Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Flight of the Earls (Author: Tadhg Ó Cianáin)

section 2

They went in on board ship about midday on Friday. Then they hoisted their sails. They moved close to the harbourside. They sent two boats' crews to get water and to search for firewood. The son of Mac Suibhne of Fanaid, and a party of the people of the district came upon them in pursuit. They fought with one another. With difficulty the party from the boats brought water and firewood with them. About the middle of the same night they hoisted their sails a second time. They went out a great distance in the sea. The night was bright, quiet, and calm, with a breeze from the southwest. Then they proposed putting into Ara through need of getting food and drink. An exceeding great storm and very bad weather arose against them, together with fog and rain, so that they were driven from proximity to land. They traversed the sea far and wide. That storm and unsettled weather lasted till the middle of the following night. Afterwards, leaving Tir Conaill on the left, they direct their course past the harbour of Sligeach, straight ahead until they were opposite Cruach Padraig in Connacht. Then they feared that the King's fleet, which was in the harbour of Gaillibh, would meet with them. They proceeded out into


the sea to make for Spain straight forward if they could. After that they were on the sea for thirteen days with excessive storm and dangerous bad weather. A cross of gold which Ó Néill had, and which contained a portion of the Cross of the Crucifixion and many other relics, being put by them in the sea trailing after the ship, gave them great relief. At the end of that time, much to their surprise, they met in the middle of the sea two small hawks, merlins, which alighted on the ship. The hawks were caught and were fed afterwards.