Background: The origin of the arms of this historic family is of remarkable interest and of great antiquity. Connell son of Niall "of the Nine Hostages" (High King of Ireland 375-402) is recorded in two of the lives of St. Patrick to have been converted to Christianity by that saint, who, to reward him for his singular zeal, marked on his shield the sign of the cross, directing him and his descendants ever afterwards to bear as the emblem of victory. There is no doubt that this sign or symbol was borne by his descendants, the Lords of Tirconnell, long before any formal system of heraldry existed. Hugh O'Donnell, Chief of Tirconnell and thirty third in line from Connell made his submission to the English Government in 1567 and was knighted by Sir Henry Sidney, the Lord Deputy. At that time his arms were recorded thus:
Variations: O'Donnell, Donnell, O'Domhnaill, Domhnaill
More Info: http://heraldry.celticradio.net/search.php?id=51
Discussion of this family is welcomed.