The Mac Gilla Mo-Cholmocs pragmatically accommodated to the culture of their new overlords. Gaelic names were gradually replaced with Norman names such as John and Ralph, spoken Irish in time supplanted by Norman-French.The proud gaelic surname gradually became MacDermot and finally Fitzdermot. Clearly, the family was by this time integrated into colonial society, but retaining a degree of gaelic identity.(‘mac’ meaning ‘son of ’). Today, the Fitzdermot name is found in placenames such as Ballyfermot.

Perhaps the legacy of the Mac Gilla Mo-Cholmoc clan is that they were the only  gaelic family recorded as having been assimilated into the country’s feudal aristocracy.

The other noble Irish families were confined to the uncolonised districts, the areas of bogs, woods and uplands.


Smal, Chris (1993) Ancient Rathdown and St. Crispin’s Cell, A uniquely historic landscape. Friends of Historic Rathdown, Greystones.

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