This Irish surname recorded in many spellings including Harrity, Heraughty, Heraty, Herety and Herity, derives from the pre 10th century Gaelic O'hinneirghe. This translates as "The descendant of the member of the assembly", and may refer to the ancient parliament of Ireland in the 9th century and earlier. Almost all Irish surnames refer back to the founder of the clan, and to his particular occupation or in many cases, to his physical attributes. This surname would seem to be in a sense, occupational. What is certain is that the clan is very much associated with the far west of the country and specifically County Sligo. In the 1850's were one to have visited the village of Drumcliff, and to have called out "Heraughty", almost the whole village would have answered. Investigation would then have shown that although all pronounced their name the same, many different spellings of the name existed, even within the same family! Unfortunately most early Irish registers were destroyed by the IRA during the Irish Civil War of 1922 - 26, however from surviving records from County Sligo, we have found examples which include Jacobus Heraghty, a witness at Drumcliff on June 15th 1845, and Brigida Herety, christened at the same place on December 10th 1865. Pat Heragty sailed to Liverpool, England, on the ship "Roscius" on June 15th 1846, probably to escape the infamous Potato Famine of that year.
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