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The descent of the original Tyrone family has continued unbroken, down to the present holder of the title of O Neill Mr.
From the sixth to the twelfth century, the Grianan of Aileach, which overlooks the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal, was an O Neill stronghold.
From the fifth to the eleventh century, and from the twelfth century to the death of Red Hugh O Neill in 1608, this dominant family were monarchs of all Ireland, kings of Ulster, earls and princes of Tyrone, statesmen and soldiers.
The O Neills are the oldest family in Europe with unbroken descent in the male line.
He took a royal hostage from each of the nine kingdoms he subjugated, hence his famous nickname.
The families that descend from Niall are collectively known as the U Neill, meaning descendants of Niall, and not to be confused with the sept of O Neill.
His name is perpetuated in the territorial name Clannaboy or Clandeboy.
It is recorded that he ordered his soldiers to carry away the stones with their provisions.He had twelve sons, of whom four moved into Ulster to establish the dynasty there.Eoghan, son of Niall gave his name to Tir Eoghain (in English Tyrone) and twelve generations later we find his descendant, Niall Glandubh (Niall of the Black Knee) as High King in 890 A. He was killed in battle against the Norsemen near Dublin in 919. 943) who adopted the surname O Neill, meaning grandson of Niall.Clare, but the Nihills and the Creaghs of that county claim to be of Thomond O Neill stock.Modern historians believe that Nihills were originally Ulster O Neills who settled in Co. The name O Neill is quite numerous in and around Co.
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