This is a story about a surname given to my family by an Abbess; it is also about a line of kings battling for recognition and a place in history. Fortunately, today’s Herald chose the name to give authority, to seek ‘Grant of Arms’. ‘Ciar,’ ancestor of the people named ‘Ciariaidhe, taken from both Con and Ciar, is today a colour - in this instance crosses of black, to remember the deaths of family members, boldly painted on my shield.
As we travel through the story we are made aware this is life in medieval Ireland, a land of brutality and violence. The Kings O’Ciardha of Meath, closely related to Niall, are relied upon to give security, and if possible, land and cattle, to the High King. As time passes the clan becomes closely allied to County Kerry (Ciarrai) and Clare. The demi-panther refers to a kindly soul making its way in life.