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LIKE THE THIRTEENTH CHIME  .......    
'Like the thirteenth chime from a crazy clock which not only in itself fails to command  belief but also casts a certain doubt upon the accuracy of the previous twelve strokes.'
(Sir A P Herbert, Novelist, Playwright, Poet and Politician, 1870-1974.)   

02/ 02/ 11 revised  06/02/11
 "A STAGGERING PRESUMPTION TO CORRECT O DONOVAN AFTER 175 YEARS"

Mr Sean J Murphy posted inaccurate information on rec.heraldry (10-04-07) when he alleged that Thomas Sweeney's great great grandfather, Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney, was a claimant to the Chiefship of Doe rather than Chief. Item 11/01/11 below.

Mr Murphy posted the following on rec .heraldry (10-14-01): "Recently added comments to chiefly claimant Thomas Sweeney's webpage against myself at http:www.sweeneyclanchief/id27.htm indicate that he is following comments here.  He continues to make much of the fact that the great Irish scholar John O Donovan reported in 1835 that he had met the Mac Sweeney Doe chief. In the first place no competent genealogist would say more today than that John O Donovan was reporting a claim...."

A. We now present additional proof that Mr Sean J Murphy's flawed allegation (shown above) concerning Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney's title conflicts with factual information recorded by the great historian Dr John O Donovan in his Donegal Survey Letter, September 7,1835, The portion shown below bears Dr O Donovan's signature with date.



The question must be asked did Mr Sean J Murphy read Dr O Donovan's Donegal Survey Letter carefully before rushing into print on rec.heraldry 10-04-07?
Did he half-read Dr O Donovan's letter or did he read it at all?
If he did read Dr O Donovan's letter how could he have made such a mistake?
A case of the wish being father to the thought with a touch of 'The Thirteenth Chime......'' thrown in for good measure!
Mr Murphy claims that he is a 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none'.  He sure is!

B. We recall that Sean J Murphy contacted our professional genealogist in 2004 re Thomas Sweeney's pedigree and was told that it had been researched and compiled with diligence and that other professionals had been consulted.  It appears that Mr Murphy then decided to have a go at Thomas Sweeney's great, great, grandfather's pedigree. However, as shown at A above,  Mr Sean J Murphy neglected to do his homework properly and ended up with egg all over his face.

C. We also recall that Mr Humphery-Smith, OBE, arguably the greatest name in genealogy/ heraldy in the UK, felt obliged to write a letter of complaint concerning inaccuracies in an article Mr Sean J Murphy contributed to 'The Coat of Arms' in 2003.  Outcome: the editor of the 'Coat of Arms' resigned.

D. Moreover, Mr Fergus Gillespie, recently retired Chief Herald of Ireland, who had been criticised unjustly by Mr Murphy ('The Coat of Arms' 2003) was appointed Vice-President of the prestigious Heraldry Society - proprietors of the Coat of Arms.  A fellow Vice President and Patron of the Heraldry Society is His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshal of England. Could it be that the Heraldry Society decided to send MrSean J  Murphy a message?

11/ 01/ 11,
Time to invest in reading glasses Mr Murphy? 

We recall that Mr Sean J Murphy (professional genealogist) posted erroneous information on rec.heraldry, 10-04-07, namely, that Thomas Sweeney's great, great, grandfather Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney (1774 - 1851/5) was a claimant to the Chiefship of Doe and not Chief.  We wondered how Mr Sean J  Murphy (self-proclaimed chiefly pedigree expert second to none) could post such bunkum on the web given that Dr. John O Donovan recorded in his Donegal Survey Letter (Dunfanaghy, 7 Sept 1835) that Edmond/ Eamonn Rua was the "lineal legitimate descendant" of Maolmuire/ Mulmurry, Chief of Doe, 1596 - c1630.

Dr. John O Donovan (arguably Ireland's greatest scholar) recorded that Edmund/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was Chief of the Mac Sweeneys Doe in:
(a) his translation of the Annals of the Four Masters - see footnote page 2341;
(b) his Donegal Survey Letter to Col (Sir) Thomas Larcom, August 1835;
(c) his letter (September 1835) to fellow scholar Owen Connellan, Irish Historiographer to King George IV and King William IV, and editor-translator of the Annals of  Ireland of the Four Masters, Dublin 1846, and Professor of Irish at Queen's College, Cork.

It should be noted that Mr Sean J Murphy (a self-proclaimed scholar) is not nearly in the same league as Dr O Donovan, e.g., Mr Sean J Murphy does not have a professional qualification in Irish/ Gaeilge and must depend upon the accuracy of translations provided by others.


 5 November 2009 & 20 December 2009
   Out of the mouth of babes & sucklings.

The following can be found on Mr Sean J Murphy's Irish Chiefswatch page/ Mac Sweeney Doe paragraph: "Since 1999 or thereabouts Thomas Sweeney has claimed to be Mac Sweeney Doe .....  Mr Sweeney also states that he has a report ..... which adequately proves his claim to chiefship but has declined to release this into the public domain."  
Comment: Mr Sean Murphy's statement could give a reader the impression that the report Mr Sweeney "STATES THAT HE HAS" may not  in fact exist.   

However, we note that Mr Sean J Murphy was more forthcoming in the 2nd sentence of his 'Summary' (in italics) at the top of his 'Mac Sweeney Doe Chiefship page', as follows: "In 2003 his (Thomas Sweeney's) claim was validated by a prominent professional genealogist nominated by the Chief Herald of Ireland..."
Mr SEan J Murphy is well aware that the 'prominent professional genealogist'  in question is (currently):
(a) a member of APGI - the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland;
(b) a member of the Board of the National Library of Ireland;
(c) a member of  the National Library of Ireland Committee on Genealogy and Heraldry;
(d) a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission.
(e) a member of the Irish Genealogical Research Committee.
Also, that the genealogist in question informed him 2004 that her investigation into Thomas Sweeney's pedigree was undertaken with diligence and that others (APGI colleagues) were consulted.  

Mr Sean J Murphy is not a member of (a) or (b) or (c) or (d) or (e) above and it is interesting to note that he made an appalling botch of a beginner's topic on rec.heraldry 11 June 2005, i.e., the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments. And to make matters worse he repeated his Gartan Tithe Applotment botch/ faux pas on rec.heraldry, 24 November 2007, thereby eroding his Mac Sweeney Doe credibility even further.
   Mr Sean J Murphy comes clean.

Nevertheless, Mr SEan J Murphy eventually came clean re his 1833 Gartan Tithe faux pas  - which he claimed he had 'examined critically and indeed scientifically for authenticity', but clearly had not (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005).
According to Mr Sean J  Murphy's so-called 'critical and indeed scientific examination' (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005) Thomas Sweeney's g. g. grandfather, Edward/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe, paid the Tithe in Altnadague in 1833 and, therefore, could not have met the great historian Dr  John O Donovan, 22 miles away, in Downings in 1835.

However, four months later (8 Oct 2005) Mr Sean J  Murphy changed his mind and posted the following on rec.heraldry thereby completely demolishing his Mac Sweeney Doe 'case': 'all we have basically is the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish. This Tithe record (relating to a tax payable to the Established Church of Ireland by all  denominations) lists one or a number of Edward Sweeney landholders in the townland of Altnadague (Parish of Gartan) in 1833. (Due to fragmentation of landholdings we cannot be certain of the number....)'.

Mr Sean J Murphy admitted (8 Oct 2005) that he 'cannot be certain of the number' of Edward Sweeneys in Altnadague in 1833. Therefore, if he cannot be certain of the number of Edward Sweeneys there in 1833 it follows that he does not know who they were and cannot trace their descendants today. Accordingly, Mr Murphy has ended up with egg all over his face and his Mac Sweeney Doe case and 1833 Tithe 'findings' in tatters.

We wonder what the outcome would be if a Department of Education Inspector visited an amateur genealogy classroom and found an untrained teacher presenting a specious version of, e.g., the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments.  Some CPD perhaps?
   1 October 2009
Mr Sean J Murphy gets it wrong again AND again.

It should also be noted that MrSean J  Murphy owes our professional genealogist a promised 'humble apology' for asserting incorrectly (rec.heraldry 7 June 2007) that she had "no track record in relation to researching claims to chiefship".  Although Mr Murphy eventually admitted his error and confirmed that her Maguire of Fermanagh findings and his were in agreement (rec.heraldry 11 March 2009) AND QUIETLY REMOVED HIS ERRONIOUS ALLEGATION FROM HIS WEBSITE he failed to keep his promise to 'humbly apologize for having fallen below standards'. Surely your word is as good as your bond, Mr Murphy, or is it?

Furthermore, it is absolutely certain and undeniable that Tarlagh Mac Sweeney (the celebrated Donegal piper known as "An Píobaire Mór") born Stranabrad, Glenfin c 1831, died Lunniagh, Gweedore 1916, was a son of Edward/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe. For that reason, our professional genealogist advised us to provide evidence that Tarlagh, An Píobaire Mór, and Thomas Sweeney's great grandfather, James, were brothers and therefore sons of Edward/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe.  We were more than a little surprised to note that  self-proclaimed "chiefly pedigree expert second to none" Mr Sean J Murphy ignored that line of approach.  After all, it is easier to prove a blood relationship with a person who died in 1916 than with a person who died in the middle of the previous century when records were sparse.

SIX MONTHS have elapsed and Mr Sean J Murphy has not kept his promise to 'humbly apologize' to our professional genealogist for having fallen below standards. Therefore, it looks as if this is going to be a rerun of Mr Murphy's appalling 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments blunder when he 'quoted as fact' a figment of his imagination and then refused to apologize for said blunder - a blunder that would bring a blush to the cheek of an amateur. 

Amended 1 June 2009.
(17th century proverb.)

Soon after our 1 April 2009 exposé of Mr Sean J Murphy's extraordinary 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments blunder he announced via his web page 3 April 2009:  
'I am no longer updating this and will rest my case on the present report'. (= gone to ground?)

Mr Murphy must be aware that his shambles of a 'case' rests on undocumented wishful thinking in respect of the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments - a beginner's topic that Mr Murphy (self-proclaimed 'scholar', 'specialist' and 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none') should have been able to get right. To make matters worse Mr Murphy cited the Code of Conduct and Ethics of the US Board of Certification of Genealogists in an attempt to shore up said shambles, as follows: 'I will not publish or pudblicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful or unproven'.  

Mr Murphy is not a US
Board Certified Genealogist neither is he a Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland and, contrary to the US Code of conduct and ethics, he has published and publicized as fact false and unproven information re the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments, eg.,
rec.heraldry 11 June 2005,
rec.heraldry 8 Oct 2005 and rec.heraldry 24 Nov 2007.
Cf. 1 April 2009 below. 

Amended 1 July 2009.
Hoist with his own petard - again.

On 1 Sept 2008 we posted evidence that Edward Sweeney of Altnadague (the second head of family in the 1851 Derryveagh census extract below  - known to his people as Eamonn Rua) was the Edmond Sweeney that the scholar Dr John O Donovan, MRIA, identified as Mac Sweeney Doe, Donegal 1835.  The evidence presented also made known that Edward/ Edmond/ Eamonn Rua was the father of the celebrated piper Tarlagh, An Píobaire Mór, (=The Great Piper) born Stranabrad, Ardlaghan, c 1831, died Lunniagh, Gweedore, 1916, and remembered in Donegal to this day as Tarlagh (son of) Eamonn Rua.

Numerous radio programmes, TV documentaries and publications have named Tarlagh's father, Edward/ Edmond/ Eamonn Rua, as the person Dr O Donovan recorded as Mac Sweeney Doe: (a) in his Donegal Survey Letters dated 5 & 14 Sept 1835; (b) in his footnote to page 2341 of his translation of the Annals of the  Four Masters (Dublin 1856, 1990).

Mr Murphy responded (rec.heraldry 25 Sept 2008) as follows: 'Thomas Sweeney has produced no documentary evidence to prove his claim of   descent from the Edmond Sweeney encountered by O'Donovan in 1835'.  
Incredibly, Mr Murphy seems to have overlooked the fact that he placed on line, rec.heraldry 25 Sept 2008, his professional opinion re the 1851 Derryveagh census extract above, as follows: 'In my view the most rational explanation ..... is that Edward Sweeney ..... is the second head of family listed on the sheet while the James at the top is most likely his son..'

Moreover, Mr Murphy placed Thomas Sweeney's pedigree on line (cf. near the bottom of his web page) and listed James as a son of Edward/ Edmond/ Eamonn Rua (= O Donovan's Chief) and Thomas Sweeney as a great-grandson of James. Nevertheless, given the incontestable fact that Mr Murphy (self-appointed saviour of Irish genealogy) has made a dreadful mess, uncouth beyond description, of the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments - a topic for beginners - we are pleased that his 'view' (i.e., that James was a son of Edward/ Edmond/ Eamonn Rua) concurs with the findings of our professional genealogist, report 24 August 2003.
'Some Irish genealogists are fraudsters or careless, but not all are.'
Sean J Murphy, rec.heraldry, 8 Nov 2007.
---------------------------------------- 
Amended 1 April, 2009. 
 
It is now up to you, Mr Murphy,
to publish the full text of your Mac Sweeney Doe 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment 'finding' as asserted by you rec.heraldry 11 June 2005 and 24 Nov 2007, and shown at (a) and (b) in the adjoining column.

Alternatively, admit that your assertion - that you 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' a nonexistent 1833 Gartan Tithe record/ component - is founded on wishful thinking rather than acceptable documentary evidence.  Also, that you are unable to produce said 1833 Tithe record/ component because it's a figment of your fertile imagination.

Come on Mr Murphy produce the record/ component you 'quoted' - your Mac Sweeney Doe credibility depends on it. Surely, on this day of all days, an April Fool somewhere/ someplace will be convinced that you have managed to do the impossible.
(a) REC.HERALDRY, 11 JUNE 2005:
'I keep on coming back to documents, critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity. ...... And recall again the tithe record of 1833 which lists the claimant's ancestor as a settled tenant, whereas O'Donovan's 1835 chief was a travelling tinker.' 
Comment.  Mr Murphy wants us to believe that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined' an 1833 Gartan Parish Tithe record/ component that does not exist and never did.  Good gracious!

(b) REC.HERALDRY 24 NOV 2007:
 ' There is a difficulty connecting O'Donovan's claimant Edmond with the family of the current claimant, in that O'Donovan's chief was described as a wandering tinker based in the vicinity of Sheep Haven in 1835, whereas it is recorded that in 1833 Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward was a settled farmer living some distance away in the townland of Altnadague.'
Comment. Every month beginning Dec 2007 we asked Mr Murphy to produce the 1833 Tithe record/ component he 'quoted' above. He cannot, because no such record exists or ever did. Mr Murphy summarized his situation on rec.heraldry, 11 June 2005: 'no documents no proof'.

(c) REC HERALDRY 8 OCT 2005:
'... all we have basically is the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish.... This Tithe record (relating to a tax payable to the Established Church of Ireland by all denominations) lists one or a number of Edward Sweeney landholders in the townland of Altnadague in 1833 (due to fragmentation of landholdings we cannot be certain of the certain of the number....)',
Comment. Mr Murphy informs us that he 'cannot be certain of the number' of Edward Sweeneys in Altnadague in 1833. Therefore, he does not know who they were or who their descendants are today.


'Knowing what/ Thou knowest not/ Is in a sense/ Omniscience.'
Peter Hein, poet and scientist (1905 - 1996).

Amended 1 April 2009
...................................
Amended 1 March 2009

Despite the promise on the bottom of his home page  that "any demonstrated errors of fact therein will be corrected promptly" Mr Murphy has not corrected the error of fact he made in respect of the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments - a simple straightforward topic that a first year amateur genealogy student would be expected to get 'first time right'. Mr Murphy also failed to correct two other errors on his web site.

We are astounded that Mr Murphy should make such a mess of the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments and recall that in April 2004 we were sending him, by registered post, documents associated with our professional genealogist's report.  In addition, we were considering whether we should give him a 'full copy' of said report as requested by him for examination/ approval purposes. However, we felt obliged to break off contact with Mr Murphy when incontrovertible evidence showed that he was playing petty control games.  If he had not been playing games he might have received a full copy of said report.  

Moreover, we were soon to discover to our great disappointment that self-proclaimed 'scholar', 'specialist' and 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none' Mr Murphy did not get past the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments section of the Mac Sweeney Doe genealogy without  egg all over his face.  And, in an endeavour to add weight to his 1833 Gartan Tithe nonsense he quoted a section from the code of conduct of the US  Board for Certification of Genealogists, as follows: 'I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven.....' . It's a pity that Mr Murphy is not a member of same - he might practise what he preaches.

It seems to us that Professional Genealogist Sean J Murphy and Professional Genealogist Terence Mac Carthy (the bogus Mac Carthy Mór) may have something in common. Mr Mac Carthy sought to advantage himself by presenting flawed information purporting to show that his family and the Trant MacCarthy family of Co Kerry were blood relations - see meeting in Cork in 1923. Mr Murphy sought to disadvantage Thomas Sweeney by presenting flawed information purporting to show that Thomas Sweeney's great, great-grandfather (Edward Sweeney/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe) was a settled farmer in Altnadague, Derryveagh in 1833 and paid the Tithe there, and therefore, could not have been the Edward Sweeney/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe who met the great scholar Dr John O Donovan 35 km/ 22 miles away in Downings in 1835.


The great scholar Dr John O Donovan validated and recorded Eamonn Rua's descent from the Mac Sweeney Chiefs of Doe and published same in a footnote to page 2341 of his translation of the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, Dublin 1856, 1990.  It has been proven to the satisfaction of a distinguished professional genealogist (chosen on the advocacy of the Chief Herald of Ireland) that the Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney who met Dr John O Donovan in Donegal in 1835 was Thomas Sweeney's great, great-grandfather. 

'It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another thing to put him in possession of the truth.' Joseph Locke, philosopher (1632 - 1704).

Amended 1 March 2009
----------------------------------------------------
Amended  1 February 2009.
Erstwhile, self-proclaimed 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none'? 

Mr Murphy asserted (rec.heraldry 6 June 2007): ''Qualifications alone are not sufficient, quality of knowledge and capacity to argue ably but fairly are also important. If I myself have ever fallen below these standards, then I can but humbly apologize'. 

It is clear that Mr Murphy's Mac Sweeney Doe 'research' has fallen below acceptable standards and that his flawed verdict in respect of the Mac Sweeney Doe chiefship   flows from the blunders he made in respect of the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments. Mr Murphy's Gartan Tithe Applotment blunders are shown at (a) and (b) below, however, it should not be assumed that all Tithe Applotment topics presented by Mr Murphy, eg., in his Family History classes, are put before the public in like manner.

(a) REC.HERALDRY, 11 JUNE 2005: 'I keep on coming back to documents, critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity. ...... And recall again the tithe record of 1833 which lists the claimant's ancestor as a settled tenant, whereas O'Donovan's 1835 chief was a travelling tinker.'
Comment.  Mr Murphy wants us to believe that he 'critically and indeed   scientifically examined' an 1833 Gartan Parish Tithe record/ component that does not exist and never did. Good gracious!
(b) REC.HERALDRY 24 NOV 2007: ' There is a difficulty connecting O'Donovan's claimant Edmond with the family of the current claimant, in that O'Donovan's chief was described as a wandering tinker based in the vicinity of Sheep Haven in 1835, whereas it is recorded that in 1833 Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward was a settled farmer living some distance away in the townland of Altnadague.'
Comment. Every month beginning Dec 2007 we asked Mr Murphy to produce the 1833 Tithe record/component he 'quoted' above. He cannot, because no such record exists or ever did. Mr Murphy summarized his situation on rec.heraldry, 11 June 2005: 'no documents no proof'.

We wonder how far 'below standards' Mr Murphy's Mac Sweeney Doe 'research' must dip before he deletes the false assertions he posted on his web page and 'humbly apologizes' as promised above.  It is interesting to note that on two occasions (Items 3 & 4) Mr Murphy has failed to keep his promise to 'humbly apologize.
Be that as it may, Mr Murphy has questions to answer concerning his 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment blunders.  Could they be:
(a) temporary blips in standards;
(b) additional examples of lack of attention to detail by Mr Murphy;
(c) attempts by Mr Murphy to prop up the unproven assertions he posted on rec.heraldry, 11 June 2005 and 24 Nov 2007, - assertions in which he claimed, without foundation, that it is recorded that Thomas Sweeney's great, great-grandfather Edward/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe was a tenant farmer in Altnadague in 1833 and, therefore, could not have met the great scholar Dr O Donovan in Downings in 1835 (distance 35km/ 22 miles).

Mr Murphy's 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments dilemma as revealed by himself, rec.heraldry 8 Oct 2005, indicates alternative (c):
'...  all we have basically is the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish.... This Tithe record (relating to a tax payable to the Established Church of Ireland by all denominations) lists one or a number of Edward Sweeney landholders in the townland of Altnadague in 1833 (due to fragmentation of landholdings we cannot be certain of the number....)',

Comment.  Mr Murphy informs us that he 'cannot be certain of the number' of Edward Sweeneys in    Altnadague in 1833. Therefore, it follows that he does not know who they were or who their descendants are today.  We asked Mr Murphy every month for the past 14 months to produce the Tithe document record/ component that records (according to him) Thomas Sweeney' g,g, grandfather as a tenant in Altnadague 1833 - a record  Mr Murphy asserts he critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005). Unfortunately, Mr Murphy cannot produce said document record/ component, because, it's a figment of his fertile imagination.  Consequently, Mr Murphy whose slogan is 'no documents no proof', has demolished his Mac Sweeney Doe 'case' - and more besides.

Manipulation of an 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment record/ component to achieve a  desired result as exemplified by Mr Murphy's preposterous assertion (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005) that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' a Gartan Tithe record/ component that does not exist, and never did, is unacceptable and quite clearly invalidates Mr Murphy's Mac Sweeney Doe research/ semi-research.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an activity that maintains, enhances and increases the knowledge of professionals. Chartered members of Professional  Institutes are obliged to engage in CPD courses every year. Professional Associations should adopt the idea and provide CPD for members and others who need it. The alternative, for folk who make a mess of things, is to find a rock, crawl under and hide.

'Thank everyone who calls out your faults, your anger, your impatience, your egotism, do this consciously, voluntarily - ' Jean Toomer, Poet and Novelist (1894-1967).

Amended 1 February, 2009
-------------------------------------------------------
Amended 1 January, 2009.

Mr Murphy falls short on the '1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments' and should apologize.

We have asked Mr Murphy, every month for the past twelve months, to produce the 1833 Gartan Parish Tithe record/ component which proves according to him (rec.heraldry, 11 June 2005 and 24 Nov 2007) that Thomas Sweeney's great, great-grandfather Edward (= Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe) was a settled farmer living in the townland of Altnadague, Gartan, 1833. Mr Murphy cannot produce said Tithe record/ component, because, it is a figment of his imagination. And, to make matters worse, he declared to all and sundry (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005) that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' said record/ component - despite the fact it does not exist and never did.  Good gracious!

It is now up to Mr Murphy to explain:
(a) why he ignored the motto he posted on rec.heraldry, 11 June 2005: 'No documents, no proof'.
(b) why he cast aside his much loved and often quoted extract from the code of conduct of the US Board for Certification of Genealogists: 'I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven.....' .         
(c) Why he boasted on rec.heraldry (2 Nov 2004): 'It is a reflection not of my ability, but of the rock bottom standards applying in Irish heraldry and genealogy, that I cannot think of a single other professional with the capacity to check the validity of the information contained in such documents'.

We cannot believe that Mr Murphy (a self-proclaimed chiefly pedigree expert second to none) is unaware of the woeful mess he has made of his Mac Sweeney Doe research in respect of the 1833 Gartan Tithes - a simple uncomplicated topic for beginners. Mr Murphy should correct his Gartan Tithes faux pas promptly, as promised,  However, we note that on two previous occasions he did not keep his promise to 'apologize humbly' for other woeful errors he made (Item 3 and Item 4).

01-01- 09
----------------------------------------------------------

Amended  8 December 2008
 Mr Murphy's Monumental (Tithes) Mess.

A year has passed since 08-12-07 and, despite numerous requests, Mr Murphy has failed to produce the 1833 Gartan Tithe record/ component on which his semi-researched Mac Sweeney Doe 'report' depends and which he 'quoted' (rec.heraldry 11-06-05 and 24-11-07) and tried to shore up with a quote from the US Board for Certification of Genealogists, namely: 'I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven  '  Comment.  1833 Gartan Tithe record/components excluded?

Mr Murphy (self-proclaimed 'scholar', 'specialist', 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none', and one-man 'Centre' for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies) cannot produce the 1833 Gartan Tithe record/ component he 'quoted' because it's a figment of his imagination (see below).  

We wonder how Mr Murphy managed to make such a mess of a simple 1st year amateur genealogy topic like the Tithes and particularly so given his proud boast: 'my expertise in respect of the pedigrees of Irish chiefly families in the modern period (repeat, in the modern period) is well proven and second to none'. Comment.  If so, why did he trip up so badly on the 1833 Gartan Tithes, a topic for beginners?  

Moreover, Mr Murphy continues to demand a 'full copy' of our professional genealogist's Mac Sweeney Doe report for him to study (study = examine and approve?).  Good gracious!  

Mr Murphy informs us (bottom of his Irish Chiefs homepage) that:
 'The opinions contained in the above pages are those of the author only,
and any demonstrated errors of fact therein will be corrected promptly.
Copyright © 1999-2008 Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies.'

Comment.  Mr Murphy should correct promptly his 1833 Gartan Tithes faux pas, as promised.

08-12-2008
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
 Amended 10 November, 2008
'... EVERYONE CAN READ AND JUDGE MY REPORTS .. .'  (Sean J  Murphy)

Mr Murphy's 'Per Pro' Problems       Mr Murphy's 'Fraudulent' Problems 

Mr Murphy's Gartan Tithe Problems  
Eleven months have passed since 08-12-07 and despite his promise (rec.heraldry 6 June 2007) Mr Murphy has neglected to 'humbly apologize' for posting flawed information on rec.heraldry :
(a) rec.heraldry 11 June 2005: 'I keep on coming back to documents, critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity. ...... And recall again the tithe record of 1833 which lists the claimant's ancestor as a settled tenant, whereas O'Donovan's 1835 chief was a travelling tinker.'
Comment.  Mr Murphy wants us to believe that he 'critically and indeed   scientifically examined' an 1833 Gartan Parish Tithe record/ component
that does not exist and never did.  Good gracious!

(b) rec.heraldry 24 Nov 2007: 'There is a difficulty connecting O'Donovan's claimant Edmond with the family of the current claimant, in that O'Donovan's chief was described as a wandering tinker based in the vicinity of Sheep Haven in 1835, whereas it is recorded that in 1833 Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward was a settled farmer living some distance away in the townland of Altnadague.'
Comment.  We have asked Mr Murphy, every month for the past eleven months, to produce the Gartan Tithe record/component he 'quoted'.  Mr Murphy should produce same if he can, otherwise, his credibility in respect of his 1833 Gartan Parish Tithe findings will remain a question mark.

We wonder why Mr Murphy stuck his neck into two self-made nooses - (a) and (b) above - when he knew that the Tithe records do not distinguish between Tithe payers of the same name - holding land in the same townland. Mr Murphy's comments on rec.heraldry 8 Oct 2005, below, confirm that he was well aware of the problem:  
'...  all we have basically is the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish.... This Tithe record (relating to a tax payable to the Established Church of Ireland by all denominations) lists one or a number of Edward Sweeney landholders in the townland of Altnadague in 1833 (due to fragmentation of landholdings we cannot be certain of the number....)',

It is clear that Mr Murphy does not know how many Edward Sweeneys held land in Altnadague in 1833. It is also clear, despite his misleading assertions to the contrary, that he cannot identify any of the Edward Sweeneys in Altnadague 1833, cannot identify their ancestors and cannot identify their descendants - because that type of information was not recorded in the Tithe Books.

If, as asserted (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005) Mr Murphy 'critically and scientifically examined' said Gartan Tithe record why is he unable to produce it?  What has become of his war cry: 'No documents, no proof'? And what has happened to his much loved and often quoted extract from the code of conduct of the US Board for Certification of Genealogists: 'I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven.....' ?

