"There are thirteen Irish families with name specific tartans. Bowling, Brooke, Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick, Forde, Keirnan, Lynch, Murphy, O'Brien, O'Carroll, O'Connor, O'Farrell, and O'Keefe."
"In 1956 a piece of tartan fabric was found at Dungiven in Northern Ireland. As it did not match any known Scottish tartan it was given the name Ulster and when dated it was confirmed as 16th century, circa 1590-1650.
The Celtic races all have a shared heritage, and this is shown in the similarities of their music, dance, and culture. A large part of this shared culture is the tartan.
Clan Originaux was published in Paris in 1880 by J.Claude Fres et Cie. It contains the earliest known records of a number of Irish family tartans, including Tara, Murphy, Forde, Kennedy and Fitzpatrick.
The historical and family tartans to date do not represent a complete and coherent range of tartans. The Irish County tartans were developed to fill the void that these family tartans have left."
- Ryan & O'Carroll's Irish County Tartans [ http://www.irishtartans.com/tartans.html ]