O'Mordha / O'Moore / Moore of Leinster

Contact: John Moore: Honorary Clan Chieftain,
Email: jmoore_dub@yahoo.co.uk
6 Rochfort Park,Ballyowen Lane, Lucan, Co. Dublin, K78 T220, Ireland

The historical territory of the Uí Mhórdha (O'Moores) was primarily in Leix, now Co. Laois. There is an Irish language genealogy of the family written in the mid-17th century and is printed in the journal Analecta Hibernica (1951), no 18, p.140 [under pedigree no.1839) by a member of the genealogical-chronicler family, Ó Cléirigh. It is clear from this genealogy and other references (See 'The Midland Septs of the Pale' by F.R. Montgomery Hitchcock, 1908, pp 151) that the late medieval territory of the Uí Mhórdha stretched across Laois and Offaly, with the former sometimes referred to in 16th century English official correspondence as 'O'Moore's Country'. They were allied to the midland O'Conors and were displaced by the plantations of the midlands in the 1560s. They were present at the infamous massacre of Mullaghmast in 1578 which was perpetrated by English colonists during the plantation of Queens County (now Co. Laois). The 'Laigis' or Laigse were the early medieval population group who gave their name to Leix/Laois (previously Queens County), and they are often called 'secht Laigse Lagen' - the 'seven Laigse of Leinster'. They were a powerful group and in the medieval period their chief lineage was the Uí Mhórdha/O'Moores. The family still held some position in the aftermath of the Cromwellian confiscations of the 1650s for we see that they are recorded as landowners in Laois, as recorded in the 1659 Census of Ireland (ed. Seamus Pender).