Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Beatha Aodha Ruaidh Uí Dhomhnaill (Author: Lughaidh Ó Cléirigh)

section 7

The Sixth Year, 1597

¶71] After assembling in that way at the end of January, 1597, they marched through the province south-eastwards to the cantred of Tirerrill, from thence to Corran, through the level part of the Plain of Connacht, to Clann Conway in the territory of Maine, son of Eochaidh. When he came to the middle of Uí Maine he let his active marauders spread and extend themselves over the district of Callow and to the southern part of the country, and they returned with their herds of prey and beasts, with their loot and captured cattle, at the end of the day, to Athenry, where O Domhnaill was. O Domhnaill invited Mac William Burke (Tibbot), to him there. He came at the summons of O Domhnaill. That town was a short distance east of Ath Cliath of Maree. It was an impregnable fort, and attack on it was not easy. However, the army attacked the stronghold and they put fires and firebrands to the gates on each side, so that the gates of jointed wood of the beautiful fortress were set on fire on the outside. They took with them very large ladders and pliant grapnels ?, and threw them against the walls and ramparts of the place, so that they mounted to the strong, lofty battlements of the solid fortress on every side. Some of them jumped from the parapets, so that they were in the streets standing, after many of their brave soldiers had been wounded and slain. They threw open the gates for the army afterwards, so that they came to the middle of the town. They set to pull down the storehouses and the well secured apartments and the enclosed chambers which were in the fortress, until they took all the treasures and wealth that was in them and they destroyed the city immediately. Great would have been the slaughter by the Queen's people in taking that royal stronghold from the party who had stormed the town if the latter had been the defenders. However, it would have been hard and difficult to contend with the man who was in command or with his people, as long as


the Lord and his own good fortune were on his side. There was taken away from that town a countless quantity of every sort of treasure, of wealth, of brass and iron, of clothing and dress, and of everything needed by those who dwelt in and inhabited it, which they had plundered and collected from every side long before that.

¶72] O Domhnaill with his forces remained in the town that night. They left the place the next day, after plundering it. They sent out their marauders to plunder Clanrickard on both sides of the river. It was plundered and scoured by some of that marauding party from Lara to Magh Seancomhladh. The district from Athenry and Rathgorgin westward to Rinvyle, to Maree, and to the gate of Galway was burnt and wasted by the remainder of them. Teach Brighde was also burnt; it is opposite the same city, i.e. Galway, which is so called from the river in which Gaillimh, daughter of Breasal, was drowned. They made bivouacs and bothies, field kitchens and feeding places, they rested and slept sound that night between Oranmore and Galway at Lynch's Causeway. The next day O Domhnaill went with his army to the Monastery of Cnoc, at the gate of Galway, for the purpose of a conference with the townspeople to see if he could obtain an exchange of their foreign goods and precious jewels from them for some of the plunder which they had, for it was not easy for his people to collect and drive with them to their own lands all the flocks and herds which they had; and besides, he had not meant to return to his own country (were it not for the great booty his army had) until he came to Gort of Inis Guaire, in Cenél Aedha na hEchtgha. As he did not obtain what he wished from the people of the town, he determined to turn back, and he came through the very middle of the province of Connacht without trouble, fear, apprehension, opposition, until he came across the Sligeach, the Dubh, the Drowes, and the Saimer, northwards.

¶73] Tidings of O Conor Sligo will be told here for a while: a large force was gathered by him of English and Irish to


