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The Connollys have stamped an indelible mark on the saga of Ireland’s bitter and bloody struggle for freedom and independence, from as early as the eleventh century up to the early years of the twentieth.
One of the ancient native Irish clans, their descent is truly illustrious and their heritage proud.
The stirring and poignant tale of the Connollys is recounted here.
NAME variations include: Ó Conghalaigh (Gaelic), Ó Coinheallaigh (Gaelic), Ó Conghaile (Gaelic), O’Conolly, O’Connolly, Connally, Connelly, Connelay, Coneley, Conolly.
Connolly Clan Mini-Book Excerpt
Arguably the most famous Connolly to have excelled in the world of sport was the American tennis player Maureen Connolly – better and more fondly known as ‘Little Mo.’
Born in San Diego, California in 1934 her childhood passion was horse riding but, with her family unable to pay the cost of lessons, she turned her attention to tennis.
It proved to be an inspired choice. At the age of 14 she won no fewer than 56 straight matches, while a year later she became the youngest ever to win the U.S. National Championships for girls aged 18 and under.
In 1953 Little Mo entered the Grand Slam tournaments (the Australian, French, and U.S. Championships and Wimbledon) and won, making her the first woman to win the Grand Slam.
In all, she won the Australian Championships once, the French Championships twice, the U.S. Championships five times, and Wimbledon on three straight occasions – 1952, 1953, and 1954.
Tragedy struck in July of 1954, however, shortly after winning her last Wimbledon title, when her right leg was crushed in a road accident while horse riding.
Her distinguished playing career was over at the age of only 19 but, undaunted, she became a popular tennis correspondent for newspapers while, along with her husband Norman Brinker, she set up the Maureen Connolly
Brinker Foundation to promote junior tennis.
The tennis legend was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1969, the year of her death, and into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.