It is clear that Mr Murphy (whose extraordinary powers enable him to 'critically and indeed scientifically examine for authenticity' records that do not exist) would have preferred if the great scholar Dr John O Donovan (recognized as such from Belfast to Berlin) had not recorded in 1835 that Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was 'MacSwynedoe' (Page 27, O Donovan's Donegal Survey Letters, Four Masters Press, Dublin 2000). Dr O Donovan's verification of Eamonn Rua as chief means that a claimant to the title of Mac Sweeney Doe today is required to produce proof of descent from Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe, c 1774  to 1851-55. Thomas Sweeney's descent from Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe was proven, 2003, to the satisfaction of a highly regarded professional genealogist - and to the satisfaction of others, none of them endowed with Mr Murphy's flair for making a mess of an elementary topic like the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments - a beginner's task. 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an activity that maintains, enhances and increases the knowledge of professionals. Chartered members of the Professional  Institutes are obliged to engage in Continuing Professional Development courses every year.  Perhaps Professional Associations should adopt the idea and provide CPD for members and others.
10-11-2008
........................................................

14-10-2008
Mr Murphy should apologize to rec.heraldry contributors - and visitors.

Mr Murphy's errors.

1. Mr Murphy admitted, rec.heraldry 16 Nov 2007, that he posted an erroneous assertion on rec.heraldry, 7 June 2005, ie, that the consultant genealogist commissioned by Thomas Sweeney to examine his pedigree, 2002, had no track record re the examination of chiefly pedigrees. The professional genealogist concerned is a Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, a Member of the Board of the National Library of Ireland and a Member of its Committee on Genealogy and Heraldry - and Mr Murphy is not. Mr Murphy admitted his error  (rec.heraldry 16 Nov 2007) but refuses to 'humbly apologize' - despite his promise to do so and the fact that he has 'fallen below ...standards'. (B) right hand column.

Comment.  Mr Murphy probably finds it difficult to apologize to
a member of a professional body he continues to classify on his web site, as 'the ignorant and self-interested'. Nevertheless, he should apologize. Surely his word is as good as his bond!  

2. Mr Murphy's 'standards' also dropped below par when he asserted (rec.heraldry 12 June 2005 & 24 Nov 2007) that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity a (nonexistent) 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment record/ component that 'lists' Thomas Sweeney's g.g.grandfather, Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe as a settled tenant in Altnadague, Derryveagh, 1833. We have given Mr Murphy ten months to produce said Tithe record/ component and he cannot, because, said record/ component is a figment of his imagination. It's an extraordinary blunder, and all the more so, because Mr Murphy asserts that he is a 'scholar', a 'specialist' and a 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none'. Ref. (C) and (D) right hand column.

3. It is also extraordinary that Mr Murphy should trip up so disastrously on a simple syllabus topic like the Tithe Applotments, part of the 1st year Family History syllabus for beginners that he teaches to amateurs on a part-time basis and presumably examines at the end of the academic year.

Comment. Mr Murphy should correct his errors, 'promptly', as promised on his disclaimer - top right hand column. He should also 'apologize humbly'  to rec.heraldry visitors and contributors whom his erroneous postings misled, rec.heraldry 12 June 2005 and 24 Nov 2007.  Ref. 2 above. 
Mr Murphy's assertions and promises. 

(A) Mr Murphy's disclaimer: 'The opinions contained in the above (web) pages are those of the author only, and any demonstrated errors of fact therein will be corrected promptly'.

(B)  Mr Murphy rec.heraldry 6 June 2007:
'Yes, qualifications alone are not sufficient, quality of knowledge and capacity to argue ably but fairly are also important. If I myself have ever fallen below these standards, then I can but humbly apologize.'

(C) Mr Murphy rec.heraldry 12 June 2005, 11.37:
'I keep coming back to documents, critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity.  And recall again that the Tithe record of 1833 lists the claimant's ancestor as a settled tenant, whereas O Donovan's 1835 chief was a travelling tinker'.
Comment. Rubbish! Mr Murphy cannot produce the 1833 Tithe record/ component he imagined he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' !

Comment. Mr Murphy means that he has a difficulty, however, our professional genealogist did not.

(E) Mr Murphy's Mac Sweeney Doe web page:
'It may be relevant to point out that it is an important part of the ethic of the professional genealogist to claim no more than the evidence allows, a point made forcefully in the code of conduct of the US Board for Certification of Genealogists: I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven.....'
Comment. What a pity Mr Murphy does not practise what he preaches!
14-10-2008
...........................................................................
10-09-2008 

(a) Mr Murphy's amazing Tithe Applotment faux pas


From June 2005 until 25 Sept 2008 Mr Murphy asserted that he had 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' a nonexistent 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment record/ component that confirmed Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe (=O Donovan's 1835 Chief) as a settled farmer in Altnadague, Derryveagh, 1833.  However, Mr Murphy finally admitted (rec.heraldry 25 Sept, 09:33):
"Even if my report ..... does not show that Mr Sweeney's ancestors were settled farmers in the Gartan/Derryveagh area of County Donegal, as I believe it does, it is certainly the case that Mr Sweeney has produced no documentary evidence to prove his claim of descent from the wandering Doe claimant, Edmond Sweeney, encountered by O'Donovan in 1835 some distance away in the vicinity of Sheep Haven."

Comment.  Mr Murphy's original assertion was that Thomas Sweeney's ancestors were in Derryveagh in 1833 when the Tithe was collected, repeat 1833.  A good try by Mr Murphy, or, merely lack of attention to detail?

So, what has become of the documents associated with Mr Murphy's boast (rec..heraldry, 12 June 2005 and 24 Nov 2007) that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' said (nonexistent) 1833 Gartan Tithe record /component?  As he says himself: 'No documentary evidence, no conclusive proof.  Mr Murphy's assertion that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' a nonexistent 1833 Gartan Tithe record/ component that confirmed that Thomas Sweeney's ancestors were settled farmers in Gartan/ Derryveagh in 1833 has been dropped, because, it was nonsense. Now, Mr Murphy is moving the goal posts and hoping for better luck.  

 O Donovan's 1835 Chief
 Thomas Sweeney's direct ancestors were not in Derryveagh in 1833 as incorrectly assumed by Mr Murphy.  Thomas Sweeney's great grandfather, James, is recorded on the 1851 census extract for Altnadague, shown on Mr Murphy's web page, and because James was there in 1851 Mr Murphy assumed, incorrectly, that James' father, Edward/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe (=O Donovan's 1835 Chief) was there in 1833, i.e., 18 years previously and, therefore, could not have met O Donovan in Sheephaven/ Downings in 1835. Edward/ Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe (=O Donovan's 1835 Chief) was not in Altnadague in 1833 and neither was his son, James, and Mr Murphy's 'most rational explanation' re residence there in 1833 should be recognized for what it is - erroneous guesswork. However, Edward/ Edmond/ Eamon Rua Mac Sweeney Doe (=O Donovan's 1835 Chief) and his wife, Hannah, were living in Altnadague, Derryveagh in 1851 as will be shown.

Despite Mr Murphy's appalling 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment faux pas, the Tithe Applotments do provide useful information, e.g., the Tithes for Ardlaghan/ Altlahan, Cloghan, Glenfinn, the birthplace of the great piper, Tarlagh Mac Sweeney, an Píobaire Mór, youngest son of Edward/ Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe (=O Donovan's 1835 Chief) and his wife, Hannah. Numerous publications, documentaries and radio programmes record that Tarlagh was born in Ardlaghan and people there today continue to point out the place in Stranabrad, Ardlaghan, where he was born. One Sweeney name, only, is listed in the Tithe Applotments Book for the Ardlaghan area, namely, that of Myles (Mac) Sweeney.  It was in Myles' and his wife Catherine's house, in Stranabrad, Ardlaghan, that An Píobaire Mór was born, c 1831.
Comment.  Stranabrad, Ardlahan, is farther from Sheephaven than Altnadague, Derryveagh, but then 'wandering' people never stayed, year after year, in the same place - it would not have made economic sense.  It is interesting to note that the family were in the Sheephaven area in 1835 because 'two sons of Mac Sweeny had been for the last month employed in Captain Hart's house' (=Doe Castle?) - ref. O Donovan's Donegal Survey Letter, 5 Sept. 1835.

Catherine died in Ardlaghan, 25 Dec 1895, and her death certificate records that she was the widow of Myles (Mac) Sweeney.  Myles gave evidence to the Devon Commission in 1844 and, while doing so, confirmed that he came to Ardlaghan from Glenveagh c. 1824.  His home there, situated in the townland of Glenveagh in the glen of Glenveagh,  is labelled 'Glenveagh Cottage' on the 1837 Survey map. The existence of a Sweeney family in the townland of Glenveagh was referred to by Thomas Sweeney's father, Hugh, in 1923 (shown below) when he requested that land lost (unjustly) in the townland of Glenveagh (not Derryveagh) be returned. The claim, on behalf of deceased Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Swyne (= O Donovan's 1835 Chief), was made under the ancient Brehon Laws.  
In his application for land Feb 1923, Thomas Sweeney's father, Hugh, claimed descent from Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe (=O Donovan's 1835 Chief) and from Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney Chief of Doe 1596-1630. It is interesting to note that the professional genealogist commissioned by Thomas Sweeney, 2002, began work by asking:  Is Hugh Sweeney's statement true'? Can it be substantiated?  Mr Murphy  has a copy of the illustration shown above - obtained via a Freedom of Information application - but seems to have ignored it.
(The Maelmura Mac Sweeney mentioned above was Myles' grandfather, therefore, Myles' father and Edmond/ Eamonn Rua (=O Donovan's 1835 Chief) were 1st cousins and Myles and Catherine were 2nd cousins. The derbhfine were keeping it in the family?)

The Glenveagh (Mac) Sweeneys buried their dead in Gartan graveyard and a gravestone there records Myles' and Catherine's names and the names of their sons Edward and Ambrose. (Mr Murphy has a photograph of same but, unfortunately, failed to recognize its significance.) School records show that Ambrose taught in Drumsallagh National School in Glendowan (bordering Altnadague, Derryveagh) in the early 1850's.  He died, age 83, in Cornagullion, Glendowan, 1907, and information recorded on the 1851 census extract for Derryveagh gives his occupation as 'teacher'.

The 1851 census extract (copy above) records that in 1851 Ambrose was living in Altnadague, Derryveagh, with his grandparents, Edward (= O Donovan's 1835 Chief) and Hannah Sweeney. Therefore, either Myles - Ambrose' father, or Catherine - Ambrose' mother, was an offspring of Hannah and  Edward/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe (=O Donovan's 1835 Chief) living in Altnadague, 1851. When Myles and Catherine married, 1823/ 4, Myles was a farmer in Glenveagh, and Edward/ Eamonn Rua (= O Donovan's 1835 Chief) and Hannah and family (incl. Catherine) were 'wanderers in the area of Sheep Haven'- according to Mr Murphy.  It was to their daughter, Catherine, in Stranabrad, Ardlaghan, that Edward/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe (= O Donovan's 1835 Chief) and his wife Hannah, went for the birth, c 1831, of their youngest son, Tarlagh, An Píobaire Mór. Ambrose and Thomas Sweeney's grandfather, Edward, were 1st cousins and both were grandsons of Edward/ Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe (= O Donovan's 1835 Chief) living in Altnadangue 1851.

Mr Murphy and the law. 
Senior legal opinion has confirmed that a client who commissions a professional genealogist to research his/her pedigree, and accepts the verdict given by that genealogist, has the protection by the law if libeled, slandered, or for example called a fraud.  (Mr Murphy was informed of same by registered post, 24 April 2004.)

1. Re Denis O Long, The O Long of Garranelongy.  Denis O Long commissioned Terence Mac Carthy, a professional genealogist, to research his pedigree and he accepted Terence Mac Carthy's professional verdict that he (Denis O Long) descended from the last publicly inaugurated O Long of Garranelongy.  By commissioning a professional genealogist,  Denis O Long did all that was required of him in law. Accordingly, he acted properly and did nothing wrong, therefore, if someone calls him fraudulent (definintion = acting with intent to deceive) and he sues he will win, even if the professional genealogist involved has erred.  Legal advice is that damages awarded would probably be small, however, costs could be considerable - for the loser.
Comment. Later, Denis O Long commissioned a greatly esteemed academic and a highly regarded professional genealogist to re-examine his pedigree. They confirmed his descent from the last O Long of Garranelongy.
-------------------------------------------------
2. Re Thomas Sweeney, The Mac Sweeney Doe. Thomas Sweeney commissioned a professional genealogist, 2002, to examine and verify his pedigree. His descent from the last publicly inaugurated Chief of Doe, Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief 1596-1630, was confirmed by said professional genealogist, August 2003.  Mr Murphy, a man with an agenda, demanded a 'full copy' of the professional genealogist's report and was informed by the professional genealogist that the research undertaken had been carried out extremely carefully, that other professionals had been consulted, and that Thomas Sweeney's descent from Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe 1596-1630, was proven.

On rec.heraldry, 9 Nov 2007 (12.14am) Mr Murphy referred to Thomas Sweeney 'as a bogus claimant furious at being exposed'.

On rec.heraldry, 9 Nov 2007 (11.22am) Mr Murphy referred to  Thomas Sweeney  as '... bogus claimant Mac Sweeney Doe...'

On  rec.heraldry,11 Nov 2007 (10.19am) Mr Murphy referred to 'the lengths to which a bogus claimant will resort in the face of exposure' and added, erroneously,  that his report ..... 'clearly demonstrates that Mr Sweeney's pedigree ..... can only be traced back to the early nineteenth century'. (Note. Mr Murphy's 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment faux pas, below.)

--------------------------------------------------

3. Although Mr Murphy never saw the professional genealogist's report, re Thomas Sweeney's pedigree, his 'opinion' re its contents changed over time from 'suspicion' to 'probably', to 'appears', to 'belief'. Examples follow:

(a). Mr Murphy, rec.heraldry 28 Nov 2006: ' I have more than a suspicion that the professional genealogist's report on the Mac Sweeney Doe chiefship cannot be released without embarrassment in that it probably 'validates' a now abandoned version of the pedigree'.

(b).  Mr Murphy, rec.heraldry 9 Nov 2007: '... one of Ireland's most prominent professional genealogists appears to have rubber-stamped an earlier and now abandoned version of the pedigree.'

(c). Mr Murphy, 'Reply to Mr Sweeney', 22 Nov 2007: '... the present writer believes that it (ie, the report) attempts to validate a now abandoned version of his pedigree,...'

Mr  Murphy is wrong.  An 'abandoned version' of the pedigree was not validated.

The professional genealogist's report (compatible with Dr John O Donovan's 1835 genealogy) confirmed Thomas Sweeney's descent from Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, 10th Chief of Doe, via his grandson 'Murrough' and great grandson 'Donough Oge'. The report, signed 24 August 2003, was presented to a member of the legal profession in his office, 3 Sep 2003, and its contents noted.  

 Comment. It's not given to many to stick their necks into THREE legal nooses at the same time.   

Mr Murphy and the  e-mails he DID or DID NOT receive.

Mr Murphy asserted (rec.heraldry 25 Sept 2008) "I did indeed acknowledge receiving e-mails from Mr Sweeney - copies later sent by him by ordinary post as the electronic ones did not get through."  However, Mr Murphy's e-mail of 12 Jan 2005 to Thomas Sweeney stated: 'You may recall that in earlier e-mails you ....." Clearly, Mr Murphy referred to e-mails, not COPIES OF E-MAILS.                                                                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------- (01-10-08)

Please produce your proofs Mr Murphy,  'Issue 2' has not gone away you know.

BACKGROUND. Mr Sean J Murphy's on line contributions reveal that he has been excluded from consultancy work in the Irish Government Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald of Ireland since 1993 'on account of his difficulties both with the Genealogical Office and the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland'.  Mr Murphy also parted company with the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI) around 1993. He asserted that he had been excluded, but a prominent member of APGI asserts that he left of his own accord. We note that a distinguished member of APGI was appointed, relatively recently, to the Board of the National Library of Ireland and to its Committee on Genealogy and Heraldry and that another prominent member of APGI is a member of the same Committee.

In the mid 1990's, following his 'exclusion' from contract work in the Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald, Mr Murphy obtained a staff training contract in the National Library of Ireland, however, when it ended in 1997 it was not renewed.  Mr Murphy asserts (rec.heraldry 7 Jan 2007) that in 1997 'the new man' in charge of the Library /Office of Chief Herald declined to continue his 'contract work for the Library and famously sneered that he was the self-appointed saviour of Irish genealogy'.  Mr Murphy also asserts that he was responsible for 'exposing' Terence Mac Carthy, the bogus Mac Carthy Mór, via a leak to a Sunday newspaper, however, a leading U K Genealogist/ Heraldist, Mr Cecil R Humphery-Smith, OBE, Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury, gives a different version of events, letter to the Editor of the Coat of Arms, Winter 2004.

In 1999, Thomas Sweeney submitted a petition to the Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald of Ireland seeking recognition as Chief of the Name of the Mac Sweeneys of Doe. The Chief Herald of the day (also Head of the National Library of Ireland) selected a distinguished professional genealogist, member of APGI (competent in Irish) to examine and report on the Mac Sweeney Doe petition. Clearly, if Mr Murphy could discredit the report he stood a good chance of 'getting three birds with one stone': (a) the Chief Herald and the selection process employed; (b) the distinguished professional genealogist (member of APGI) chosen by the Chief Herald, 1999; (c) Thomas Sweeney, who commissioned said professional genealogist to report on his pedigree, 2002.  
(Comment. The professional genealogist chosen by the Chief Herald of Ireland, 1999, and commissioned by Thomas Sweeney 2002, confirmed, Aug 2003,Thomas Sweeney's descent from Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe 1596-1630.

PRESENT SITUATION. Nine and a half months have elapsed, since 08-12-07, and each month we requested Mr Murphy (self-proclaimed scholar, specialist, and chiefly pedigree expert second to none) to produce the 1833 Gartan Parish Tithe Applotment record /component that 'confirms' (according to Mr Murphy) Thomas Sweeney's great-great grandfather, Edward Sweeney /Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe as a settled tenant in the townland of Altnadague/ Attinadeague, 1833.  Mr Murphy cannot produce the Tithe record /component he 'quoted', because, it does not exist and never did.  Nevertheless, he asserted (rec.heraldry, 12 June 2005) that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' said (nonexistent) record /component and found it to be correct. (Good gracious!)

Mr Murphy asserted (rec.heraldry 08 June 2005) that there were a 'good number' of Thomas Murphys in Ballylusky, Co Kerry, where his forebears lived and that Murphy family information enabled him identify one of them as his great-grandfather 'Thomas Murphy'. However, when Mr Murphy tried to identify, without Sweeney family information, a good number of Edward Sweeneys listed in the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish, his efforts came to naught. His 'findings', based on incomplete information, were out of keeping with the findings of the professional genealogist (competent in Irish) chosen by the Chief Herald of Ireland, 1999. However, it should be noted that said professional genealogist (commissioned by  Thomas Sweeney 2002) had access to all relevant (Mac) Sweeney family documents, records and information.  Mr Murphy did not.

The 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment Book records (a) the amount of land held by landholders, (b) the sums individual landholders paid in Tithes, (c) the names of the landholders who paid the Tithes. However, the Tithe record does not differentiate between landholders of the same name, does not record their relationships vis-á-vis each other and does not identify their ancestors, descendants, or kin (extract below). Nevertheless, Mr Murphy asserted (rec.heraldry 12 June 2005, 11.37): 'I keep coming back to documents, critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity.  And recall again that the Tithe record of 1833 lists the claimant's ancestor as a settled tenant, whereas O Donovan's 1835 chief was a travelling tinker'. (Comment.  Mr Murphy should produce his documentary evidence, we've been requesting it for more than nine months.)

Mr Murphy magnified his error when he asserted (rec.heraldry, 24-11-2007,10.55): '..... it is recorded that in 1833 Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward Sweeney was a settled farmer living some distance away in Altnadague'. (Comment. Mr Murphy stipulated (rec.heraldry 11-06-2005): 'NO DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE, NO CONCLUSIVE PROOF', accordingly, he should produce his documentary evidence.

The 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment Book (copy on Mr Murphy's web page) lists the name 'Edward Sweeney' in each of the townlands of (a) Shrughangarrow, (b) Altnadague/ Attinadeague, (c) Meenasnee Hill.  However, the 1833 Tithe Applotment record for the townland of Stramore (adjoining Altnadague/ Attinadeague) is not shown on Mr Murphy's web page although the name 'Edward Sweeney' is listed there, twice. We find it odd that Mr Murphy's research/ semi-research did not include Stramore, and particularly so, because, we continue to possess land in Stramore to this day. However, attention to detail (re the Mac Sweeneys of Doe) has not been Mr Murphy's strong point.

Mr Murphy is unable to identify the Edward Sweeneys listed in the 1833 Gartan Tithe record for the townlands of Shrughangarrow, Altnadague/ Attinadeague, Meenasnee Hill and Stramore. His update on rec.heraldry, 08-10-2005, defines his predicament:

'...  all we have basically is the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish.... This Tithe record (relating to a tax payable to the Established Church of Ireland by all denominations) lists one or a number of Edward Sweeney landholders in the townland of Altnadague in 1833 (due to fragmentation of landholdings we cannot be certain of the number....)',

So there it is, straight from the horse's mouth. Mr Murphy has stated clearly that he cannot be certain of the number of Edward Sweeney landholders in the townland of Altnadague/ Attinadeague in 1833. Accordingly, he cannot be certain of the number of Edward Sweeneys listed in the other townlands either. Consequently, he is unable to identify conclusively the Edward Sweeneys listed in the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment Book and cannot ascertain their relationships vis-á-vís each other or identify their descendants.  

Mr Murphy asserted on his Mac Sweeney Doe web page: 'It may be relevant to point out that it is an important part of the ethic of the professional genealogist to claim no more than the evidence allows, a point made forcefully in the code of conduct of the US Board for Certification of Genealogists: I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven.....' Having made his point about 'not publishing anything doubtful or unproven' Mr Murphy went on to assert (in the following paragraph): 'One pertinent record which raises difficulties for Mr Sweeney's case is the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish which lists an Edward Sweeney landholder in 'Altinadeague', and it is this apparently settled individual rather than the wandering Sheep Haven chiefly claimant who is more likely to be Thomas Sweeney's ancestor (National Archives of Ireland, reference TAB 7/14.)'  
(Click 'Issue 1' for other examples of Mr Murphy's likely(s), probably(s), suspicions and beliefs.)   
 
The 1833 Gartan Tithe Aplotments record: 'National Archives of Ireland, reference TAB 7/14' quoted by Mr Murphy (above) and illustrated (below) demolishes his 'case'.  
 
 

 The relevant portion of the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment Book is illustrated above and we (and others) should like Mr Murphy to specify the record/ entry:

(a) where '... it is recorded that in 1833 Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward Sweeney was a settled farmer living some distance away in Altnadague' (asserted rec.heraldry 24-11-2007,10:55).

(b) where ' '... the Tithe record of 1833 lists the claimant's ancestor (Edward Sweeney/ Eamonn Mac Sweeney Doe) as a settled tenant.' (asserted by Mr Murphy, rec.heraldry 12-06-2005,11:37). 

Comment.  If Mr Murphy has, by some marvellous means, 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' a nonexistent Gartan Tithe Applotment record/ component surely he should be eager to shed light on his miraculous achievement. Moreover, he could argue that he has not tripped up on the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments - a beginner's topic included in the 'family history' course he teaches to amateurs and examines/ marks at the end of the academic year, presumably, using a marking scheme based on a model answer - put together by himself!

Please produce your proofs Mr Murphy,  'Issue 2' has not gone away you know (23-09-08).
--------------------------------------------------------------   (


'My published (Mac Sweeney Doe) report would also of course be entered into evidence, together with copious documentation to prove its conclusions, and I myself will take the stand with alacrity.' (Mr Murphy, rec.heraldry 23 November 2007)

Comment. Perhaps Mr Murphy (self-proclaimed 'scholar and  'specialist' and 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none' should also consider the possibility that he might leave the stand with equal 'alacrity', because:
(a) his Mac Sweeney Doe report is founded on a figment of his imagination, namely, an 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment component that does not exist but which he quoted as fact (rec..heraldry, 12 June 2005 and 24 Nov 2007) and cannot produce despite many requests to do since 08 DEC 2007.

(b) of his absurd assertion (rec.heraldry 12 June 2005, I'd) that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' and confirmed the accuracy of the aforementioned component, despite the fact that it does not exist.  Good gracious!

Mr Murphy's Gartan Tithe faux pas also calls into question his assertion on rec.heraldry 29 June 2005, namely, that he 'continues to insist on the principle of properly cited evidence...'  Maybe Mr Murphy's principle of properly cited evidence applies to others!
'Do as I say, not as I do.' 16th century English proverb.

''Qualifications alone are not sufficient, quality of knowledge and capacity to argue ably but fairly are also important. If I myself have ever fallen below these standards, then I can but humbly apologize'.  (Mr Murphy, rec.heraldry 6 June 2007)
Comment. Eight months have elapsed (since 8 December 2007) and, not surprisingly, Mr Murphy cannot produce the nonexistent 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment 'component' on which his Mac Sweeney Doe 'case' depends and which he 'quoted', rec. heraldry 12-06-05 and 24-11-07. Clearly, Mr Murphy's research has dropped 'below standards' and he should 'humbly apologize' as promised. He should also acknowledge that he could not have 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' a Gartan Tithe Applotment 'component' that does not exist.

'I believe that legalistically ... the Mac Sweeney Doe report of August 2003 is private, in that although requested by a Chief Herald it was paid for by the applicant and then completed after the termination of courtesy recognition in July 2003.'  (Mr Murphy, rec.heraldry March 5, 2006)
Comment. Mr Murphy acknowledges that the Mac Sweeney Doe report is 'private' and yet demands 'a full copy' of the report so that he can examine it. The report, compiled by a professional genealogist selected by the Chief Herald of Ireland, August 1999, confirms Thomas Sweeney's descent from Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630. However, Mr Murphy will not be given a copy of the Mac Sweeney Doe report because:
(a) he does not hold a professional qualification in Irish - a mandatory requirement set by the Chief Herald of Ireland, August 1999;
(b) he has tripped up on a beginner's topic - the Gartan Tithe Applotments - and it's not the only time that he has tripped up. Examples follow:

(a) We find it extraordinary that Mr Murphy, a self-proclaimed 'scholar',  'specialist' and 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none' cannot accept the meaning of 'per pro' and consequently has been taken to task, for alleged misrepresentation of facts, by Mr Cecil Humphery-Smith, OBE, Principal of Canterbury Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, arguably the greatest name in genealogy and heraldry in the UK.

(b) We find it extraordinary that Mr Murphy's report on the O Long chieftaincy runs counter to two independent reports.  Report (a) compiled by a prominent professional genealogist and recognized chiefly pedigree expert, (b) compiled by an internationally acclaimed medievalist, lecturer and author.

(c) We find it extraordinary that Mr Murphy accused us of not having the courtesy to reply to his e-mails. Consequently, we went to the trouble and expense of communicating with him by registered post and were greatly disillusioned when he let slip, later, that he had received the replies we sent by e-mail.

(d) We also find it extraordinary that Mr Murphy asked us to send him copies of documents already in his possession - obtained by him from the Office of Chief Herald via a FOI application. Mr Murphy describes himself as Director of a 'Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies'. However, Mr Murphy's 'Centre' has no staff or personnel of any sort other than himself, so perhaps it made a change to issue instructions to someone.

Furthermore:
1.  We don't understand how Mr Murphy (who teaches genealogy to amateurs on a part-time basis) could trip up on a 1st year genealogy topic as simple, uncomplicated and undemanding as the Gartan Tithe Applotments - on which his Mac Sweeney Doe 'case' depends.   

2. Mr Murphy also tripped up (rec.heraldry 7 June 2007) when he asserted: 'The plain fact is that my report on the Mac Sweeney Doe chiefship is the only competent one in the public domain, and I stand over its conclusion...'. Comment. The plain fact is that Mr Murphy's conclusion arises from his interpretation of the facts as he would like them to be, rather than the way they have been recorded on the 1833 Tithe Applotment record for Gartan Parish.  Consequently, he published an erroneous interpretation of the facts (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005, 12 June 2005, 8 Oct 2005, 24 Nov 2007) and ended up with egg all over his face, again.

3. Mr Murphy tripped up also (rec.heraldry 7 June 2005) when he alleged that the professional genealogist commissioned by Thomas Sweeney in 2002 to examine his pedigree '... may be an able generalist but has no track record in researching claims to chiefship'.  The professional genealogist in question, a recognized chieflypedigree expert, was commissioned by Chief Herald Brendan O Donoghue to report on the Maguire claim to chiefship and submitted her Maguire report to the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland in 2001. Mr Murphy accepts that he has erred (rec.heraldry 16 Nov 2007) but, despite his promise, refuses to apologize.  Mr Murphy has blundered and should  (as promised) 'apologize humbly' to the lady in question - a Member of the Board of the National Library of Ireland and Member of its Committee on Genealogy and Heraldry, and Member of the  Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland.  Of course Mr Murphy is not a member of any of the bodies mentioned.

