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The Armorial Register - International Register of Arms - Ó Catháin, T.P.S.

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Terence Patrick Stuart Ó Catháin

Registered: The International Register of Arms, 17th November 2020. Registration No. 0580 (Vol.4)

Arms: Gules three Roaches Hauriant Argent.

Crest: none

Motto: Felis Demulcta Mitis.

Grant: Ancient Arms recorded in the pedigrees of the College of Arms (Ulster Records) 1754.

The Arms of Terence Patrick Stuart Ó Catháin

The Armiger & his sons are descended from the Ó Catháin sept of Ulster, (Occasionally incorrectly spelt O’Cahan or Anglicised as Kane), a sept of the Cenél nEógain branch of the Northern Uí’Néill in medieval Ireland. The Ó Catháin sept held the lordship of Keenaght, Coleraine & Limavady in County Londonderry until the seventeenth century, to which it was commonly referred to as "Ó Catháin's country". The Ó Catháin sept of Keenaght-Glengiven, first appear on record in 1138. The first Chieftain of the Ó Catháin sept was Cathán (‘Cath’: Irish, a battle, and ‘án’ one who), from which all descendants of the Ó Catháin sept bear his name. The prefix ‘Ó’ meaning descended from. Other notable Chieftains include Manus-Cath-an-Duin Ó Catháin, killed at the Battle of Down and his son Cú-Maighe-na-nGall Ó Catháin, buried at Dungiven Priory in the Ó Catháin tomb.

The armiger is a descendent of the Sir Donnell-Ballagh Ó Catháin line of the Ó Catháin sept. Ó Catháin, the eldest son of Rory-Ruadh Ó Catháin, was a major Ulster landholder and the last Chieftain of the Ó Catháin sept that ruled the area between the River Bann in Belfast to the River Foyle in Londonderry, which he held off the Ó Néill Earls of Tyrone as their liegeman (Ur Rí-or Under King-in Irish). He also obtained a grant of escheated lands in County Waterford. His main property was Dungiven Castle in Dungiven. He was knighted in September 1607 by Sir Arthur Chichester, the Crowns Lord Deputy in Ireland. The musical air ‘Londonderry Air’ (Later known as ‘Danny Boy’) was originally called ‘Ó Catháin’s Lament’ & was written for Sir Donnell-Ballagh Ó Catháin after his death in 1627.

The armiger’s arms are the ancient arms of Sir Donnell Ballagh O’Cahan, of which the armiger is a descendant and which first appear in the records of the College of Arms in 1754 when a family pedigree was placed on record in the Office of Ulster King of Arms. The armiger’s descent from the family has been confirmed by the Genealogical Society of Ireland.

In a “Report, of research into the armorial bearings of Sir Donnell Ballagh O’Cahan” by Adam Tuck, Rouge Dragon Pursuivant, College of Arms, extensive searches were conducted among the official records of the College of Arms for entries which might shed light upon the armorial bearings, if any, of Sir Donnell Ballagh O’Cahan (knighted 1607). While no mention was found of Sir Donnell O’Cahan himself, marriages to O’Cahan daughters are featured within several eighteenth-century pedigrees of other families, and these pedigrees consistently assign the family arms which may be blazoned: Gules three Roaches [or sometimes simply Fishes] Haurient Argent. The report goes into great detail and concludes that “It is therefore possible that the Kings of Arms who made these later confirmations were aware of, or at least open to the existence of, the earlier coat borne by Sir Donnell O’Cahan and the other members of his family.”

The armiger was born in 1961 in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Terence Patrick Timothy & Elizabeth Laura  Bridgid Ó Catháin (née Bryne). He is married to Sharon Maria Bernadette Ó Catháin (née Scully) daughter of William Desmond Anthony Scully & Mary Anne Theresa Scully (née O’Gorman).

The armiger, Terence Patrick Stuart Timothy & Sharon Maria Bernadette Ó Catháin married 1998 have had the following issue.

1.) Diurán William Terence Francis Ó Catháin, b. 1999.
2.) Killian Timothy Peter Ó Catháin, b. 2002.
3.) Lorcán Patrick Michael Ó Catháin, b.2004.

The three Roach fish represent the family’s Christian faith, as the charge of a fish is commonly used as a symbol of Christianity. There are three fish to represent the Holy Trinity. The motto ‘Felis Demulcta Mitis’ is a Latin version of an Irish Proverb that translates into English as ‘A Stroked Cat is Gentle’; although it is sometimes rephrased as ‘Gentle in Peace, Fearless in war’.

The Pennon of Terence Patrick Stuart Ó Catháin


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The Armorial Bearings of Terence Patrick Stuart Ó Catháin