A Brief Early History of Donoughmore
Dr. John O Brien, RC Bishop of Cloyne in his dictionary (first published in Paris in 1768) refers to Donoughmore as follows: "Domhnach Mor O hEaluighthe, i.e. the great house of O 'Healy is the name of a town and large parish in Musgry West Ward of Cork, formerly the estate of a very ancient family called O Healy". (Pobul) Ui hEaluighthe is the ancient name of the parish of Donagh-Mor, the ancient estate of the O Healy's.
The parish archives of marriages commenced in the year 1790 and the parish priest of the time wrote the place name as "Donachmore". At that time Irish was spoken in the parish and apparently the people pronounced the word "Donnach" and not "Domhnach".
Tim Healy - the first Governor General of the Irish Free State wrote "My grandfather Thomas Healy of Donoughmore O Healy near Macroom, Co Cork. The word "Domhnach" usually means Sunday, but there is a secondary meaning for the word - a church. This word was usually used for a church founded by St Patrick or some noted saint.
St Lachtin is the patron saint of Donoughmore and was born near Muskerry in the middle of the 6th century. He was of the ruling house of the Coirpre Musc and died in March 622. His feast day is on June 26th or March 19th. His right arm was preserved in an old wooden case of yew, which is now inside the shrine and is featured on the club crest. It was preserved from the plundering Danes when the church was looted in 836AD.
In 1120 a bronze shrine was made to enclose the hand and was preserved in Donoughmore Church. It is wrought in the shape of a forearm and completely covered with patterns inlaid with silver and rows of blue stones. The inscriptions on the shrine read: "A prayer for Maolseachnail O Callaghan, Ard Ri of the Ua Ealach Mumhain who made this shrine (died 1121). The second reads: "A prayer for Cormac son of MacCarthy (died 1138), the third reads: "A prayer for Tadgh son of MacCarthy". The fourth and probably most important runs: "A prayer for Diarmait, son of Mac Deise successor of Lachtaoin".
In 1638 the hand of St Lachtaoin was delivered up to the Protestant Bishop Synge. In 1641 it fell into the hands of Edmund Fitzgerald when Bishop Synge fled Cloyne. It was restored to Donoughmore sometime before 1750. We next hear of it when in 1829 Sir Andrew Fontaine of Norfolk exhibited at the Great London Exhibition in 1851, purchased by the Royal Irish Academy for 410 guineas in 1864. It is now in the National Museum.
noted that this Shrine of St Lachtin's Arm was in the care of the Healy Family
for about 500 years.]
The parish name has been spelt in various forms down through the years as follows:
1199 Domnachmor (Decretal Letter)
1366 Donnaghmore (Pipe Roll of the Bishop of Cloyne)
1461 Donnaghmor (Calendars of Papal Letters)
1577 Donamor (Pardons granted during reign of Elizabeth I)