go to Sligo in the month of February, very soon after the beginning of spring. O Domhnaill happened to be encamped at Calry, to the east of Sligo, ready and waiting for them. He made a vigorous attack on them before they reached Sligo. They fled before him and ran off, all but a small number who remained behind at Trá Eóchaille. A large number of them were wounded and drowned. Moreover, a son of Mac William Burke, i.e. Rickard, son of William, son of Rickard, son of Oliver, was killed, and others who are not specially mentioned. O Conor returned, and his mind was not at ease because he had gone on that expedition. O Domhnaill came home, and he let his forces separate and scatter that they might get rid of their fatigue; but he left hirelings and mercenaries in the province of Connacht, in readiness for war against O Conor and the English, and Niall Garbh O Domhnaill, one of his own near relatives, in command of them. They set to invade and destroy the Irish septs, who before that had joined in alliance with the English and O Conor, until they brought back again a great number of them. First came MacDiarmada (i.e. Conor), the chief of Magh Luirg, which is near the Corrshliav of the Seaghais, to the south-east so that he bound his friendship and peace with Aodh O Domhnaill a second time and made submission to him, as was the custom of the man who held his place always. The chiefs of the peoples north of the mountain to the sea did the same, and gave their hostages and pledges to O Domhnaill for the fulfilment of all they promised.

¶74] It was at this time, i.e. in the month of April, that a ship came from Spain with a small crew to report on the Irish. It came to the territory of Conall, son of Niall, to the harbour of Killybegs specifically, in the western part of Tír Boghaine, to the east of the glen which the famous Colum blessed. They came from that to Donegal, where O Domhnaill was. They were glad to meet each other, and they were entertained honourably by O Domhnaill, and he gave them presents of hounds and horses, and they returned back and took with them an account of the country.


¶75] The doings of Mac William Burke, will now be told: he was banished from his territory by the violence of his own people and by the hatred of the English, for O Conor Sligo established an alliance and friendship between his son-in-law (the son of Mac William Burke), i.e. Tibbot na Long, son of Rickard an Iarainn, son of David, son of Edmund, son of Ulick, and the Governor, Sir Conyers Clifford; so that Mac William, Tibbot, son of Walter Ciotach, was driven and expelled from his patrimony by the nobles with their levies, so that he had to go to Cenél Conaill, son of Niall. After he had come to where O Domhnaill was to complain of his sufferings to him, he remained with him till the month of June. O Domhnaill made a hosting at the end of June to the province of Connacht, and he went over the Moy of Tirawley. The district was not able to offer any resistance, and they gave their hostages to him. He gave them to MacWilliam. O Domhnaill went back, having left the country under control and obedience to MacWilliam, and he left Rudraighe O Domhnaill (his own brother and future prince of Cenél Conaill) with him to strengthen him against his enemies, and a large body of foot soldiers and mercenaries with him. Tibbot na Long was envious of MacWilliam concerning the chieftaincy, and, besides, he was no way pleased about O Domhnaill having appointed him in preference to himself. O Conor Sligo bore just as much ill-will towards Cenél Conaill and MacWilliam, so a violent desire and longing seized both of them to avenge their wrongs and injuries on MacWilliam and on Cenél Conaill especially. Shortly after the departure of O Domhnaill they gathered a great body of English and Irish and attacked MacWilliam and banished him from the territory with his soldiers, for he was no match for the great numbers opposed to him. As he proceeded with his soldiers to quit the country, they drove before them the flocks and herds of the country, with the inhabitants, across the Moy of Tirawley, and through Tír Fhiachrach of the Moy, until they came to Sliav Gamh before night. They went marching over the mountain all through the night.


¶76] As for the Governor, Conyers Clifford, when he sent O Conor and the army of which we have spoken, to banish Mac William from his territory, he summoned to him the greatest number of soldiers he could. The two Earls, who were in the province, came there, the Earl of Thomond, Donncha, son of Conor, son of Donncha O Briain, and the Earl of Clanrickard, Ulick, son of Rickard Sasanach, son of Ulick na gCeann, and his son Rickard, Baron of Dunkellin, and Murcha, son of Murcha, son of Diarmaid O Briain, Baron of Inchiquin, all these with their forces. When they had come where the Governor was, they all went against Mac William and his forces by the road on which they could not turn aside and on which he was certain to find them, i.e. to the castle, which is on the Avonmore, east of Sliav Gamh and west of Sliav Dá Én. Collooney is its name. That place was a common highway and a well-known pass. The Governor stayed in the castle that night, and a large body of chosen soldiers with arms and armour—there were not less than fifteen hundred—in readiness against the Irish. It was told to Mac William and Rudhraighe O Domhnaill that the Governor was coming against them on the road they could not avoid. Wherefore they resolved, as they had crossed before morning over the top of the mountain-slope of which we have spoken, to push on to the river opposite, near the castle, and to send away their flocks and herds, their servants and recruits, and the unarmed crowd, by a safer road than that, a long distance from the castle. As they were but a few persons in comparison with the foreigners they did not attack them, but crossed over the river unnoticed by them, a thing they did not expect; for they had thought to obtain safety and security for their flocks and herds and servants, whilst they themselves went close to the castle, facing the foreign army, to serve as a screen against attack for their own people. What they wished, however, was not what happened to them, but they crossed the river and reached the other side without being noticed or heard.


