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From: "Jane Lyons" <>
Subject: [DEVINE] Devine Name (some History of: Ireland)
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 13:34:03 +0100
References: <MFMBM006SAU1LFLHgvp0000a902@mfmbm006.myfamilycorp.local>

By Thomas Devine (born 4th March, 1846, Ballymagorry, Co Tyrone, died 1929,
Campsie, Co. Derry, with minor editing by his son James M. Devine and his
grandson Thomas E. Devine)

The Devines originally belonged to the country of Fermanagh, and are
descended from the Gruoch na Colla or three brothers, who conquered the clan
Rorys and destroyed the ancient palace of Emania, which was for centuries
the great fort or stronghold of the Red Branch Knights. The names of these
brothers were Colla Maen, Colla Da-Crioch and Colla Uais. They took
possession of a portion of Counties Down, Armagh, Louth, Monaghan and
Fermanagh. The Devines claim Colla Huiss as their ancestor. The name
Devine is derived from King Cairbre, second of one of the Collas, who was
the Ard Righ or High King of Ireland, a man distinguished for his generosity
and liberality towards his friends. Hence, he was called Cairbre, Arigiod
na Daimh, or the Dispensor of the Golden Presents. The word Daimh is
pronounced 'duif', hence Divin-Devine-Devane-Davin-Devenny-Diver, etc. The
Annalists tell us of the race of Daimens being settled in Fermanagh along
the river Erne. It is related that in the thirteenth century in an election
held for the chieftancy, the Devines were defeated by the McGuires, after
which the Devines seem never to have regained their supremacy in Fermanagh.
After their failure to maintain their power in Fermanagh, the clan seems to
have scattered out seeking settlements in the neighboring counties,
especially Tyrone, where they settled in the district of Donaghady, north of
Strabane, becoming active and firm supporters of the O'Neils. Many of the
race of Devine are found in Sligo, Mayo and Donegal. There are also quite a
few of the name in County Derry in the districts adjoining Tyrone.
There is a townland along Burndennet in Donaghady, Co Tyrone called
Lisdivin , translated as Devine's Castle of Fort. This would confirm the
tradition of the Devines owning the district of Donaghady from the Ferry at
Donelong on the Foyle to the Butter Lox above Donaghmana. In the district
or country above and around Donananna, the name is still very plentiful.
There are also many of the name to be found in the Southern part of County
Derry, Altahoney and Fir Glen district. Whether the Devines or Divins of
Donegal are descended from the Tyrone branch or came direct from Fermanagh
is difficult to determine at the present time. It is most probable that
after the great defeat and slaughter of the Irish army at Ballymacool or
Ballysollis near Letterkenny, numbers of the Tyrone men did not deem it
prudent to return again among the planters or Cromwellians, but sought
refuge among the hills and glens of Donegal. Thomas Devine, born 1845, was
of the opinion that people of the name Devine lived in the Dunfanaghy
District in his time. He recalled a John Devine, who lived at Dunfanaghy,
who married the sister of Primate McGettigan. He repaired and built a
number of chapels in the Diocese of Raphoe.

The chief characteristics of the race are hot and impulsive temperament,
quick to resent an insult, ready to forgive and make friends, affable to
strangers, always ready to relieve distress, generous to excess. As a race
they are physically strong and athletic, brave and courageous. In addition
they are characterized by love of country and the religion of their
ancestors, many of them having died in its defense.

The Devines have furnished many priests to the church in the Dioceses of
Derry and Raphoe. There are quite a few of the name at the present time in
the Derry Diocese. A Father Thomas Devine of Carrigart was a notable figure
in troublesome times in Donegal. Also, Father Hugh Devine, P.P.,
Dunfanaghy, who died about 1912, was most highly respected. The Diocese of
Derry had many priests of the name in the Penal times. When there were only
six secular priests in the dioceses in 1741, one of them was a Father James
Devine. There is the name of the Rev. Manassas Devine, who died in 1794,
on a stone slab to be seen to this day in the old graveyard at Cumber,
Claudy. No doubt, there are a great many more whose names are now
forgotten. There was a Father Neal Devine whose remains lie under a side
altar in the old Claudy Church. He died in 1884, as may be seen by the
inscription on a small marble slab above the altar.

Another notable of the Church was the martyred Bishop of the Diocese of Down
and Connor, Connor O'Divaney, who suffered on the 11th of May 1611. The
aged prelate was over 80 years old. He was hanged, drawn and quartered, and
his body placed in a hurdle and hauled through the streets of Dublin
followed by a crowd of weeping women dipping their handkerchiefs in his
martyred blood as it fell on the pavement. It was a scene most horrible to
contemplate. It is believed that Connor O'Diveny, was born in Glen Finn,
Co. Donegal.

In the great rising of 1641, a Felix or Philip Devine, commanding the Irish
forces under Phelim O'Neil, laid siege to the town and castle of Strabane,
Co. Tyrone, which was taken with a large number of prisoners and arms.
Among the prisoners were the Hamiltons (now the Abercorns). Captain Phillip
Devine showed more generosity to his prisoners on this occasion than the
English commander Coote did to the unfortunate Irish at Ballysolis,
Letterkenny. Captain Philip Devine had a brother, a priest, who was made
governor of Strabane when the Irish forces that had taken Strabane went to
join the army of Owen Roe O'Neill. Most of the men led by Captain Philip
Devine belonged to the Donaghady district and accompanied Owen Roe in his
campaign against the Scots and Cromwellians. They were at the great battle
of Benburb and the other battles in which the Ulster men displayed such
During "The Troubles" from 1916 to 1922 there were many of the name Devine
who made the supreme sacrifice. There was a fine man, a member of the Dail,
who lost his life in Sligo. Another was killed by the 'Black and Tans' at
Fentona, whilst others were imprisoned at Ballykinla, Co Derry. A man named
Bernard Devine, secretary for Hughes Bakery Co., Belfast, was murdered in
his office during the troubles of 1922 in that distressed city. He was from
the borders of Tyrone and Derry.

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