By Peadar O'Donovan, Skibbereen Printers 1991
The O'Donovan name, according to Peadar O'Donovan, has been associated with SouthWest Cork for 800 years. O'Donovans and their kinsmen, the Collinses and the Connollys, were forced south around 1200 A.D. by the Geraldines, after the Norman invasion (1169), from the kingdoms of Ui Conaill Gabhra and Uí Cairbre Aofa in Co. Limerick.
He suggests that the warcry "Crom Abú" was the O'Donovan warcry, first heard in Croom, Co. Limerick where Crom, the progenitor and chieftain of the O'Donovan Clan built a castle 200 years before the Norman invasion. This warcry was later to be taken up by the Fitzgeralds.
He goes on to explain the derivation of the name. Derived from Donndubháin, Donn being a proper name of those of noble rank and dubháin signifying anything black, especially a black haired person. Surnames came into usage around 1000 A.D. the name became Ó Donnabháin, meaning grandson (Ó) of Donovan.
The O'Donovans were originally located at
Bruree, in the valley of the river Maigue, in what is now
Co. Limerick. The "O'Donovan" tuath was called
Ui Fidhgeinte, (Ee Fee-yinte) -- and approximated to the
present diocesse of Limerick. About 950, Ui Fidhgeinte
split into two separate "tuatha" -- the eastern
one taking the name Ui Cairbre (Ee Cairb-reh). The old
royal family became kings of this new "tuath"
with Bruree still as their headquarters. For this reason
they were sometimes described as the kings of Bruree.
Links to sites of O'Donovan interest
Talk of the Nation
Tim Pat Coogan and Christine Kennelly
talking about the irish potato famine