4. Mr Murphy made another serious blunder when he accused the same professional genealogist of validating an 'abandoned version' of the Mac Sweeney Doe pedigree, rec.heraldry 22 Nov 2007. The professional genealogist's report (compatible with Dr John O Donovan's 1835 genealogy) confirmed Thomas Sweeney's descent from Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, 10th Chief of Doe, via his grandson 'Murrough' and great grandson 'Donough Oge'. The report, signed 24 Aug 2003, was presented to a member of the legal profession in his office, 3 Sep 2003, and its contents noted. Mr Murphy has erred and should 'humbly apologize' to the lady in question, as promised.

5. Mr Murphy also tripped up (PART  24) when he became presumptuous and 'contradicted', after 170 years, Royal Irish Academy Member and Cunningham Gold Medal Winner, Dr John O Donovan, Professor of Celtic at Queen's College Belfast and corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Berlin. Dr O Donovan validated the Mac Sweeney Doe pedigree in 1835 and recorded it in a footnote to page 2341 (year 1603) of his translation of AFM/ The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Dublin 1856; 1990).  Mr Murphy is not nearly in the same league.

6. Mr Murphy tripped up again, 8 Nov 2007, when he informed visitors to rec.heraldry that he favours the reassignment of staff in the Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald 'to duties in the National Library, following training of replacement staff '- by none other than Mr Murphy himself.  We were unaware that Mr Murphy holds professional qualifications in Medieval Irish and Modern Irish and Latin or that he ever designed an acceptable Coat of Arms! 

7...
Mr Murphy posted the following thought-provoking observation on rec.heraldry, 2 Nov 2004, re Irish Feudal Titles:
'It is a reflection not of my ability, but of the rock bottom standards applying in Irish heraldry and genealogy, that I cannot think of a single other professional with the capacity to check the validity of the information contained in such documents.'

Comment.  It is regrettable that Mr Murphy did not use his unique talent to check the validity of the information he mistakenly believed to be embodied in the 1833 Tithe Applotment record for Gartan Parish, on which his Mac Sweeney Doe 'case' depends. Had he checked, he could have published factual information on rec.heraldry, 11 June 2005, 12 June 2005, 8 Oct 2005, 24 Nov 2007, instead of worthless wishful thinking.

A person intent on damaging reputations should check the validity of his allegations, and particularly so, when he claims that he is 'a scholar,  'a specialist', and 'a chiefly pedigree expert second to none'. Despite his embarrassing Gartan Tithe Applotments  faux pas, Private Citizen Murphy continues to demand 'a full copy' of our consultant genealogist's report so that he can examine it!  Charity begins at home and Mr Murphy should examine his own work, e.g., his semi-researched Mac Sweeney Doe report.   

'CRITICALLY AND INDEED SCIENTIFICALLY EXAMINED FOR AUTHENTICITY'(Sean J Murphy)  

Six months have elapsed (since 08-12-07) and, as expected, Mr Murphy cannot produce the 1833 Gartan Parish TitheApplotment extract that 'records' (according to him - rec.heraldry 12-06-05 and 24-11-07) Thomas Sweeney's great, great grandfather, Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe, as a Tithe   payer.

Mr Murphy asserted on rec.heraldry 12-06-2005,11.37 pm:  'I keep coming back to documents, critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity.  And recall again that the Tithe record of 1833 (for Gartan Parish) lists the claimant's ancestor as a settled tenant, whereas O Donovan's 1835 chief was a travelling tinker'.  (Comment.  Please produce the record Mr Murphy.)

Mr Murphy asserted, rec.heraldry 24-11-2007,10.55pm: '... it is recorded that in 1833 Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward Sweeney was a settled farmer living some distance away in Altnadague'.  (Comment.  Please produce the record Mr Murphy.)

It also should be noted that Mr Murphy asserted, rec.heraldry,12-06-05, 11.37pm, that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' said 'record' - a 'record' that does not and never did exist. (Comment. Mr Murphy, please produce the record you claim you 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' or admit that you have tripped up badly - more than once.

It is also interesting to note that Mr Murphy posted the following supportive items on his Mac Sweeney Doe web page and that they have come back to haunt him:
 1. It may be relevant to point out that it is an important part of the ethic of the professional genealogist to claim no more than the evidence allows, a point made forcefully in the code of conduct of the US Board for Certification of Genealogists: 'I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven; nor will I be a party directly or indirectly, to such action by others.'   

2. Mr Murphy also cited (same web page) the US Board for Certification of Genealogists' Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), which consists of five principal elements:
'a reasonably exhaustive search; complete and accurate source citations; analysis and correlation of the collected information; resolution of any conflicting evidence; and a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion'.

Comment.  We wonder why the US Board for Certification of Genealogists does not stipulate that Tithe Applotment 'records and componets of Tithe records' should be 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' - even if they do not exist. Mr Murphy, their devotee, claims that he has done it.


'God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' (Galatians, vi. 7.)

FIVE months have elapsed (since 08-12-07) and self-proclaimed 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none' Mr Murphy cannot produce the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment record (he 'quoted' and supposedly 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity)' - because it does not exist.  We find it extraordinary that Mr Murphy tripped-up on a simple, uncomplicated, undemanding beginner's topic like the Tithe Applotments and particularly so when said topic is included in the genealogy syllabus he teaches to amateurs, on a part-time basis.

 FOUR months have elapsed (since 08-12-07) and Mr Murphy cannot produce the Gartan Parish Tithe Applotment record he 'quoted' on rec.heraldry (12-06-05 and 24-11-07) to prop up his erroneous assertion that Thomas Sweeney's great, great-grandfather, Edward Sweeney/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe paid the Tithe in Altnadague/  Attinadague, 1833.

Mr Murphy asserted on rec.heraldry (12-06-05) that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' the record in question. If Mr Murphy 'critically and indeed scientifically examined' said record he must have extraordinary powers, because, the record he 'quoted' is not recorded in the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment Book and, therefore, does not exist. Good gracious, how could a self-proclaimed 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none' get it so wrong?

Mr Murphy also asserted (rec.heraldry 8 June 2005) that there were 'a good number of Thomas Murphys' in Ballylusky, Co Kerry, where his forebears lived and that 'family information' enabled him identify his great-grandfather 'Thomas Murphy'. Therefore, we were surprised that Mr Murphy ignored (a) the strong possibility that 'a good number' of Edward Sweeneys would be recorded as Tithe payers in the 1833 Gartan Tithe book (b) the certainty that he would be unable to differentiate between them or trace their kindred.  It is also interesting to note that Mr Murphy selected one Thomas Murphy from the 'good number of Thomas Murphys' in the Ballylusky area and decided that the chosen one was his great-grandfather.

Mr Murphy wrote (rec.heraldry 8 June 2005):
'...the family information was that my great-grandfather's name
was Thomas, that he lived in Ballylusky, Co Kerry, that he married
Margaret 'Peg' Kaye, and that his son John, my grandfather, was born
in the 1880s. Research in 1901 and 1911 Census returns and GRO vital
records in particular enabled me to test the veracity of this
information, and ultimately to confirm it. There were a good number of
Thomas Murphys in the Ballylusky area, but only one whose profile in
the records matched my data.'

A learned contributor commented (rec.heraldry 9 June 2005):
'So you identify this Thomas Murphy as your great-grandfather because he
fits the profile given in your family tradition. This is a fine example of what I  
meant when I said that all genealogy is based upon tradition and presumption.
What if your family tradition is wrong?'

Another learned contributor commented (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005):
'If documentation were really to provide proof or confirmation, then it is essential
that the documents **alone** lead back **uniquely** to (in this case) said
Thomas Murphy of Ballylusky. I don't believe the records come close to
doing so - from your description, the vital information linking you to
Ballyluskey comes from your own family tradition.'

Comment. Mr Murphy's conclusion is at odds with his rule: 'No documentary evidence, no conclusive proof' (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005). Maybe Mr Murphy's rule applies to others!



RECENT DEVELOPMENT: Mr Murphy admits he erred but, despite his promise, refuses to apologize.

Key quote F: Oops! Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot for the 7th time. 

Key quote E:  Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot for the 6th time, refer Part 8, Part 10, Part 14, Part 21, Part 23, below.

Key Quote D: Promises! Promises! 

Key quote C: '... egg all over his face ....' (2nd time)

Key quote B: One cannot be unmoved by the personal distress of a self-proclaimed scholar whose dearly held scholarly achievements remain unrewarded.  

Key quote A:  'How about it Mr Murphy, when will you be scholar enough to acknowledge (as the great scholar Dr John O Donovan acknowledged) that Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was 'Chief of the Mac Sweenies Doe' in 1835?     

 

Part  1:  Mr Murphy, receives a rebuke AND is  given a message. 
He that is foolish in the fault let him be wise in the punishment'.   (17th century proverb.)

Leading U K Genealogist/ Heraldist, Mr Cecil R Humphery-Smith, Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury, has taken Mr Murphy to task (Coat of Arms, Winter 2004) because of his unjust criticism of Mr Fergus Gillespie, present Chief Herald of   Ireland, also in relation to alleged misrepresent -ation of facts (Coat of Arms, Winter 2003).
Outcome 1. The editor of the Coat of Arms resigned and the caretaker editors declined to publish Mr Murphy's response to Mr Humphery-Smith's letter of complaint. They suggested that he 'find a different forum'!
Outcome 2. Mr Gillespie was appointed Vice President of the prestigious Heraldry Society - proprietor of the Coat of Arms. It is interesting to note that Mr Gillespie is the first Chief Herald of Ireland to be honoured thus, and that a fellow Vice President and Patron of the Society is His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England.

Part 2:  Control Games.
Mr Murphy played games and got caught.

Part 3: Control Games - again
Mr Murphy played games again and got caught again.

Part 4: Foraging for Negatives
Mr Murphy (self-declared 'Second to None') sought help from a non-professional genealogist!

Part 5:  Oops!
Mr Murphy made a number of errors and resorted to speculative phrases.

Part 6: Red Herrings:
Mr Murphy made a hearty meal of it. He introduced some red herrings and added a sprinkling of throwaway phrases.

Part 7: ( He that praiseth himself ... ')
Mr M does not believe in the proverb: 'self-praise is no recommendation''!

Part 8: Fiat justitia ... '
Mr Murphy shot himself in the foot and thereby rendered himself a disservice. 

Part 9: The illusion of knowledge...'  Mr Murphy writes persuasively but not always unerringly.

 Part 10: Claimants.
Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot and damages his hopes of being accepted as a self-designated 'chiefly pedigree specialist/ expert'.

Part 11:  A Short Memory!
History repeats. Mr Murphy manages to stick his neck into another noose of his own making - as in Part 2 and 3 above.

Part 12: One owes!
It is obvious that Mr Murphy is unfamiliar with (a) Donegal history/society (b) the history, fate and misfortunes of the descendants of the Chiefs of Doe - as recorded in Irish and English. Consequently, he focused on the wrong period and scored an own goal.

Part 13: CHIMES.

Part 14: Toledo Trusty!  Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot again.

Part 15: 'Worse than a blunder...'

Part 16: An Error and an Affront. 

Part 17: Mr Murphy quotes 'Scripture', reads Gaelic, and paints himself into a corner.

Part 18: Orders from Private Citizen Murphy.

 Part 19: Mr Murphy's Unregistered Business Names

The Mac Donald of Keppoch Appeal.

Part 21: May 17, 2006 Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot again! 

Part 22:  Scraping the bottom of the barrel via the Freedom of Information Act. 

Part 23:  Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot - ARÍS. 5..

Part 24: 'Correcting' O Donovan! 
A. To be or not to be, a scholar. B. Hoist with his own petard. C.  Promises! Promises! 
D. Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot for the 6th time. 
E. Oops! Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot for the 7th time.
F. Mr Murphy admits he erred. 

Part 25 (a): Mr Murphy skates on thin ice and his words & phrases come back to haunt him .
Part 25 (b): 'Tripping Up'. 

  O Long Report ! On 29 April, 2000, Mr Sean J Murphy (genealogist, part-time  teacher, self-proclaimed scholar, self-proclaimed second to none chiefly pedigree expert, and one-man Centre for Irish Genealogical/ Local Historical Studies) announced on line: 'we have continued the time-consuming and painstaking work of checking out pedigrees ... and now are sufficiently advanced in our research into O Long to issue a report'. If Mr Murphy's report of 29 April 2000 re O Long of Garranelongy is an example of 'painstaking work', then, it's little wonder that his semi-researched  Mac Sweeney Doe report also falls far short of the mark. Mr Murphy should make certain that his facts are correct before he posts them on the web, for example, on 6 Sept 2006 he alleged (on Google groups alt.genealogy) that Denis O Long was a 'bogus O Long of Garranelongy'.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Denis O Long of Garranelongy was unfortunate inasmuch as he commissioned Terence MacCarthy (the bogus Mac  Carthy Mór) to research his pedigree. Mr Murphy commented on line, 29 April 2000: 'The most substantial available published pedigree of the currently recognized O Long is from the pen of the now 'abdicated' MacCarthy Mór, and this alone is a sufficient cause for concern'.  However, no one could be more concerned than Denis O Long and, because of his concern, he commissioned a distinguished consultant genealogist and author, Mr Paul Gorry, to review the pedigree researched by Terence MacCarthy. It should be noted:
(a) that Mr Gorry had been commissioned some months previously by Mr Brendan O Donoghue, Chief Herald of Ireland, to review Terence MacCarthy's own pedigree;
(b) that Chief Herald O Donoghue's decision to withdraw recognition from Terence MacCarthy in 1999 was founded on Mr Gorry's findings and not on a leak of information to a Sunday newspaper by Mr Murphy (see Part 11).
Mr Gorry's painstaking work confirmed Denis O Long's descent from the last recorded Chief of the Name of O Long of Garranelongy in the seventeenth century.  Nevertheless, Denis O Long went a step further and obtained a second professional opinion, this time from Dr Kenneth Nicholls, an internationally acclaimed medievalist, lecturer and author. Dr Nicholls' findings agreed with Mr Gorry's.  Mr Gorry is a full-time consultant genealogist and Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, and is recognized as a Chiefly pedigree expert.  Kenneth Nicholls, Senior Lecturer in University College Cork, holds Doctorate and Post-Doctorate qualifications and is regarded as the foremost academic in his field.  
It is interesting to note that 'Paul Gorry and Kenneth Nicholls' are merely mentioned in passing by Mr Murphy in his O Long of Garranelongy report, 30 June 2006. Peter Berresford Ellis was more forthcoming in his book Erin's Blood Royal, Palgrave, New York 2002, pages156-7.  He informs us:  'Murphy denounced O'Long's pedigree as bogus and called for an enquiry. The Office (of Chief Herald), sensitive after the "McCarthy Affair" announced a review of O'Long's pedigree. This, like other reviews is currently on "hold".  However, The O Long, even before the announcement of a review, was shocked by the accusations and employed a reputable genealogist, Paul Gorry.  Gorry had discovered the McCarthy fraud after being employed by the Chief Herald's Office to examine his pedigree.  O'Long also asked for the help of medievalist Dr Kenneth Nicholls of Cork University to examine the material pertaining to that period.    ........The O'Long, who has a  reputation for punctilious honesty, is financing his own review through a reputable genealogist and historian.' (The 2002 edition of Erin's Blood Royal, was reviewed by Mr Murphy, 1 May 2002.) 
In May 2006, Mr Murphy obtained a copy of Denis O Long's file from The Office of Chief Herald of Ireland via a Freedom of Information request and on 30 June 2006 he revised his report of 29 April 2000.  We note that a number of very serious allegations made by Mr Murphy in his 29 April 2000 report have been purged, without explanation or apology, from his 30 June 2006 report.  Examples follow: 
'Do not the irregularities surrounding the O Long case appear on the face of it to be even greater than those discovered in the cases of MacCarthy Mór and Maguire of Fermanagh?'
'Once again serious discrepancies, want of documentary evidence and indeed crude forgery have been discovered in relation to the proffered pedigree of O Long ...'
'Just what is to be done in the specific case of O Long? Again, a nettle must be grasped ... '  
'I could not locate any sources connecting the claimant (Denis O Long) with the last recorded chief in the seventeenth century.''
Comment.  Mr Gorry and Dr Nicholls were able to locate sources connecting Denis O Long with the last recorded O Long Chief in the seventeenth century, but Mr Murphy could not.
Likewise, the consultant genealogist chosen (on the advocacy of the Chief Herald of Ireland) to examine Thomas Sweeney's pedigree was able to locate sources connecting him with his great, great grandfather, Eamon Rua Mac Sweeney (i.e., Dr John O Donovan's Chief of Doe) living in 'Altinadeague', Derryveagh, 1851, but Mr Murphy could not.
It is generally accepted that a showman is as good as his last performance.  Therefore, Private Citizen Murphy must surely realize that he has put an end to his chances of receiving a copy of the genealogical report (completed in 2003 by Thomas Sweeney's consultant genealogist) that he has so arrogantly demanded. 
 'Confidence is a plant of slow growth ...' William Pitt, English Prime Minister,  1708-1788.

FIVE IN A ROW. 
A. 'The blind eat many a fly' (15th century proverb).   It's not given to many to shoot themselves twice in the same foot because of a single sentence, however, Mr Sean J Murphy, genealogist, part-time teacher, self-declared scholar and chiefly pedigree expert second to none, has managed to do it.  Mr Murphy posted the following on rec.heraldry 22-05-2006: 'In 1997 MacCarthy was still backed up by a certificate signed in 1992 by both Chief Herald Begley and by the then Deputy and now Chief Herald Gillespie.'  Mr Murphy knows, e.g., by means of a document he obtained in 2006 from the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland (via a Mac Sweeney Doe Freedom of Information release) that Mr Gillespie was not Deputy Chief Herald at that time. In addition, Mr Murphy knows and has acknowledged that Mr Gillespie did not sign the recognition certificate on his own behalf but signed it per pro the Chief Herald of Ireland on the instructions of Chief Herald Donal Begley, his superior officer in the service. (See letter of complaint re same from leading UK genealogist, Mr Cecil R Humphery-Smith, Principal of Canterbury Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies.) An office secretary who signs a letter per pro on behalf of an office manager knows the meaning of per pro. What a pity that Mr Murphy did not enrol for a part-time B.Comm. degree instead of B.A.  
Moreover, Mr Murphy does not earn any kudos by failing to acknowledge (until 05-09-2006 on rec.heraldry) that he mistakenly claimed that Mr Gillespie's rank at the time the MacCarthy Mór recognition document was signed was that of Deputy Chief Herald. Although aware of his mistake, Mr Murphy turned a blind eye to it until it was highlighted on this web site two days earlier, 03-09-2006.  Mr Murphy also seems to have difficulty in differentiating between the 'validation' of a pedigree by a professional genealogist and the 'recognition' of a validated pedigree (prior to July 2003) by the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland.
Mr Charles Lysaght (Barrister-at-Law, author, historian, Advisor to the Irish Law Reform Commission and Advisor to the Department of Foreign Affairs) placed on record in his Foreword to Walter J P Curley's Vanishing Kingdoms, Lilliput Press, Dublin 2004, page 14, that: 'Chief Herald Begley recognized Terence MacCarthy as The MacCarthy Mór on the basis of a pedigree registered as authentic by his predecessor Gerard Slevin. The recognition was withdrawn in 1999 when it was established that the pedigree had been registered in reliance on a forged letter'.  Therefore, it is astonishing that Mr Murphy merely noted in passing and without comment that Chief Herald Begley's 'predecessor had registered a pedigree submitted by MacCarthy Mór in 1980'  (para 10 MacCarthy Mór report).  Furthermore, it is extraordinary that Mr Murphy does not understand that Chief Herald Slevin's registration of Terence MacCarthy's 'pedigree' amounted to an effectual recognition of Terence MacCarthy as Mac Carthy Mór.  Partial reporting is unacceptable and is scandalous when it threatens the reputations of blameless government officials, soft targets, unable to defend themselves because of their conditions of service. We note that the Code of Ethics and Conduct of the U.S. Board for Certification of Genealogists (admired and quoted by Mr Murphy) states: 'I will act, speak and write in a manner I believe to be in the best interests of the profession and scholarship of genealogy.'  

B (i). The Claim to Fame. Mr Murphy stated (rec.heraldry, 22-05-2006): 'I was just embarking (in 1997) on my work of exposing MacCarthy, and had I been asked then I would have expressed doubts about some of MacCarthy's claims, but would not yet have been in a position to produce positive proof that he was a fake.' Mr Murphy boasts that he is 'a chiefly pedigree expert second to none', therefore, it is interesting to note that it took him from 1997 to mid 1999 to compile his MacCarthy report while, by way of contrast, the professional genealogist commissioned by Mr Brendan O Donoghue, Chief Herald of Ireland, to investigate MacCarthy's claim to chiefship needed but a fraction of that time. Given that it took Mr Murphy two years to research and post an obviously incomplete MacCarthy report on the internet (16 June 1999) we wondered how he came upon the additional information he required to amend the same report two weeks later, 30 June 1999.  Could it be that he got a leg-up (let's say p.m. 28 June 1999) and consequently, the MacCarthy report posted on the internet, 30 June 1999, is not all his own work?  We note that the Code of Ethics and Conduct  of the U.S. Board of Certification (admired and quoted by Mr Murphy) states: '... In citing another's work, I will give proper credit.'
Comment 1.  Mr Murphy admitted, 05-09-2006, that he examined the research results of another MacCarthy Mór investigator (p.m. 28 June 1999?). Therefore, the amended version of the MacCarthy report posted by Mr Murphy two days later (30 June 1999) cannot be regarded as all his own work.
Comment 2. The Chief Herald of Ireland commissioned Mr Paul Gorry a distinguished professional genealogist (member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland) to review Terence MacCarthy's pedigree when it was suspected that his claim to the Mac Carthy Mór chiefship was bogus.  Accordingly, it is reasonable to assume that the research material examined by Mr Murphy (p.m. 28 June 1999?) and put to use in 'slightly amended form' in the final version of his MacCarthy Mór report, was also the work of an accomplished member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland. However, Mr Murphy has informed us on line that he has been excluded from consultancy work in the Irish Government Genealogical Office since 1993 'on account of his difficulties both with the Genealogical Office and the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland'.  Furthermore, he has alleged on line that 'the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland's monopoly of contract work in the Genealogical Office has operated to depress standards and create a severe deficiency of available expertise' (Mr Murphy's available expertise?). Moreover, he has stated on line that he is 'determined that the vacuum of genealogical expertise in Ireland must not be colonised by the ignorant and self-interested.' Therefore, on the face of it, it seems unlikely that Mr Murphy would do a backward somersault and combine the final version of his MacCarthy report with the research findings of a member of APGI, or is it?
Comment 3. Mr Murphy has used his web site/s for years to blackguard others and now he is complaining that he is being subjected to 'blackguarding'.  An deabhal bocht!   
'The weapon your enemy uses to frighten you is the one that terrifies him.' Aldous Huxley, advisor to Churchill's War Cabinet, WWII.

B (ii). Bombast, Blunder and the Claim to Fame. We have referred, on a number of occasions, to lack of attention to detail by Mr Murphy, e.g., Part 5,  Part 6,  Part 10, Part 11,  Part 14,  Part 21. Here is another example.
Take 1. Mr Murphy announced (rec.heraldry 22-05-2006) that he embarked on his work of exposing Mac Carthy Mór in 1997 and published his findings, June 1999.  We expressed surprise at the length of time Mr Murphy spent researching Terence Mac Carthy's pedigree and he responded thus: 'Mr Sweeney ... takes me to task for taking two years to research my Mac Carthy Mór report of 1999, an effective charge of care and caution to which I plead guilty.'
Take 2.  On 1-12-2006, Mr Murphy announced on line that he had been asked by Mr Paul Gorry (a full-time professional genealogist whose painstaking research on behalf of the Office of Chief Herald exposed the Mac Carthy Mór fraud in 1999) to explain how he had sourced certain items in his June 1999 Mac Carthy Mór report.  Mr Gorry wrote:
'Mr Murphy's calculated release to the Sunday Times of details on the Mac Carthy Mór case some weeks before the Chief Herald's decision was announced suggested to me that he got a helping hand from someone in the know.  In the interests of freedom of information perhaps he would explain how he came on details other than those uncovered by research he personally conducted.'
Mr Murphy replied: 'It may have been considered improbable that one who has had no access to Office of Chief Herald files and was blacked from contract work there (since 1993) could have ... succeeded independently in cracking the Mac Carthy Mór hoax. This is precisely what I did in 1998-1999'.
Good gracious, despite his boasting and bragging about being guilty 'of care and caution' it seems that Mr Murphy does not know whether he embarked on his Mac Carthy Mór research in 1997 or 1998 and consequently, does not know how long it took.  Accordingly, his claim to fame is now something of a question mark.  
'Du sublime au redicule il n'y a qu'un pas./ From the sublime to the ridiculous there is only one step.'
              Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France. (After the retreat from Moscow, 1812.)

 C. They say so, is half a lie' (Italian proverb).  Mr Murphy posted on rec.heraldry, 08-10-2006, that he 'had been informed' that Tarlagh Mac Suibhne (An Píobaire Mór) and Thomas Sweeney are 'not related' but that he 'has not yet sufficient proof to make a judgment one way or the other'.  We informed Mr Murphy by registered post, April 24, 2004, at a time when he was/ was not receiving e-mails, that Thomas Sweeney proved to the satisfaction of a professional genealogist (chosen on the advocacy of Mr Brendan O Donoghue, Chief Herald of Ireland) that Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney, i.e., John O Donovan's Chief and Tarlagh's father, was his great, great-grandfather.  We note that the Code of Ethics and Conduct of the U.S. Board for Certification of Genealogists (admired and quoted by Mr Murphy) states: 'I will furnish only facts I can substantiate with adequate documentation'.
D. 'The more laws, the more offenders' (Latin proverb).  Mr Murphy posted on rec.heraldry, 22-05-2006: '.....Things have been difficult enough, for example, 'Mac Sweeney Doe' has recently posted on the internet a serious but entirely false charge that I am in breach of the companies legislation by failing to register the Centre for Irish Genealogical  and Historical Studies as a business, which of course it is not.'                                                                                   
Good gracious, the 1963 Registration of Business Names Act states that 'registration of a Business Name is obligatory if any individual uses a Business Name which differs in any way from his/her true surname'. (See Part 19.) .

E (i): SCHOLARLY WOE. Mr Sean J Murphy, genealogist and part-time teacher, has taken to claiming on the web that he is a scholar despite the fact that scholars are recognized as such by their peers, not by themselves.                                
e.g., (a) In his O Long of Garranelongy Report (cited above) Mr Murphy asserted 2006: 'The reported validation of Mr Long's claim to chiefship places the present writer in the difficult position of appearing to challenge the authority of a superior scholar'. i.e., Dr Kenneth Nicholls, Senior Lecturer, University College, Cork, internationally recognized scholar and foremost academic in his field.                                      
e.g., (b)  In his 'Response to a Charge of Plagiarism' Mr Murphy asserted 2006 that: 'it is possible that he (Mr Gorry) made the accusation  .... with no real awareness of how it might damage my reputation as a scholar ...'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
e.g., (c)  Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, (Professor, Political Theory and Comparative Politics, Dept of Political Science, University of Copenhagen) took Mr Murphy to task (rec.heraldry, 06-01-2007) by revealing that he understood 'from people in Ireland and elsewhere' that Mr Murphy's credentials should he care to present them 'would not make much of an impression'.  The following day Mr Murphy obligingly placed his CV on line, rec. heraldry 07-01-2007. He informed us that Professor Kurrild-Klitgaard is a highly regarded academic holding a prestigious university post which (according to Mr Murphy) 'makes it unacceptable that he should allow himself to become a conduit for defamation against a fellow scholar'.  It is interesting to note that Mr Murphy's academic qualifications would be regarded as unexceptional, whereas, the academic qualifications obtained - at the same juncture - by Professor Kurrild-Klitgaard were awarded "summa cum laude".  
(Amendment.  Mr Murphy announced, rec. heraldry 15-03-2007, that on 15-02-2007 Professor Kurrild-Klitgaard withdrew the comment he made concerning Mr Murphy's credentials, 06-01-2007.  
Professor Kurrild Klitgaard's statement on rec. heraldry 15-02-2007: 'I shall apologize for having made the remark - even   disregarding the content - was unacceptable. The mere fact that Sean Murphy had initiated prior ad hominem attacks on me and began referring to off-topic issues should not have led me to sink to the same level. ...'
Mr Murphy replied, rec.heraldry, 15-02-2007: 'Apology accepted, although it is qualified. I reject the new charge that I ever initiated ad hominem attacks on you, or challenged your credentials (or indeed inhabit a level to which you could be seen to sink.')                                                                                                                      
Mr Murphy informed us, on line, that his father was a native Irish speaker.  Therefore, it is interesting to note that schoolgoing children in Irish speaking districts are referred to as  'scholars'.  Moreover, the first pupil in class to achieve proficiency in joined-writing would be highly commended by the teacher, eg: 'John boy, you have the makings of a scholar'.


