MacCarthy (Irish: Mac Cárthaigh), also spelled Macarthy, McCarthy or McCarty, is a Gaelic Irish clan originating from Munster, an area they ruled during the Middle Ages. It was and continues to be divided into several great branches. The MacCarthy Reagh, MacCarthy of Muskerry, and MacCarthy of Duhallow dynasties were the three most important of these, after the central or MacCarthy Mór line.
Their name, meaning "son of Cárthach" (whose name meant "loving"), is a common surname that originated in Ireland. As a surname, its prevalent spelling in the English language is McCarthy. Several variants are found, such as McCarty (most common in North America) as well as Carthy and Carty (though these latter are also the Anglicization of an unrelated name, Ó Cárthaigh). 60% of people with the surname in Ireland still live in County Cork where the family was very powerful in the Middle Ages.
||Bean Mhic Cárthaigh
The origin of the name begins with Carthach, an Eóganacht Chaisil king, who died in 1045 in a house fire deliberately started by one of the Lonergans (who were members of the Eóganacht's arch-enemies, the Dál gCais). Carthach was a contemporary and bitter rival of High-King Brian Boru, and what would become known as the McCarthy Clan was pushed out of its traditional homelands in the Golden Vale of Tipperary by the expansion of the O'Brien sept in the middle of the twelfth century.
Carthach's son was known as Muireadhach mac Carthaigh (meaning "Muireadhach, son of Carthach"). Such ephemeral patronymics were common at the time. However, when Muireadhach died in 1092 his sons Tadhg and Cormac adopted Mac Carthaigh as an actual surname. Following the treaty of Glanmire in 1118, dividing the kingdom of Munster into Desmond and Thomond, this Tadhg became the first king of Desmond, comprising parts of the modern counties of Cork and Kerry. For almost five centuries they dominated much of Munster, with four major branches: those led by the MacCarthy Mór (Great MacCarthy), nominal head of all the MacCarthys, who ruled over much of south Kerry, the Duhallow MacCarthys, who controlled northwest Cork; MacCarthy Reagh or Riabhach ('grey') based in the Barony of Carbery in southwest Cork; and MacCarthy Muskerry, on the Cork / Kerry border.
Each of these families continued resistance to Norman and English encroachment up to the seventeenth century when, like virtually all the Gaelic aristocracy, they lost almost everything. An exception was Macroom Castle, which passed to the White family of Bantry House, descendants of Cormac Láidir Mac Cárthaigh. This was burnt in 1922 and is part of the local golf club today. 
The Muskerry McCarthy's historical seat is Blarney Castle in County Cork. Legend has it that the Blarney Stone was given as a gift to Cormac MacCarthy, King of Desmond, from king Robert the Bruce of Scotland, who presented the 'magical' stone in gratitude for his assistance in the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The third castle built on the site (the castle which stands to this day) was built by another McCarthy descendant, Dermot McCarthy, in 1446. Dermot was known for his eloquence, hence the Blarney Stone's reputation for imparting the gift of the gab upon those who kiss it.
The number of references to the MacCarthys in the Annals, especially the "Annals of Innisfallen", is very great. Carthach was the son of Saoirbhreathach, a Gaelic name which is anglicised as Justin, and in the latter form has been in continuous use among many branches of the McCarthys for centuries. Another male forename similarly associated with them is Finghin, anglice Fineen, but for some centuries past, the name Florence (colloquially Flurry) has been used as its English form. From the thirteenth century, when Fineen MacCarthy decisively defeated the Geraldines in 1261, down to the present day, Fineen or Florence MacCarthys and Justin MacCarthys have been very prominent among the many distinguished men of the name in Irish military, political and cultural history.
Until the dissolution of the kingdom in 1596, the crown was vested in the hereditary possession of the Mac Carthy (by the law of tanistry).
Eleven septs of the illustrious McCarthy family in Kerry are given in Kings History of Co. Kerry
- (1) Sliocht Owen More of Coshmaing
- (2) Sliocht Cormaic of Dunguile
- (3) Sliocht Fineen Duff of Ardeanaght
- (4) Sliocht Clan Donell Finn
- (5) Sliocht nInghean Riddery
- (6) Sliocht Donell Brick
- (7) Sliocht Nedeen
- (8) Sliocht Clan Teige Kittagh
- (9) Sliocht Clan Dermod
- (10) Sliocht Clan Donell Roe
- (11) Sliocht MacFineen
The MacCarthys are closely related to a number of other Munster families. These include the O'Sullivans, O'Callaghans, O'Keeffes, O'Donoghues, and O'Donovans. An early sept of the MacCarthys themselves are the MacAuliffes.
