Origin of the O'Driscoll Clan Name

The O’Driscoll name originates form the Irish name Ó hEidirsceoil, which means 'intermediary', 'diplomat' or 'interpreter'.

Originally descended from the Corcú Loígde, one of the largest tribes of Celtic Ireland and based in West Cork, these rulers of Munster broke with the kingdom of Ossory and virtually disappeared from the political scene by the 9th century. at this time the Eóganachta were rising to power and many of the Corcú Loígde moved to join them or the influential Muscraige of Kerry.

O'Driscoll Clan

The annals first record the death of a King of Corcú Loígde, Conochobar Ua hEirtirsceoil in 1103.by this time the clan was based in the kingdom of Ross in Killarney and they were active with the O’Leary, Coffey, Hennessey and Flynn clans.

Later they became part of the Barony of Carbery and remained one of three princely families here under the MacCarthy Reaghs.

By the 16th century, only the O hEirdirsceoil and the O’Leary clans remained. The former's seat was at Dunasead Castle (the castle of jewels) in Baltimore.

This was built in 1600, by Sir  Fineen Ó hEidirsceoil, a knight of Queen Elizabeth I, who is credited with facilitating the English planters moving into the area,  to prevent his lands going to O'Leary or O'Mahony rivals.

They later moved west to Ross Carbery, in West Cork. The islands of Cape Clear, Sherkin and Heir are also ancient seats of the O'Driscolls.

The prefix “O” was dropped by many families up to the 18th century. The earliest recorded settler of the name in the United States was Catherine Driscoll in Boston in 1737.

Their crest represents seafaring and voyages and also bears a black cormorant.