Scoláire = scholar = schoolgoing child, ref. Niall Ó Dónaill's Irish-English Dictionary, Rialtas na hÉireann 1977, page 1060.

'Knowledge is folly, except grace guide it.' 17th Century proverb.

E (ii) We are aware of Mr Murphy's expectation that the "Genealogy/ Family History" adult education classes he teaches will be upgraded, at some time in the future, to degree level.  If so, Mr Murphy's present temporary part-time status could change to permanent full-time.  
However, we are mindful of temporary part-time teachers in the Dublin area who worked long hours setting up courses and building-up enrollments only to discover (when the numbers enrolled allowed a full-time appointment to be made) that another contender was chosen, e.g., a candidate with better qualifications. And where would one find a candidate with better qualifications than Mr Murphy to teach a course 'with significant heraldic content', as asserted by him rec.heraldry Jan 7, 07?  University graduation lists reveal that the present Chief Herald of Ireland (criticized unjustly by Mr Murphy) graduated with a 1st class honours B.A. and a 1st class honours M. A. and that self-proclaimed 'scholar' Mr Murphy did not.
Envy shoots at others and wounds herself.' 16th century proverb. 

    The Thirteenth Chime - Part 1  (A Message and a Rebuke).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Summary. Mr. Sean J Murphy, 'self-appointed saviour of Irish genealogy' has been taken to task for alleged 'misrepresentations of facts' by arguably, the most respected name in Heraldic and Genealogical scholarship in England, Mr Cecil R. Humphery-Smith, Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury.  
Background information of interest to those aware of the rants of Sean J Murphy, genealogist, against: 
1. The National Library of Ireland        
On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/armscrisis.htm  Mr Murphy:  
(a) alleges that an 'unsatisfactory situation exists whereby the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland is contracted to operate a closed shop consultancy service on behalf of the National Library';  
(b) laments that 'staff training courses conducted by him in the National Library were discontinued 1997';
(c) pleads that he is 'ready to resume training National Library staff if given the opportunity to do so'.   
  
2. Irish Government Genealogical Office
On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/olong.htm Mr Murphy reveals that 'he has been excluded from consultancy work in the Genealogical Office since 1993;  (Comment: Now quietly removed from Mr Murphy's web site.)
On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/maccarthy.htm  Mr Murphy discloses that he has been 'excluded from such contract work on account of his difficulties both with the (Irish Government) Genealogical Office and the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland'.

3. The Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland
On  http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/maccarthy.htm  Mr Murphy alleges that 'the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland's monopoly of contract work in the Genealogical Office has operated to depress standards and create a severe deficiency of available expertise' (Mr Murphy's expertise?). 
Mr Murphy is not a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland  http://indigo.ie/~apgi/members.html .

The Office of Chief Herald of Ireland
The relationship between Mr. Murphy and the Office of Chief Herald is evidenced by an Office of Chief Herald memo,  5 July, 1999, which Mr Murphy obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and posted on http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/maccarthy.htm. The author of the memo, Chief Herald Brendan O Donoghue (a greatly respected and distinguished Civil Servant who rose to the rank of Secretary General of the Department of the Environment before being appointed Chief Herald of Ireland/ Director of the National Library of Ireland,1997, and member of the Board of Directors of the National Library, 2005) recorded: 'Murphy is the self-appointed saviour of Irish Genealogy, now calling himself the Centre for Irish Genealogical and Local Studies ....etc...'

5. Sundry clients of 2, 3 and 4 above - i.e., 'the meat in the sandwich'. 

Re the Mac Carthy Mór Fraud 
On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/fakechiefs.htm Mr Murphy claims that in 1999 he played a leading role in gathering the evidence and 'proving the falsity of Terence Mac Carthy's claim to be a Chief'. However, Mr Murphy's claim has been called into question by Mr Cecil R. Humphery-Smith, an eminent scholar with a veritable alphabet of academic qualifications after his name and an OBE from Queen Elizabeth for his services in the area of Heraldry and Genealogy. He is Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury, and is, arguably, the most respected name in Heraldic and Genealogical scholarship in England.  When Mr Humphery-Smith read, in the Coat of Arms (Winter 2003,pp-72), Mr Murphy's review http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/coatofarms.html of Dr. Susan Hood's book Royal Roots-Republican Inheritance: The Survival of the Office of Arms. pub. 2002, he wrote a letter of complaint to the editor of that learned magazine.  
 
Letter, courtesy of Mr Humphery-Smith/ Coat of Arms (Winter 2004, pp. 346-48) 

      (Mr Humphery-Smith is Principal of Canterbury Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies.)

'Sir:  In preparing a new edition of Kennedy's Book of Arms, I was tempted by claims, substantiated by 'evidence', to invite a foreword from a certain Prince of Desmond, to whom I was introduced by the late Chief Herald of Ireland, Donal Begley.  I became somewhat suspicious of the claims of the 'prince' when I read his scholarly piece though I had not been unfamiliar with Irish factions, prejudices and readiness to indulge in disparagement of each other. That I imagined was an unkind and unjustified generality on my part, soon dispelled once I met Donal Begley.  Somewhat later I had read the contribution of John Brook-Little, then Norray and Ulster King of Arms, to an Irish publication. However, further suspicions arose with the publication of a useful book on Gaelic Titles and Forms of Address by the Lord of Duhallow in 1990.

It took me some time to look into the matter.  A visit to Dublin for the splendidly organised 24th International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences in 2002 led to a meeting with Dr. Susan Hood and Mr. Brendan O Donoghue. 

Readers of the Coat of Arms (Winter 2003, pp.167-72) may be interested to discover that statements made by Mr Murphy in his review of Dr. Susan Hood's book Royal Roots - Republican Inheritance: The Survival of the Office of Arms, are inaccurate.  They may be regarded as slanderous since the Civil Servants cited are not able to defend themselves.  I am certain that the editors cannot be aware of what goes on within the portals of the Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies, but simple enquiry might serve to correct the totally wrong impression of the circumstances. The 'Centre' does not have any connection with the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland.  It does not appear to have any staff or members apart from the author of the review article.

It became necessary to ask the question: was the Prince of Desmond signing himself 'The MacCarthy Mór', genuinely Chief of the Name and all that he pretended to be.  The then Chief Herald, the late Gerald Slevin, who occasionally joined me for a meal when he ventured to London, had accepted at face value what purported to be proofs of descent from Terence McCarthy.  The Pedigree Registers show that the Chief Herald was in no way departing from the long-established  practice of his Office and predecessors as Ulster kings of Arms. 

Mr McCarthy requested a certificate from Mr Slevin's successor, Mr Donal Begley, recognising him as 'Chief of the Name' M(a)cCarthy Mór.  That document was signed by Mr Fergus Gillespie per pro the Chief Herald of Ireland on the instruction of Mr Begley in 1992.  Mr Gillespie is the present Deputy Chief Herald , but as Mr Murphy is apparently well aware, he has not been invited to research Mr McCarthy's claim. The truth is that Fergus Gillespie as deputy to Donal Begley obeyed the instructions of his senior officer in the service.  It is entirely false to suggest that he was persuaded to sign the certificate. Subsequently, Mr McCarthy asked Mr Begley to endorse the certificate and, as requested, the Chief Herald added his own signature. 

Mr. Brendan O Donoghue, who was appointed Chief Herald from 1999 to 2003, instigated an investigation into Mr McCarthy's claim on being approached by a second individual claiming to be M(a)cCarthy Mór. This was some two years before the appearance of Sean Murphy on the scene and did not rely on the evidence of any statement from Mr Murphy.  Indeed, Mr Murphy applied to Mr O Donoghue for information concerning this case after he had stripped McCarthy of courtesy recognition.  Surely, because Mr Murphy had requested access to files under the Freedom of Information Act, he had a duty to disclose any information on the case other than that contained in the files at the Office.  He might have then contributed to Mr O Donoghue's extensive investigations.  He disclosed no such prior knowledge of it. 

These misrepresentations of facts have now been brought to the notice of a wide readership in your learned magazine, a readership that has a particular interest in these matters. I cannot but feel, whether Mr Murphy's article was requested by you or volunteered by him, the Editor of the Coat of Arms bears some responsibility for the errors contained therein and owes an apology to Mr Brendan O Donoghue to Mr Fergus Gillespie and to Dr. Susan Hood (disparagingly referred to throughout the article as Hood).  Mr Murphy owes an apology to the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland.'   

Yours &c., Cecil R. Humphery-Smith, Canterbury.  
 
Outcome. The titular editor of the Coat of Arms, Mr John Brook-Little, resigned. The new caretaker editors thanked Mr Humphery-Smith for his letter and explained that 'although they were not in a position to apologize for something published before their tenure of office began they regret any bad feeling caused'. They closed all correspondence re Mr Murphy's article and stated that if Mr Murphy should 'care to respond .... he must find a different forum'.   

Subsequently, Mr Fergus Gillespie, present Chief Herald of Ireland, who had been criticised unjustly by Mr Murphy (Coat of Arms, Winter 2003), was appointed Vice-President of the prestigious Heraldry Society - proprietors of the Coat of Arms. A fellow Vice President and Patron of the Heraldry Society is His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshal of England.  

It is interesting to note (a) that the caretaker editors of the Coat of Arms declined to publish Mr Murphy's response to Mr Humphery-Smith's letter of complaint (b) that the proprietors of the Coat of Arms (the Heraldry Society) appointed Mr Fergus Gillespie to the post of Vice President of the Society and that he is the first Chief Herald of Ireland to be honoured in this manner.  Accordingly, the Heraldry Society and the editorial committee of the Coat of Arms have been added to the list of those who are out of step with the 'self appointed saviour of Irish genealogy' Mr Murphy (Part 13).

(Comment.  Despite our problems with the English, over many centuries, we have to admire how awfully polite they can be when they slam the door - and rub salt in the wound.)

In his Foreword to Vanishing Kingdoms (by W. J. Curley, Dublin 2004) Lawyer Charles Lysaght corroborates Mr Humphery-Smith's statement re the circumstances surrounding the granting of courtesy recognition to Terence McCarthy.  Charles Lysaght confirms that 'Chief Herald Donal Begley (alone) recognised Terence McCarthy as The Mac Carthy Mór on the basis of a pedigree registered as authentic by his predecessor, Gerald Slevin', Mr Lysaght also confirms that Terence McCarthy's 'recognition was withdrawn in 1999 when it was established that his pedigree had been registered in reliance on a forged letter'.
(Charles Lysaght, a Barrister at Law is Legal Advisor to the Irish Law Reform Commission and to the Department of Foreign Affairs.  He's also an  author and historian and a past President of the Oxford Union.)

Regrettably, Mr Sean Murphy continues to allege on http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/fakechiefs.htm and on http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/coatofarms.html that Terence McCarthy 'successfully persuaded/ somehow persuaded' Chief Herald Begley and his Deputy Fergus Gillespie to sign a certificate recognising him in 1992 as a Gaelic Chief.

Note. Mr Fergus Gillespie (now Chief Herald of Ireland) had not been invited to examine Terence McCarthy's pedigree and he did not sign the recognition certificate on his own behalf.  He signed per pro the Chief Herald of Ireland - on the instruction of his superior officer, Chief Herald Begley.  It is grossly misleading to suggest that Terence McCarthy 'successfully persuaded/ somehow persuaded' Chief Herald Begley and his Deputy Fergus Gillespie to sign the  certificate and particularly so when Mr Murphy contradicts himself on his own website.



Mr Murphy contradicts himself on his own website.

A portion of the certificate referred to is shown above and 'the eagle-eyed will note' :
(a) that 'Per Pro' is written opposite the designation 'Chief Herald of Ireland' - bottom line;
(b) that Fergus Gillespie's signature is directly above the designation 'Chief Herald of Ireland'; 
(c) that Donal Begley, when signing the certificate (as requested by Terence McCarthy) was obliged to place his signature and his title above Fergus Gillespie's signature.

On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/  Mr Murphy states: 'The opinions contained in the above pages are those of the author only and any demonstrated errors of fact will be corrected promptly'.
On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/maccarthy.htm  Mr Sean J Murphy gives an undertaking: 'If it can be shown that we are guilty of error in anything we have written then we will apologize unreservedly and circulated a correction'. 

It has taken Mr Murphy a long time to apologize and circulate a correction. 

'Denying a fault doubles it.' 17th century proverb. 
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The Thirteenth Chime - Part 2  (Control Games).                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Summary.  Mr Sean J Murphy, 'self-appointed saviour of Irish genealogy',  has managed to stick his neck into a noose of his own making.  Mr Murphy denied three times that he received e-mails from Thomas Sweeney and later let slip that he did receive the e-mails in question.

1.   16 January 2004, Thomas Sweeney received an e-mail from a Sean J Murphy (a stranger) who stated that he planned to add an article to his web site http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/ re the Mac Sweeney chiefships. Mr. Murphy asked: `Would you be willing to present copies of your genealogical proofs for me to study?' (study = approve?)

(According to an old proverb; 'Curiosity is ill manners in another's house'.  Mr Murphy's curiosity falls into that category, nevertheless, it was decided to respond to his queries. However, Mr  Murphy wanted to play control games and the exchange of information he required, to enable him compile a faithful representation of the truth, ended abruptly. The reason for the breakdown in communication is given at  9 below.)

2.  20 January, 2004, Thomas Sweeney replied by e-mail to Mr Murphy's e-mail of January 16, 2004.

 3.  29 January 2004, Thomas Sweeney received an e-mail from Mr Murphy which began: `I sent you an e-mail query on 16 inst, and wonder if you received same'.

 4.  30 January 2004, Thomas Sweeney forwarded to Mr Murphy the e-mail sent on 20 January 2004 via the reply button. (It was not returned by the mail system - as undelivered mail.) 

 5.  22 April, 2004, Thomas Sweeney received an e-mail from Mr Murphy which began: `This is my third and probably final attempt to clarify evidence concerning your claim to chiefship, my earlier e-mails of 16 and 29 January not having received the courtesy of an acknowledgement…..' 

 6.  24 April 2004, Thomas Sweeney then went to the trouble and expense of sending Mr Murphy by registered letter the information sent to him by e-mail on 20 January and 30 January, 2004.       


Registered letter receipt, dated April 24, 2004, addressed to Mr. Sean Murphy.

 7.  27 April 2004, Thomas Sweeney received an e-mail from Mr Murphy which began: `Thank you very much for your letter of 24 inst, received by registered post today. A pity about your earlier e-mail replies having gone astray....... truth is also my main concern.'

 8.  28 April 2004, Thomas Sweeney sent Mr. Murphy additional information -  by registered post.   


Registered letter receipt, dated April 28, 2004, addressed to Mr Sean Murphy.

 9.  The following year, 12 January 2005, Thomas Sweeney received an e-mail from Mr Murphy which began: `You may recall that in earlier e-mails you referred me  .....'
      However, the only e-mails sent by Thomas Sweeney to Mr Murphy were e- mails Mr Murphy denied receiving, i.e., those listed at 2 and 4 above.  
      In e-mails dated 29 January, 22 and 27 April 2004 (listed at 3, 5 and 7 above) Mr. Murphy denied receiving e-mails from Thomas Sweeney and bizarrely, in the first sentence in his e-mail of 12 January 2005 he discredited his denials.        

      Outcome.  A decision was taken to withdraw immediately from Mr Murphy's jiggery-pokery control game.  

'A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience' - Doug Larson.
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The Thirteenth Chime - Part 3  (Control Games - again).         
Summary. Mr Sean J Murphy, 'self-appointed saviour of Irish genealogy', has managed to stick his neck into yet another noose of his own making!
(a)  On April 27, 2004 Thomas Sweeney received an e-mail from Mr  Murphy, genealogist.  Mr Murphy wrote:  'Thank you for your letter of 24th inst, received by registered post. A pity about your earlier e-mails having gone astray ....... I would certainly be interested in viewing your 1999 petition to the Chief Herald with attached documents such as the Land Commission Application form, the 1851 census abstract, and so on.... as truth is also my main concern.'
We discovered on http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/macsweeneydoe.html that Mr Murphy obtained, (under the Freedom of Information Act) a copy of Thomas Sweeney's '1999 petition to the Chief Herald' - seeking recognition as Chief of the Name of the Mac Sweeneys of Doe.  Mr Murphy received the copy of the petition in late 2001, therefore, he was in possession of the '1999 petition to the Chief Herald with attached documents such as the Land Commission Application form, the 1851 census abstract, and so on'  when he requested Thomas Sweeney to send him copies of same, 27 April, 2004!   
 'But man, proud man/ Drest in a little brief authority/ ...Play such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make the angels weep.'    
Shakespeare: 'Measure for Measure'.                                                                                                                                       
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The Thirteenth Chime - Part 4   (Foraging for negatives).

Mr Murphy has been e-mailing around seeking information re Thomas Sweeney's grandfather's 1875 wedding certificate and we learn (via his web site) that an 'informed third party' (not a professional genealogist?) sent him information that enabled him to accept, as accurate, research undertaken by an Irish consultant genealogist!  Mr Murphy's zeal and resourcefulness have added a new dimension to professional genealogical research - Dr. Hugh Brady and the RAACE development committee should be pleased.

Re Thomas Sweeney's grandfather's wedding certificate, 1875, posted on Mr Murphy's website.
Mr Murphy claims that, as a genealogist, he is 'Second to None', therefore, he must be aware (a) that there are dozens of examples of errors, e.g., transposition of names, on Irish registration certificates dating from the 1860's -70's (b) that it is not unusual for present-day researchers to find corrections/ amendments attached to registration certificates dating from that period.

We hope the following information will assist the beleaguered Mr Murphy.
a. The 1851 census abstract for Attinadague/ Altnadague, Derryveagh (posted on Mr Murphy's web site) records Thomas Sweeney's grandfather, Edward Sweeney, as James Sweeney's OLDEST SON.
b. James Sweeney's death certificate records that at his death (5 Jan. 1883, Stramore, Co. Donegal) HIS SON, Edward Sweeney, was present.
c. Edward Sweeney's brother Dominic's wedding certificate (married Christchurch, N. Z., 22 Feb.,1887) records his parent's names as James and Mary.
d. Edward Sweeney's brother Michael's death certificate (died California, 1 Dec., 1915)  records his parent's names as James and Mary.
(James, Mary, Edward, Dominic and Michael are listed on the 1851 census abstract for Attinadague/ Altnadague, Derryveagh, posted on Mr Murphy's web site.)

(Mr Murphy now accepts that Thomas Sweeney's father was a son of James (Mac) Sweeney of Attinadague/ Altnadague.)

'They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they see nothing but sea.'   Francis Bacon, 1561 - 1626.
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The Thirteenth Chime - Part 5   (OOPS!).

(a) Mr Murphy informs us on: http://homepage.tinet,ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/macsweenydoe.html that there is 'no published code for Irish genealogists'.  Mr Murphy is wrong.

A Code of Conduct for Members of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland has been published and circulated to members, e.g., Para 3 (b) of the Code of Practice asserts that a genealogist should not divulge any information concerning a client or a client's affairs, without prior consent.
(Clearly in response to our criticism Mr Murphy has quietly revised his statement re the above.)

(b) Mr Murphy claimed (Sept. 6, 2005) that he 'has endeavoured over a number of years to clarify issues with Thomas Sweeney and his professional genealogist and to secure a copy of the latter's report....'  Mr Murphy is wrong.  

Mr Murphy's first contact with Thomas Sweeney was by e-mail, 16 Jan, 2004.
Four days short of one year later, i.e.,12 January 2005, Mr Murphy 'messed the nest' and communication ended (Part 2, para 9 above).
(Clearly in reponse to our criticism Mr Murphy has quietly revised his statement re the above.)

(c) Mr Murphy claims that a critique of coats of arms posted on www.sweeneyclanchief.com/id11.htm is based on correspondence between Count Randal MacDonnell and former Deputy Chief Herald Fergus Gillespie.  
Mr Murphy is wrong.
(Clearly in response to our criticism Mr Murphy quietly revised his statement re the above.)

(d) Mr Murphy states that the post of Chief Herald of Ireland is currently vacant. Mr Murphy is wrong.  Mr Fergus Gillespie is the current Chief Herald of Ireland.
(Clearly in response to our criticism Mr Murphy has quietly revised his statement re the above.)

(e) On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/glossary.htm Mr Murphy informs us that the deirbhfine (= the kingroup that elected chiefs) 'was composed of the male descendants of a common great-grandfather' (i.e., consisting of four generations?).  
On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/maguire.htm Mr Murphy contradicts himself. He states that the deirbhfine was a three-generation group of male descendants of a common ancestor.

Comment.  On pages 5 & 6 of her book At Arms Length, pub 2004, Anne Chambers explains that 'the legal and social unit of the highly regulated Gaelic society was the deirbhfine, a joint family and property-owning grouping, the limits of whose membership could be symbolised by the hand. The palm denoted a common ancestry; the fingers denoted the descendants extended over five generations to include the leader (and his brothers?), his children, his father's brothers, his grandfather's brothers and his great-grandfather's brothers.  
(Therefore in theory, the deirhfine spanned five generations, however, it's unlikely that the five generations would be alive at the same time.)  
 
(f) Mr Murphy has censured Dr. John McCavitt, Historian, because he used a 'speculative phrase' in an article 'The Flight of the Earls 1607', Irish Historical Studies, 29, 1994.  Mr Murphy has asserted that: "Like 'what if, might not' is a speculative phrase which historians ought to avoid, especially when coming to  conclusions".  Mr Murphy should practise what he preaches.   

Let us look at four 'speculative phrases' used recently by Mr Murphy.

Take #1. On 2 May, 2005, Mr Murphy posted a 'speculative phrase' on his web site re Edward Sweeney who paid the tithe in Attinadague/ Altnadague, Derryveagh,1833. Mr Murphy stated: 'it is this apparently settled individual rather than the wandering Sheep Haven chiefly claimant who is more likely to be Thomas Sweeney's ancestor'. Mr Murphy's speculation is wrong.

Take #2. On 10 August, 2005, (having accepted that Thomas Sweeney's grandfather, Edward, was a son of James Sweeney, Attinadague/ Altnadague) Mr Murphy posted another 'speculative phrase' on his web site, namely: 'the father of James is most likely to have been named Edward, who as indicated above, is the landholder listed as living in Altnadague in 1833, and hardly the wandering tinker encountered by O Donovan in 1835'.
Mr Murphy's speculation is wide of the mark - and not for the first time.

Comment.  Edward (Mac)Sweeney, a bachelor, referred to by Mr Murphy in (i) & (ii) above as a landholder in Attinadague/ Altnadague 1833, died in Derryveagh between 1841/51 - as recorded on the 1851 census extract posted on Mr Murphy's web site.  Edward (known as Eamonn Óg - to distinguish him from his father, Eamonn Rua, Chief of Doe, and also from his grandfather, Eamonn Mór, Chief of Doe) was a brother of: (a) the renowned piper Tarlagh Mac Sweeney, An Píobaire Mór; (b) Thomas Sweeney's great, grandfather - James (Mac) Sweeney of Attinadague/ Altnadague, Derryveagh, referred to in (ii) above.

Take #3. On 27 August, 2005, Mr Murphy posted yet another 'speculative phrase' on his web site, namely, that Thomas Sweeney 'should accept that his documented pedigree again only goes back to his great-great grandfather Edward Sweeney.'
Comment. Mr Murphy is well aware that a highly regarded consultant genealogist (not excluded from consultancy contracts in the Irish Government Genealogical Office since 1993) has verified in writing that Thomas Sweeney's great-great grandfather, Edward/ Eamonn Rua (Mac) Sweeney, living in Attinadague/ Altnadague in 1851 and listed on the 1851 census extract 'was the Mac Swayne na Doe and heir to Doe Castle and the sinsear of the Clann tSuibhne whom O Donovan met in September 1835'.

Take #4. On September 6, 2005, Mr Murphy posted yet another 'speculative phrase' on his web site,  namely, 'This record (1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish) lists one or possibly a number of Edward Sweeney landholders in 'Attinadague' and it is one of these apparently settled individuals rather than the wandering Sheep Haven claimant who is more likely to be Thomas Sweeney's ancestor.'  Mr Murphy speculation is wrong.

Trying to differentiate between the Edward (Mac) Sweeneys in Derryveagh could provide Mr Murphy with enough material for a plethora of 'speculative phrases', so perhaps he should ask his non-professional 'informed third party' (whom he consults re Donegal pedigrees, cf., Part 4 above) to study his Derryveagh offerings and ensure that they are free from erroneous speculative taint - before he posts them on the web.

It is obvious that Mr Murphy knows little or nothing about the background or ancestry of the Edward (Mac) Sweeneys living in Derryveagh in the 1830's and that he is totally and utterly confused re same. Therefore, we can but wonder why he is so sure that none of the Edward (Mac) Sweeneys, listed on the 1851 Derryveagh census extract, (now quietly removed) was the 'wandering Sheep Haven claimant'  - as was certified in 2003 by a highly respected consultant genealogist - expert in Gaeilge/ Irish. The answer may be that hunting for negatives has been Mr Murphy's staple stock-in-trade throughout his 'long war' with (i) the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland (ii) the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland and that positives do not advance his 'cause'.

We believe that Mr Murphy should state clearly which Edward (Mac) Sweeney he means. Perhaps he could adopt the ancient naming system used in AFM/ and used in Gaeltacht districts in Donegal to this day, e.g., Mr Murphy should specify whether he is referring to Edward son of Edward son of Edward, or Edward son of Edward son of Tarlagh, or Edward son of Edward son of Myles, etc., and give cogent reasons why. Mr Murphy could try his luck and test his skills on the three Edward Sweeneys listed on the 1851 census extract for Attinadague/ Altnadague posted on his Mac Sweeney Doe web page. This is not at all an unreasonable request, given that Mr Murphy (self-proclaimed 'expert in respect of Irish chiefly families in the modern period' ) has posted a considerable number of confidence-eroding errors on his semi-researched Mac Sweeney Doe web page. More than half a dozen examples are given in this section alone. We are amazed and dismayed that Mr Murphy has managed to get the (Mac) Sweeney relationships in Derryveagh so wrong - so often.  

(g) Correction.
Due to a typographical error on a web page  we incorrectly gave Mr Sean Murphy, genealogist, the impression  that 'Donnchadh Fheargal Mac Sweeney, recorded as Denis Arigil on the 1909 oral pedigree,  ... was outlawed 1691 and died in France'. We drew Mr Murphy's attention to the error, 17/09/05, and he checked the information given and discovered that Donagh Óg Mac Sweeney, Chief of the Name, was outlawed in 1691 -  not his 1st cousin, Donnachadh Fheargal Mac Sweeney. However, we wonder why Mr Murphy (self-proclaimed expert in Irish chiefly family pedigrees) failed to notice the error until we drew his attention to it.  It was on line for many months.

Indignor, quandogue bonus dormitat Murphius I think it shame when the worthy Murphy nods. (With apologies to Homer and to Horace -Quintus Horatius Flaccus- Roman poet, 65 B.C.- 8 B.C.)

For when the One Great Scorer comes, to mark against your name,
He marks - not that you won or lost - but how you played the game.
                                                                                Grantland Rice, author, 1880 - 1954.

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The Thirteenth Chime - Part 6    (Red Herrings).  

