The Clan/Sept History
Ó Donnnghaile comes from the personal name Donnáil, which is composed of the words "donn" meaning 'brown', and "gal" meaning 'bravery'. The Donnellys are descended from Donnáil O' Neill, who was himself a descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages. The Donnelly clan's original territory was in Co. Donegal, but they subsequently moved to Co. Tyrone, where their name is remembered in the town of Ballydonnelly. Donnelly is the 65th most numerous surname in Ireland today.
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