Then the Governor and his foreigners rose up from sleep owing to the din and the tumult of the army crossing the river. It was a great sorrow to the Governor that they should have passed by before he came to grips with them. Then they heard the bellowing of the cattle and of the oxen, and the noise of the senseless animals responding to each other, and the loud cries of their drovers and herdsmen in the early dawn of the morning to the east of them. They sent their cavalry in troops and squadrons in the direction of the herds to see if they could overtake them. They seized a quantity of the cattle, and some escaped from them. A great number of the servants and of the drovers were wounded. Their own army could not interpose or protect them owing to the force and greater number of the army opposed to them. The Irish went away in this manner until they crossed the Erne, northwards, and the English did not follow them after they passed them by the first time, as we have said. The Governor returned, and his mind was not at ease that his enemies escaped him, after he had caught them small in numbers and attacked them in a very tight place as he had done. This happened on the 29th of June.

¶77] A new Lord Deputy came to Erin in the beginning of June exactly, i.e. Lord Borough, Thomas, was his name. Many and various were the soldiers for battle and companies for fight and strife that he brought with him. When he came he received the King's sword, and Sir William Russell, who was Lord Deputy for three years, was replaced by him. The general command of the war was also taken by him from Sir John Norris, and he himself assumed these dignities. An order was given by this Lord Deputy to the Governor of the province of Connacht to go with his forces in full muster against Cenél Conaill, to the western part of the province of Ulster, to avenge the wrongs and enmity of the


English on them. This command was not treated negligently by the Governor, and 'twould be great satisfaction to his mind if it should fall to his lot to wreak his cruelty and vengeance on the race of Conall Gulban, son of Niall, beyond all others. He assembled and mustered all the English and Irish of the province that were obedient to him, and arranged to meet them at the monastery of Boyle, on the third of August. The first who came to that muster was the Earl of Thomond, Donncha, son of Conor, son of Donncha O Briain; he was lord of the rough district of Lughaidh Menn, son of Oenghus Tírech, which is to the north of Limerick, for it was that Lughaidh who separated that portion of territory of which we have spoken, from the province of Connacht, and his descendants in succession inhabited it. He came with the levies of Thomond with him. The Earl of Clanrickard came to the same meeting with the full levies of his territory, and his son Rickard, son of Ulick, son of Rickard Sasanach, of the race of William the Conqueror. They were from France originally by descent, and the race came from England to that place, and from them the district has its name. There came also Tibbot na Long, son of Rickard an Iarainn, with his forces; O Conor Sligo, Donncha, son of Cathal Óg, son of Tadhg, son of Cathal Óg; and O Conor Ruadh, Aodh, son of Turloch Ruadh, with all their forces. The Deputy sent, besides, a body of his troops to Galway, that they might bring large guns to him to the Saimer.

¶78] When the army was brought together to one place, there were at the monastery of the Seghais twenty-two companies of infantry and ten squadrons of cavalry of chosen troops, with their strong coats of mail and their stout, long, broad-shouldered rivetted spears, and their loud-voiced sharp-sighted guns, and their slender, sharp, hard-tempered swords, with beautiful firmly-secured hafts, and their curve-crested hollow helmets, so that they were full sure there was not in the province of Ulster a power to cope with them on account of the outlandishness and strangeness of their arms, armour, and weapons, for the Irish had but few firearms then and did