(i) Mr Murphy informs that he has taken 'due account of the pertinent sources in Gaelic' in Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhishigh's genealogies. However, Mr Murphy does not have a professional qualification in Irish/ Gaeilge therefore, what he really means is that he has read the English translations - and anyone who can read English can do that.  
(ii) Mr Murphy  also informs us that the texts he read confer not one iota of evidence to support Thomas Sweeney's claim to be the senior descendant of the last Chief of Doe. That's not surprising given that Dubhaltach Mac Firbisigh's life's work ended when he was slain, January 1671.
Comment. We wondered whether we should place this latest offering from Mr Murphy in our 'Oops' section or our  'Red Herrings' section.  
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(a). In June 2005 on http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/macsweeneydoe.html Mr Murphy tried to explain how 'problems of e-mail communication'  between himself and Thomas Sweeney 'might have been sorted out' (i.e., e-mails from Thomas Sweeney that Mr Murphy claims he did not receive, cf. 3, 5 and 7, Part 2 above).  
Mr Murphy states ; 'The problem of e-mail communication to which Mr Sweeney refers might have been sorted out if he provided his home address for ordinary postal contact, as I did for him'.   Good gracious!

Thomas Sweeney received all Mr Murphy's e-mails and replied to them immediately, therefore, Mr Murphy's e-mail communication problem had nothing to do with his not knowing Thomas Sweeney's home address.

(b). Mr Murphy states: (re the Irish Law Reform Commission Report on the Rule Against Hearsay): 'If the statements in this report bear the meaning claimed, ..... it can be considered what their effect might have been in the case of the Mac Carthy Mór (fraud), where fortunately documentation decided the issue'.

Mr Murphy has posted on his web site information gleaned from registration documents pertaining to the family of Terence Mac Carthy, the bogus Mac Carthy Mór. The information Mr Murphy posted was obtained from 'plain records of births, marriages and deaths held .....in the local General Register office' - going back no further than the mid 19th century.  Terence Mac Carthy, the bogus Mac Carthy Mór was not the senior male representative of his generation, therefore, the 'plain records of births, marriages and deaths' referred to could have  'decided the issue'.  Every family has similar records.

Terence Mac Carthy did not invoke a 'General Repute' exemption to 'The Rule Against Hearsay' in his petition to the Chief Herald. Mr Murphy has introduced 'The Rule' as a red herring.    

(c).  Mr Murphy states that 'it is a staggering presumption to 'correct' O Donovan after a period of 170 years by saying that he confused Eamon (Rua) with his father of the same name (i.e. Eamonn Mór)'.

Mr Murphy is wrong.  Dr John O Donovan informs us, 1835 Donegal Survey Letters, that the pedigree he recorded from Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe was a generation short.  It was, because Eamonn Rua had forgotten to include his father, Eamonn Mór, who died the previous year. Nevertheless, Eamonn Mór's name was easily obtained from a number of sources. including the interview that Eamonn Rua's youngest son Tarlagh, An Píobaire Mór, gave to the Weekly Irish Times, April 24, 1909.  

Tarlagh's obituary (The Catholic Press, 7 Sept., 1916) records that 'he wrote and spoke Irish and English with remarkable facility and with an accuracy and freedom which were surprising for a man of his years' . Therefore, it is a staggering presumption, on Mr Murphy's part, to suggest that Tarlagh, An Píobaire Mór, did not know the name of his grandfather, Eamonn Mór. Tarlagh knew the name of his grandfather but, perhaps Mr Murphy has difficulty remembering the name of his.

(d). Mr Murphy states:
(i) 'that he has seen no acceptable documentary evidence to extend the pedigree (i.e.,Thomas Sweeney's pedigree) back before this Edward Sweeney of Altnadague'  (alive in Altnadague in 1833 and whom Mr Murphy has confused with Thomas Sweeney's great-great grandfather, Edward/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, not resident in Altnadague/ Attinadague at that time).
(ii) that he has seen 'nothing to support the presented pedigree (i.e., in the petition to the Chief Herald) going back to Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, the Chief of Doe who died in 1630' (sic).

Of course Mr Murphy 'has seen no acceptable documentary evidence' to extend the pedigree because Mr Murphy lost the opportunity of seeing such evidence when his penchant for 'control games' was discovered and communication ended abruptly in January 2004 (Parts 2 & 3 above).

(e) On 18/09/05, Mr Murphy (private citizen) sought a 'copy of the full report compiled (for Thomas Sweeney) by a professional genealogist selected by a Chief Herald of Ireland'.  Mr Murphy stated: 'if it answers my questions I will be obliged to admit same and moderate my criticisms'.

On 27 April 2004, Thomas Sweeney received an e-mail from Mr Murphy which stated: '..... I find effectively that all chiefs recognised by the Office of Chief Herald  1989-95 were either bogus or questionable, with one possible exception, O Doherty of Inishowen. Now I have no doubts that the Fanad and Banagh Mac Sweeney Chiefships are bogus, but if I were to find that documentation made available to me allayed or at least lessened my doubts about the Doe Chiefship, I would have no choice but to indicate this in my forthcoming report, as truth is also my main concern'.

In his report dated 25 March 2001 re the O Doherty Chiefship Mr Murphy found  that '...the O Doherty Chiefship seems the least questionable of those recognised in the period 1989-95 ....'


'Damn with faint praise, assent with civil sneer; And, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;'                                                                               
   Alexander Pope, 1688-1734.

(f) Mr Murphy tried to explain,10 August, 2005, why he found it necessary to 'press' Thomas Sweeney for a full and complete copy of the genealogical report compiled by his professional genealogist, 2003.  

Mr Murphy informs us that he received from the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland 'via an FOI application a copy of Randal Mac Donnell's report' (i.e., the Mac Sweeney Doe report that Count Randal Mac Donnell compiled and submitted to the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland, July 1999). According to Mr Murphy, the copy he received (2001) 'was disordered with some information clipped. I think it necessary therefore to continue to press for a full and complete copy' - i.e., a copy of the report compiled in 2003.  

We can but wonder why the Chief Herald of Ireland was not asked, by Mr Murphy, to replace the 'disordered' and 'clipped' copy received in 2001. Apparently, Mr Murphy did not do so. Instead, Mr Murphy waited three years before deciding that he could solve the problem by asking Thomas Sweeney to send him a copy of a different report. (Good gracious!)

The procedure for dealing with FOI/ Freedom of Information applications in Irish Government Offices is as follows.  Two copies of the file are made -  by the same person at the same time on the same photocopier and both copies are identical. One copy is sent to the person seeking the information, in this case Mr Murphy.  The second copy (an exact replica) is sent 'mar eolas' (= for information purposes) to the person named on the file cover, in this case Thomas Sweeney.  It is curious that the identical copy that Thomas Sweeney received from the Office of Chief Herald, 2001, was neither 'disordered' nor 'clipped'.

Clearly in response to our criticism Mr Murphy quietly removed the  above statement. However, a month later a different version appeared - as happens from time to time:
In June, 2005, according to Mr M, the report was merely: 'not at all adequately referenced'.
In August, 2005, according to Mr M, the report was merely: 'not considered sufficient in itself'.
However, in October, 2005, Mr M suddenly remembered that the report was 'disordered ...with some information clipped at one point.

 'Brat deataigh Uí Mhurchú' is the Irish for 'Murphy smoke-screen'.

                                                                                                          
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Like the Thirteenth Chime - Part 7  ('He that praiseth himself ......).

Mr Murphy assumed that his credentials were being questioned in 2005 by the Mac Sweeney Doe Clan and therefore (according to his web site) he 'considered it reasonable' to boast about his qualifications.  However, in 2002, long before he developed an interest in the Mac Sweeneys of Doe we find that Mr Murphy did not need an incentive to crow on his web site - as follows: 'I should perhaps make it clear that I am not entirely uneducated, holding BA and MA degrees in history, having over 20 years' experience as a professional genealogist, over a decade as a part-time lecturer, and with a significant publishing record'.
Furthermore, in 1999, he posted on his web site the following sad sideswipe at fellow professional genealogists in Ireland, i.e., that he is 'determined that the vacuum of genealogical expertise in Ireland (created by the exclusion of Mr Murphy, since 1993, from contract work in the Irish Government Genealogical Office) must not be colonised by the ignorant and self-interested.....'   

Comment.  Bluster and openly expressed hostility do not rest easily with the general objectives of teaching or the ultimate aims of education.
.................................................. 

On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/armscrisis.htm  Mr Murphy announced:  
(a) that he is 'a professional genealogist of long experience who is not at all unfamiliar with armigerous families and particularly in his work relating to Gaelic Chiefs ...'

(b) 'that staff in the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland should be aware of his educational efforts in respect of heraldry as well as genealogy...'

(c) that he is 'an experienced  genealogical and heraldic educator ... and is ready to resume work helping train National Library staff' but understands that ..... his contributions will have to be made from without indefinitely, and perhaps permanently'.  

(Note. Mr Murphy has been excluded from consultancy contracts in the Irish Government Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald of Ireland since 1993 and staff training courses he conducted in the National Library of Ireland were discontinued 1997.)  

On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/bloodroyal.htm Mr Murphy declares:
I should perhaps make it clear that I am not entirely uneducated, holding BA and MA degrees in history, having over 20 years experience as a professional genealogist, over a decade as a part-time lecturer, and with a significant publishing record';
(Comment. Mr Murphy does not appear to hold a professional teaching qualification, otherwise, he would have informed us - twelve times over.)

On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/macsweeneydoe.html Mr Murphy reminds us:
(d) 'that he is a qualified scholar, experienced professional genealogist and expert in Irish chiefly pedigrees ...'  

(e) that he 'helped check and update the pedigrees of bone fide Irish chiefs for the 2003 edition Burke's Peerage..'.

(f) that he has 'issued carefully researched and properly referenced reports above his name'.  

(g)  that 'he recently had published a full-length book'.  

(h) that he considers 'his expertise in respect of the pedigrees of Irish chiefly families in the modern period is second to none. - click to see Part 15.

(j)  that 'the skills of a specialist (Mr Murphy?) rather than a generalist, no matter how able, are required if claims to Gaelic Chiefships are to be investigated properly.'  
Comment. Re (e & f) above. An Office of Chief Herald of Ireland memo dated August 6, 1999, stipulates that a consultant genealogist member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, competent in Irish/ Gaelige,would be required to examine the Mac Sweeney Doe petition for recognition.  Mr Murphy (self-designated specialist) is not a member of APGI and he does not hold a significant professional qualification in Irish/Gaeilge.    

On http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/maccarthy.htm Mr Murphy explains:
(a) that 'the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland's monopoly of contract work in the Genealogical Office has operated to depress standards and create a severe shortage of available expertise' (Mr Murphy's?).

(b) that he 'is determined that the vacuum of genealogical expertise in Ireland must not be colonised by the ignorant and the self-interested...' (Good gracious!)

He that praiseth himself, spattereth himself.  Old proverb.  
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The Thirteenth Chime - Part 8    ('Fiat justitia .....').  

Mr Cecil R Humphery- Smith, Principal of Canterbury Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, arguably the best qualified and most respected name in Heraldic and Genealogical scholarship in the U.K., has taken Mr Murphy to task for alleged 'misrepresentation of facts' re the recognition of Terence MacCarthy as 'Mac Carthy Mór'.  Mr Humphery-Smith has explained in his letter (Part 1 above) that Mr Fergus Gillespie, present Chief Herald of Ireland, had not been requested to examine the Mac Carthy Mór pedigree and that he signed the recognition document 'Per Pro' on behalf of Mr Begley, Chief Herald of Ireland, when instructed to do so by Mr Begley.  Mr Humphery-Smith has called on Mr Murphy to apologize:
(a) to Mr Brendan O Donoghue (former Chief Herald of Ireland);
(b) to Mr Fergus Gillespie (present Chief Herald of Ireland);
(c) to the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland.

In Sept. 2001 (on http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/fakechiefs.htm) Mr Murphy reported that Terence Mac Carthy (the bogus Mac Carthy Mór) 'successfully pressed Begley and his Deputy Fergus Gillespie to issue in 1992 a signed and sealed official Patent whereby the Irish State endorsed his bogus Chiefship .....'  
(Note.  Mr Gillespie's rank in 1992 was 'Herald', not Deputy Chief Herald.)

In June and Sept. 2005 (on http://homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/coatofarms.html) Mr Murphy claimed that 'Terence MacCarthy somehow persuaded Chief Herald Begley and his Deputy to sign a certificate in 1992 recognising him as a Gaelic Chief...'   

It is interesting to note that Mr Murphy gave contrary accounts re same on other web pages he posted between 2001 and 2005 .  An extract is given below.


Extract from Mr Murphy's www. homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/begley.htm,

It is clear from the extract that Mr Fergus Gillespie signed the Mac Carthy Mór recognition document 'Per Pro' Mr Donal Begley, Chief Herald of Ireland, and obviously Mr Murphy accepts that that is so. Therefore, it is mystifying that Mr Murphy (self-proclaimed scholar with an MA - but without Doctorate and Post-Doctorate qualifications) cannot accept that which every secretary/ typist knows, namely, that 'Per Pro' means 'on behalf of'.  

Mr Murphy informs us on his 'coat of arms' web page (year 2005) that: 'The sequence of events appears to be that having succumbed to MacCarthy's relentless pressure, the Chief Herald first had his Deputy sign the document on his behalf, and following further demands from MacCarthy, felt unable to refuse the addition of his own signature'.  

In the extract shown above (years 2001, 2002) Mr Murphy clearly states: 'It is true that Chief Herald Begley endeavoured to avoid signing the above certificate, ordering his Deputy to do so 'per pro' or on his behalf, but on the insistence of Terence Mac Carthy, he later appended his signature above that of his Deputy, as can be clearly seen'!

Conclusion.  As can be clearly seen, Mr Murphy has shot himself in the foot.

Fiat justitia, ruat coelum.  Let justice be done, though heavan fall.  Latin proverb.

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The Thirteenth Chime - Part 9    ('The illusion of knowledge .....').

Mr Murphy has described items written by Terence MacCarthy's (the bogus Mac Carthy Mór) as 'fluent and to non experts at least, persuasively written ..... but on closer examination ... found to be seriously flawed ...'
We will examine some of Mr Murphy's 'persuasively written' items.

(a) The Mac Donald of Keppoch judgment.  (Click for full text of judgment.)
Mr Murphy states that Thomas Sweeney takes comfort from a Scottish Appeal Court judgment in the case of Mac Donald of Keppoch which declares that a 'sloinneadh' or orally transmitted pedigree should be accepted as valid evidence when determining accession to chiefship.
Mr Murphy continues: '.... Scottish law relating to chiefship does not apply in Ireland, being in itself the subject of debate ...'  

The Court of the Lord Lyon deals with all matters relating to Scottish Heraldry and Coats of Arms and maintains the Scottish Public Registry of Arms and Genealogies.  In 2004, the Lord Lyon was directed by two Scottish Court of Appeal judges (Lord Macfayden and Lord Nimmo Smith) to recognise Ranald Alasdair MacDonald in the name Ranald Alasdair MacDonald of Keppoch, Chief of the Name and Arms of MacDonald of Keppoch, and the Honourable Clanranald of Keppoch, Mac-'ic-Roanuill.  The decision handed down by the Court of Appeal was not contested by the Lord Lyon, therefore, Scottish law relating to chiefship is not 'in itself the subject of debate' as stated by Mr Murphy.

(b) Mr Murphy also states: '... while orally transmitted pedigrees can be useful guides in research, it flies in the face of good genealogical practice to accept them as conclusive proof of descent'.

Mr Murphy (self-designated scholar and self-designated chiefly pedigree expert) seems to suggest that his declarations concerning genealogical matters should be above the law!  Perhaps Mr Murphy should reprimand Lord Macfayden and Lord Nimmo Smith and the Heralds/ Officers of Arms, lawyers and scholars listed below for being out of step - with him.

Mr. Charles Lysaght, Barrister at Law, author, historian,  Advisor to the Irish Law Reform Commission, Advisor to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Past President of the Oxford Union, whose professional opinion re 'Pedigree Declarations' is in line with Scottish Law.

H.M. Officers of Arms at the Court of the Lord Lyon.
Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw, Bt. QC, Rothesay Herald of Arms, who appeared as Queen's Counsel before the Court of Appeal on behalf of Mac Donald of Keppock.
W. David H. Sellar, Esq., Bute Pursuivant of Arms, who appeared as expert witness before the Court of Appeal on behalf of Mac Donald of Keppoch.

(Note. The officers of the Court of the Lord Lyon, in addition to their ceremonial duties may be consulted by members of the public on heraldic and genealogical matters in a professional capacity similar to lawyers. They may appear to plead their client's case before the Lord Lyon or other courts of chivalry.)   

Professor Donald Gillies holder of the Chair of Celtic in Edinburgh University since 1979, now Head of Celtic and Scottish Studies in Edinburgh University, graduate of Edinburgh and Oxford Universities appeared as expert witness before the Court of Appeal on behalf of Mac Donald of Keppoch. 

...............................................................
 
(c) According to Mr Murphy: 'it is a staggering presumption to 'correct' O Donovan after a period of 170 years ...'

O Dogherty pedigree.  Dr John O Donovan informs us (Donegal Survey Letters, 21 August 1835) that he met a 'John O Dogherty of the townland of Bree, Malin Well, a man full of years, traditions and hospitality' who told him that in the time of his grandfather all the respectable branches of the O Dohertys knew their pedigrees. John O Dogherty recited thirteen generations of his pedigree covering the period from his young grandson, Shane, back to his ancestor Conor an Eny who died in 1413. John O Donovan wrote: 'I got him to repeat this pedigree six times over to see if it were settled in his memory and found that he can repeat all the names in succession with as much certainty as I could a b c d to z'.  

John O Donovan tells us that he tested 'the accuracy of this pedigree, by allowing thirty years for each generation, according to Newton's chronology' and found it was accurate. Clearly, John O Donovan knew the length of the average generation gap and likewise would know if a generation was missing from a pedigree.

Mac Sweeney Doe pedigree. Fifteen days later John O Donovan met Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe and recorded his pedigree back to Sir Myles/ Maolmhuire Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe 1596 - 1630.  John O Donovan informs us (Donegal Survey Letters, 5 Sep 1835) that the pedigree he recorded was a generation short - and it was, because Eamonn Rua's father Eamonn Mór (1738-1834) had been omitted. (Nine days later, John O Donovan wrote to Owen Connollan (Editor-translator of AFM and Historiographer to King George IV and King William IV) and informed him that he had met 'the present Chief of the Mac Swinies Doe'.)

According to Mr Murphy (15 Oct 2005) 'it is a staggering presumption to 'correct' O Donovan after a period of 170 years by saying that he confused an Eamon' (i.e., Eamonn Rua) 'with his father of the same name' (i.e., Eamonn Mór). It is clear that Mr Murphy does not accept John O Donovan's statement that the Mac Sweeney Doe pedigree he recorded was a generation short.
Nevertheless, Mr Murphy is a genealogist and he should know:
(i) the length of an average generation gap and know if a generation is missing,  see O Long, para 3;
(ii) that Eamonn Mór's name has been verified from a number of sources, e.g., a newspaper interview given by his grandson, Tarlagh Mac Sweeney, An Píobaire Mór (1831-1916) published Weekly Irish Times, April 24, 1909, also in Rev. C.P. Meehan's Fate and Fortunes of the Earl's of Tyrone and Tirconnel, 1870 edition, page 553.

According to Mr Murphy, 'it is a staggering presumption to 'correct' O Donovan after a period 170 years'.  That being so, why did Mr Murphy contradict Dr John O Donovan and particularly so when Dr John O Donovan is right and he is wrong.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge.
                                       Professor Stephen Hawking, 1942 -

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The Thirteenth Chime - Part 10.    
(Claimants to the titles of Mac Sweeney Fanad and Mac Sweeney Banagh.)

In August 2005, visitors to Mr Murphy's Mac Sweeney Doe web page learned: 'for a number of years now two gentlemen have lain claims to the titles of Mac Sweeney Fanad and Mac Sweeney Banagh (Resolution of the Grand Clan Council of Clan Suibhne, 21 September 1979) but they are generally considered to be self-appointed as opposed to genuine chieftains'.  However, in September 2005, Mr Murphy changed his mind and decided that the claimants to the Fanad and Banagh titles were normal 'clan-appointed i.e., 'honorary' as opposed to genuine or bloodline chieftains'.  In his book, Twilight of the Chiefs Mr Murphy emphasized that the 'official' Sweeney Clan Association recognizes the claimants to be chiefs of the Fanad and Banagh branches. So, as far as self-designated 'chiefly pedigree specialist/ expert' Mr Murphy is concerned - everything is fine, or is it?

The '1979 Resolution' Mr Murphy mentions is recorded on an illuminated document resplendent with colours, arms, seals and non-Gaelic titles. Each claimant's arms is surmounted by a golden crown - contrary to the laws of arms, i.e., because the claimants are not of kingly dynasties and therefore not entitled to have crowns acting as crests. In addition, the colours on one coat of arms are wrong.
The claimants laid claim to three Mac Sweeney lordships of Donegal and the '1979 Resolution' declares that they have 'established proof of their descent from each of these Houses respectively', that one claimant will be 'Head of the House of Fanad and hereafter be known as Mac Suibhne Fanad', that the second claimant will be 'Head of the House of Doe and hereafter be known as Mac Suibhne d'Tuatha' and the third claimant will be Head of the House of Banagh and hereafter known as  Mac Suibhne Banagh.
(Comment. It is interesting to note that the claimant to the title Mac Sweeney Doe, a gentleman from County Cork, did not attend his 'inauguaration' at Doe Castle in 1979 and that in the seven years following the production of the parchment until his death in 1986 he did not sign the parchement.)

The document, which bears the signatures of the two surviving claimants, proclaims that 'THESE LORDSHIPS will pass to their heirs and successors by the law of primogeniture and their Official Seats shall be Rathmullan Castle, Doe Castle and Rahan Castle of which the present holders of the titles (i.e., the claimants) will acquire the tenancy of the hearthstones and erect their Arms therein' - see Mac Sweeney Arms.

With the exception of one replacement Chief of the Name (Jan 1959) the list of Chiefs recognized by the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland remained substantially unaltered from 1945 to 1989 because no new Chiefs of the Name were found. Therefore, it is odd that alarm bells did not ring for 'self-designated chiefly pedigree specialist/ expert' Mr Murphy when he learned that three (Mac) Sweeneys had surfaced in 1979 and had claimed simultaneously that they had established proof of their descent from three Mac Sweeney lordships of Donegal, i.e., one for each!  
 
Mr Murphy is aware (e.g., from his review of Peter Berresford Ellis' book Erin's Blood Royal, 2002 edition, pages 292-93) that an offical letter from the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland, 8 Sept 1999, stated that none of the claimants to the Mac Sweeney titles 'have ever produced proof of descent from any Mac Sweeney lord of Donegal'. Therefore, it is extremely odd that Mr Murphy's web site carries just a few lines about these chiefly happenings and particularly so when he tells us that he felt 'duty-bound' to expose Terence Mac Carthy the bogus Mac Carthy Mór.

It is also interesting to note that two of the three claimants to the Mac Sweeney titles had close connections with Terence Mac Carthy whom Mr Murphy says he exposed as a fraud, 1999. One claimant was a member of the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry, i.e., the body that gave Terence Mac Carthy's bogus dynastic Order of the Niadh Nask credibility by granting it recognition. Terence Mac Carthy later became its vice president and president. Another claimant was the 'Hereditary Commander' of Terence Mac Carthy's bogus Order of the Niadh Nask. (See Mr Murphy on the Order of the Niadh Nask.)
Comment. It would be interesting to know how a person could be a 'Hereditary Commander' of a bogus Order of Merit concocted the previous week!  

It is utter nonsense for self-designated 'chiefly pedigree specialist/ expert' Mr Murphy to pretend that the claimants to the Fanad and Banagh titles are normal clan-appointed 'honorary' chiefs, when he is well aware that they signed their names to a document proclaiming that 'their' Mac Sweeney Lordships will pass to their heirs and successors by law of primogeniture. Mr Murphy 'self-appointed saviour of Irish genealogy' must surely know:
(a) that a person cannot be a hereditary chief unless he can prove his descent from the founder of the clan;  
(b) that clan-appointed 'honorary' chiefs' cannot pass ancient hereditary lordships/ titles (the 'ideal' property of other families) 'to their heirs and successors'.  

Re (b) above Mr Murphy merely states: 'that rather controversially they have purported to be able to transmit 'their titles' by primogeniture'.  However, when the bogus Mac Carthy Mór 'abdicated' and passed 'his title' to his heir and successor, i.e., his brother Conor, Mr Murphy had quite a lot to say, see paragraph five - MacCarthy web page.

Could it be that Mr Murphy does not feel 'duty-bound' to investigate the 'claims' of those who have no 'official' dealings with the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland or have not submitted pedigrees to a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland for examination? It is interesting to note that Mr Murphy has been at loggerheads with both bodies for years and that they and a number of their clients (who never saw or met Mr Murphy) have been on the receiving end of his ire for years, see Part 1.

Conclusion. As can be clearly seen, self-designated 'chiefly pedigree specialist/ expert' Mr Murphy has shot himself in the foot, again (see part 8).  He won't have a leg to stand on, soon!

(Clearly in response to our criticism Mr Murphy has quietly revised his statements re the claimants above, however, he cannot revise similar comments in his book.)


                                 Ben Battle was a soldier bold,  And used to war's alarms: 
                                 But a cannon-ball took off his legs, So he laid down his arms.
                                                                 Thomas Hood, English poet, 1799 -1845.

                                                                                                               top of page
 The Thirteenth Chime - Part 11   (A short memory!).

  Unsolicited e-mail from Mr Murphy, 21/10/05.

Mr Sweeney,

You may choose again to refuse to reply to this e-mail, but I now put to you the following questions relating to your websites at http://www.sweeneydoeclan.com/ and http://sweeneyclanchief.com/

(1) Will you explain why you have recently altered the pedigree you have advanced since the 1990's, replacing the line of descent from Edmond (outlawed 1691) and his son Donnchadh Fheargal with descent from Col Maolmhuire (brother of Edmond and Col of the Tyrconnel Regiment in the Army of Eoghan Roe O Neill) and his son Donnchadh Óg?

(2) Will you release the full text of the report compiled in 2003 by a professional genealogist nominated by the Chief Herald of Ireland, which you state validates your claim to chiefship?

(3) Will you state which version of your pedigree was validated in that report, and whether its author may now wish to qualify elements of the said report?

(4) Will you accept that Mr Humphery-Smith was misinformed when he alleged that I disclosed 'no prior knowledge' of the Mac Carthy case before the then Chief Herald nullified recognition of the chiefship in July 1999'..... and furthermore that Mr Humphery-Smith is again mistaken in inferring that the former Deputy now Chief Herald had no direct involvement in the process leading to Terence MacCarthy's recognition in 1992 ...?

(5) Finally, will you accept that your claim to the Mac Sweeney Doe Chiefship is no more nor less valid that the claims to the Mac Sweeney Fanad and Mac Sweeney Banagh Chiefships?

Sincerely, etc.
Re items 1, 2, 3 and  5.

Concern has already been expressed re lack of attention to detail by Mr Murphy, e.g.,  Part 5,  Part 6,  Part 10.

If Mr Murphy examines the copy of the 1999 Mac Sweeney Doe petition he received in 2001 from the Office of Chief Herald (via the Freedom of Information Act) he will discover a footnote on page 6 alerting the Office of Chief Herald to the fact that there were two versions of the Mac Sweeney Doe pedigree - and giving reasons for same.

If Mr Murphy reads paragraph 31 of the judgment in the Mac Donald of Keppoch appeal case he will find that Lord Macfayden and Lord Nimmo Smith decided (re Professor Donald  Gillies) that:'it is in our view perfectly proper for an expert witness to review his opinion in the light of additional information of which he has not been previously aware'.

A substantial quantity of additional information was included in the report compiled by the professional genealogist, member of APGI, nominated by the Chief Herald of Ireland to examine the 1999 Mac Sweeney Doe petition, e.g., appendices and footnotes amounted to almost 100 items.  

Re item 4.
No doubt Mr Humphery-Smith (letter Part 1) will respond when he recovers from his accident. However, Mr Murphy must surely know that a professional genealogist (member of APGI) was commissioned by the Chief Herald of Ireland to examine and report on Terence MacCarthy's pedigree long before January 1999, i.e., the date when Mr Murphy first sought information about Terence Mac Carthy via the Freedom of Information Act. Furthermore, when the Office of Chief Herald withdrew recognition from Terence McCarthy (13 July 1999) it did so as a result of the findings in that report and not because of a leak published in a Sunday newspaper - as alleged.



 
Re the e-mail (above left) received from Mr Murphy 21 Oct, 2005.  
Mr Murphy has complained (via his web site, 28 Oct 2005) that 'Mr Sweeney did not reply directly (by e-mail or registered post?) to this e-mail but has chosen to respond ..... via comments on his web site'.    

Good gracious, has Mr Murphy forgotten again (see Part 2) that he stated on his web site that he never received the e-mails we sent him, 20th and 30th January 2004, ostensibly, because he 'did not have our postal address' !! (see Part 6a). Consequently, all communication with Mr Murphy had to be by registered post.
 
