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This is one of the Gaelic names which was less affected than most by the widespread dropping of the prefix O during the centuries of Gaelic depression and submergence, for the form O'Hagan is much commoner than plain Hagan. In Irish it is O hAodhagain, descendant of Aodhagan (diminutive of Aodh or Hugh). There are many variants of the name in English such as Hegan, Aiken etc. In this connexion I may mention a curiously inelegant synonym recorded by the Registrar-General as being used by an O'Hagan family, viz. Hogg! The O'Hagans are essentially Ulster people - but Catholic and Gaelic Ulster. The sept was located in Co. Tyrone with the seat of its chief at Tullahogue, where he exercised the hereditary right of inaugurating O'Neill as King or overlord of Ulster. O'Hagans were also connected with other parts of Ulster; as territorial magnates in mediaeval times with Monaghan and Armagh; and after the general dispossession of the old Irish families in Ulster as rapparees - to Antrim O'Hagans were hanged as such at Carrickfergus in 1722. Two places in Ulster are called Ballyagan, one in Co. Derry, the other in Co. Antrim.
Of individual members of the sept perhaps the best remembered it Turlough O'Hagan, Chief of the Name, who journeyed to Co. Wicklow to bring back Hugh O'Donnell and the two O'Neills to Ulster after the latter's dramatic escape from prison in Dublin Castle in 1590. Three O'Hagans from Co. Tyrone and two from Co. Derry were with O'Neill at the battle of Kinsale and several of these were attained in 1612. Ivor O'Hagan, the tutor of St. Malachy (c. 1100) belonged to the Armagh O'Hagans. In the last century three people of the name were outstanding in Ireland. John O'Hagan (1822-18901) patriotic poet and judge; Thomas O'Hagan (1812-1885) the first Catholic Lord Chancellor of Ireland since the time of James II; and Mary O'Hagan (1823-1876), foundress and abbess of the Convent of Poor Clares. All these were Ulster born.
While it is not incorrect to give O hAodhhagain as an Irish form of O'Hagan, Mr. T. O Raifeartaigh tells me that the usual form in Ulster is now O hAgain in Irish, which was originally O hOgain.