Lord Inchiquin, the 18th Baron Inchiquin, was a “proud Clare man and a proud Irish man” who was devoted to his wife and two daughters and to the legacy of the 700,000-strong O’Brien clan of which he was the leader, his funeral heard.
His wife Helen and his two daughters Slaney and Lucia, were the chief mourners at his funeral which took place in Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare on Saturday afternoon.
Conor O’Brien died at his home, Thomond House, on the Dromoland Estate in Newmarket-on-Fergus in Co Clare on June 3rd.
Dromoland Castle had been the home of the O’Briens until 1962 after which is was sold to turned it into a luxury five-star hotel.
From 1984 until 2008, the O’Briens ran an exclusive guest house in their Thomond House home. Lord Inchiquin was responsible for the formation of the O’Brien Clan Association and the first “clan gathering” for 400 years in 1992. He formed The O’Brien Clan Foundation worldwide, launching it in the US on March 17th 1998.
The title Baron Inchiquin was created in 1543 for Murrough O’Brien, also the Earl of Thomond and a lineal descendant of Brian Boru, the progenitor of the O’Brien clan. It has been held by the family since then, one of the oldest noble titles in Ireland.
Lord Inchiquin’s daughter Lucia told mourners how proud she had been to call him her father and spoke warmly of the “love my mum and dad share [which] was unique and inspiring”.
She said her mother had been the “captain of his ship throughout their entire life together and he adored her”.
She recalled that as a child was “a cheeky young boy who used to swing out the windows [of Dromoland Castle] to scare the guests” and remained that “cheeky” boy until he moved to London and “the army straightened him out”.
He travelled widely but when his uncle died and he inherited the Lord Inchiquin title he returned to his roots in Clare and the place where he “never felt more at home” than he did at Dromoland.
She spoke of his devotion to the family name and its legacy, and his love of fast cars and the Eagles, but stressed that he was at his core “the most caring and loving father to Slaney and I [and] not once did he turn down a single chance to spend time with us.” And she told mourners of his love for his sister Fiona and his grandchildren.
After the funeral he was laid to rest at a private ceremony.