Take #1. Mr Murphy e-mailed us 29 Jan,  22 and 27 April 2004 and denied each time that he received our e-mails of 20th and 30th January 2004 - see Part 2 above.  

Take #2. To our great surprise, on 12 Jan 2005, Mr Murphy sent us an e-mail confirming that he had received the e-mails that we sent him.

Take #3.  Mr Murphy changed his story. On 14 August, 2005 his web site carried the following statement: 'Indeed I can state again that I did not receive Mr Sweeney's earliest e-mails electronically, but I did receive print-out copies which he sent by post on 24 April  2004, omitting as usual a return address.' !

Take #4. On 29 Oct. 2005, Mr Murphy complained that 'Mr Sweeney did not reply directly to this e-mail  (left panel, above) but chose to respond ..... via comments on his web page'.  Good gracious, has Mr Murphy forgotten again that the e-mails we sent to him in January  2004 never reached him!    

Comment.  'A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.
                  Doug Larson (see Part 2 above).

                                                                                       top of page
The Thirteenth Chime - Part 12 (One owes ..... ).   

In 1998 a professional genealogist was having coffee in a Dublin hotel when a claimant to a chiefly title joined him. The claimant's lineage became part of the discussion and the genealogist advised him to send a copy of his pedigree to the Chief Herald of Ireland and seek recognition as Chief of his Name. The claimant rattled his spoon in his coffee cup and said: 'I will do that, just as soon as I have sorted out a couple of pedigree details dating from around the end of the 15th century'. The conversation ended abruptly because it was obvious that the claimant was bogus.

Genuine claimants to chiefly titles should not have pedigree problems in the 15th century or 16th century or throughout most of the 17th century because the names of leading members of chiefly families are recorded in the Annals, the State Papers and the Outlawry Lists.  For example:

1. It is recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters, under the year 1596, that Mac Sweeney (of Doe/ the Districts in Donegal) namely Owen Oge, son of Owen Oge, the son of Owen, son of Donal ..... died on the 26th of January, and his brother's son, namely Maolmhuire, the son of Murrogh Mall, assumed his place. (Comment. Maolmhuire was knighted, July 1599.)

2.  It is recorded in the Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, year 1615, page 60, that Donogh More Mac Sweeney was 'son to the knight'  Sir Myles/ Maolmhuire Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630.

3.  It is recorded in the Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, year 1660, page 216, that Col Myles/ Maolmhuire Mac Sweeney (son of Donogh More and grandson of Sir Myles/ Maolmhuire) was Head of the House of Doe during the Cromwellian War and afterwards.

4.  It is recorded in the County Donegal Williamite Outlawry List (ref. TCD MS 744 folio 69V) that Edmond/ Edward, a son of Donogh More Mac Sweeney, was outlawed in 1691. (Comment. Edmond/ Edward's name is listed in first place on the 1691 County Donegal Williamite Outlawry List.)
Furthermore, from a footnote to page 2341 of Dr John O Donovan's translation of the Annals of the Four Masters (Dublin, 1856, 1990,) we conclude that Donogh More also had a son named Morogh.  Moreover,  the same footnote records that in 1835 Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was the 'lineal legitimate descendant' of Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630.

However, proving decent from ancestors who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries can be problematic because of the dearth of registration documents from that period. Therefore, we were astounded and astonished to discover that self-designated 'chiefly pedigree specialist/ expert' Mr Murphy has overlooked the fact that a claimant to the title 'Mac  Sweeney Doe' must prove descent from Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney whose status as 'the lineal legitimate descendant' of Sir Myles/ Maolmhuire Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630, was recorded in 1835 by the renowned Dr. John O Donovan.
Ref. Dr John O Donovan's Donegal Survey Letters, Sept 1835.  
His footnote to page 2341 of his translation of the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856, 1990.
His letter, Sept 1835, to Eugene O Curry, scholar, scribe, Professor of Archaeology and Irish History.
His letter, Sept 1835, to Owen Connellan, Irish Historiographer to King George IV and King William IV, editor-translator of the Annals of  Ireland of the Four Masters, Dublin 1846.

It is interesting to note the O Donovan of Clan Cathail chieftaincy (recognised by the Irish Government 1944) and the O Domhnaill of Tyrconnell Chieftaincy (recognised by the Irish Government 1945) rely on the scholarship of the renowned Dr John O Donovan.  

It is also interesting to note that since 28 June, 2005, Mr Murphy's web site has carried the firm statement that it would be a staggering presumption 'to correct' O Donovan after 170 years.  Perhaps Mr Murphy has been so busy chasing information from the Cromwellian era that he did not notice that he was shooting at the wrong goal post and had fallen into the same trap as the bogus claimant mentioned above - an associate of the bogus Mac Carthy Mór. 

'One owes respect to the living. To the dead one only owes the truth.'
                                                                                  Voltaire, 1694-1778.
                                                                                                       top of page
The Thirteenth Chime - Part 13    (Chimes ..... ).
Mr Murphy (private citizen and one-man 'Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies') believes that he is entitled to 'have sight of a full copy' of Thomas Sweeney's professional genealogist's report - and has demanded same. However, he fails to understand that he has no right (in law) and no authority (in law) to demand a copy of a report commissioned by Thomas Sweeney and particularly so, when, according to his web site, he has been excluded/ from consultancy work in the Irish Government Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald 'from 1993'.  Mr Murphy had an opportunity of examining the report (and its appendices and footnotes) but he forfeited that opportunity when he was caught playing covert 'control games', cf. Parts 2, Part 3 also Part 11. Consequently, Mr Murphy has had to make do with his own semi-researched report - and a large measure of irrelevant guesswork thrown in. 

Mr Murphy's semi-researched Mac Sweeney Doe report contains numerous errors, Part 5a to e, and a considerable amount of sterile speculation, Part 5f. Contradiction is evident in Part 6c,  Part 6f,  Part 8,  Part 9c, Part 10.  Moreover, we were astonished to discover that Mr Murphy regards certain categories of error as an 'irrelevance', whereas, for us they signal a worrying disregard for 'attention to detail', Part 11. We are dismayed at the number of times that Mr Murphy (a) has spattered himself with praise, Part 7,  (b) has taken sideswipes at public officials and members of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, Part 1 & Part 7. Motivation for same is evidenced in Part 1 & Part 10.  

On August 6, 1999, the Chief Herald of Ireland specified in writing that a professional genealogist, Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland and competent in Irish/ Gaeilge should be commissioned to examine Thomas Sweeney's pedigree. Therefore, we find it odd that Mr Murphy should claim that he is a specialist/ expert in Gaelic chiefly pedigrees when he does not hold a professional qualification in Irish/ Gaeilge. Nevertheless, undeterred by any such impediment, Mr Murphy has stated on his web site that 'he is willing to study closely what Mr Sweeney's professional genealogist has written on the subject of his lineage'!  Furthermore, Mr Murphy is not a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI).

Comment.  Anatole France, 1844-1924, tells us that 'an education is not how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know, It's being able to differentiate between how much you know and how much you don't'.

In 2004, Mr Murphy was taken to task by, arguably, the most respected name in Heraldic/ Genealogical scholarship in England, Mr Cecil R Humphery-Smith, for alleged 'misrepresentation of facts' and his response to Mr. Humphery-Smith's letter of complaint (Part 1 above) is weak and unconvincing. Mr Cecil R Humphery-Smith has been named the 'Father of Family History' and has a veritable alphabet of academic qualifications and literary honours and awards after his name - which he rarely uses. He is one of few to receive the much coveted Gustav Von Numers Prize for heraldic art and design and has long been the only British member of the Council of L'Académie Internationale d'Heraldique. His work on the heraldry of Canterbury Cathedral was acknowledged by the award of the D'Altenstein prize, 1961, and he was awarded the Prix Dalenda in 1991 for his advancement of medieval historical and genealogical research. Queen Elizabeth, in acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution to Heraldic and Genealogical scholarship over many years, awarded him an OBE in 2004.  Mr Cecil R. Humphery-Smith is Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury.  On the other hand, Mr Murphy, genealogist and part-time teacher, reminds us sixteen times on his web site that he has an M.A. and crows egotistically that he is 'Second to None', however, that claim is untenable (see Part 15)  


                                                                 19 December, 2005.                                                               top of page   
The Thirteenth Chime - Part 14  (Toledo trusty!).     

Some twelve paragraphs from the end of his semi-researched Mac Sweeney Doe page Mr Murphy states that he does not find the footnotes on page 9 of Thomas Sweeney's consultant genealogist's report 'at all rigorous in evidential terms'. Mr Murphy singles out, for particular disparagement, footnote 59 which states: 'It is worth noting in the oral traditions when it came to reciting, for example genealogies, omissions and variations could occur, similarly, omissions could have occurred in transcription'.

Given that Mr Murphy's Mac Sweeney Doe 'report' contains many errors (e.g., Part 5, Part 10, Part 12) it is puzzling that he cannot accept that omissions and variations do occur in genealogies (a) as stated in footnote 59 above (b) as accepted 2004 by Scottish appeal court judges President of the Court of Session Lord Cullen, Lord Macfadyen and Lord Nimmo Smith, - see Court of Appeal Conclusion para 33. 

Mr Murphy has referred to Mac Sweeney genealogies in 'Rev Paul Walsh's detailed account of the Mac Sweeneys (Leabhar Clainne (sic) Suibhne, Dublin 1920, page xxxvi and generally)' but he has ignored the fact that Rev Paul Walsh's footnotes in the same book drew attention to variations and errors in a number of the genealogies. That omission by Mr Murphy could be due to lack of attention to detail (a trait we have referred to previously) or because such information would not advance his 'cause'.  It is interesting to note that Rev Paul Walsh's footnotes on pages 98 and 108 of Leabhar Chlainne Suibhne identify omissions and errors in the genealogy of the Mac Sweeneys of Doe - the result of an oversight by the renowned Franciscan scholar Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, c.1590 -1643, whose best-known work the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland/ Annals of the Four Masters was completed 1636. Clearly, self-designated 'chiefly pedigree expert' Murphy has shot himself in the foot again.

           'The trenchant blade, Toledo trusty,
            For want of fighting has grown rusty, 
            And eat into itself, for lack 
            Of some body to hew and hack.'
           Samuel Butler, English poet, c,1612 - 1680.                                                           
                                                                        top of page                           Page 98, Leabhar Chlainne Suibhne

The Thirteenth Chime - Part 15  ('Worse that a blunder  .....'). 

1.  Mr Murphy, self-proclaimed 'scholar' and self-proclaimed 'chiefly pedigree specialist/ expert' (see Part 7) asserts that 'fluency in the Irish language does not in itself confer/ connote any special ability in interpreting and validating Irish chiefly pedigrees'.  
The Chief Herald of Ireland decided, Aug 6, 1999, that a consultant genealogist competent in Irish should be commissioned to examine the Mac Sweeney Doe petition, and rightly so, because Irish was the first language of the family well into the 20th century and a considerable amount of data concerning the family was recorded in Irish. Mr Murphy ignores the fact that a researcher of Irish chiefly pedigrees who cannot translate or interpret primary source materials/ texts must rely on the translations/ interpretations of others and if challenged (eg., in law) cannot prove the habitual accuracy of such. Lamentably, Mr Murphy cannot  translate or interpret primary source materials/ texts because he does not have a professional qualification in Irish.  A sixteenth century proverb reminds us: 'He can ill be master that never was scholar'.  

2.  Mr Murphy claims that his reports are 'carefully researched and properly referenced', therefore, it is odd:
(a) that he has demonstrated a disquieting lack of attention to detail (see Part 5, Part 6, Part 10, Part 11, Part 14, also item C at top of page. In addition, he made an appalling faux pas in respect of the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments.
(b)  that he has produced a semi-researched 'report' based on partial information re the Mac Sweeney Doe Chiefship;  
(c)  that he failed to deduce, from information in his possession, that in September 1978 three (Mac) Sweeneys, acting in unison, sought to appropriate three hereditary Mac Sweeney lordships, i.e., one for each (see Part 10) ; 
(d) that his published conclusions, year 2000, re the pedigree of Denis O Long, Chief of the Name of O Long of Garranolongy, have been contradicted by a Professional Genealogist (member of APGI) whose findings were double-checked by a highly qualified and highly regarded University Historian/ Scholar.  

3.  Mr Murphy boasts on his web site that his 'expertise in respect of the pedigrees of Irish chiefly families is second to none' - click and view 4th para from end  (now quietly removed). We will now try to establish if that is true.  If true, Mr Murphy's expertise and scholarship surpasses that of all acclaimed scholars specializing in Irish chiefly pedigrees, e.g., Dr Kenneth Nicholas, University College Cork and Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle, University College Galway, to mention just two.  It is interesting to note that Dr Ó Muraíle, for example, spent a quarter of a century researching/ translating/ interpreting primary source materials/ texts from: (a) Old Irish c.600- c.1000; (b) Middle Irish c.1000 - c.1300; (c) Early Modern Irish/ Classical Modern Irish c.1200 - c.1600.  It is also interesting to note that the primary source materials/ texts translated and interpreted by Dr Ó Muraíle relate to thousands of pedigrees/ mini pedigrees/ chiefly pedigrees and a myriad of crucially important primary source materials/ texts associated with such pedigrees - all collected between 1645 and 1666 by the great scholar Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh.  Dr Ó Muraíle's mammoth work was published in five volumes (3100 pages) in The Great Book of Irish Genealogies. by De Búrca, Dublin 2004.  On the other hand, Mr Murphy cannot translate any  primary source materials/ texts pertaining to any Irish chiefly family from any of the periods mentioned above, or later centuries. Nevertheless, he would like us to believe that his 'expertise in respect of the pedigrees of Irish chiefly families is second to none'. Good gracious, shades of The Mac Carthy no More!

          ('It is worse than a crime, it is a blunder'.   Joseph Fouché,  Duke of Otranto, French politician, 1763 - 1820.)
Comment.  We would advise Mr Murphy to abstain from using self-inflicted titles such as scholar, chiefly pedigree specialist, chiefly pedigree expert second to none, etc., and accept that he is an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, genealogist supplementing his earnings by teaching family history classes on a part-time basis.  
                                                                                           top of page  
The Thirteenth Chime - Part 16 (An Error, and an Affront).
An Error.  
Mr Murphy, self-proclaimed 'scholar' and self-proclaimed 'second to none, chiefly pedigree specialist/ expert', informs us, on his web site, that he 'is willing to study closely what Mr Sweeney's professional genealogist has written on the subject of his lineage'.  We wondered how Mr Murphy could 'study closely' documents in the Irish language when (a) he does not hold a professional qualification in Irish/ Gaeilge (b) does not meet the standard of competency in the Irish language stipulated by the Chief Herald of Ireland, Aug. 6,1999.
Mr Murphy recently added an additional artful comment to his web page. Three paragraphs from the end he states: 'While fluency in Gaelic may be a commendable accomplishment, it need not, and indeed in the present case did not confer any particular ability in researching a chiefly lineage in the modern period, when the bulk of the material is in English'. Comment.  It should be noted that Mr Murphy can by no means be considered authoritative in matters relating to the Irish language.
If, as Mr Murphy claims, the bulk of the Mac Sweeney Doe genealogical material is in English then it follows that the remainder is in Irish and, clearly, Mr Murphy is not qualified to examine/ assess any material in the Irish language.  
We spoke with an officer in the State Examinations Commission Office and asked if a person who did not have a qualification in Irish could be appointed to examine/ assess documents recorded (or partly recorded) in Irish/ Gaeilge. The answer was NO.  We then enquired about a situation whereby a person, unqualified in Irish, received texts/ documents in Irish (in error) and instead of returning them immediately to the State Examinations Commission Office, as per General Instructions, began to examine/ assess them. We were informed:  
(a) that the documents in question would be retrieved immediately the situation became known and given to an experienced advising examiner for re-examination/ assessment.  
(b) that the unqualified person involved would not receive payment for any work done and that his/ her name would almost certainly be removed from the list of examiners/ assessors.  We checked those responses with an officer closely associated with a University Examinations Office and were informed that University procedures are similar.
Mr Murphy remembered recently that his late father (son of a Kerryman) was a native Irish speaker.  It is interesting to note that a native speaker, e,g., of French must hold an approved professional qualification in French to be qualified to teach French or examine scripts/ documents in French.  The same rule applies to native speakers of other languages, German, English, Irish, etc. Their unqualified offspring are similarly regulated.  
Mr Murphy would be well advised to obtain, as a first step, an approved professional qualification in Irish/ Gaeilge,  because a person who cannot access primary source genealogical material in, e.g., Old Irish c 600 -  c1000, Middle Irish c1000-  c1300 and Early Modern Irish/ Classical Modern Irish c1200- c1600, can by no means be described as a 'second to none, chiefly pedigree/ specialist expert'' (see Part 15).
We will look forward to receiving an application from Mr Murphy (to examine the Mac Sweeney Doe pedigree report) when he has obtained an approved professional qualification in Irish/ Gaeilge at good honours level.  However, because of the comments he has posted on his web site (referred to above) we will require a firm guarantee that his current casual attitude in relation to genealogical material in the Irish language has been expunged.
'In a concatenation accordingly.'  Oliver Goldsmith, Irish poet, 1728-1774.
An Affront.
Since June 2005, Mr Murphy has stated, on his web site, that it would be 'a staggering presumption to correct O Donovan after 170 years' (Part 12.  Therefore, why has Mr Murphy deliberately disregarded Dr O Donovan's findings, 1835? 
Dr John O Donovan (arguably Ireland's greatest historian) recorded: (a) in his Donegal Survey Letters, 1835; (b) in a letter to Eugene O Curry, Professor of Archaeology and Irish History, Sept 1835; (c) in an letter, Sept 1835, to Owen Connellan, editor-translator of the Annals of Ireland of the Four Masters, and Irish Historiographer to King George IV and King William IV; (d) in a footnote to page 2431 of his (O Donovan's) translation of the Annals of the Four Masters (Dublin 1856, 1990) that Eamonn (Rua) Mac Sweeney,  61 years old in 1835, was the lineal legitimate descendant of Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630, and was Mac Swayne ne Doe and heir to Doe Castle and the sinsear of the Clann tSuivne. 
On April 22, 2004, Mr Murphy e-mailed us seeking information re the chieftaincy of Doe and because he claimed that he was not receiving our e-mails (see Parts 2 and 3 above), we sent the reply by registered post, April 24, 2004.  We informed Mr Murphy that the consultant genealogist (competent in Irish/ Gaeilge) nominated by the Chief Herald of Ireland to examine the Mac Sweeney Doe petition, Aug. 6, 1999, had responded positively to the following crucially important questions:
Q1.  Was Edward Sweeney/ Eamonn Rua Mac Suibhne, listed on the 1851 census extract, living in Altnadague/ Attinadague, Derryveagh, 1851, the 'Mac Swyne na Doe and heir to Doe Castle and the sinsear of the Clann tSuivne' whom Dr. John O Donovan met in Donegal in September 1835?  The consultant genealogist's answer was an unambiguous YES.
Q2.  Was James Sweeney (Thomas Sweeney's great-grandfather) listed on the 1851 census extract, living in Altnadague/ Attinadague, Derryveagh, 1851, the son of Edward Sweeney/ Eamonn Rua Mac Suibhne living in Altnadague/ Attinadague, Derryveagh, 1851?  The consultant genealogist's answer was an unambiguous YES.
Incomprehensibly, Mr Murphy decided to ignore the responses to Q1 and Q2 and, in lieu, spent many months pursuing a non-vital issue, i.e., blood relationships among known members of the derbhfine of Doe who lived in the 17th century (see para 33, re the decision handed down by the Scottish Court of Appeal, also, Para 31 of same re the discovery of new evidence).  
Mr Murphy's penchant for introducing 'Red Herrings' has been mentioned, Part 6 above.  Therefore, we must regard his efforts to focus attention on members of the chiefly family of Doe, who lived in the 17th century, as a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the pivotal and indisputable fact that a claimant to the title 'Mac Sweeney Doe', today, must prove descent from Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney (born c1774 - died 1851/55).   
Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney's status, as 'Mac Swayne ne Doe and heir to Doe Castle and the sinsear of the Clann tSuivne' was verified 1835 by the renowned historian, scholar and scribe, Dr John O Donovan, Professor of Celtic Languages (Queen's Belfast), Member of the Royal Irish Academy (Ireland's premier learned body founded 1785, www.ria.ie), and winner of its Cunningham Gold Medal.  Mr Murphy is not nearly in the same league and, therefore, his deliberate disregard for Dr O Donovan's findings is an outrageous affront. Accordingly, we have added Dr John O Donovan's name to the list of those out of step with Mr Sean J Murphy, genealogist and part-time teacher of genealogy/ family history.
Note. All the following are out of step, except Mr Murphy: 
1. The Office of Chief Herald of Ireland.
2. The Irish Government Genealogical Office;
3. The National Library of Ireland;  
4. The Irish Law Reform Commission;
5. The Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland;
6. The Judges and expert witnesses of the Scottish appeal court:
(a) The President of the Court of Session, Lord Cullen,
(b) Lord Macfayden,
(c) Lord Nimmo Smith, all of whom presided over the Mac Donald of Keppoch appeal case    
(d) Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw, Q.C., Chief of the Name Agnew, Rothesay Herald of Arms, (Acting for MacDonald of Keppoch).
(e) WDH Sellar, Bute Pursuivant of Arms, (Expert witness for MacDonald of Keppoch).
(f)  Professor William Gillies, Prof of Celtic Languages and History, University of Edinburgh (Expert witness for MacDonald of Keppoch).
7. Mr Cecil R Humphery-Smith, Principal of the Institute of  Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury, England, (Part 1 above).
8. The Heraldry Society (U.K.) Part 1 above.
9. The editorial committee of the Coat of Arms (U.K.) Part 1 above.    
10. Peter Berresford Elllis, Historian and Author, Erin's Blood Royal, Palgrave, U.S.,  2002, p 293.
11. Anne Chambers, At Arm's length: Aristocrats in the Republic of Ireland, New Island, Dublin 2004, p 6.
12. Charles Lysaght, Barrister at Law, Historian, Foreword to Vanishing Kingdoms, Lilliput Press, Dublin 2004. p 12. 
13. The Professional Genealogist member of APGI (competent in Irish/ Gaeilge) nominated by the Chief Herald of Ireland to examine Thomas Sweeney's petition.   
14. The Professional Genealogist, member of APGI, who reviewed and further researched the O Long pedigree (at the request of Denis O Long) and confirmed that he is O Long of Garranolongy.
15. The University Historian (internationally recognized scholar with doctorate and post doctorate qualifications and numerous research papers) who double-checked the research at 11 above (at the request of Denis O Long) and likewise confirmed that he is O Long of Garranolongy, i.e., contrary to Mr Murphy's published opinion.    
16. State Examinations Commission, also, University Examinations Office (re knowledge of the Irish language).
17. The renowned historian, scribe and scholar, Dr. John O Donovan, M.R.I.A., 1806-1861.
        (Comment.  Mr Murphy's disregard for Dr  O Donovan's findings means that he is also at odds with the following.)

18. Dr. Douglas Hyde, distinguished Gaelic scholar and writer, first Professor of Modern Irish at University College Dublin 1909, first President of Ireland, 1937. (Click to read his comments re O Donovan).
19. Dr Kenneth Nicholls, Medievalist/ Historian, University College, Cork. (Click to read his comments re O Donovan).   
20. Prof Eoin Mac Neill, Prof of Early Irish History University College, Dublin, Minister for Education 1922/25.. (Click to read his comments re O Donovan).
21. Prof Michael Herrity, MRIA, Editor, O Donovan's Donegal Ordnance Survey Letters, Four Masters Press, Dublin 2000. (Click to read his comments re O Donovan).
22. Brian Friel, renowned Donegal playwright, author of the Preface to O Donovan's Donegal Survey Letters, Four Masters Press, Dublin 2000. (Click to read his comments re O Donovan).
23. Kevin Myers, author and journalist. (Click to read his comments re O Donovan).

'Tis education forms the common mind,
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.
.Alexander Pope, English Poet,1688-1744.
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The Thirteenth Chime - Part 17.
(Mr Murphy quotes 'scripture' and reads Gaelic.)    

Mr Murphy informs us, via his web site, that the code of practice of the US Board of Certification for Genealogists and the code of practice of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland contain similar (praiseworthy) provisions.  What a pity Mr Murphy is not a member (see Part  7 above).  

Mr Murphy also informs us that it is 'an important part of the ethic of the professional genealogist to claim no more than the evidence allows'.
Therefore:
(a) Why did Mr Murphy get his modern period evidence so deplorably wrong that he published on his web site that Denis O Long  is not The O Long of Garranolongy (Part 11 and 12 above)?  What happened to Mr Murphy's GPS?

(b) Why did Mr Cecil R Humphery-Smith, OBE, Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury  (arguably the greatest name in Heraldry/ Genealogy in the U.K.) feel obliged to take Mr Murphy to task for alleged misrepresentation of facts (Part 1, letter to Coat of Arms, 2004)?  

(c) Why did Mr Murphy publish an invalid, semi-researched report on his web site re the chieftaincy of Doe? 

(d) Why did Mr Murphy claim that he is a 'chiefly pedigree specialist/ expert, Second to None' when he does not have the language skills/ qualifications required to access primary source genealogical materials in the Irish language, (see Part 15 and Part 16)

Mr Murphy finally remembered (March 28, 2006) that he has read books written 'entirely in Gaelic' - including the article in Gaelic 'on the piper Tarlach Mac Suibhne in Béaloideas, 1964'.  

However, given Mr Murphy's  propensity for pursuing negatives and his boast that he is 'reasonably competent in the Irish language' and has 'taken due account' of the article in Béaloideas, 1964, we wonder why he failed to detect a number of factual errors in the article and did not seek clarification re same.  Moreover, given his boast that his pieces are always 'carefully researched and properly referenced' we wonder why he did not provide:
(a) the name of the author of the article ;
(b) the correct title of the article;
(c) the volume and page references.

The Chief Herald of Ireland specified in writing, August 1999, that a consultant genealogist competent in Irish should be commissioned to examine the Mac Sweeney Doe petition, therefore, we are entitled to know if Mr Murphy is competent in Irish.  Accordingly,  we can arrange an oral test and reading test for Mr Murphy to be conducted by an experienced professional examiner.

Gutta cavat lapidem non vi sed saepe cadendo/ The drop hollows the stone not by force but by often falling.  
(Latin proverb.)

Summary.
Parts 1 to 16 (above) show that Mr Murphy:
1. was taken to task by arguably the greatest name in Heraldry and Genealogy in the U.K., (Part 1, letter to Coat of Arms, 2004);
2. received an undisguised rebuke, 2004, from the editors of the learned UK magazine the Coat of Arms, (Part 1);
3. received an unambiguous 'message', 2005, from the prestigious UK Heraldry Society, (Part 1);
4. tried to play wily 'control games' with the Mac Sweeney Doe clan but was caught napping, (Part 2,  Part 3,  Part 11);
5. demonstrated a disquieting lack of attention to detail, (Part 5, Part 6, Part 10, Part 11);
6. resorted to the introduction of 'red herrings', (Part 6)
7. used speculative phrases  (Part 5);
8. shot himself in the foot more than once, (Part 8, Part 10, Part 14 ), also scored an own goal, (Part 12);
9. failed to comprehend the scope of: (a) the attempted appropriation of the hereditary titles of Mac Sweeney Fanad and Mac Sweeney Banagh; (b) the 'self-granting' (contrary to the laws of arms) of coats of arms alleged to be the territorial/ chiefly arms of Fanad, Doe and Banagh, (Part 10 );
10. indulged in general boasting. (Part 7);
11. indulged in specific boasting, i.e., that he is a 'chiefly pedigree/ specialist expert second to none', i.e., despite the fact that he does not have a professional qualification in Irish and, consequently, cannot access primary source material in the Irish language (see Part 15);  
12. exhibited an amazingly unconcerned attitude with regard to genealogical material recorded in the Irish language, (Part 16);
13. deliberately disregarded the findings in 1835 of arguably Ireland's greatest historian Dr John O Donovan, (Part 16).
'
Conclusion. Mr  Murphy has painted himself into a corner. He either accepts Dr O Donovan's 1835 findings (that Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was 'Chief of the Mac Sweenies Doe' ) or he rejects Dr O Donovan's 1835 findings.  If Mr Murphy accepts the renowned Dr O Donovan's findings he has demolished his own argument and if he rejects the renowned Dr O Donovan's findings he also loses, because, virtually every professional genealogist and (authentic) historian in Ireland will take the rest of the day off to laugh.   We leave Mr Murphy trapped in a  corner.  Perhaps he should have availed of GPS/ Global Positioning System technology.


