Gortkelly Castle – a former Ryan residence.

History of the Ryan Clan

Ryan was, and still is, the most prominent surname in Tipperary.

So prominent, in fact, that it has been necessary to ascribe nicknames to distinguish the various families. Many of those old Ryan nicknames predate the Great Famine.

The Ryans have a long history in Tipperary, particularly in the hill country surrounding Newport, where there were no fewer than 82 Ryan landowners on the eve of the mid-17th century Cromwellian Plantation.

The February OHS Talk – ‘The History of the Ryan Clan of Tipperary and Limerick’ on Monday, February 6, at the Abbey Court Hotel – will trace the story of that clan from their origins in Carlow and some of the major events of their presence in the baronies of Owney and Owneybeg from the 1200s to 1600s. It will consider whether the O'Ryans and O'Mulryans are one and the same, and when and why the O'Mulryans came to the Tipperary/Limerick region. It will also review important places and archaeological sites, such as castles associated with the Ryan family.

The speaker is Derek Ryan, Chairperson of the Arra Historical and Archaeological Society. Derek completed a Diploma in Archaeology at NUIG in 2017. He has a broad interest in the archaeology, history and folklore of Tipperary and runs a Facebook page called ‘The Tipperary Antiquarian’. He has been researching the history of the Ryans since 2010 and in relation to this runs the Facebook page: ‘Ryan Clan of Tipperary and Limerick’.

All are invited to this interesting talk at the Abbey Court Hotel on Monday, February 6, starting at the usual time of 8pm. Admission - €10 for non-members; OHS members free.