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Irish Nobility Titles Explained

The Emerald Isle, as is well known, has a long and intricate history dominated by Irish chieftains, Viking invaders and foreign conquerors, amongst others. As a result Irish nobility titles are incredibly varied in name, origin and distinction.

As our own Emerald Heritage landowners often take up the title of squire, squireen or squiress, we thought we’d take a look at the other titles used here within the 32 counties of Ireland! 

Irish Nobility Titles

Irish nobility titles come in various forms, as a result of different periods in the country’s history, and membership is usually hereditary (but not always) and the benefits are almost always honorary but this also varies from title to title. 

The titles are loosely grouped together, although overlaps do exist, as follows:

Gaelic Nobility

Gaelic Nobility titles are reserved for those who have qualified under the rules of tanistry (an old Gaelic system for the passing of lands and titles which was disbanded in the mid 16th century) or are the descendants in the male line of an historical Irish king.

Titles within Gaelic Nobility include Ri (King), Flaith (Prince), Tiarna (Lord) and Ard Tiarna (High Lord).

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Old English Nobility

Old English Nobility titles, also known as Hiberno-Norman titles, were taken and used by the descendants of settlers who arrived in Ireland via countries like England, Wales and Normany, France. 

Peerage of Ireland

Peerage of Ireland titles are those that have been granted and created directly by English and British monarchs during their time as Lord or King of Ireland.

These Peerage titles include Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. One of the most famous modern day title holders is Henry Mountcharles, the 8th Marquess Conyngham, who is known for hosting huge outdoor concerts at his home Slane Castle. 

Squires, Squireens and Squiress

Last, but most certainly not least, come the squires, squireens and squiress we all hold dearly to our hearts here at Emerald Heritage. 

In Ireland there are no laws that state you can call yourself Squire, Squireen (coming from the diminutive 'Scuibhéirín', 'Little Squire') or Squiress – Just as there are no laws that state you can call yourself Mr or Mrs. This isn’t a matter governed by law, but by definition. In short, ‘Squireen’ means little landowner.  It is an indisputable definition. However, the quirk is that there is actually no minimum size of land that you need to own to be a Squire/Squireen/Squiress.  So enjoy the title should you choose to use it. 

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If you’d like to own your own little piece of Ireland, and style yourself a squire of the Emerald Isle, you can do so by clicking here.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Emerald Heritage land check out our “closer guide to the Glens of Antrim” here

Thanks for reading our blog! As a thank you, you can get 10% off any Irish plot of land by using the code: BLOG10

Click here to view plots


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