This is an ancient Irish surname recorded in a number of spellings. These include Flahy, Flahive, now a very rare form, Lahive, Lahiff, Leahy, and Lahy. They are believed to derive from the 12th century Gaelic O'Laochda, meaning "The descendant of the hero". Quite who the hero was, and what deeds he performed, history has not recorded, or if it has, then the records have been lost. We know that he was the original chief of the clan, because 90% of Irish surnames have a similar chieftain origin. The clan was never numerous, but then hero's rarely are, if we were all hero's nobody would notice.The clan centre is in the province of Connacht, and specifically Counties Clare and Galway. There have been a number of outstanding personalities associated with the name, and these include John O'Lahy, an Irish patriot, who in 1581 was hanged for allowing a priest to escape to France, the famous painter Edward Leahy (1797 - 1875), and the Archbishop of Cashell, the Rev. Patrick Leahy (1806 - 1875). The first known recording of the surname was that of John Lahiff, who died in 1343. He was the bishop of Killala, during the reign of King Edward 111 of England, 1327 - 1377.
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