Scannell or Ó Scannail may refer to:


The Name Scannell (Irish: Ó Scannail) derives from the ancient Irish word Scannail. 'Ó Scannail' literally translates as "Of the Contentious One". There were originally three quite distinct septs or clans, the first sept being the Ó Scannail, who belonged to West Munster and specifically the Counties of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, and Clare, with Ballyscanlan in County Clare deriving its name from the sept. The clan of Scannell were a sept of the Eóganachta. Scannell was a sept of some significance and it is recorded that in 1014, Eocha, son of Dunadbach, Chief of Clann Scannail, and Scannail son of Cathal, Lord of Eóganacht Locha Léin, were killed at the Battle of Clontarf.[1][2]

The Eóganachta were an Irish dynasty centred on Cashel which dominated southern Ireland from the 7th to the 10th centuries,[3] and following that, in a restricted form, the Kingdom of Desmond, and its offshoot Carbery, well into the 16th century. By tradition the dynasty was founded by Conall Corc but named after his ancestor Éogan, the firstborn son of the semi-mythological 3rd-century king Ailill Aulom. This dynastic clan-name, for it was never in any sense a 'surname,' should more accurately be restricted to those branches of the royal house which descended from Conall Corc, who established Cashel as his royal seat in the late fifth century.[4]

The rule of the Eóganachta in Munster is widely regarded as gentle and more sophisticated in comparison with the other provincial dynasties of Ireland. Not only was Munster the wealthiest of the provinces, but the Eóganachta were willing to concede other previously powerful kingdoms whom they had politically marginalized, such as the Corcu Loígde, considerable status and freedom from tribute, based on their former status as rulers of the province. See Byrne 2001 for an extensive description of the kingdom.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Most Reverend Patrick O' Scanlan (also called O' Scannell),and dated 1262 - 1272, when he was Bishop of Raphoe and afterwards of Armagh.


  1. Annals of Innisfallen
  2. T.M.Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland
  3. Ó Corráin 2001, p. 30
  4. Byrne, F.J., Irish Kings and High Kings, London, 1973, p. 177. .
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