Cornelius O'Ffogarty was born 14th May 1661, and died during 1730. He inherited Castle Ffogarty, near Thurles, from his father Thady who died in 1697 or 1698. The harp is known to have been his - indeed it used to carry a golden plaque with an Irish inscription stating that - but there is no evidence as to whether it was made for him or whether he obtained it secondhand.
After Cornelius's death the harp was kept at the castle by his descendents the O'Ffogartys and later the Ryan family. The castle was burned down in the Irish Civil War in 1922, leaving only a shell, but luckily the harp was temporarily elsewhere and so was saved from destruction. According to family traditions it was taken to various places including the Channel Islands where it stayed during the Second World War occupation.
It was subsequently kept by the family at another residence, until in the mid 1980s Michael Ryan loaned the harp to Tipperary Library, where it is kept today.