Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Bit about the Irish

I'm anxious for some news about the O'Hara's, the O'Malley's, the Mahoneys and the Sullivans.

The Northern Clans’ Battle of Knockavoe and Knochdow
July 4th, 2008 | by theoracle |
Most of the fighting, however, that took place in the north was not against the foreign element. O’Neills and O’Donnells fought amongst themselves, against each other, and against their neighbours. Wars of succession frequently rent both great families, eventually resulting in the family of Eoghan retaining the headship of the Cineal Eoghain in Conn Mdr and his son, Conn Bacach, and in Aodh Ruadh O’Donnell, and his son, Aodh Dubh O’Donnel, being successively chiefs of the Cineal Chonaill. Both families still maintained their claims to supremacy over all the north.

Those of the O’Neills were opposed in Ulaidh not only by Mac Guinness, but by the O’Neills of the Clann Aodha Buidhe, who fought their kinsmen as fiercely as ever did any of the clans of Ulaidh.

The O’Donnells were at the same time engaged in asserting their traditional rights in Cairbre and ” Lower Connacht”140) against O’Connor Sligo.

In one of the battles in this contest they lost for a time the famous ” Cathach “ : in the capture of Sliao Castle they employed cannon sent to them by a French knight who had visited St. Patrick’s Purgatory in Lough Derg (1516).
But the fiercest rivalry was that between the O’Donnells and the O’Neills themselves. However anxious either might be to enforce its supremacy over its other neighbours, it had always to reckon with its great rival.

The old struggle between the two branches of the northern Ui Neill became intensified as each one tried to make itself supreme in the north. Occasionally during this period the enmity was put aside, and the two great clans combined. But the union was never lasting. In 1514 a peace was made by which the O’Neills formally recognised the supremacy of the Cineal Chonaill over Inishowen and Fermanagh.

But two years after they were again at war. Conn ” Bacach” O’Neill had gathered a host of allies—the chiefs of Oirghialla and Ulaidh, and clans from Connacht and Thomond—while Aodh Dubh O’Donnell depended upon his kins¬men of the Cineal Chonaill alone. At Knockavoe, near Stabane, O’Neill and his allies were utterly defeated in the bloodiest battle that had ever taken place between the Cineal Chonaill and the Cineal Eoghain (1522). O’Neill’s Connacht allies, who had laid siege to Sligo Castle, then in the possession of O’Donnell, fled in panic when they heard the news.

For at least ten years after this O’Donnell exacted tribute from the chiefs of all North or “Lower ” Connacht.

In the south the most important event of the period was the attempt of Tadhg O’Brien to revive the claims of his family over Leath Mhogha {page 73). With the largest army led by an O’Brien since Clontarf he crossed the Shannon, and levied tribute from Limerick. The Lord Deputy, the Earl of Desmond, was forced to acknowledge his rights over most of the old territory of Thomond which lay south of the Shannon. The chief of Osraidhe and some of the Leinster chiefs accepted his ” tuarasdail.”

But his career was suddenly ended by fever (1466).
Battle of Knoekdow.—Forty years later another O’Brien found him-selfin opposition to another Lord Deputy. The affair originated in Connacht, which, since the partition of the O’Connors (page 178), was without an overlord. In a quarrel between O’Kelly of Ui Maine ^d Burke of Uanrickarde (Mac William Uachtar), O’Kelly was supported by the lords of the Pale- Turlough O’Brien, ldnh:the; Chiefs supported Burke, so that the contest was to a great extent the old one between Leath Chuinn and Leath Mhogha.
In a battle at Knochdow (near Gal way)—the most destructive battle since the invasion with the exception of that at Athenry—the southerns were utterly defeated after an obstinate fight (1504).
Six years later, however, O’Brien and Clanrickarde defeated Kildare at Monabraher, near Limerick, the Deputy’s allies on that occasion being the Irish and Normans of Desmond.

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