'Hugo' Barnewall left a small town called Berneval in Northern France circa 1210, fighting for King John, on his invasion of neighbouring Ireland. Three years later "Hugo Barnewall was granted the lands of Tyrenure and Kimmage and Drimnagh by King John in 1215," presumably in recognition of his services to the English Crown.
700 years later another famous son of Ireland fled England and headed for France, in search of anonymity. Oscar Wilde travelled to Berneval, a broken man on his release from prison, where it took him three months to write The Ballad of Redding Jail.
The Norman invasion was centred around Dublin and surrounding counties, the English needed protectors, and the Barnewalls obliged. The King's granting of properties to them in Dublin soon expanded into Counties Kildare, Meath and Louth.
The Barnewall name may have been overlooked in Irish history books, but their story was a big part of the Story of Ireland. They were Catholic Landed Gentry, with allegiance to Crown and Country, but that allegiance included the King of England, the Royal County of Meath, the Pale of Dublin, their tenants and friends in their adopted home.
Barnewalls fought against Cromwell in Drogheda and for Catholic King Jame's losing side at the Battles of the Boyne. For their troubles their castles were razed to the ground and their families were scattered to Connaught and around the world.