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The warrior ethic of the McGinleys has long been known in north Donegal, which at one point led to some suggestions that they were a clan of Gallowglass origin, however there is little to support this theory. The McGinleys served under the Sweeneys for many centuries, even though they would seem to have been principally a clan of religion. Most of the conflicts that the McGinleys took part in were part of the so called Nine Years War. There is little or no evidence to suggest warfare between McGinleys and neighbouring clans although they did take part in two important battles over the leadership of Donegal. On both occasions it is likely that, as a small clan, there participation was minor. In both of these conflicts the McGinleys were on the winning side.

Names of the main battles:

Cath Beainín / The Battle of Binnion Hill, 1557

Cath Scairbh Sholuis / The Battle of Scarriffollis, 1567

Cath Doire Leathan / The Battle of Derrylahan, 1590

Cath Béal an Atha Buí / The Battle of The Yellow Ford, 1598

Cath Cinn tSáile / The Battle of Kinsale, 1601

Cath Cill Mhic nÉanáin / The Battle of Kilmacrennan, 1608

Cath Caisleán na dTuaith / The Battle of Doe Castle, 1641




Meaning of the Name

Clan Origins

Clan Territory

Surname Distribution

St Colm Cille

Native Clothing


Clan Leadership


McGinleys in America


Special Places

Neighbouring Clans

McGinley Placenames

Coat of Arms

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