not wear armour like them. These forces then marched to Sligo, and from that to the Erne. They encamped that night on the bank of the Saimer. They determined to cross the river opposite them at early dawn the next day, for they were sure that there was not a single ford from Cael Uisce to Assaroe that had not a guard of O Domhnaill's on it. When they had determined on that plan they went to Athculuain in a heavy, numerous mass, and they poured in at one time and in one body to attack it. The guards, who were there defended the ford against them as best they could, though they were not numerous enough to defend it against the force that had come against them. With vigour and strength they set to receive the enemy till the large army crossed the ford in spite of them in the end. However, one great personage was killed and drowned from amongst the foreign army, namely the Baron of Inchiquin, Murcha, son of Murcha, son of Diarmaid, son of Murcha O Briain, for he was between his people and the deep part of the ford, to protect them against danger, when he was struck by a bullet in the armpit, exactly at the opening of his plate-armour, so that he was pierced through from one armpit to the other, and though there were four or five thousand men about him they could not protect or assist him, for he fell from his horse in the deep part of the ford, so that the nobleman died in this wise. The army did not wait to pick up his body nor to bury it as was fitting, but they marched forward in battle order till they came to Sith Aodha, on the bank of the cataract. The day of the week was Saturday. They encamped there, and some of them stayed in the monks' monastery on the bank of the Unshinn. They remained so from shortly before midday on Saturday till the following Monday morning.

¶79] As for the fleet, of which we spoke in the beginning, that was summoned by the Governor to come to him from Galway, those entrusted with the burden of that expedition set sail from Galway to bring and convey the loud-voiced guns, enormous and incomprehensible to break down and


destroy the fortresses and strong castles of their enemies. They loaded the ships with everything needed by the army. They sailed, leaving the northern part of the province to starboard till they came to the Erne, on Sunday precisely. They made port opposite the island of Saimer, and they landed all their cargo both of food and ale and of everything they needed while they would be besieging the castle in the island, on Monday. They hauled the artillery on shore and trained it directly on the castle, which was on the bank of Ath Senaigh. The forces that were in the monastery came, and all formed up on the summit of Sith Aodha around the artillery. Then they proceeded to cast their heavy cannon balls and their loud-sounding fiery bullets, so that their report and loud thunderings were heard at a great distance. They sent a countless number of the choicest of their soldiers to the foot of the town with implements to pull down the wall, and with strong iron armour round the bodies of the heroes, and with glittering helmets on their heads. There was a bright covering of round, broad shields of steel all around outside to defend them against the shots of the impetuous party of heroes who were in the castle. They were in that contest without hesitation or cessation for the space of three days and three nights, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. However, the attack which the foreigners made was of no avail, and it was better for them that they had not come on that expedition, for there were poured from the castle on them showers of bright fiery balls from the well planted straight-firing guns and from the costly muskets. Also stone showers of rough-pointed rocks, and heavy, massive stones, with beams and stakes, which happened to be on the battlements of the castle, so that their well made curved shields and their shining helmets were neither shelter nor protection for them, they were crushed and killed within their iron armour by the stout fusilade directed against them. When the soldiers were greatly massacred in this way, they could not endure to stay any further to be slaughtered. They


turned their backs to their enemies. They were put to flight into the camp. The people in the castle continued to shoot after them, so that many were slain, both reckoned and unreckoned. Some of them escaped severely wounded.

¶80] It happened that O Domhnaill was short of soldiers, and weak in numbers on the Saturday the fierce, vengeful multitude entered his territory. His forces assembled and collected to him before mid-day on Monday, for they were never slow to come at his call whenever he asked them to come to meet him. First came Aodh Maguidhir with all his forces. Then came O Ruairc, Brian Óg, son of Brian, son of Brian Ballach, son of Eóghan, with his levies. From the time they came to O Domhnaill no quiet or peace day or night was allowed to the Governor or to his people. O Domhnaill's force drove those on the outskirts of the Connacht camp into the middle of it, and those in the middle to the outside, and fear and terror did not allow them to put their horses or cattle to graze beyond the boundary of the camp outside owing to the great straits they were placed in by their enemies. There was skirmishing and shooting every day between the cavalry on both sides for the space of the three days that the English force was besieging the castle. Many were wounded and hurt on both sides, here and there, during that time; but yet more of the English force were wounded than of the Irish. Of the more important nobles among them who were wounded then was O Conor Sligo, Donncha, son of Cathal Óg. The English cavalry was turned back at last on the third day to the camp, so that they were mixed in confusion with the foot-soldiers. The forces then separated from each other, and it was not through love they parted but fear of each other dividing them.

