Among the Imokilly Geraldines (Castlemartyr) is the legend of the Boar. A wild boar infested the country around Castlemartyr until slain by one of the FitzGeralds who split its head with a sword and later adopted the Boar to put on his coat of arms. The Boar appeared on the coat of arms of the other Geraldines lineages. After the earldom ceased to exist it continued to be worn. How the claim to the earldom of Desmond was inherited by some of the leading Jacobite and non-Jacobite families of Munster appears from the following. A daughter of the Earl of Desmond married O’Brien of Carrigaholt, Co. Clare, whose descendants were supporters of the King James against William of Orange at the Boyne (1690), and colonels of the regiment of Clare in the Irish Brigade under King Louis of France. From the marriage of O’Brien with the daughter of the Earl of Desmond descend also the eighteenth-century Knights of Kerry, who transmitted the blood of the Earl to the family of Townshend, of Castletownshend, Co. Cork, and later Dingle. Unlike the O’Briens, the Townshends were a New English family. The first of them was in the army which defeated the Irish at Cnoc na nDoss, near Kanturk, in 1647. The following is taken from Richard and Dorothea Townshend, An Officer of the Long Parliament and his Descendants,London 1892.
“The granddaughter of the Viscountess Honora O’Brien transmitted her Geraldine claims to the Earldoms of Desmond and Thomond to her descendants the Knights of Kerry, for the line of her only brother, the gallant leader of Clare’s Dragoons, died out, exiled in France. In 1674 Honora’s son, Maurice FitzGerald, Knight of Kerry, bore his FitzGerald arms supported by the dragon and boar of Desmond. He fought on the side of James the Second at the battle of theBoyne: if the fortunes of the day had favoured the Stuarts it is possible that he might have died Earl of Desmond…”
Timoth Gleeson, “Some Account of Castles etc. in the Neighbourhood of Castlemartyr”, in Journal of theCork Historical and Archaeological Society, August 1892.