the battle of Clontarf in 1014.
The O'Donoghues eventually split into two branches, O'Donoghue Mor centered in Lough Liene at Ross Castle and O'Donoghue of the Glen.
O'Donoghue Mr was granted Ross Castle by MacCarthy Mr after the battle of Callan in 1261, which expelled the Anglo-Normans from Southern Kerry. O'Donoghue Mr during the "Desmond Rebellion" (1575) sided with the Earl of Desmond against Queen Elizabeth. O'Donoghue Mr was killed in battle and the English monarch seized the O'Donoghue Mr's lands.
The O'Donoghue of the Glen survived the rebellion intact at Gelnflesk. In 1652 General Edmond Ludlow, one of Cromwell's men, captured Castle Killaha, the seat of the O'Donoghue of the Glen's power. During this capture it is possible that Geoffrey O'Donoghue of the Glen, the noted Irish scholar and poet of the seventeenth century, was the chief of the O'Donoghue clan.
The O'Donoghues of the Glen regained their estate only to lose it again with the victory of William the Orange over James II at the Battle of the Boyle in 1690 When the O'Donoghues were forced out of Ireland they earned distinction in various European armies.
O'Donoghues are celebrated for their contributions in a variety of fields.
A Spanish descendent of the O'Donoghue clan, Juan O'Donoju (1751-1821), was the last Spanish ruler of Mexico.
Timothy O'Donoghue served in the Civil War on the U.S.S. Signal in 1864. Timothy received the Medal of Honor for remaining, while under enemy fire, at his post after being wounded.
Another member of the clan, John Donohue (a.k.a. "Bold Jack Donohue") was a notorious outlaw in Australia during the early nineteenth century. A Robin Hood-like folklore soon developed around Jack; however, his actions were less than noble.
Soldiers near Campbelltown surrounded Donohue on September 1, 1830. He was killed in the ensuing shootout but his legend lives on even today in the song "Wild Colonial Boy."
The O'Donoghues have distinguished themselves throughout the literary world. John O'Donoghue in 1860 authored "A Historical Memoir of the O'Briens."
Emma Donoghue is an award-winning writer who was born in Dublin on October 24, 1960. Emma is best known for her fiction works like "Stirfry and Slammerkin" (awarded the 2002 Ferro-Grumley Prize for Lesbian Fiction, and a 2001 Irish Times fiction finalist). She is also an accomplished writer of drama for stage, screen and radio as well as literary histories.
A third well-known O'Donoghue in literature is Denis Donoghue. Denis is the Henry James Professor in English and American Letters at New York University. He has written "Ferocious Alphabets," "Walter Pater: Lover of Strange Souls," "Words Alone" (his most recent book) as well as others.
Another John O'Donoghue is a current senior Irish Fianna Fail politician. He is a former Minister for Art, Sport and Tourism and was also the Teachta Dala ("Dail Deputy") for Kerry South.
A second political player in the O'Donohue family is Mary Donohue. Mary was the Lieutenant Governor of New York State. She was elected in 1998 and re-elected 2002. She is an experienced teacher, District Attorney and State Supreme Court Justice.
The O'Donoghues have also made their mark in entertainment. Mary Agnes Donoghue is a screenwriter who produced "Deceived," starring Goldie Hawn and John Heard. She also wrote "Veronica Guerin," the 2003 movie about the Irish journalist murdered by a Dublin crime gang in 1996.
The late Michael O'Donoghue (1942-1994) was one of the original writers for the humor magazine "National Lampoon." Michael left "National Lampoon" and became the head writer and a performer for "Saturday Night Live," NBC's sketch comedy show, in 1975. Michael passed away in 1994 at the age of 52.
Another well-known member of the clan in entertainment is . Phillip John Donahue was the creator and star of the "Phil Donahue Show" (1969-1996). Phil was the first talk show host to engage his audience by allowing them to ask questions of his guests and state their own opinions. Phil had another show in 2002, called "Donahue" on MSNBC, which ran until late October 2004.
In the field of sports, John O'Donoghue played major league baseball from 1963-1971 with the A's, Indians, Orioles, Pilots/Brewers and Expos.
The O'Donoghue Society, started by Rob O'Donoghue, helps the clan stay connected and informed throughout the world. For further information, the O'Donoghue Society can be contacted at www.odonoghue.co.uk.