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BANNON, Banim (O)BANNAGHAN
The name Bannon is widely scattered throughout the four provinces of Ireland, with more in Co. Tipperary and Co. Cavan. A distinct mediaeval septs of Ó Banáin was seated léim Uí Bhanáin (Leap Castle), in the barony of Clonlisk,. The southern end of Co. Offaly close to Roscrea, which is in Co. Tipperary. In 1659 Bannon is recorded as numerous in that barony and in Lower Ormond, Co. Tipperary, where Petty's census enumerators (erroneously) equated Bannon with Bane. It may be noted that Matheson records Banane as well as the obvious Bane or Bawn as synonymous with White in several parts of the country. Bane is simply the Irish word bin, white. The Hearth Money Rolls of around the same date confirm the prevalence of the name Bannon in Co. Tipperary.
The census enumerators also found many O'Banan in Co. Fermanagh. The pedigree of Muintir Bhanáin is among the Fermanagh pedigrees which occupy nearly 100 pages of Analecta.
Hibernica No. 3. Of this sept, were Maelpatrick O'Banan, Bishop of Connor from 11 52 to 1172, and Gelasius O'Banan, Abbot of Clones, who was Bishop of Clogher from 1316 to 1319.
The Book of Lecan places Ó Banáin at Baile Ui Bhanáin, (Ballybannon), in the parish of Partry, on the western side of Lough Mask. In 1585 the Composition of Connacht found an O'Bannaghan posessed an estate at Rathmullen, Co. Sligo and in 1659 O' Bennaghan appears as one of the principal names in the barony of Tirerrillll, Co. Sligo. This is possibly not a variant of Bannon but (Ó Beannacháin in mediaeval Irish manuscripts).
Banim is believed to be a corrupt form of Bannon. It is made famous by the brothers Michael Banim (1796-1865) and John Banim (1798-1842), novelists who born in Kilkenny and were presumably of the above sept
De Burgh's Landowners of Ireland (1878) includes the large and valuable estate of Bannon of Broughill Castle, near Kilcormack, Co. Offaly.