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The Gaelic Kingship Groups :
In traditional Gaelic societies, a paternal kingship group is referred to as a ‘Clann’, or the Gaelic word ‘fine’, both in technical use to signify a dynastic grouping descended from a common ancestor, much larger than a personal family, which consists of various kindred-types and individual septs, the Gaelic word ‘fine’ not to be confused with the term ‘fian’, as a band of roving men whose principal occupations were hunting, warfare and minor skirmishes.
Using the Munster-based Eoganachta as a good example, members of this clan claimed paternal descent from Eoghan Mor, it is further divided into major kindred-types, such as the Eoganacht Chaisil, the Glendamnach, the Aine, the Locha Lein and the Raithlind, these kindred-types themselves contain individual septs that have been passed down as surnames.
For example the Eoganacht Chaisil includes the modern day O’ Callaghans’, the MacCarthys’ & the O’ Sullivans’. The Irish Gaels can be grouped into the following major historical groups :
Connacht includes the Northern Ui Neills’ the Clan Colla, the Ui Maine, the Dal gCais, the Northern Eoganachta, the Erainne, the Dal Riata & the Dal Fiatach.
Laigin & Ulaid includes the Dal nAraidi, plus in the Highlands of the Ulaid, the various Gaelic-originated clans claimed and were absorbed by the original West Coast Scots settlers of MacGregor, MacDuff, & the MacLarens all claimed mutual descent from Sil Conairi.
New arrivals in the Middle Ages of the MacNeill’s, the Buchanan’s’ & the Munro’s’ all claimed to be related to the Northern Ui Neill’s, as part of their self-justification taking over the power from the Norse-Gael MacLeod’s in the Herbrides, with the powerful MacDonald’s claiming to originated from the Clan Colla.
Sil Conairi, ‘The Seed Of Conaire’, were those Erainne septs of the legendary Clann Dedad descended from the great monarch Conaire Mor, the son of Eterscel Mor, and a descendant of Deda Mac Syn, namely the Dal Riata, founding the Kingdom Of Alba.
Reference : http://www.wikipedia.org