The MacNamara’s of Uí Caisín

Below is a short biography of the McNamara’s, Gaelic overlords of the once substantial Clan Cuilein/Uí Caisín territories, centralised on Quin. They were responsible for the construction of many ‘castles’ or more prosaically tower houses or peel towers across their territories.  The tri-vallate ringfort at Cahercalla was one of their earlier abodes, before adopting tower houses as their residences of choice.

The attached MacNamara family tree was constructed by Robert Twigg who was related to the MacNamaras through marriage. A contemporary of TJ Westropp, he was a very proficient local historian.


We are very grateful toRistéard Ua Cróinín and Martin Breen for permission to use this extract from their 1986 article in the Other Clare on ‘Ballymarkahan Castle:A MacNamara Residenceof the Medieval Period.’

Much is yet to be written about the huge wealth of castles near Quin village and the surrounding areas.                                                                                                        


MínaShamhna, 2021