Rulers of the Kingdom of Desmond, the MacCarthys stood among the greatest Irish dynasties of the last millennium.
- Florence MacCarthy, Irish prince, 1563–1640
- Cormac MacCarthy, Lord of Muskerry, Irish noble, d. 1536
- Sir Cormac MacCarthy, great-grandson of Cormac MacCarthy, Lord of Muskerry, d. 1616
- Cormac MacCarthy, Viscount Muskerry and Baron of Blarney, son of Sir Cormac MacCarthy, d. 1640
- Donagh MacCarthy, Viscount Muskerry and Earl of Clancarty, son of Sir Cormac MacCarthy, d. 1665
- Charles MacCarthy, soldier in French and later English service, d. 1665
- Justin MacCarthy, Viscount Mountcashel, younger son of Donough MacCarthy, Viscount Muskerry, d. 1694
- Donough MacCarthy, 4th Earl of Clancarty, grandson of Donough MacCarthy, Viscount Muskerry, 1670–1734
- Nicholas Tuite MacCarthy, renowned Jesuit Preacher, 1769–1833
- Charles MacCarthy, Irish-born soldier who served in the French, Dutch and British armies, 1764–1824
- Robert MacCarty, Viscount Muskerry, Irish Royal Navy officer and colonial administrator, 1685–1769
- Liam Trant MacCarthy, modern representative of the dynasty, 1957–
Kings of Desmond 1118–1596
- Tadhg, eldest son of Muiredach, 1118–1123
- Cormac Mac Carthaigh, his brother, 1123–1127 & 1127–1138
- Donogh, his brother, 1127 & 1138–1143
- Dermod, his nephiew, 1143–1185
- Donal, his son, 1185–1206
- Fingen, his brother, 1206–1207
- Dermod, son of Donal, 1207–1229
- Cormac, his younger brother, 1229–1247
- Donal Gott MacCarthy, 1247–1252
- Fínghin of the Battle of Callann, 1252–1261
- Cormac, younger brother, 1261–1262
- Donal, eldest surviving son of Cormac, 1262–1302
- Donal, eldest son of Donal, 1302–1306
- Donogh, brother of Donal, 1306–1310
- Dermod, son of Donal, 1310–1326
- Cormac, brother of Dermod, 1326–1359
- Donal, son of Cormac, 1359–1390
- Tadhg, son of Donal, 1390–1428
- Donal, eldest son of Tadhg, 1428–1469
- Tadhg, brother of Donal, 1469–1503
- Donal, son of Tadhg, 1503–1508
- Cormac, brother of Donal, 1508–1516 & Tadhg IV, son of Donall, 1508–1514
- Donal, son of Cormac, 1516-ante 1558
- Donal, ante 1558–1596
- Andrew McCarthy (born 1962), actor
- Andrew C. McCarthy, attorney and columnist
- Arch McCarthy, former Major League Baseball player
- Benni McCarthy, South African footballer
- Brandon McCarthy, U.S. baseball pitcher
- Carolyn McCarthy (born 1944), U.S. congresswoman
- Claire McCarthy (born 1976), marathon runner
- Clem McCarthy (1882–1962), American sports announcer
- Con McCarthy (rugby league), rugby league footballer of the 1910s for New Zealand, and Hawke's Bay
- Cormac McCarthy (born 1933), Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist
- Dalton McCarthy (1836–1898), Canadian lawyer and politician
- Daniel McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- David McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Dennis McCarthy (composer) (born 1945), composer of film scores
- Dominic McCarthy (1892–1975), Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Douglas McCarthy, singer in Nitzer Ebb
- E. Jerome McCarthy, marketing scholar and inventor of 4Ps of marketing
- Earl McCarthy (born 1969), Irish freestyle swimmer
- Ellis McCarthy (born 1994), American football player
- Eugene McCarthy (1916-2005), U.S. congressman and senator
- Fabian "Fabe" McCarthy (born 1919), Australian rugby union player
- Garry McCarthy (born 1959), American police administrator in Newark and Chicago
- Glenn McCarthy (1907–1988), American oil tycoon and businessman
- Harry McCarthy, variety entertainer, wrote "The Bonnie Blue Flag" in 1861
- J. Thomas McCarthy (born 1937), American educator, author and attorney
- James McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Jenny McCarthy (born 1972), American anti-vaccine activist and former Playboy model and actress
- Joe McCarthy (manager) (1887–1978), Hall of Fame baseball manager
- John McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- John McCarthy (composer) (born 1961), composer of film scores
- Joseph McCarthy (1908–1957), U.S. senator
- Joseph McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Justin McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Katie McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Kevin McCarthy (actor) (1914–2010), American film actor
- Kevin McCarthy (California politician), U.S. congressman (2007–present)
- Margaret McCarthy, Irish-American migrant
- Mary McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Melissa McCarthy, actress
- Michael McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Mick McCarthy (born 1959), football player and manager (former manager of Republic of Ireland)
- Mike McCarthy (American football) (born 1963), NFL coach
- Nicholas McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Nobu McCarthy (1934–2002), actress
- Patrick McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Paul McCarthy, American contemporary artist
- Pete McCarthy (1952–2004), pen name of Peter Charles Robinson, British broadcaster and travel writer
- Peter McCarthy (industrialist) (1845 – 1919), American industrialist and philanthropist
- Rachel McCarthy, poet, critic and broadcaster
- Rory McCarthy, holder of two aviation world records, former business partner of Sir Richard Branson, founder co founder of Wagamama.
