The O'Hair --- O'Hare Line
two bars and a chief indented or.
rampant Argent, Ducally gorged or.
videri sed ease. (Not to seem but to be.)
The Irish family of O'hare (O'Hair)
is descended from Ir, fifth son of Milesius, according to the ancient Irish
pedigrees. The clan O'Hare was an old and powerful one; there are
many clans bearing names that are derived from this form, O'Hir, and O'Hair,
also O'Heir. They were all originally derived from O'H-Ir or Slioght Ir,
a branch of the MacRannall Family, which in the reign of Queen Elizabeth
was forced to abandon its Irish name and take the name of Reynolds.
The O'Heir family was a chieftain clan of County Armagh, but we find the
name O'Hair mentioned in Spanish records, proving that many of them had
to abandon their homes and seek service in the armies of the Spanish King.
One seems to have won a title for himself in Spain. But though the more
adventurous members of this sept went abroad, for centuries the name O'Hair
struggled to maintain its rights and its position in Newry, County Down.
The city of Newry, though now but a small and rather desolate spot, was
for centuries one of the most important cities in Irish history. The remains
of ancient earthquakes, and raths, show us that before the dawn of authentic
history, a powerful race of kings dwelt here. We know that the mighty rath,
that we can still see, is all that remains of a royal palace. The
position of the city has always made it important; it is placed at the
head of Carlingford Lough, and its seaport in the past was one of the busiest
in all Ireland. Though the town now possesses little beauty, its situation
is strikingly lovely. It is enclosed with the Newry Mountains and
Sleive Gullion on the West, and the Mourne Mountains on the east, and it
lies in a narrow valley rich with flowers and grains, that are watered
by numerous beautiful mountain streams and rivers. In this place the family
lived until the eighteenth century.