The Thirteenth Chime - Part 18  (Orders from Private Citizen Murphy).

Mr Murphy wonders why the genealogical report compiled by the professional genealogist nominated by the Chief Herald of Ireland (to examine Thomas Sweeney's pedigree) is still being withheld from him!  
(a)  Mr Murphy's uncivil demand that a report, compiled at Thomas Sweeney's expense, be handed over to him (plus the fact that he has ignored a legal requirement to register, with the CRO, two Centres/ Business Names) recalls to mind Prime Minister Pitt's warning (House of Lords, Jan 9, 1770): 'Where law ends, tyranny begins'.   
(b) We have expressed concern (above)  re lack of attention to detail by Mr Murphy.  If Mr Murphy examines the copy of Thomas Sweeney's petition, that he obtained 2001 via the Freedom of Information Act, he will discover an Office of Chief Herald memo dated August 6, 1999.  The memo states that a member of the 'Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland deemed competent in Irish should be commissioned to examine Thomas Sweeney's petition. The memo confirms that a consultant genealogist (member of APGI)  professionally qualified and competent in Irish was nominated by Chief Herald O Donoghue, Aug 6, 1999.  Mr Murphy is not a member of APGI and does not have a professional qualification in Irish and does not meet the criteria set by the Chief Herald of Ireland, Aug 6, 1999. Nevertheless, Mr Murphy may apply to us again when he has obtained an approved professional qualification in Irish/ Gaeilge at good Honours Level, see Part 15. See Part 17 re an offer to Mr Murphy of a reading/ oral test in Irish/ Gaeilge.
(c) Mr Murphy boasts that in 'the modern period' he is a 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none,  therefore, it is odd that his published conclusions concerning the pedigree of Denis O Long, Chief of the Name of O Long of Garranolongy, have been contradicted by a Professional Genealogist (member of APGI) whose findings were double-checked by a highly qualified and highly regarded University Historian/ Scholar (see items 11 and 12 in Part 16 below).  Likewise, Mr Murphy's findings (based on his semi-researched report) re Thomas Sweeney's descent from Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney Chief of Doe, 1596-1630, have been contradicted by a highly respected consultant genealogist, member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, competent in Irish/ Gaeilge.  Furthermore, Mr Murphy has been taken to task for alleged 'misrepresentation of facts' by, arguably, the greatest name in Genealogy/ Heraldry in the U.K, i.e., Mr Cecil R Humphery-Smith, Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury.
(d) Mr Murphy informs us (via his web site) that he has been excluded from consultancy work in the Irish Government Genealogical Office since 1993 and that staff training courses he conducted in the National Library of Ireland were discontinued in 1997 and not resumed despite his plea that he is 'ready to resume training National Library staff if given an opportunity to do so'.  Mr Murphy believes that his exclusion from consultancy work is due to his 'difficulties both with the Irish Government Genealogical Office and the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland' see Part 1.
( 'Confidence is a plant of slow growth...' William Pitt, English Prime Minister, 1708 - 1788.)   

 
The Thirteenth Chime - Part 19 (Unregistered Business Names).
The role model.  We have expressed concern, on a number of occasions, re lack of attention to detail by Mr Sean J Murphy, genealogist and part-time teacher, e.g., Part 5, Part 6,  Part 10, Part 11 and Part 14. Furthermore, Mr Murphy has ignored (for years) a legal obligation to register his one-man Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies with the Irish Government Companies Registration Office (www.cro.ie),  Accordingly, Mr Murphy is in breach of the provisions of the Registration of Business Names Act 1963 (Commencement Order 1964).  Incredibly, Mr Murphy also neglected to register (with the CRO) his one-man Centre for Irish Genealogical and Local Studies, active in 1999 and still on line.
The 1963 Registration of Business Names Act states that 'registration of a business name is obligatory if any individual uses a business name which differs in any way from his/ her true surname'.  The Act requires that 'an application for registration should be submitted to the CRO within one month of the date of adoption of the business name .... and that a copy of the registration certificate must be exhibited in a conspicuous position'. Summary proceedings in relation to offences under the Act may be taken by the Minister acting under Section 20 of the Act and fines may be imposed.  It is interesting to note that Mr Murphy has used his (unregistered) Business Names to criticize members of staff in the Irish Government Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald of Ireland, members of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland and specific clients of those organizations see Part 1.  (Good gracious, a case of 'do as I say, not do as I do'!) 
Comments. In response to our observations (above) Mr Murphy disclosed,17 May 2006, that his 'Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies' has been active 'for more than a decade', that it is not a commercial business, does not charge fees and has no staff.  However,  Mr Murphy omitted to mention that seven years ago he had another 'Centre', i.e., his one-man 'Centre for Irish Genealogical and Local Studies', active 1999 and still on line.  Evidence re the existence of that Centre is recorded in an extract from an Office of Chief Herald letter, dated 5 July 1999, which Mr Murphy obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and posted on his web site, 30 Sept 2001.  The extract states: 'Murphy is the self-appointed saviour of Irish genealogy, now calling himself the 'Centre for Irish Genealogical and Local Studies' ... one of the most difficult and unpleasant characters I have had to deal with. .. he has got access to all the information he is entitled to and more ...' Mr Murphy informs us that the letter was written by Mr Brendan O Donoghue, a highly regarded and distinguished member of the Irish Civil Service, who retired from his post as Secretary General of the Department of the Environment and was appointed Director of the National Library of Ireland and Chief Herald of Ireland, 1997.  (Note. According to Mr Murphy's preface, in italics on http:homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/chiefswatch.htm, he believes that the Chief Herald paid him a compliment!) 
Information re Mr Murphy's current 'Centre' is given in a letter to the editor of the Coat of Arms (2004), by leading U.K. Heraldist/ Genealogist, Mr Cecil R Humphery-Smith,OBE, Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury.   In paragraph 3 of his letter, Mr Humphery-Smith draws attention to the fact that Mr Murphy's 'Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies' has no staff (other than himself) and no members and has no connection with the  Office of Chief Herald of Ireland.  In the last paragraph of his letter Mr Humphery-Smith  takes Mr Murphy to task for alleged 'misrepresentation of facts' and calls on Mr Murphy to apologize to: (a) Mr Brendan O Donoghue former Chief Herald of Ireland; (b) Mr Fergus Gillespie present Chief Herald of Ireland;  (c) the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland; (d) the author Dr Susan Hood (disparagingly referred to as 'Hood' by Mr Murphy).
Mr Murphy sticks his neck into another noose of his own making (Noose 1,  Noose 2, Noose 3).  On 30 June 06 we learned that Mr Murphy informed the Companies Registration Office that his 'Centre' (note: he has operated two Centres) 'is not and never has been a commercial business, charges no fees whatsoever, and has been solely operated by himself (without staff) for over a decade'. Accordingly, Mr Murphy has 'solely operated himself' for over a decade and by 'calling himself a Centre' has given an invalid impression that his reports (e.g., his semi-researched report re the Chiefship of Mac Sweeney Doe and his semi-researched report re the Chiefship of O Long of Garranolongy) are approved/ official.
The Registration of Business Names Act 1963 clearly states that 'registration of a business name is obligatory if any individual uses a business name which differs in any way from his/ her true surname'.  Accordingly, Mr Murphy's Centres/ Business Names fall within the provisions of the Act and, bizarrely, he now claims retrospective exemption on the grounds that his Centres are not genuine Centres/ Business Names. If they are not genuine Centres/ Business Names they are bogus and Mr Murphy should cease using them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
We are also concerned that Mr Murphy has not responded to our offer of an oral/ reading test in Irish/ Gaeilge to asses if he is 'reasonably competent' in the Irish language as claimed by him (Part 17). We remain willing to asses his level of competence in the Irish language, but wonder why our offer is being ignored.

The Thirteenth Chime - Part 20 (The Mac Donald of Keppoch Appeal).

The MacDonald of Keppoch Appeal.  It is clear that Mr Murphy's ill-disposed attitude in relation to Thomas Sweeney's claim to the Chieftaincy of Doe is linked to his long-running discord with the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland and the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland/ APGI (see Part 10) whose members benefit from consultancy contracts from the Irish Government Genealogical Office, the National Library of Ireland and National Archives, whereas, Mr Murphy does not, on account, he says: 'of his difficulties both with the Genealogical Office and APGI'.  Accordingly, it was not difficult to predict Mr Murphy's knee-jerk reaction to the decision handed down by three learned judges of the Scottish Court of Appeal, 2004. The judges, Lord President Cullen,  Lord Mac fayden and Lord Nimmo Smith ruled that it is perfectly proper to review a chiefly pedigree in the light of new information. Mr Murphy, genealogist and part-time teacher, disagrees as usual. 
The Thirteenth Chime - Part 21.
(Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot again.)

On 17 May 2006, Mr Murphy recklessly alleged that Thomas Sweeney altered his pedigree (mid 17th century period) 'in order to attach his family' to the Mac Sweeney Doe pedigree recorded in 1835 by the renowned scholar Dr John O Donovan.  We have expressed concern re lack of attention to detail by Mr Murphy, e.g., Part 5,  Part 6,  Part 10, Part 11, Part 14, therefore, we were not surprised when Mr Murphy failed to realize that Thomas Sweeney 'attached his family'' to the O Donovan pedigree in 2003 when he proved his descent from Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney whom Dr John O Donovan verified as MacSwayne ne Doe, 1835.  In 2003, Thomas Sweeney proved to the satisfaction of a highly respected consultant genealogist (member of APGI, competent in Irish, chosen on the advocacy of the Chief Herald of Ireland) that his great, great-grandfather was the Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney whom Dr. O Donovan met in 1835 (see  Part 16).  Accordingly, Mr Sean J Murphy, styled  'second to none', has shot himself in the foot again, as in Part 8,  Part 10 and Part 12.  (Comment. We would be hesitant about purchasing a second-hand car from a used car dealer who claimed to be 'second to none'.  How would s/he know?                                                                                             
Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe.  Dr John O Donovan, arguably Ireland's greatest historian met Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney in Donegal in September 1835 and recorded: (a) in his 1835 Donegal Survey Letters; (b) in letters to eminent fellow historians (click to view); (c) in a footnote to page 2341 of his translation of the Annals of the Four Masters that Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was the lineal legitimate descendant of Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney,  Chief of Doe, 1596-1630, and was Mac Swayne ne Doe.  It is interesting to note that the O Donovan/ Clan Cathail Chieftaincy recognized 1944 and the O Donnell Chieftaincy recognized 1945 also rely on the scholarship of the renowned Dr O Donovan.
Mr Sean J Murphy, genealogist would dearly love to reject Dr O Donovan's 1835 findings but cannot, because: (a) he is not nearly in the same academic league as Dr O Donovan; (b) he is not nearly in the same academic league as the highly esteemed scholars who have applauded Dr O Donovan's awesome scholarship (click to view); (c) his web site carries the firm statement that 'it would be a staggering presumption to correct O Donovan after 170 years'. Accordingly, Mr Murphy should cease his unseemly wriggling and squirming and declare that he accepts Dr O Donovan's recorded conclusion that in 1835 Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was 'Mac Swayne ne Doe'.   

The Thirteenth Chime - Part 22.                                                                                                       (Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel via the Freedom of Information Act.)
 Mr Murphy recently requested from the National Library of Ireland Freedom of  Information Officer 'All records relating to Thomas Sweeney's file and his claim to be "Mac Sweeney Doe" from 9 May 2001 to 29 June 2006'. In 2001 Mr Murphy obtained copies of all records then on file and now, it seems, he's reduced to 'scraping the bottom of the barrel' in a last-ditch attempt to beef up his semi-researched Mac Sweeney Doe report.
The memo above lists claimants to chiefly titles whose records were sought by Mr Murphy in 2001.  It is interesting to note that Mr Murphy's 'duty-bound' approach to investigating claimants usually focuses on persons who go through proper channels, i.e., those who submit documents/ pedigrees to the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland for investigation or who commission one of Mr Murphy's former colleagues (in the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland) to examine and validate same.  On the other hand, Mr Murphy has demonstrated an amazingly lackadaisical attitude in relation to claimants to chiefly titles who do not go through proper channels and do not produce proofs of descent, e.g., Part 10 on this web page also Mr Murphy's 'Background' and Chiefswatch.
The fact that Mr Murphy sought eight sets of records indicates how smitten he is with the work of the Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald of Ireland despite the fact that he has been excluded from consultancy work there since 1993.  We note that he keeps a number of irons in the fire, e.g.:
(a) processing eight FOI  applications at the same time;
(b) operating and directing himself solely as a 'Centre' (two Centres?) 'for more that a decade';
(c) writing/ updating some forty 'Chief of the Name' articles (and other articles) on his various web sites;  
(d) teaching 'Genealogy/ Family History' as a part-timer and
(e) running a genealogical practice.   
The Code of Ethics and Conduct recognized by the US Board for Certification of Genealogists requires that each genealogist pledges: 'To strive for the highest level of truth and accuracy in all phases of my work'.  The Code has been quoted and praised by Mr Murphy despite the fact that his own use of  'speculative phrases' is at variance with the provisions of the Code.  Furthermore, we were amazed to discover that Mr Murphy criticized Dr. John McCavitt (Historian) for using 'speculative phrases' and then continued to use them himself. For example, Mr Murphy's web site informs us that the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish, Co Donegal, 'lists an Edward Sweeney landholder in Altinadague and it is this apparently settled individual rather than the wandering Sheep Haven chiefly claimant who is more likely to be Thomas Sweeney's ancestor'.  Mr Murphy teaches (part-time) on part-time 'Genealogy/Family History' courses and we wonder how his marking schemes/ model answers provide for the assessment of students who (like himself) use 'speculative phrases'.  If 40% is regarded as a pass mark would Mr Murphy, e.g., award 10% of the available marks for an answer likely to be correct and 15% for an answer more likely to be correct. Similarly, would he award 20% for an answer apparently correct or would he regard such responses as unreliable, untrustworthy and worthless - as in law?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
The Code of Ethics and Conduct (above) requires that genealogists pledge: 'I will quote sources precisely, avoiding all alterations that I do not clearly identify as editorial interpretations'.  Mr Murphy informs us (06/03/2005 - to date) that Thomas Sweeney 'stated' on his web site that on 6 August 1999 the then Chief Herald of Ireland, Mr Brendan O Donoghue, selected a professional genealogist (competent in Irish/ Gaeilge) to verify his claim of descent from Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630.  Despite the fact that he is well aware (via Freedom of Information requests in 2001 and 2006) that Thomas Sweeney's statement is correct Mr Murphy has presented it in a manner that could lead uninformed persons to doubt its accuracy.  (Corruptio optimi pessima - Corruption of best is worst - Latin Proverb).   

The Thirteenth Chime  -  Part 23.
(Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot  -  ARÍS.) 

A. On 9 March 2005 a contributor to rec.heraldry put the following question to Mr Murphy, re the Mac Sweeney Doe chiefship: 'I find it hard to understand why you are so hostile to this claim to chiefship.  It would further understanding if you would answer a previous question of mine. Do you accept (or not) that the current Mac Sweeney Doe claimant is the heir to the 1830's claimant' (i.e., heir to O Donovan's Chief of Doe, Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney.)  

Mr Murphy replied that he did not accept that 'it had been sufficiently proven' and that 'O Donovan was reporting a claim to chiefship not validating it...'   However, it has been proven to the satisfaction of a consultant genealogist, Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, competent in Irish, chosen on the advocacy of the Chief Herald of Ireland, that O Donovan's Chief of Doe, Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney, was living in Altnadague, Derryveagh, Co Donegal in 1851 and that Thomas Sweeney is his great, great grandson.  

Mr Murphy's assertion on rec.heraldry, 09-03-05, that Dr John O Donovan was reporting a claim to chiefship and not validating it is incorrect. On  August 30, 1835, O Donovan wrote from Rathmullan: 'The Mac Sweenies are now called Mac Swynes here, and the heir of Fanaid is said to be a tinker, who strolls the country and sometimes comes to visit his castle at Ramullan, and to give orders to Knoxe's man to take particular care of it.  O Donovan left Rathmullan Sept 3 and arrived in Downings (Rosguill peninsula) Sept 5 where he met Edmond/ Eamon Rua Mac Sweeney.  He recorded that he bid 'Mac Swynedoe farewell' and continued his journey to Dunfanaghy by curragh across 'the swelling waves of the wide mouthed harbour of Sheep Haven'.That evening he wrote to his brother-in-law, Eugene O Curry, scholar, scribe and Professor of Archaeology and Irish History at the Catholic University, informing him that he had met Mac Swynedoe.  
Self-proclaimed scholar Mr Murphy must surely know that nine days later (Sept 14) O Donovan wrote to Owen Connellan, Irish Historiographer to King George IV, and King William IV,  editor translator of the Annals of Ireland of the Four Masters', and informed him that he had met the present chief of the Mac Swinies Doe.  O Donovan wrote: 'I have had great satisfaction among the Mac Swinies, a glorious race, worthy of their magnanimous ancestors, and I am sorry to announce to you that the present chief of the Mac Swinies Doe, has been obliged to exchange the battle axe and sword for the Budget and the Soldering Iron, and the richly comparisoned steed for the rudely hampered ass!'  Dr O Donovan would not have written to the King's Irish Historiographer informing him that he had met the chief of the Mac Swinies Doe, unless he was certain of his facts.

Moreover, Mr Murphy must surely know that Dr John O Donovan published Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney's descent from Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney in a footnote to page 2341 of his 1856 edition/ translation of the Annals of the Four Masters. The footnote refers to Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe 1596-1630, and confirms that 'the lineal legitimate descendant of this chieftain was a tinker by profession, and living in 1835, when the Editor (O Donovan) examined the county of Donegal'.That footnote would not have been published in O Donovan's translation of AFM (Annala Ríoghachta Éireann Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, ed. John O Donovan, (Dublin, 1856; 1990): 1603: Mac Suibhne na ttuath Maolmhuire mac murchaidh ... ..) unless he was certain of his facts.  

Mr Murphy's hostility to the claim to the Chiefship of Doe arises from his long-standing 'differences' with: (a) the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland; (b) the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, and is linked to the fact that in 1999 the Chief Herald of Ireland nominated a member of Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, to examine Thomas Sweeney's petition for recognition.

Mr Murphy believes that he will advance his cause if he is able to impugn John O Donovan's verdict that in 1835 Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was the 'lineal legitimate descendant' of Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630. However, Mr Murphy cannot succeed, because: (a) he is not nearly in the same academic league as Dr O Donovan; (b) he is not nearly in the same academic league as numerous recognized scholars who have applauded Dr O Donovan's awesome scholarship; (c) his website carries the firm statement that it would be a'staggering presumption to correct O Donovan after 170 years'. Clearly, Mr Murphy has bitten off more than he can chew and has arrived at a juncture whereby he must either 'correct O Donovan after 170 years', which according to himself would be presumptuous, or, explain to his supporters, e.g., on rec.heraldry, why his semi-researched Mac Sweeney Doe chiefship report is so very far wide of the mark.  

Comment. If self-proclaimed scholar Mr Murphy decides 'to correct O Donovan', arguably Ireland's greatest scholar, he should make it known so that we can take the remainder off the week off to laugh.  

B.  Mr Murphy confirmed (rec.heraldry 07-10-05) that he obtained, via a Freedom of Information release, the text of the 1999 MacDonnell (Mac Sweeney Doe) report. On the same date, he confirmed that he does not have a copy of Thomas Sweeney's consultant genealogist's 2003 report, i.e., a report containing a substantial amount of information not included in the 1999 Mac Donnell report, e.g., almost 100 appendices/ footnotes.  Accordingly, Mr Murphy's semi-researched Mac Sweeney Doe report relies almost entirely on the 1999 Mac Donnell report which, according to Mr Murphy, rec.heraldry 07-10-05, 'was not deemed sufficient by the Chief Herald'.   Good gracious!

Mr Murphy has persistently demanded a copy of Thomas Sweeney's consultant genealogist's 2003 report despite the fact that he does not fulfill the requirements laid down in 1999 by the Chief Herald of Ireland, i.e., membership of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland and competency in Irish/ Gaelige. Mr Murphy has asserted on his web site that he is competent in Irish but, unfortunately, the insubstantial attempt he made to demonstrate that competence did little to promote confidence. We believe we are entitled to know if Mr Murphy is competent in Irish/ Gaeilge and for that reason we offered to have his competence assessed by an experienced professional examiner, but, our offer was ignored. Nevertheless, Mr Murphy continues to demand a copy of the 2003 report while at the same time informing contributors to rec.heraldry, that he has no legally acceptable right to it.  For example on 05-03-06, his position was as follows: 'I believe that legalistically the Freedom of Information Commissioner would ultimately decide that the Mac Sweeney Doe report of August 23 is private, in that although it was requested by a Chief Herald it was paid for by the applicant and then completed after the termination of courtesy recognition in July 2003, and so never submitted to be part of the public record.'  

We wonder when self-proclaimed scholar Mr Murphy will be scholar enough to acknowledge (as the great scholar Dr John O Donovan acknowledged) that in 1835 Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was 'Chief of the Mac Swinies Doe'. To date, Mr Murphy's attitude has been to sit on the fence and declare that he has 'researched and published a competent professional report which shows that Mr Sweeney is not entitled to be recognized as The Mac Sweeney Doe'. Therefore, it is interesting to note that in 2000 Mr Murphy also researched and published a report alleging that Denis O Long is not entitled to be recognized as The O Long of Garranalongy.  However, Mr Murphy's report was found to be in conflict with findings in two independent reports: (a) researched by Mr Paul Gorry, a distinguished full-time consultant genealogist and recognized chiefly pedigree expert; (b) researched by Dr Kenneth Nicholls, Senior Lecturer in History in University College Cork, regarded by his peers as the foremost academic in his field.  (It is interesting to note that Dr Nicholls also received Brownie points from self-proclaimed scholar Mr Murphy, who obligingly acknowledged that Dr Nicholls' scholarship is superior to his own.) 

The Thirteenth Chime/ 'Correcting' O Donovan  - Part 24. 
 
To be or not to be, a scholar. In response, to our question in Key Quote A, Mr Murphy replied (rec.heraldry 10-04-07) that in 1835 Dr John O Donovan was reporting a claim to the Mac Sweeney chiefship of Doe, not validating it.  Dr John O Donovan's footnote to page 2341 of his translation of theAnnals of the Kingdom of Ireland/ Annals of the Four Masters (shown below) presents a different story and it is clear that self-proclaimed 'scholar' and self-proclaimed 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none' Mr Murphy misread (or never read) O Donovan's footnote (below)

 

Dr John O Donovan (arguably Ireland's greatest scholar) confirmed in his footnote to page 2341 of his translation of the Annals of the Four Masters (Dublin 1856 1990) that he met Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney, chief of the Mac Sweenies Doe in Donegal in 1835, that he recorded his pedigree, and that Edmond/ Eamonn Rua was 'the lineal legitimate descendant' of Mulmurry/ Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe 1596-1630.  

Mr Murphy's inability to accept Dr John O Donovan's confirmation of Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney's descent from Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney Doe may be related to his long standing 'differences' with (a) the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland (b) his former colleagues in the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland. However, it should be noted that Mr Murphy is not nearly in the same academic league as Dr O Donovan. Neither is he in the same academic league as numerous recognized scholars, who have lauded O Donovan's awesome scholarship.  For example:  

Dr Douglas Hyde, acclaimed Gaelic scholar and writer, first Professor of modern Irish at University College Dublin, 1909, first President of Ireland,1937, wrote that the O Donovan edition of the Annals of the Four Masters represented 'the greatest work that any modern Irish scholar ever accomplished'.  
Professor Eoin Mac Neill, scholar and politician, Professor of early Irish history at UCD, 1908, wrote: 'John O Donovan's natural talents placed him at the head of the true school of native learning in Ireland ... he was mainly responsible for obtaining for native Irish learning a recognized and important place in the estimation of the world'.  
Dr Kenneth Nicholls, distinguished medievalist and Senior Lecturer, University College Cork, noted in his introduction to the recently published third edition of O Donovan's Annals of the Four Masters that: 'O Donovan's enormous scholarship, breathtaking in its extent ...  has been depended upon by others down to the present.  His footnotes are a mine of information'.  
In 2000, Dr John O Donovan's Donegal Survey Letters were published by Four Masters Press Dublin and in his introduction (page xvi) Professor Michael Herity, M R I A, referred to O Donovan's meeting with: 'MacSwyne na  Doe,  head of the Clann Suibhne, whom he saw walking, tall and stately, along the strand at the head of his retinue. O Donovan got his pedigree back as far as Sir Malmurry'. (i.e., Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe 1596-1630).  

John O Donovan was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1847 and in 1848 the first part of his edition of the  Annals of the Four Masters won for him the Cunningham Gold Medal of the Royal Irish Academy and the LL.D degree of Trinity College Dublin. He completed his edition of the Annals of the Four Masters in 1851 with support from the Royal Irish Academy. Therefore, it is absurd and unjust for Mr Murphy to imply that Dr John O Donovan placed a footnote with inaccurate information (re Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney's lineage) on page 2341 of his translation of the Annals of the Four Masters, thereby, deceiving and misleading those who facilitated its publication, i.e., the Council and Members of the Royal Irish Academy.  

'The Royal Irish Academy, founded in 1785, vigorously promotes excellence in scholarship, recognizes achievements in learning, directs research programmes and undertakes its own research projects, particularly in relation to Ireland and its heritage. It offers an independent forum to Irish scholars.  Members of the Academy are entitled to use the letters MRIA after their names and membership is open to residents of the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.  Candidates must be proposed and nominated by five Members of the Academy.  From these nominations twenty candidates who haveattained international distinction in ience or the humanities and social sciences, as evidenced by their published work, are elected in March of each year after a rigorous, peer-reviewed selection procedure.'  

(proclaimed scholar) 
Courtesty UCD Today,June 2008. 
 
 It is interesting to note that some twenty members of the academic staff of University College Dublin (Professors, Emeritus Professors, Associate Professors, Senior Lecturers, etc)are listed on the RIA web site as Members of the Royal Irish Academy and therefore as scholars. One cannot be unmoved by the personal distress of a self-proclaimed scholar whose dearly held scholarly achievements remain  unrewarded. However, Mr Murphy teaches in UCD (as a part-timer on extra mural non-degree part-time courses in genealogy/ Family History), therefore, it is odd that he has not found five MRIA Members/ colleagues willing to propose and nominate him for membership of the Royal Irish Academy and, consequently, recognition as a scholar.  

 ('Great boast, small roast.' 16th century English proverb.) 

Hoist with his own petard. 'Self-appointed saviour of Irish genealogy' Mr Murphy asserted (via his web site) that it would be 'a staggering presumption to correct O Donovan after 170 years'. Soon afterwards he became presumptuous and 'corrected' O Donovan, an unimpeachable source. Mr Murphy asserted (rec.heraldry 10-03-05 and 10-04-07) that in 1835 Dr John O Donovan was reporting Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney's claim to the Chiefship of Doe not validating it. However, Dr John O Donovan's footnote to page 2341 of his translation of the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland/ Annals of the Four Masters (shown above) proves beyond doubt that Mr Murphy has erred. Accordingly, Mr Murphy has become a victim of his own zeal and has blown sky-high his self-inflicted titles of 'scholar' and 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none' and has ended up with egg all over his face.  

Mr Murphy informed us by e-mail, 12-01-05, that he had asked our consultant genealogist to provide him with a full copy of her report on Thomas Sweeney's pedigree. The consultant genealogist involved had been commissioned by the Chief Herald of Ireland, c.2000, to report on the Maguire claim to chiefship and she was extremely careful in her examination of Thomas Sweeney's pedigree also. If Mr Murphy had exercised a similar level of care (before he became presumptuous and 'corrected' O Donovan after 170 years) he might have avoided ending up with egg all over his face and his self-inflicted titles in tatters.  (June21, 2007.) 

'All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many parts, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.'
Essay on the Human Understanding, XX.17.  Joseph Locke, English Philosopher, 1623-1704.

Promises! Promises!  Mr Murphy asserted on rec. heraldry, 6 June, 2007) that: '... qualifications alone are not sufficient, quality of knowledge and capacity to argue ably but fairly are also important.  If I myself have ever fallen below these standards, then I can but humbly apologize.'  

