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Irish Surname - Connell or O'Connell

The name O'Connell in Ireland is derived from the famous Gaelic clan O'Conaill, meaning 'strong as a wolf'.

In old Scottish Gaelic 'siol cuin' or 'con', literally meant 'the seed or race of Con', which in turn was a byname from the Gaelic 'con' meaning hound. In Ulster it may also have derived from MacConn, an Anglicised form of the rare Mac Mhiolchon, 'son of the hound-like one'.

Three distinct O'Connell clans arose separately as surnames in Connacht, Ulster and Munster, but the most prominent and numerous of these were the O'Connells of Munster. They were mainly located in County Kerry where they were originally lords of the barony of Magunihy from very ancient times. Today a large majority of the O'Connells in Ireland are still to be found in Kerry, as well as in adjoining County Cork, but descendants with this name can be found in every county in Ireland.

The most famous bearer of the O'Connell name in Irish history was Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), known as 'the Liberator'. Daniel was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century who campaigned for Catholic Emancipation - the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament - and repeal of the Act of Union which combined Ireland and Great Britain. For almost 30 years he was the undisputed leader of Catholic Ireland having won for Catholics the right to vote.

Motto: Cia'll agos neart - 'Reason and power'

Alternate Surname Spellings

Connell, O'Connell, Cannell, Connall, Conell, Conall, Connill, Connull, Connel, Connal, Connul, Canell, Cannel, O'Connall, O'Conell

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