The Irish surname Cowhey is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Cobhthaigh meaning “descendant of Cobhthach,” a byname meaning ‘victorious’. The name Cowhey is found throughout Ireland with the highest concentrations in counties Tipperary and Kerry. There were three main septs in Ireland making up the clan. The first sept belongs to "Corca Laoidh" or South West Cork, where local pronunciation produced the spelling forms Cowhig and Cowhey. It is claimed that the Cork sept is of the same stock as the great sea-faring clan O' Driscoll, although quite why this should be so is one of the mysteries of Irish mythology. The hamlet of Dunocowhey in County Cork is named after the clan. A second "Cobhthaigh" sept of considerable importance belongs to the county of Westmeath, in the province of Leinster. This sept were renowned as a great bardic family.
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