Moygara“O’Gara’s Castle” Co. Sligo 1786.                      Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland
Copper engraved print published in  Antiquities of Ireland, First Volume by Francis Grose Printed for S. Hooper 1791

Mágh-Ui-Gadhra, Moygara or Moyogara

“On the northern slope of Mullaghatee, on a plateau which gently declines towards the lake, stands the Castle of Moygara,  one of the very best examples in  the County of Sligo of an ancient castellated building.  It is rectangular in shape, the curtain walls enclosing a large lawn. On the west side was the dwelling,  and there stood the entrance, in which the grooves for the portcullis still remain.”

source: Wood-Martin,  Sligo: Vol 1, 1538, 1602.


“The castle of Moygara, in which the head of the O’Gara family resided, was a spacious and strong structure of 185 feet square”

– Hilary Murphy   – Famous Irish Names – the O’Gara’s : a notable Connacht clan

Ireland’s Own


MapFor further information about the Castle:

Moygara Castle Research Project









18 Responses to Moygara

  1. Sharon Esterhuyse nee McGeary says:

    McGeary is one of those that from the O Gara clan. I would love to trace my family history.My grandfather’s name was George Charles M’Geary and was a stone mason who settled in South Africa

    I reside in South Africa and would love to know any history possible. I am very proud of my Irish ancestery

    I gleaned most of my name connection with Moygara castle from the link above. I would love to hear from you,

    Kind Regards,

  2. The study about the Morgara castle site is very interesting.
    For as long as I remember my Dad told me that the last name Geary is somewhat
    rare in the states, and he was right- everywhere I went I would look in the phone
    book and would hardly see a Geary listed-I always felt somewhat alone, as to my
    dad’s family- his parents died in 1926 – he was only 3 yrs old. so it seemed like the
    Geary side was silent- he had a sister and brother – and as usual in those days
    they were raised as farm hands by his uncle – very sad.
    So now when I find another Geary we call each other Cousins since there is so
    few of us.

    • Brad Geary says:

      Hey! Cousin you need to go to Geary County thats in the states somewhere im not sure where as i live in Australia

  3. BARBARA ROTH says:

    My great great grandfather came from Roscommon, Ireland. His name was Dominic Thomas O’gara. Would like to know if he still has family in Ireland. I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. My email is:

    • Lynda says:

      My uncle is Thomas O’Gara who lives in Massachusetts.Just to let you know.I am related to the them if you have questions.

  4. Melissa O'Harra says:

    Hello from Northern California; My last name is O’Harra, my grandfather told of Moygara and here I am. I have looked under O’Harra but found no one in a gene tree or ancestors. Story goes, my Great Grandfather O’Harra came with his cousin an O’Carroll and they arrived in Washington State and the O’Carroll’s opened up a grand place called Homestead; pictures inside this stage, bar, diner, are absolutely wonderful. My Father Willard Franklin O’Harra came to Beale Air Force Base in 1962 to Vietnam and back in 1966; met my Mother at a small town barn dance (he just in from warfare, My Mother a pretty little redhead, and shy; she asked him to dance and from there….:) I did have much more pictures and detail but no longer. I do not know with and absoluteness the Moygarra is same in photo I saw of a black and white my Grandpa had; its this one: Moygara ever see a moygarra?

    Melissa O’Harra

    • Kerri Lapham says:

      My mother told me way back when that the majority of O’Gara’s had changed their last names to O’Hara,/ O’Harra.

  5. Cathal P. O'Gara says:

    Does anyone have any relations with the O’Gara’s of Donegal, Ireland? My grandfather is an O’Gara from Donegal, and I want to know how they got there and why.
    If you have any info or relations to this branch of O’Gara’s please e-mail me at
    Thanks. Cathal

    • john o'gara says:

      My father is an O’Gara from Carrick Co. Donegal. He also has a brother Cathal which is a common first name among the O’Garas. I myself was born in Dublin but have been to Donegal many times.

      I don’t know exactly when the O’Garas came to Donegal but I am told that it was following the Flight of the Earls which was in 1607. I don’t know if this is accurate though. The original O’Gara stronghold was around Loch Gara, Co. Sligo so it is easy to see how they would just have to travel across Donegal Bay to Co. Donegal.

      It may have been later that the O’Gara’s fled as Fergal O’Gara managed to hold onto Moy Gara until 1648. He actually served as MP for Sligo in the Dublin Parliament. It was following the Rebellion of 1641 and just before Cromwell took control in 1649. This was the time when Catholics were banished to Connacht and I would think is a more likely time when some of the O’Garas fled to Donegal.

