Welcome to the Carroll of Oriel website. The purpose of this website is to record aspects of family history that pertain to the Carroll of Oriel family and to act as a template for future historical research. There is however another purpose, perhaps an even more important one, to give encouragement to people throughout the world today whose culture, whose way of life, is under threat. The Carroll of Oriel family survived military adversity, changing political structures and the attempted eradication of the entire Gaelic way of life by a hostile power.
I believe that we survived because we always retained a knowledge of who we were and how we originated as a family. Because of this a sense of continuity was passed down throughout the generations and no amount of political or economic upheaval could abolish that. I consider that our survival as a family is a remarkable achievement and an encouragement to others and I believe that it behoves us to share with others what factors helped us survive bleak historical times.
But there were also many high points worth celebrating. The wisdom and leadership given to my family by my ancestor King Donough O’Carroll in the twelfth century encouraged us through many centuries and even figures from remote historical times continue to inspire. In more recent times the devotion to the service of others and to the enrichment of the cultural life of the Irish nation by my more recent ancestors has equally been inspiring.
All this shows that a family is a connected unit which moves down through the generations, each generation refining and enhancing the work of previous generations. Although we are all merely points in a sequence each of us has an opportunity to contribute to the betterment of mankind. The Carroll of Oriel family has produced many remarkable people over the centuries who have contributed to the wider world. It is my ambition that this continues.
The O’Carroll Oriel
Vincent Joseph Harvey Carroll O’Carroll Oriel is the 25th direct descendent of Donough O’Carroll, King of Oriel and the 133rd direct descendent of Adam and Eve according to ancient Gaelic genealogies. He was born in Dublin, the eldest son of Richard Anthony and Margaret Catherine née Harvey.
Early History of Oriel
From the earliest of times the Airgilla or families of Oriel consisted of nine different family groupings, each occupying a well defined sub-region of the lands of Oriel. The Carroll of Oriel family are descended from one such family grouping, the Uí Chremthainn whose original lands would have been around Clogher in the modern Co. Tyrone.
Mellifont Abbey in County Louth was founded because of the enthusiasm of three people, King Donough O’Carroll of Oriel, Malachy O’Morgair and St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Malachy O’Morgair is more commonly known as St. Malachy. In 1140 Malachy went to Rome for a meeting with the Pope. He did so in his capacity as Papal Legate.