Clandeboye or Clannaboy (from Irish Clann Aodha Buí, "family of Hugh the Blond") was a kingdom of Gaelic Ireland, comprising what is now south County Antrim, north County Down, and the barony of Loughinsholin, Northern Ireland. The entity was relatively late in appearance and is associated partly with the Gaelic resurgence of the High Middle Ages. The Ó Néill Clann Aodha Buidhe who reigned in the territory descended from Aodh Buidhe Ó Néill, a King of Tír Eoghain. His descendants took advantage of the demise of the Earldom of Ulster during the latter 14th century and seized vast portions of territory. Clandeboye's main seats of power were Shane's Castle and Castle Reagh.


Clann Aodha Buidhe  (Irish)
Coat of arms
O'Neill of Clandeboye c. 1500
Common languagesIrish
GovernmentElective monarchy
King / Chief 
Brian mac Aodha Buidhe Ó Néill (first)
Con O'Neill (last)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Earldom of Ulster
Tír Eoghain
Kingdom of Ireland
Today part of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The kingdom came to an end at the dawn of the 17th century after Con O'Neill, the last head of the Clandeboye O'Neills, signed away two-thirds of his land to his close associates Hugh Montgomery and James Hamilton who proceeded to privately settle their land with settlers from Great Britain just prior to the larger Plantation of Ulster. Con would die in 1618. James Hamilton, would become the first Viscount Claneboye in 1622.


The spelling of the name has varied over the years, and had been written variously as Clandeboye, Claneboye, Clandyboy, Clannaboy, and Clanaboy. Clandeboye has also been adopted as the name of an electoral ward of North Down Borough Council. It has survived as a geographical location in modern times as an area of Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland.

Kings and Princes of Clandeboye


  • Aedh Buidhe (Hugh the Blond) O'Neill, King of Tír Eóghain (1260 – 1283).


  • Nial More O'Neill, King of Ulster (c. 1440 –)
  • Brian Ballagh II (Bernard the Freckled) O'Neill, Prince of Clanaboy (1524 – 1529)
  • Murkertac O'Neill (c. 1500 – bef 1567)
  • Murkertac O'Neill (c. 1530 –)
  • Donal O'Neill (c. 1560 –)
  • Conn Boy O'Neill (c. 1590 – c. 1618)
  • Ever O'Neill (c. 1625 – bef 1689)


See also


Oxford Concise Companion to Irish Literature, Robert Welsh, 1996. ISBN 0-19-280080-9

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