Dinnegan, Donegan, Dongan, Dunegan

Dinnegan is an anglicized form of the Gaelic Irish surname Ó Duinnegáin which itself is a variant of Ó Donnagáin. As Dinnegan it is found almost exclusively in County Longford where the family is a branch of Ó Donnagáin of Westmeath, where the name is usually anlicised as (O')Donegan and Dongan. The "census" of 1659 and the Fiants of 1540 to 1601 show that in the seventeenth century the name was numerous in the barony of Rathconrath, Co. Westmeath and in the barony of Athlone. There were a good number in Co. Sligo also, whereas two or three generations earlier O'Donegans were found not only in west Leinster but also to an equal extent in Co. Cork and adjacent parts of Munster. The Annals of Loch Cé record the death in 1029 of Donnchadh Ó Donnagáin King of Fernmhagh (Farney, Co. Monaghan) and in 1113 of Ó Donnagáin "royal heir" thereof.
The Westmeath O'Donegans, who held the manor of Kildrought, Co. Kildare, from the Earls of Kildare, were also established in Leix and Offaly, where their territory was formerly known as Críoch Dungan (i.e. Dungan's or O'Donegan's country). Of this family was Thomas Donegan or Dongan Earl of Limerick, framer of the celebrated New York Dongan Charter of 1686. His elder brother the first Earl was attainted as a Jacobite in 1691. Their father was Sir John Dongan, Bart., of Castletown, Co. Kildare. Another distinguished member of the Castletown family was Thomas Dongan (1595-1663), a lawyer who, after being reduced to dire poverty by the aftermath of the Rising of 1641, became a Baron of the Exchequer at the Restoration. Dunegan Castle in Co. Westmeath is a few miles northeast of Athlone.

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