Batar trí prímcheinéla i nHére, .i. Féini 7 Ulaith 7 Gáilni .i. Laigin.
There were three primary kinships in Ireland, i.e., the Féini and Ulaidh and Gáilióin, i.e., the Laighin.
But, what does it mean? In 2011, Gerald A. John Kelly M.A. Celtic Studies IrishTribes.com prepared a 70 page document about the Hoy/Hoey family as well as dozens of emails. This information comes from of his work. The first list explains this quote.
In early Ireland and Gaelic Scotland, the normal property-owning unit and unit for dynastic succession was the Derbfhine. For a royal Derbfhine, any male member of a king's derbfhine: son, uncle, brother, nephew-might succeed him. The members of the Deirbhfhine (those who could be elected as next King/Chief) were classified as Flaith (Princes). The title and authority were not inherited by primogeniture.
It was the basic unit of society, comprising all the patrilineal descendants over a four-generation group, i.e., back to common great-grandfather. The derbfhine held typical five or four rath/tech i.e. homesteads, which formed a Baile. Twenty Baile form a Tuath or Tricha Cet, the basic small kingdom level.
The royal derbfhine of the Dál Fiatach, first took a surname soon after 1000 AD to honor their king Eochaidh who had died at the battle of Cráeb Tulcha in 1004 AD against the Northern O'Neill. They became the Desendants of Eochaidh - the Ó hEochaidh. In the 1659 'census', the English wrote it as O'Hoy which became Hoy and finally Hoey.
Some early spellings of the name often seen in the Irish Annals are these:
The first king to be recorded with this surname was Donn Slebhe Ua hEochadha who died on 1091 AD.
The grandson of Donn Slebhe Ua hEochadha took a new surname after him and became the Mac Duinnshléibhe (McDunleavy). His 5 sons mostly used the new name and became the last 5 kings of the Dál Fiatach. The last king of the Uladh was Ruaidhrí Mac Duinnshléibhe who died in 1201 AD. After this, the Sloinne Ó hEochaidh split into 3 parts.