¶81] When the English saw the bravery and courage of the Irish grow and increase beyond them, as they had not expected, they were greatly grieved at having come on this expedition, on account of the number of their heroes


they left behind round the castle, and at the army of O Domhnaill on the other side attacking them in the narrow corner in which they were confined by their enemies, so that it was not in their power to retreat towards the ford across which they had first come, or to attempt any other ford from Loch Erne, the daughter of Burg, to the ocean. When the English army reached their camp they did not sleep pleasantly, nor did they pass the night agreeably, through fear and terror of Cenél Conaill, for the English were certain that it was more likely they should be destroyed all together than come off safe. The Governor, the Earls, and the nobles of whom we have spoken sat in council from the beginning of Wednesday night to the early dawn of Thursday morning debating what they should do in the great danger before them. On this they resolved in the end, when the bright light of the day shone on them, to go forward from where they were, from the hill of Sith Aodha, across the river, up the bank of Assaroe, at a point that was no usual passage for people up to that, save when champions or strong men would cross it in the drought of summer to prove their strength and courage. That was right, for the name of the place where they entered the river was The Champions' Path. There was, however, a great power urging them on then, i.e. necessity and fear, so that they poured on together in one violent, thick crowd to the river in front of them. Such was the excitement of the advance guard and the rearguard that they both crowded in on the main body of the army, the former through terror and ignorance of the river in front, the latter in fear and trembling of their enemies pursuing them. They left behind their great guns and their artillery and everything they had which they could not carry away, both food and drink, and every other necessary too. They then presented their breasts to the passage of that rough, strange, unfrequented pass, and such was the strength and power of the current of the ancient river (as was usual with it), and the unknown dangers of the black slimy ridges of rock as a general crossing for a great host, and, moreover,


from the weakness and failure of the English from want of a proper supply of food, many of the men, women, steeds, and horses were drowned, and the force of the stream bore them into the depths of Assaroe, and thence westwards to the ocean.

¶82] When the people in the castle saw the army escaping thus they set to shoot at them as fast as they could. They were answered by the party who were in the van and had reached the bank on the other side. They began to fight in defence of the crowd that was in the rear, so that the noise and report and the echo were heard throughout the land anear, and it seemed to them that it was thunder and the conflict of the invisible elements which they were hearing from the upper air and from the depths of the firmament. When O Domhnaill heard the shooting in the engagement and the echo of the contest, he rose from his tent immediately and the army arose too. They donned their weapons of war speedily and set off towards the river to fall upon the English as quick as they could engage them. They did not come to grips with them until they were on the other side of the river. Many of the rear of the army were wounded and drowned, and they little heeded that as their nobles, leaders, and chiefs of war, their dignitaries and important people had escaped. They were glad to carry away their lives from the straight, deep-wounding shots of the guard of the castle, and over the strong turbulent stream, over which heroes had never come before them without stumbling and death.

¶83] O Domhnaill set out in pursuit of them across the river, but however that was not the particular way he took. When the Governor and his army came across the Erne in this way he put his people in order and array. He placed his oxen and horses used for the wains and carts (they were with the army to carry their provisions and their implements also), his attendants and his unarmed people, and every one of those wounded between them and the sea. He was himself with his