  6. Teenie Wilton-Long says:

    I am an indigenous Australian and my Maternal Great Grandfather was William Geary who was sent to Australia on a convict ship from Ireland back in the early 1800s. Great Grandfather William married my Great Grandmother Rose Broom. My Grandfather was John (Jack) Geary so my Mother’s maiden name was Geary before she married my Dad. One of our relatives from Ireland flew to Australia in late 1986 to meet my Mother Mary, her Sister Marcella and their Cousin Frank, who was also a Geary. Unfortunately I have forgotten the name of the relative that came over. He was tracing the family tree and gave my Mum and Aunt some documents about our ancestry,some of which my family and I still hold. I would dearly like to find out more about my Irish family history, particularly about any remaining relatives, as I and some other family members plan to visit Ireland perhaps in the next year or so. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  7. John Garrah says:

    Always availabe to help.

  8. Gary Keller says:

    My mother was an O’Gara, she grew up in Nebraska and South Dakota, USA. Her father and his siblings were also Nebraskans. One of my sisters has the entire history but one of our ancestors was a Bridgit O’Gara. I plan to visit Ireland in mid-May, 2015. We will make a trip to County Sligo and I plan to visit Moygara. I would enjoy meeting any O’Garas who may be in the Sligo area. I know there is a Ciaran O’Gara who joined a family Facebook I created for my cousins and O’Gara-side of my family and I have seen his Facebook posts but he has not replied to a few of my messages. My emal is if any of the O’Garas from Ireland has any suggestions or time for a pint in Sligo next spring! Oh yes, my mother named me “Gary” in honor of “O’Gara.”

    • Peggy Call says:

      Gary, we are likely related! My O’Gara’s emigrated, went to WI, then on to homestead in Nebraska. We have connections to Bridgit.
      Interestingly, I have a brother named “Gary” as my mother didn’t want to give up her maiden name of O’Gara but kept it in the form of naming her son Gary.
      So – another named Gary in honor of O’Gara.
      How was your trip ??
      I’ve got quite a bit of history compiled but would love to compare with you / your sister.

  9. Naomi O'Gara says:

    I’d love to be able to trace back my ancestry. The O’Gara name is from my father’s side, but have no idea where his grandparents came from. Be nice to know if myself and the other O’Gara’ s on here could be linked.

  10. Adrian O'Gara says:

    My father was born in Glencolumbkille, Co. Donegal where there are three distinct different O’Gara families that moved there in the late 1800s to early 1900s from Sligo. My father moved to London in the late 1960s where two brothers and two sisters settled within a few miles of each other. They all now have children and grandchildren so there’s now a new settlement of 30+ O’Gara’s here. Other brothers moved to Dublin and Cardiff but we all return to Donegal every year often twice (for spring and summer).

    I think it would be great to have a meet up around Easter 2016 where I could bring brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins.

    P.S. I personally married a second generation Irish woman with the family name of Moyles (French in origin but common in Mayo due to French settlers). Although she took the O’Gara name when we married she did try to negotiate. She asked if we would change both our names to Moygara – as a middle ground – as nice as it sounds I couldn’t cut off the history of my family name. 🙂

  11. Brad Geary says:

    i live in Western Australia there is not many Geary’s here i dont know when they left Ireland or much about family history what i do know is the first born son always has Rochford in their name and they the ancestors were exiled for what! i dont know my parents emigrated to Australia from England in the 1950’s so im going to say this Gday! cousins

  12. Marty o Gara says:

    My name is Marty o Gara
    I am 5 great generation of Martin o Gara

    My grandfather from Sligo
    Martin p o Gara 1933-1996

    My great grandfather l
    Martin Joseph o Gara
    Married twice
    Isabella Taylor 2 children
    Catherine o byryne
    My great gran mother
    2 children
    Theresa Kathleen o Gara
    Known as Kathleen
    Kilcoole Wicklow

    Martin o Gara my grandfather
    Married nuala myler 1935-2020

    9 children
    . Msg. Robert Gara 1920-2000 my gran uncle.
    Maureen Gara

    My great grandfather also had a fling after Isabella
    With Susan Murray
    She gave a child up for adoption in 1922 in New York

    That son ended up in El Salvador and married the daughter of first president of El Salvador

    His name was luis

    He had 5 children and these are 1st cousins
    My great great grandfather
    Martin Gara married Maria Flynn
    11 children

    Lived in ballaghdreen -Roscommon
    My great grandfather was there son Martin

    His parents were Martin Gara and Catherine Tarpy of Sligo
    1821-1900 and 1825-1905

    But as I found out before this was a priest who was archbishop of team
    And he had a brother Charles o Gara


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