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O'Diamond Sept

Origin and Meaning

The O'Diamond sept, Spelling variations include: Diamond, Dymond, Dyment, Diment, Dymott, Dimont and many more. Where a sub-sept of the powerful O'Cathain Sept of Derry and Antrim. This sept carried out an important role within the overall O'Cathain family of being "Erenaghs". Early church sites had no monks or clergy. Instead hereditary tenants farmed the church lands, under lay abbots known as 'erenaghs' - Irish 'oirchinneach' or 'superior' - in the case of smaller church sites; and 'coarbs' - Irish 'comharba' or 'heir' - who governed the principal shrine in a network of church sites dedicated to a single saint.

Development and History

'Erenaghs' and 'coarbs' functioned as stewards, collecting rents and tithes. This revenue went to the rector and vicar of each parish, the bishop and the erenagh himself, who spent some on the maintenance of the church buildings. The area of Derry called Kilrea which was a compact little parish lying along the River Bann, and like its neighbour Agivey, held a peculiar position being "appropryated" to the Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul of Armagh. The connection between the O'Diamonds and the Abbey at Kilrea is described in a inquisition taken in 1609 - "Two acres of Glebe land, and also the Parish of Kilrea, containing ten ballibows, whereon are both a parson and vicar, for the space of 170 years past, have pertained to the Abbot of SS. Peter and Paul of Armagh; and like wise the tithes were paid unto the said Abbot and his predecessors; and that the said presentation and right of patronage, together with said tithes of Kilreagh. lately came to the crown by the said Abbot was "seized in his demesne as of fee, in right of his house. of and in the four townlands called Kilreagh in possession of the herenagh O'Diamond, and two parts of the tithes thereof, and of and in the tithes for the fishing for eels near adjoining the same, and also of and in the two townlands called Monaghgrane, with the tithes thereof in the parish of Kilreagh, aforesaid." From the name of the herenagh or layman who farmed the property and had the upkeep of the Church, the place was nominated "Kilrea O'Demon, or O'Diamond.



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