companies of chosen troops, with his soldiers and youths, on the other side, and he threw his musketeers in front as defence and protection for their nobles and chiefs, so that they could not be surrounded or circumvented owing to the perfect way in which they were placed. However, O Domhnaill's people made a fierce attack on them, so that many among them were wounded on this side and that, and horses and men were left behind that day. The English marched on, keeping the sea on their right. A shower of rain fell on them after that, and the intensity of it was unusual. The men delayed in consequence, for it was awkward for the soldiers to use their weapons on account of the heavy rain. This had a greater effect on O Domhnaill's people than on the English on account of their lack of clothing, for they had left behind their cloaks, long hose and shoes, and other parts of their dress, owing to their haste and the urgency of the call to overtake the English. The two armies were engaged in this way in the contest of which we have spoken, taking each other by surprise until they crossed the Drowes and the Dubh to Magh Céitne. As O Domhnaill's people were tired by the pursuit they turned back, and the English escaped to their homes with sorrow and disgrace. But yet they were pleased and glad on account of their escape from the straits in which they were, and they made but little account of those whom they left behind since they themselves had escaped. It was not so with O Domhnaill; he was not satisfied with having humbled them without wreaking full vengeance on them, and he proceeded to lament and despair very much at their escape from him on that occasion. They stayed in Sligo that night. Their first journey on the night of the next day was to the monastery of Boyle and on the third night in the district of Athleague. On the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and on the 15th of August, according to the solar month, the army crossed the Saimer.

¶84] When the nobles on both sides had gone to their homes, O Domhnaill and his forces did not pass quietly or slothfully what was before them of that autumn, for whenever any


oppression or violence was threatened by the English against O Néill (Aodh, son of Ferdorcha), he sent letters and messengers to O Domhnaill to complain of his sufferings to him, and to ask and beseech him to come to his aid and assistance when the English did not get a chance at himself and fear did not allow them to oppress him. The long marches, and swift hostings, and difficult skirmishings which he carried on in the province of Connacht, in his own territory, and each time he went into Tír Eóghain to the assistance of O Néill, would have been painful and hard to any one else. O Domhnaill was not long at rest after the departure of the Governor and of the Earls, as we have related, when messengers came from O Néill to O Domhnaill to tell him that the Lord Deputy (Thomas Lord Borough) and the Earl of Kildare (Henry son of Garrett), with the forces of the Englishmen of Meath and Leinster, were coming to Tír Eóghain at the invitation and instruction of Turloch, son of Henry na nGárthadh, son of Felim Ruadh O Néill; and he sent to him to come with all his forces to aid and strengthen him against his enemies, and he promised besides that whenever again O Domhnaill would require him to come to his aid that he would come to help him without hesitation or delay. When O Domhnaill read the letter he ordered his whole force to assemble from every place to him immediately, for it was not agreeable to him that O Néill should be in such straits without giving him help. This was natural, for it was not often it happened that from both their stocks two sprang who were dearer and more pleasing to each other than these two Aodhs, who were lords and princes over their races at that time. O Domhnaill went soon afterwards to where O Néill was with a large body of his horsemen and of his soldiers with him, and others of them followed him, for he did not delay his departure for them in his haste, fearing lest the English army might come to Tír Eóghain before he would have reached the place where O Néill was.

¶85] As for the Lord Deputy and the English of whom we have spoken, they came with a very large powerful, numerous


army to Drogheda, from that to Dundalk and to Armagh, and they did not stop till they came to the bank of the Blackwater. O Néill and O Domhnaill went with their forces to meet them there. It was not easy to attack the lion's den and griffin's nest that faced them. The Lord Deputy and his army halted and encamped close to the river, for he was sure it would not be easy for him or for his army to advance against them farther. The reception which the Lord Deputy and his people received from the armies of O Néill and O Domhnaill while defending their territory and lands against them was bloody, sharp, wounding, maiming, quick-shooting. All the heroic deeds they did before or after that, in defence of their fatherland against their enemies were as nothing compared with what they ought to have done then if they had only known the many evils that were to come on them afterwards—too tedious to relate here. However, neither calm nor quiet, nor sleep, nor repose, nor siege, nor stay, was allowed them day or night without harassing and shooting at them continually by the Irish, so that uncountable numbers of their noble, high-mettled horsemen, of their destructive, impetuous youths, and of their beautiful foreign horses were killed and destroyed.

