Mac Kiernan territory was known as the land of Tullyhunco and there was a rectory there of the same name and its church was at Killeshhandra – Cill na Seán Ratha in Old Irish, Church of the Old Fort.
No actual record exists to explain the relationship between the O’Reilly’s, the O’Rourke’s and the Mac Kiernan’s. It is extremely unlikely that the Mac Kiernan’s chose to live in an inhospitable territory between two warring parties and just hoped for a peaceful life. The clue may lie in Celtic traditions.
It is possible that the Mac Kiernan’s acted out a role as an arbitrary ombudsman between the factions. It is known that the family had important links with the established church and this may hold the key to their position.
It seems likely that inauguration of important events in the Chiefdom’s came within their auspices. The exact nature is impossible to know and it would be foolish to surmise other than to draw the historical comparison with the importance of Druidic functions within Celtic society, which the Christian Church inherited to some extent.
It would be a position of considerably less influence than the old Druid’s held, but nonetheless, it would likely have evolved from the old customs where Druidry was the key element in society. Of course, much of this is speculation and short on known fact.
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