One of the most outstanding medieval Irish manuscripts, containing Middle Irish and Hiberno-Latin writings, still extant is the Leabhar Breac ("Speckled Book").
It was most probably compiled by Murchadh (Riabach) Ó Cuindlis of Bally Lough Deacker, at Duniry between the years 1408 and 1411. Duniry — Dún Daighre, Dún Doighre — in eastern Clanricarde (now east County Galway) is situated about half-an-hour's drive south-east of the town of Loughrea, and in the medieval era was home to a branch of the bardic Clann Mac Aodhagáin (the MacEgans), who served as brehons for the O'Connors of Clanricarde. The manuscript is now a prized possession of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, where it is catalogued as RIA MS 23 P 16 or 1230. --- Script of the actual manuscript can be found HERE.
It will not be considered presumptuous to call this production 'The Speckled Booklet' as it is our tribute to our forbears who left such an imprint on the history of Law and Learning in Ireland.
As you will see, the articles appearing in this tour are of particular interest to people of the names MacEgan, Egan, Eagan and Keegan.
Because the MacEgans were a family interested in their family history and genealogy from the earliest times, it is not surprising that the formation of our Clan Egan Association has evoked such interest amongst our kith and kin at home and abroad. It is hoped that the publication of this journal will stimulate even greater interest amongst people of the name, and that there will be many contributors submitting articles for publication in future issues.
It would be particularly appropriate if this publication is used by members of our far flung clan to trace their roots in Ireland, and I trust that our new Association will contribute to further study of our family history. Additional information on any article printed in this booklet would be very much appreciated.
The editors—Liam Egan and Michael J. S. Egan— have done prodigious work in the production of this booklet and they gratefully acknowledge tremendous assistance from other members of the Association.
MICHAEL J. EGAN Chief, Redwood Castle.