The Shield is: Or on a bend Gules three Swallows Proper
And: Quartered argent and sable, a bend azure with three mullets of the first.
Translation: Argent (white) denotes Peace and Sincerity. Azure (blue) is associated with the Church. It represents Loyalty and Truth.
The Crest is: A half griffin(dragon).
And: A mullet argent.
Translation: The mullet (star) is the symbol of Honour and Achievement in the service of the state in ancient times.
The Motto is: "Fortis dominabitur astris", 'Strength dominates the stars'.
Variant spellings for Callinan are: Callenen, Cullenen, Callanan, Callinane, Calnan, O'Callinan, O'Callanain, O'Cullenans, MacCallenans, and O'Callanans.
The name Callinan in Ireland is derived from the native Gaelic Sept O'Callanain who where physicians to the MacCarthys. The main Septs were located in the Counties of Cork, Kerry and Galway and it is here that the majority of descendants can still be found.
We learn from Keatings History that the "O'Cullenans, or Mac Callenans were hereditary physicians, and many of them very learned men in Ormond." This work further states that "The O'Callanans and O'Canavans" were mentioned by O'Flaherty as hereditary physicians in Galway.
Indeed this family had developed a tradition in the medical arts serving under the ruling MacCarthy family in Carber, Co. Cork with distinction.
Several are found in King James II army, including at least one physician. The name is found centered in Clare in both 1659 and 1890 as Callinan and Callinane respectively. Callanan is found in Galway and Cork.
The family was said to have originated in Galway, and they were anciently co-arbs of Kilcahill. This is one name where the "O" prefix had been largely dropped by the last century, and it has remained so to this day.
O'Hart gives the O'Callanans of Desmond as of separate origins from the O'Callanans of Connaught. The principal members of the family and locations for each are given there, along with poetry by an O'Callanan, that was published in Cork in 1861. There-in it was said that their ruined castles stood "in mournful silence, to the east of Clonakilty". Their lands being held then by people "alien in language and race".
In 1659 Callinane was a principal name of Clare, and in 1890 the spelling of Callanan was most prominent there. Galway and Cork were also primary locations for the name at the later date. "Callinan" was a spelling of the name centered in Clare at that time.
Arms for the name are found on plate 260 in the Irish Book or Arms.
Sources: Family Heritage Shop
The Book of Irish Families Great & Small
Michael C. O'Laughin
1997 Irish Genealogical Foundation