As shown above, self-proclaimed chiefly pedigree expert second to none, Mr Murphy posted erroneous information on rec.heraldry (10-3-05 and 10-04-07) re Dr. John O Donovan's 1835 affirmation of Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney's lineal, legitimate descent from Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630 (Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, year 1603, footnote p. 2341).  It is clear that Mr Murphy's research, into O Donovan's meeting with Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney, dipped 'below (requisite) standards' and, consequently, visitors to rec.heraldry received erroneous knowledge in lieu of 'quality of knowledge'. We wonder what became of the 'humble apology' promised by Mr Murphy on rec.heraldry, June 6, 2007?   

Mr Murphy also promised via his website that: '.....any demonstrated errors of fact ..... will be corrected promptly' (bottom of homepage).  However, Mr Murphy has not corrected his incorrect account of Dr John O Donovan's confirmation of Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney's pedigree.  Accordingly, Mr Murphy's promised  'prompt correction' seems to have disappeared in the same direction as his promised 'humble apology'.

Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot for the sixth time.  Mr Murphy asserted, rec.heraldry 31-08-07, that he is 'unable to see any inaccuracy' in his Mac Sweeney Doe statements. Therefore, it is interesting to recall that he could not see any inaccuracy in his O Long statements either, despite the fact that his O Long report runs counter to two professional reports:  report (a) researched by a highly regarded consultant genealogist,  author, and recognised chiefly pedigree expert;  report (b) researched by an eminent medievalist and Senior Lecturer in History in University College, Cork, acclaimed by his peers as the foremost academic in his field.

Mr Murphy,  a self-proclaimed scholar, seeks to convince contributors and visitors to rec.heraldry that in 1835 the great Irish scholar Dr John O Donovan (arguably Ireland's greatest scholar) merely reported Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney's claim to the Mac Sweeney Doe chiefship.  However, the written record shows that Mr Murphy is wrong. Dr John O Donovan testified in a footnote to page 2341 of his translation of the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland/ AFM, shown above, that Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was 'the lineal legitimate descendant' of Maolmhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630.  Moreover, Dr Donovan confirmed in his Donegal Survey Letter of September 5, 1835, that he met 'MacSwynedoe' and the same day O Donovan wrote to his brother-in-law Eugene O Curry, scribe, scholar, Professor of Irish and Archaeology, and made known to him that he met 'MacSwynedoe'.  Nine days later (Sept.14, 1835) Dr O Donovan wrote to Owen Connellan, editor-translator of the "Annals of the Four Masters" and "Irish Historiographer to King George IV and King William IV" and informed him that he met "the present Chief of the Mac Swinies Doe".  

Bona fide scholars, e.g., Members of the Royal Irish Academy, from Professor Eugene O Curry (19th century) to Professor Michael  Herity (21st century), have accepted Dr John O Donovan's written testimony that Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney was Chief of the Mac Swinies Doe when O Donovan met him in Donegal in 1835 and, as recently as 31-08-07 on rec.heraldry, he was described by none other than Mr Murphy, as 'O Donovan's chief'.

'Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings.' Psalms, viii. 2

Mr Murphy also referred to Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney as 'O Donovan's Chief' on rec.heraldry 10 April 2007, and as 'O Donovan's 1835 Chief' on rec.heraldry 12 June 2005.  Inconsistency/vacillation on this scale suggests that Mr Murphy should 'humbly aplogise' as promised, rec.heraldry 6 June 2007.  

'He that would govern others, first should be the master of himself.'  Philip Massinger, English dramatist,1583 - 1640.


Oops! Mr Murphy shoots himself in the foot for the 7th time. 
Self-proclaimed 'scholar', 'specialist' and 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none' Mr Murphy alleged, rec.heraldry 7 June 2005, that the professional genealogist commissioned by Thomas Sweeney in 2002 to examine his pedigree ' ... may be an able generalist but has no track record in researching claims to chiefship'.  

Mr Murphy hasn't a leg to stand on. The professional genealogist in question, a recognised chiefly pedigree expert, was commissioned by Chief Herald Brendan O Donoghue to report on the Maguire claim to chiefship and submitted her Maguire report to the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland in 2001.  Consequently, Mr Murphy ends up with egg all over his face for the 2nd time. 

Mr Murphy also announced, rec.heraldry 6 June 2007, that ''qualifications alone are not sufficient, quality of knowledge and capacity to argue ably but fairly are also important'. He added, 'If I myself have ever fallen below these standards, then I can but humbly apologize'.  Mr Murphy has known for more than a year that the allegation he made, 7 June 2005, is false. We await his 'humble apology'.   

Comment. Mr Murphy has demanded a 'full copy' of the professional genealogist's report on Thomas Sweeney's pedigree, so that he can 'examine' it!  Mr Murphy should examine his own work, charity begins at home. (31-10-07)
-------------------------------------------------- 

RECENT DEVELOPMENT. Mr Murphy admitted,  9 Sept 2007, that he posted a false allegation on rec.heraldry 07-06-05, re the track record of the consultant genealogist (Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland) commissioned by Thomas Sweeney to examine his pedigree. We await the 'humble apology' promised by Mr Murphy on rec.heraldry, 6 June 2007. A 17th century English proverb asserts that 'an honest man's word is as good as his bond', therefore Mr Murphy should apologize, even if he finds it painful to apologize to a member of a professional group he continues to classify on his website as 'the ignorant and self-interested'.

The following item (posted by a contributor to rec.heraldry 6 Nov 2007) gives background information concerning Mr Murphy's relationship with the Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald of Ireland and the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland.

 'I mentioned Sean's vendetta a week back in a different context, and would like to point out that my comments are not based on any great claim I may have as a mind reader, but on Sean's own comments. As you will have noticed by now, Sean has a penchant for repetition, especially about his role with regard to Terence Mac Carthy, et al. [For quite a different take on the latter issue, see Mr C. R. Humphery-Smith's letter published in the Coat of Arms, pp 246-48, (2004)]. However, one point Sean has not been so keen to repeat as of late is the basis for his animosity towards the GO (=Genealogical Office) and CHI (=Chief Herald of Ireland).  In former times, though, Sean was not so reticent. When Sean first reached the shores of rec.heraldry he informed us that he had been snubbed by the GO/CHI back in the early 1990's, and was also in dispute with the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (of which, of course, he is not a member). In addition to posting here about his being snubbed professionally, Sean also had similar comments on his home page, which seem to have been quietly removed. So, for those with a long enough memory there is no great secret here, Sean is motivated by the desire for revenge.'

Comment. Mr Humphery-Smith, OBE, FHG, FGS, FHS, Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury, is probably the most respected name in Heraldic and Genealogical scholarship in England.  His letter, published in the Coat of Arms, pp 246-48 (2004) concerning Mr Murphy's role in the Mac Carthy Mór affair is reproduced above

Mr Fergus Gillespie, MA, FSA, Chief Herald of Ireland, mentioned in Mr C.R. Humphery-Smith's letter (and criticized unjustly by Mr Murphy) has been honoured recently by two prestigious UK organizations: (a) he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London; (b) he was appointed Vice President of The Heraldry Society.  It is interesting to note that a fellow Vice President and Patron of the Heraldry Society is His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshal of England. 

On 1 Nov 2007, Mr Murphy asserted on rec.heraldry, that 'the Irish State Heraldic Museum at 2/3 Kildare Street, Dublin, 'has closed' and that it will be replaced by an exhibition on the Flight of the Earls'.  Mr Murphy continued: 'I consider the closure of the Museum to be further evidence of a detachment from heraldry and genealogy within the National Library, but hope I will be proved wrong'. Mr Murphy is wrong, and if he had taken time to 'phone the National Library he would have learned that the Flight of the Earls/ Diaspora Exhibition will remain in the Heraldic Museum for perhaps a year and will then be replaced by an exhibition that will include the permanent Heraldic Exhibition. It is interesting to note that on 8 Nov 2007 a contributor to rec.heraldry reminded Mr Murphy: 'Your opinion on issues are stated as facts. They are not.'   

 The Thirteenth Chime - Part 25(a):
Mr Murphy skates on thin ice and his words and phrases come back to haunt him.

Background. On 16 Jan 2004, Thomas Sweeney received an e-mail from a stranger (Mr Murphy) requesting him to 'present copies of his genealogical proofs, particularly those validated or uncovered' by his professional genealogist, for him to study. Thomas Sweeney replied by e-mail, 20 Jan 2004, and on 29 Jan 2004 received an e-mail from Mr Murphy claiming that he has not received a reply. Thomas Sweeney e-mailed again, 30 Jan 2004, and eleven weeks later, 22 April 2004, received another e-mail from Mr Murphy complaining that he had not received 'the courtesy of an acknowledgement' to any e-mail. Thomas Sweeney replied by registered post, 24 April 2004, and nine months later Mr Murphy let slip (in an e-mail to Thomas Sweeney, 12 Jan 2005) that he had received the earlier e-mails, Part 2 above! ('Tús maith leath na hoibre/ A good beginning is half the work.' Irish proverb.)

A copy of a Genealogical Office memo, dated Aug 1999, was enclosed with the registered letter sent to Mr Murphy, 24 April 2004. The memo confirmed that the Chief Herald of Ireland had nominated a professional genealogist, member of A.P.G.I, competent in Gaeilge, to examine Thomas Sweeney's genealogical proofs  A covering letter informed Mr Murphy that in July 2002 Thomas Sweeney commissioned the professional genealogist to examine the proofs submitted to the Genealogical Office in 1999, plus additional genealogical material. Mr Murphy was also informed that the professional genealogist's report, signed 24 Aug 2003, confirmed Thomas Sweeney's descent from Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe, 1596-1630. (Comment.  Recognition of' Chiefs of the Name, by the Chief Herald was placed in abeyance in 1999 and was abandoned in July 2003 due to legal difficulties.)  

Issue 1. On 10 June 2004, Mr Murphy e-mailed the professional genealogist seeking a full copy of her report, for him to examine. He was informed that the research undertaken re Thomas Sweeney's  pedigree had been carried through to completion 'extremely carefully'.  However, Mr Murphy may not know that other professionals were consulted and were satisfied that the report is correct.

On 9 Nov 2007 a contributor to rec.heraldry reminded Mr Murphy: 'Your opinion on issues are stated as facts. They are not.' We note that although Mr Murphy has not seen the professional genealogist's report his 'opinion' re same has escalated over time from 'suspicion' to 'probably', to 'appears', to 'belief'. Three examples follow:

1. Mr Murphy, rec.heraldry 28 Nov 2006: ' I have more than a suspicion that the professional genealogist's report on the Mac Sweeney Doe chiefship cannot be released without embarrassment in that it probably 'validates' a now abandoned version of the pedigree'.

2.  Mr Murphy, rec.heraldry 9 Nov 2007: '... one of Ireland's most prominent professional genealogists appears to have rubber-stamped an earlier and now abandoned version of the pedigree.'

3. Mr Murphy, 'Reply to Mr Sweeney', 22 Nov 2007: '... the present writer believes that it (ie, the report) attempts to validate a now abandoned version of his pedigree,...'

Mr  Murphy is wrong.  An 'abandoned version' of the pedigree was not validated.

The professional genealogist's report (compatible with Dr John O Donovan's 1835 genealogy) confirmed Thomas Sweeney's descent from Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, 10th Chief of Doe,  via his grandson 'Murrough' and great grandson 'Donough Oge'. The report, signed 24 August 2003,  was presented to a member of the legal profession in his office, 3 Sep 2003, and its contents noted.

The 1909 genealogy, recording descent from Edmond a brother of Murrough, was posted on our website c 2000 but was not amended until 2005. That delay gave rise to a monumental blunder on the part of Mr Murphy as shown at 1, 2, 3, above. He now owes the professional genealogist two 'humble apologies'.  

Comment. On 16 Jan 2005 a contributor to rec.heraldry addressed Mr Murphy as follows: 'Your central assertion seems to be that an imposter has taken an oral genealogy recorded in 1835 and has broken it apart in order to further his own spurious claim.  This makes no sense whatsoever as the easiest thing for him to do would be to attach his own line to the end of it so in general terms as well as in detail your interpretation makes no sense'. 

The following was posted on rec.heraldry by Mr Murphy, 8 Oct 2005: 

'...  all we have basically is the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan
Parish.... This Tithe record (relating to a tax payable to the Established Church of
Ireland by all denominations) lists one or a number of Edward Sweeney
landholders in the townland of Altnadague in 1833 (due to fragmentation
of landholdings we cannot be certain of the number), and it is my case
that this Edward or one of these Edwards is the earliest currently
traceable ancestor of the claimant,...'
(Dictionary definition of 'case': argument/ matter for discussion.)

Mr Murphy asserts that he 'cannot be certain of the number' of Edward Sweeneys renting land in Altnadague in 1833, therefore, it follows that he knows nothing about the Sweeneys in question, or their kindred. Nevertheless, he asserted on rec.heraldry 24 Nov 2007  that it is recorded that Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward Sweeney paid the tithe on land in the townland of Altnadague in 1833, as follows:

'There is a difficulty connecting O'Donovan's claimant Edmond with the                 
family of the current claimant, in that O'Donovan's chief was described
as a wandering tinker based in the vicinity of Sheep Haven in 1835,
whereas it is recorded that in 1833 Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward was
a settled farmer living some distance away in the townland of Altnadague.'

What Mr Murphy means is that he has difficulty connecting O Donovan's chief (Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe) with Thomas Sweeney's family. However, the professional genealogist had no such difficulty but of course she was able to obtain the facts that enabled her to prove the connection (shades of the O Long report above).  

Furthermore, it is not recorded that the Edward Sweeney who paid the tithe in 1833 was Thomas Sweeney's ancestor.  Mr Murphy is wrong, again. The Edward who paid the tithe in 1833 died unmarried 1841/51 and he was a brother of Thomas Sweeney's great grandfather, James.  

Edward and James were sons of O Donovan's 1835 chief, Edmond/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney Doe, and that was proven to the satisfaction of the professional genealogist. (Comment. Really, we are getting a bit fed-up correcting Mr Murphy's 'research', nevertheless, a record of his errors may prove useful.) Click to see some interesting examples of speculative phrases used by Mr Murphy re same.

Mr Murphy was commissioned c 1988 to report on an intestacy case and has placed on line an account of his work re same. We understand that sometimes the genealogical data furnished in respect of intestacy cases is adequate and at other times, as Mr Murphy knows, inadequate and difficult to interpret. However, if the Edward Sweeney who paid the tithe in Altnadague in 1833 died intestate Thomas Sweeney would be recorded as a descendant (erroneously) by Mr Murphy. 

'The Tithe Applotment Books were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland (the main   Protestant church, and the church established by the State until its dis-establishment in 1871). There is a manuscript book for almost every parish, giving the names of occupiers, the amount of land held and the sums to be paid in tithes.'                       
Mr Murphy asserted (rec.heraldry 8 0ct 2005 11.38am) that he 'cannot be certain of the number' of Edward Sweeneys involved! Therefore, he does not know who they were or the names of their kindred.  
TITHE APPLOTMENT BOOK FOR THE PARISH OF GARTAN, 1833  

Surnames of Landholders; First Names;
No of Views; Notes; Townland. 

         Sweeny Daniel 1 3/4 White Hill
         Sweeny Edward 6 Attinadague
         Sweeny Edward 1 Meensnee Hill
         Sweeny Edward 3 1/2 Sruhangarrow
         Sweeny Edward 3 1/2 Stramore
         Sweeny Edward  5 Stramore
         Sweeny Hugh      3 Attinadague  

 
Mr Murphy venerates (to the point of placing on line) the code of conduct of the US Board for Certification of Genealogists, e.g., 'I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven'. Therefore, Mr Murphy should place on line the proofs he discovered that made it possible for him to assert on rec.heraldry (as recently as 24 Nov 2007) that 'it is recorded' that the Edward Sweeney who paid the tithe in Altnadague in 1833 was Thomas Sweeney's ancestor. (Dictionary definition of ancestor: 'a person in former times from whom one is descended'.)  We (and others) look forward to seeing the proofs. 
 Opinion Masquerading as Fact?
 (Day 1, 08 Dec 2007 and counting.)
Day 2, Evasion and obfuscation appear on Mr Murphy's website but no proofs, because he has none and there are none.
Day 3. ---------------------------
Day 4. ----------------------
Day 5. More muddled thinking from Mr M, however, he is making an effort to understand and that should be encouraged. Therefore, when he admits that he has erred re his 1833 Tithe Applotments 'record' nonsense (rec.heraldry 24-11-07 and 11-06-05 and 12-06-2005) it might be possible to make progress despite his vendetta against the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland and the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland, with Thomas Sweeney as the meat in the sandwich.
Day 6. ----------------
Day 7. -----------
Day 8. -----
Day 9. ---
Day 14 and Mr Murphy has not placed his proofs on line, because there are no proofs.. Contributors and visitors to  rec.heraldry received erroneous information re the 1833 Tithe Applotments, 24-11-07 and 11-06-05 and 12-06-07, 08-10-2005. and should receive a 'humble apology' from Mr Murphy as promised.
Day 15. ---
Day 16. --- 
Day 17. Mr Murphy posted erroneous information on rec.heraldry,11 June 2005, 12 June 2005, 8 Oct 2005 and 24 Nov 2007, re data recorded in the 1833 Tithe Applotments for Gartan Parish and, consequently, the identity of Thomas Sweeney's great, great-grandfather. Given that Mr Murphy claims that the information he posted on rec.heraldry 'is recorded' it is surprising that he cannot produce the record concerned. Faced with that embarrassing state of affairs Mr Murphy requested, 22 Dec 2007, that we provide him with a copy of the genealogical report compiled by our professional genealogist, to whom he owes two 'humble apologies'. However, 'charity begins at home' and Mr Murphy should re-examine the 'documents' available to him, eg, the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments/ 1851 census data and, with perseverance, he might arrive at the correct conclusion this time. 
Day 18. ---
Day 31. 

Part 25 (b): Do as I say, not as I do (16th century English proverb).
Mr Murphy, a self-proclaimed 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none', has alleged (erroneously) that Thomas Sweeney's great, great grandfather (Edward Sweeney/ Eamonn Rua Mac Sweeney, Chief of Doe) paid the tithe in Altnadague, Parish of Gartan, Co Donegal, 1833. However, Mr Murphy cannot produce a single authentic document to support his creative interpretation of the 1833 Gartan Tithe  Applotment record. Consequently, his utterances have returned to haunt him, eg:

(a) 'I keep coming back to documents, critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity.  And recall again that the Tithe record of 1833 (for Gartan Parish) lists the claimant's ancestor as a settled tenant, whereas O Donovan's 1835 chief was a travelling tinker'. (Mr Murphy: rec.heraldry 12-06-2005,11.37 pm); 

(b) '... it is recorded that in 1833 Thomas Sweeney's ancestor Edward Sweeney was a settled farmer living some distance away in Altnadague'. (Mr Murphy: rec.heraldry 24-11-2007,10.55pm);  

(c) 'Documents provide the controls ... . No documents no conclusive proof'. (Mr Murphy: rec.heraldry 11-06-2005,10.54 pm).

'No documents, no conclusive proof'! Accordingly, Mr Murphy should practise what he preaches and present for examination the authentic document that endorses his imaginative interpretation of the Tithe record at (a) and (b) above.  Alternatively, he should 'apologize humbly' for his blunder and acknowledge that it is inappropriate to quote key elements from the US Board for Certification of Genealogists' Genealogical Proof Standard (i.e., 'a reasonably exhaustive search; complete and accurate source citations; analysis and correlation of the collected information; resolution of any conflicting evidence; and a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion') and, thereby, give a wrong impression that they have been diligently applied in this instance. A case of 'Do as I say, not as I do'

Authentic hot air and tall talk? We call on Mr Murphy, again, to produce the document ('critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' by him, and cited by him at (a) above) that confirms that the Edward Sweeney, who paid the Tithe in Altnadague, Parish of Gartan, 1833, was Thomas Sweeney's great, great grandfather. Otherwise, Mr Murphy must admit that he has blundered. The English social reformer Samual Smiles,1812 -1904, noted : '... he who never made a mistake never made a discovery'. Therefore,  Mr Murphy should not be bashful about acknowledging his error, after all, it's not the only one he has made, eg, 'Tripping Up'  and 'Part 1, Part 2, etc.  

NEW.  'CRITICALLY AND INDEED SCIENTIFICALLY EXAMINED FOR AUTHENTICITY ? 

Mr Murphy was back on line (11 March 2008) but FAILED TO PRODUCE A SHRED OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE to support his 'view' (and 'views' are not facts) that Thomas Sweeney's great, great grandfather, Edward Sweeney/ Eamon Rua Mac Sweeney Doe paid the Tithe in Altnadague, Gartan Parish,1833.   

Take #1. Mr Murphy asserted (rec.heraldry 6 June 2005)  that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotment Book ...'And recall again that the Tithe record of 1833 (for Gartan Parish) lists the claimant's ancestor as a settled tenant.'
COMMENT. The name 'Edward Sweeney' is listed on the 1833 Gartan Tithe record and, without thinking it through, Mr Murphy jumped in feet-first and wrongly assumed (rec.heraldry 6 June 2005) that the person listed was Thomas Sweeney's great, great grandfather.  However, Mr Murphy eventually discovered (to his dismay) that more than one Edward Sweeney was listed on the Gartan Tithe record; that he could not differentiate between the Edward Sweeneys listed; that he could not discover who they were or name their kindred.  Consequently, Mr Murphy felt obliged to discard his supposedly 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' Take #1 Gartan Tithe interpretation of 6 June 2005, and cobble together an ineffective Take #2 substitute version, dated 6 Sept 2005, repeated on rec.heraldry 8 Oct 2005 (12.38) and again 4 Nov 2007 (23.55).  How very embarrassing!

Take #2. Mr Murphy's assertion (rec.heraldry 6 June 2005) that he 'critically and indeed scientifically examined for authenticity' his Take #1 version was ill-founded and for that reason he discarded it and replaced it with an ill-defined, glaringly incompatible, Take #2  version, dated 6 Sept 2005. 
Mr Murphy's Take #2  version of 6 Sept 2005, asserts: 'This record (the 1833 Tithe Applotment Book for Gartan Parish) lists one or possibly a number of Edward Sweeney landholders in 'Attinadague' (also Altnadague) and it is one of these apparently settled individuals rather than the wandering Sheep Haven claimant who is more likely to be Thomas Sweeney's ancestor.' Good gracious! Mr Murphy's should provide better quality information, 'Issue 2' has not gone away, you know. 

Tripping Up! 
A person intent on damaging reputations should  check the validity of his allegations. 
1. Six months have elapsed (since 08-12-07) and Mr Murphy cannot produce the 1833 Tithe Applotment record on which his Mac Sweeney Doe 'case' depends, therefore, he should correct his error promptly (as promised bottom of his home page) and also as promised (rec.heraldry 7 June 2007) 'apologize humbly' to those he misled. We find it extraordinary that Mr Murphy (who asserts that he is a 'scholar', 'specialist' and 'chiefly pedigree expert second to none') should trip up on a plain, straightforward, simple, 1st year syllabus topic like the Tithe Applotments. 
 
2. Mr Murphy also tripped up (rec.heraldry 7 June 2007) when he asserted: 'The plain fact is that my report on the Mac Sweeney Doe chiefship is the only competent one in the public domain, and I stand over its conclusion...'. Comment. The plain fact is that Mr Murphy's conclusion arises from his interpretation of the facts as he would like them to be, rather than the way they have been recorded on the 1833 Tithe Applotment record for Gartan Parish. Accordingly, he published an erroneous interpretation of the facts (rec.heraldry 11 June 2005, 12 June 2005, 8 Oct 2005, 24 Nov 2007) and has ended up with egg all over his face, again.  
 
3. Mr Murphy tripped up also (rec.heraldry 7 June 2005) when he alleged that the professional genealogist commissioned by Thomas Sweeney in 2002 to examine his pedigree '... may be an able generalist but has no track record in researching claims to chiefship'.  The professional genealogist in question, a recognized chiefly pedigree expert, was commissioned by Chief Herald Brendan O Donoghue to report on the Maguire claim to chiefship and submitted her Maguire report to the Office of Chief Herald of Ireland in 2001. Mr Murphy accepts that he has erred (rec.heraldry 16 Nov 2007) but refuses to apologise.  Mr Murphy has blundered and should  (as promised) 'apologise humbly' to the lady in question - a Member of the Board of the National Library of Ireland and Member of its Committee on Genealogy and Heraldry, and Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland.  Of course Mr Murphy is not a member of any of the bodies mentioned. 

4. Mr Murphy tripped up again when he accused the same professional genealogist of validating an 'abandoned version' of the Mac Sweeney Doe pedigree, 22 Nov 2007. The professional genealogist's report (compatible with Dr John O Donovan's 1835 genealogy) confirmed Thomas Sweeney's descent from Maol Mhuire/ Sir Myles Mac Sweeney, 10th Chief of Doe, via his grandson 'Murrough' and great grandson 'Donough Oge'. The report, signed 24 Aug 2003, was presented to a member of the legal profession in his office, 3 Sep 2003, and its contents noted.Mr   Murphy has blundered and should 'apologize humbly', as promised.

5. Mr Murphy also tripped up (Part 24) when he became presumptuous and 'contradicted' (after 170 years) Royal Irish Academy Member and Cunningham Gold Medal Winner, Dr John O Donovan, Professor of Celtic at Queen's College Belfast and corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Berlin. Dr O Donovan validated the Mac Sweeney Doe pedigreein 1835 and recorded it in a footnote to page 2341 (year 1603) of his translation of AFM/ The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Dublin 1856; 1990).  Mr Murphy is not nearly in the same league .

6. Mr Murphy tripped up again, 8 Nov 2007, when he informed visitors to rec.heraldry that he favours thereassignment of staff in the Genealogical Office/ Office of Chief Herald 'to duties in the National Library,  following training of replacement staff '- by none other than Mr Murphy himself.  
Comment.  We were unaware that Mr Murphy holds professional qualifications in Medieval Irish and Modern Irish and Latin or that he ever designed an acceptable Coat of Arms! 

7....
 Mr Murphy posted the following thought-provoking observation on rec.heraldry, 2 Nov 2004, re Irish Feudal Titles:
'It is a reflection not of my ability, but of the rock bottom standards applying in Irish heraldry and genealogy, that I cannot think of a single other professional with the capacity to check the validity of the information contained in such documents.'
Comment.  It is regrettable that Mr Murphy did not use his unique talent to check the validity of the information he mistakenly believed to be embodied in the 1833 Tithe Applotment record for Gartan Parish - on which his semi-researched Mac Sweeney Doe 'case' depends. Had he checked, he could have published factual information on rec.heraldry, 11 June 2005 and 24 Nov 2007, instead of worthless wishful thinking.
As noted previously, a person intent on damaging reputations should check the validity of his allegations and particularly so if he claims that he is 'a scholar,  'a specialist', and 'a chiefly pedigree expert second to none'. Despite his embarrassing faux pas, Private Citizen Murphy continues to demand 'a full copy' of our consultant genealogist's report so that he can examine it!  Charity begins at home and Mr Murphy (who could not get past the 1833 Gartan Tithe Applotments - a beginner's topic - without egg all over his face) should examine his own work.  

8. It is also interesting to note that Mr Murphy got caught out twice playing 'control games', eg, in Part 3 and in Part 2 - where we show that he denied receiving e-mails and then let slip that he had.

'Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean.'
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832, Poet, Novelist, Playwright and Natural Philosopher. 

Issue 2. Thomas Sweeney informed Mr Murphy (registered letter 24 April 2004) that he had been reliably informed that he had discharged his legal obligations in full by commissioning a professional genealogist to examine his pedigree and verify his lineage and that any court in the land will uphold his honesty and integrity in this matter, e.g., should he be slandered or libeled.  

On rec.heraldry, 9 Nov 2007 (12.14am) Mr Murphy referred to Thomas Sweeney 'as a bogus claimant furious at being exposed'.

On rec.heraldry, 9 Nov 2007 (11.22am) Mr Murphy referred to '... bogus claimant 'Mac Sweeney Doe...''

On  rec.heraldry,11 Nov 2007 (10.19am) Mr Murphy referred to 'the lengths to which a bogus claimant will resort in the face of exposure' and added erroneously (NB. Mr Murphy's 1833 Tithe Applotment faux pas)) that his report ..... 'clearly demonstrates that Mr Sweeney's pedigree ..... can only be traced back to the early nineteenth century'.
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'Like the thirteenth chime from a crazy clock which not only in itself fails to command belief but also casts a certain doubt upon the accuracy of the previous twelve strokes.'
Sir A P Herbert, Novelist, Poet, Playwright and Politician, 1870- 1974.

Top       Commenced March 2005      Amended 20 December 2009     End.