Origin of the Crowley name

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The ancestral home of the Crowleys is West Cork. One of the surviving Crowley Castles may be seen in the vicinity of the town of Dunmanway. It is interesting to note how the O'Crowley got his name. King Brian Boru's army at Clontarf (Good Friday, 1014 A.D.) consisted mainly of Claremen, South Galwaymen and Munstermen. Among the Munstermen was the O'Crowley and his clansmen from Desmond. They had the reputation of being tough, hard-fighting men. O'Crowley's troops at Clontarf were close to King Brian's tent. They occupied the high ground overlooking Dublin Bay and formed the core of his reserve troops. 

Tradition records that Clontarf was a very bloody battle with victory ebbing and flowing every hour, the Irish and the Danes being bowled over like ninepins. Despite the rigours of old age, King Brian quickly assessed the situation, and fearing stalemate, sent for the O'Crowley and said: Anois, a Cruadh Laoich, taisbean dom neart do laimhe (Now, Hard Warrior, show me the strength of your hand). Tradition further relates that the O'Crowley and his clansmen tore into battle and, after hard fighting, broke the back of the Danish resistance.

Origin of the Crowley Name Compiled & Researched by Joseph Crowley, born near Kilmihil, retired to Cork City.

(First appeared in the Crowley Clan Newsletter - July 2004)