- Shaun Lloyd McCarthy (1928-2000), aka Desmond Cory, novelist, screen-play writer
- Stephen McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Steve McCarthy (boxer), British boxer
- Steve McCarthy (ice hockey), Canadian hockey player
- Thaddeus McCarthy (1455–1492), Irish bishop
- Thaddeus McCarthy (jurist) (1907–2001), New Zealand jurist
- Thomas McCarthy (disambiguation), several people
- Tim McCarthy, US Secret Service agent injured in a President Reagan assassination attempt
- Tom McCarthy (broadcaster), radio play-by-play announcer for the New York Mets on WFAN 660 in New York
- Tom McCarthy (novelist), English novelist
- Tommy McCarthy (1863–1922), Hall of Fame baseball outfielder
- William C. McCarthy (1820-1900), mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1875–1878
- Calvin McCarty (born 1984), Canadian football running back
- Daniel T. McCarty (1912–53), American politician
- Darren McCarty (born 1972), Canadian hockey player
- David McCarty (born 1969), American baseball player
- David McCarty (American football) (born 1987), American football player
- Dax McCarty (born 1987), American soccer player
- Henry "Billy the Kid" McCarty (died 1881), American outlaw
- Jim McCarty (born 1943), English pop/rock musician
- Jim McCarty (guitarist) (born 1947), American blues/rock musician
- John McCarty (fl. 1880s), American baseball player
- John McCarty (New York) (1782–1851), New York politician
- Leon McCarty (1888–1962), American college sports coach
- Luther McCarty (1892–1913), American heavyweight boxer
- Maclyn McCarty (1911–2005), American geneticist
- Mary McCarty (1931–2009), All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player
- Richard McCarty (disambiguation), several people
- Ted McCarty (1910–2001), American electric guitar maker
- Walter McCarty (born 1974), American basketball player
- William M. McCarty (ca. 1789-1863), American politician
MacCarthy Mor scandal
See Terence Francis MacCarthy and Chief of the Name.
- Burke, Bernard and Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, Burke's Irish Family Records, or Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland. London: Burke's Peerage Ltd. 5th edition, 1976.
- Byrne, Francis J., Irish Kings and High-Kings. Four Courts Press. 2nd edition, 2001.
- Cronnelly, Richard F., Irish Family History Part II: A History of the Clan Eoghan, or Eoghanachts. Dublin. 1864.
- D'Alton, John, Illustrations, Historical and Genealogical, of King James's Irish Army List, 1689 2 vols. London: J.R. Smith. 2nd edition, 1861.
- Laffan, Thomas (1911). Tipperary Families : Being The Hearth Money Records for 1665-1667. James Duffy & Co.
- O'Donovan, John (ed. and tr.), Annála Ríoghachta Éireann. Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, from the Earliest Period to the Year 1616. 7 vols. Royal Irish Academy. Dublin. 1848–51. 2nd edition, 1856.
- O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees Dublin. 5th edition, 1892.
- Ó hInnse, Séamus (ed. and tr.) and Florence MacCarthy, Mac Carthaigh's Book, or Miscellaneous Irish Annals (A.D. 1114–1437). Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 1947.
- O'Keeffe, Eugene (ed. and tr.), Eoganacht Genealogies from the Book of Munster. Cork. 1703. (available here)