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The Donamon area of County Roscommon in Ireland has long been associated with the descendants of Irish kings who had names which were composites of the two Celtic words "fionn" (meaning fair), and "sneachta" (meaning snow).
According to The Annals of The Four Masters, one such king (the earliest they mention) was named Finnachta, and he ruled Ireland during the twenty year period between 1277 to 1257 BC.
Finnachta (according to The Four Masters) was the son of a much more famous King of Ireland named Ollamh Fodhla - who was perhaps the most famous of all Irish kings. In fact, Ollamh Fodhla appears to have been one of the most famous kings of all time: as leading Internet search engines will testify.
Names based on the words "fionn" and "sneachta" now appear in several different forms in both the Irish and English languages.
Such family names are believed to include ALL of the following:
O' Fionnachta, fiannachta, Finnerty, O'Finnerty, O'Finaghty, Finaghty, O'Fenaghty, Fenaughty, Finaughity, Feenaghty, Fennaghty, Fennaughty, O'Finnaughty, Finerty, Finnearty, O'Finnearty, Finnarty, Fennerty, Fenerty, Fenety, Fenarty, and Finnesty. (Please note: it is very likely that there are several other slightly different variations not included here.)
In addition, there is reason to believe that some (at least) of the people with the surnames Fenton, Snow, and possibly White and Whitehead as well, are also members of the "Fionn-Sneachta" group.
On June 26th 2003 there will be a gathering of people associated with the Fionn-Sneachta name (either directly or through marriage) at Donamon Castle. It is hoped that it will be the FIRST OF SEVERAL such gatherings in modern times.
According to one report, the last significant "O'Finnaughty" Gathering at Donamon took place in 1170.
This web site has been set up to help prepare for the June 26th 2003 Gathering. Assuming all goes well, it may also me used to commemorate the event in future years.
Further information - including some help for people requiring accommodation in the area - can be found at the "Kilbegnet" web site address provided below.
Did you know?
Three Kings of Ireland were Finnertys;
There were provincial Finnerty Kings of Ulster, Connacht, and Leinster;
Over 40 Finnertys were sub-Kings and Lords;
One Saint of Iona [the Isle of Saints] was a Finnerty;
Many religious sites in Ireland are named Finnerty;
There were numerous Bishops and Abbots named Finnerty;
and that there were Finnerty Lords in nearly every county in Ireland.
Like to find out more? If so, please come along to the O'Finnerty Seminar on June 24th 2003 (1pm to 4pm) at the C.S. Parnell Heritage Centre in Creggs - which is just a few miles from Donamon Castle.
The Seminar will be conducted by Lt. Col. Richard Finnerty (USAF ret.) of Honolulu, Hawaii.
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