¶86] One day while they were thus engaged, a great desire seized on the Lord Deputy to go to the summit of the hill that was near, to view and survey the country all round, and it were better for him if he had not gone on that enterprise, for some of the Irish soldiers came face to face with him there, and they made a hard, fierce onset and a daring attack on the Lord Deputy and on the Earl of Kildare and the nobles who were with him, so that the chief officer of the army was slain there, together with a large number of the captains and gentlemen whose names are not remembered or recorded, besides the common soldiers who were killed. The brother of the Lord Deputy's wife too was slain. Some of the people of the Earl of Kildare also were slain, and the Earl himself was wounded. Even the Lord Deputy himself did not escape without being wounded from that encounter. With all their valour


and stedfastness they were driven in broken rout to the camp, and if it had not been near them, the fugitives would not have reached it alive. It was necessary for the Earl of Kildare to take leave of the Lord Deputy, as he was wounded, and to return home. And when he reached Drogheda he died in that town of the poison and the soreness of the wound. His body was taken to Kildare to be shown to his friends, and was buried by them in the tomb of his predecessors and ancestors with the honour and respect that were meet. As for the Lord Deputy he set off on his return the next day and he reached Armagh, and he was carried on a litter or in a carriage by his faithful followers and his own people that day. He was carried after that to Iubhar Cinn Tragha, and he died there of his wounds. The English army returned home with grief and shame in this way. Cenél Conaill and Cenél Eóghain set off to return to their castles and family strongholds cheerfully and gladly after that victory. O Domhnaill took leave of O Néill, and it was with regret they parted from each other.

¶87] Now O Domhnaill thought it long that the English of the province of Connacht were at rest without attack on them and on the people who had entered into alliance with them in the end, though they had made friendship with him after deserting from them at first. Of these was O Conor Ruadh, Aodh, son of Turloch Ruadh. O Domhnaill had enmity towards him, for he had allied himself with the English, though his friend some time before. He reflected how he might ravage his country. This was difficult since the dwelling of that O Conor was very safe and hard to reach, and very near it was a place where he might put his cattle and treasures also beyond the reach of his enemies unless they came on him unawares. O Ruairc had promised him that he would not allow O Domhnaill to plunder him without warning and help from him. O Domhnaill resolved to muster his army and go into the province. He went on, therefore, until he halted to the south-west of Glendallan. He encamped there. This was the deception he practised on


O Ruairc, to try and plunder O Conor in spite of him: he sent messengers to him to invite him to a meeting at the camp, and to tell him to come to him the next day without any delay whatever. Meantime O Ruairc did not think O Domhnaill would leave the camp there until he would come to him. This was the plan adopted by O Domhnaill after sending his messenger to invite O Ruairc: he left his camp after the middle of the day and went across the Sligeach, southwards, and he did not halt till he came to Corrshliav of the Seghais. He made a short halt there, so that his soldiers might eat some of their rations and rest awhile, and not cross the mountain southwards in the full light of day. When the first darkness of the night, for which they were waiting, prevailed over the daylight, they went forward over the mountain, over the Seghais, through Magh Luirg of the Daghdha, and the level part of Magh Aoi before morning. They sent their marauding parties in the dawn to scatter over the wastes and remote parts of the territory, and they did not leave a single beast from Ath Sliscan to Sliav Baune. They returned after that in triumph with plentiful spoils, as was usual with them. O Ruairc was ashamed that the preying should have been done unknown to him. No less was the chagrin and confusion of the Governor, Sir Conyers Clifford, for the plundering of the country which was under his yoke without putting up a fight even though his death should be the outcome, and he was inclined to go in pursuit of O Domhnaill if fear allowed him. When O Domhnaill and his army came home they rested in merriment and pleasure during the winter season, with tidings of the province of Connacht. No important fact was heard of between them during that time save that O Ruairc made a compact with the Governor aforesaid, Sir Conyers, as a result of the plundering of which we have spoken, and through envy and jealousy of his own brother, Tadhg O Ruairc, for there was no accord between them on account of the division of their patrimony and territory, though they were children of one father.