1603 AD - 2
January 7th: During the night the remaining followers of Donnell Cam O Sullivan attempted the first crossing of the River Shannon with 30 crammed into the original large boat, who were to lead the remaining horses behind them, while the small boat also constructed by the Irian O Malley's containing only 10 people overturned with all on board being drowned. Despite this terrifying result at their first attempt at crossing, by daybreak, they were to nearly have most of their fighting men across to the western side of the River, into the Connacht Province. Thomas Burke and 40 of their other fighting men had remained behind on the eastern side in the Munster Province, with their pikes and muskets at the ready if they should have to protect the women and the other civilians. The Mac Egans from the Dal Cuinn Ui Maine Sept then attacked those who were still left behind on the Munster side of the River Shannon, and the women with no other alternative, who were still there and frightened, fled into the safety of the river where they too drowned. Eventually Thomas Burke and his men were able to drive the Mac Egans off, killing 15 of them, including Donough Mac Egan, the son of Cairbre mac Egan. Thomas Burke then launched his boat, which was also overloaded, and it too sank near the bank where some of the occupants were capable of making it back to the shore, while others who could actually swim, made it across the river, while the rest of them just fled in terror in fear of losing their lives. Thomas Bourke then relaunched his boat, but the O Maddens from the Dal Cuinn Ui Maine Sept also whose territory was only a few mile away, bordering on the Burkes, were waiting on the western side in Connacht to attack them also. This now meant that Donnell Cam O Sullivan and his surviving followers then had to fight their way across the Earl's Plains / Machaire an Iarla, to reach the safety of the woods at Killimor, which was 8 mile further on. On arriving there they came upon a small village from which the residents had fled, and where they were able to find further sustenance.
January 8th: Donnell Cam O Sullivan's remaining followers now had 80 of their fighting men out in front of the group and 200 more at the rear, with the surviving women and civilians in the middle, and they then proceeded on towards Aughrim in Co. Galway in Southern Connacht, having by this time already lost 120 of the 1,000 people who had joined in originally since they had left Glengarriff. (Nearby here was the Meelick Weir where Co. Galway, Co. Offaly and Co. Tipperary join together in the centre of the River Shannon). They then passed on through Brackloon, (which was still in the territory of the O Maddens from the Dal Cuinn Ui Maine), to Clonfert. (This was where St. Brendan had originally been set up, with over 3,000 students attending his monastery there, but it too had previously been taken over during the confiscation of the Catholic Church Institutions by Henry V111, and been reconstructed into a Church of England Episcopalian Cathedral). From there they moved on towards Killimor Bridge, and Aughrim passing by Lismanny House, (which is now also a ruin), and also the Clontuskert Abbey.
January 9th: The surviving O Sullivan followers camped at Killimor, which was still 12 miles out of Aughrim and they only had 280 of their fighting men left to protect them.
English Military force led by
already waiting to attack them at
Each Druim (The Ridge
of the Horse),
men who were out in front, seeing them waiting ahead, panicked and retreated back to the main group, and
O Sullivan told them
all that they would now all have to fight for their lives,
while he led them off into the safety of the nearby woods, where they tried to gain further
cover from the
English forces attack. As they fled, the
English Military forces bore
down on them, killing a further
immediately with their gunfire, but despite this
of the English
killed by the
had managed to fight their way forward to the front, where
was also to be among those killed.
Maurice O Sullivan
Hugh O Flynn knew they would
have to do something drastic if they were gong to survive this particular onslaught, and
they went after the leaders of the English forces
and were able to kill the main man,
Henry Malby, With their leaders gone and
100 of their
English Military forces also killed by now, the
remaining English retreated back to their
Donnell Cam O Sullivan and his remaining followers kept on going into the night towards the village of Ahascrag, and from there they crossed the Killian River, then went onto Ballingar, which was 16 mile further on in the territory of the O Kellys who were the main Sept from the Dal Cuinn Ui Maine who had by now also gone over to the English side to survive, who had their Castle Kelly there. It was now under the command of Mac William Burke / de Burgho the English appointed Earl of Clanricarde in the Connacht Province. (Situated still at Ballnakill is the ruined church and effigy of William de Burgo Garbh - the Rough.) They continued on to Ballymoe were the River Suck flows southwards to Ballygar then onto Ballinsloe to reach the upper reaches of the River Shannon again, there the River Island, a tributary of the River Suck enters, (76.Queen Maeve the Heremonian Queen of Connacht had built a fort here, and 83.Finn mac Cool / Fionn mac Cumhail the outstanding Fianna Warrior leader had searched for game here.)
This lead them onto Co. Roscommon, (The Wood of St. Comman) who had originally brought the Catholic Faith to this region) and where Slieve O Flynn could be seen across the other side of the great bog. Ahead also lie Trien as they struggled though the heavy snow and incessant rain that continued to come tumbling down in bucketfuls, until finally they reached the safety of Slieve O Flynn itself, where the Irish Septs there warned them that the English Military forces under Mac Davitt / Davie / Davy who were a Burke / de Burgo family branch were lying in wait ahead, as they had continued to follow on after them from Glinsk, were they had tried to obtain provisions from his castle there. Because of this knowledge Donnell Cam O Sullivan decided to pretend that they were going to settle down there for the night, and to this end they lit their camp fires, while they actually continued to push on through the woods, on through the brambles and the heavy snow, as they were by now well and truly in fear of losing the lives of those entrusted to them who were still surviving. They headed towards Ballinlough in Co. Roscommon, which was also still in the Mac Egan Dal Cuinn Ui Maine territory, and where Loch O Flynn was the beginning of the River Suck and were there was 80,000 acres of bog.
Loch Glinn also lay ahead, along with Fairymount, where there was another English Military force also set up in Boyle Abbey to the east of them under Sir Oliver Lambert who was now the English appointed President in Connacht. Ballymote Abbey situated to the west of them, in Co. Sligo in the north - west of the Connacht Province, had by now also been recaptured by the English Military forces. (It had been 13 years, since the Dal Cuinn Ui Briuin Ai Clann Mac Donagh had sold it originally to the The O Donnell from the Cenel Conaill Sept for 400 pounds and 300 sows, and it had been from there Red Aed / Hugh Roe O Donnell had set out to go down to the Battle of Kinsale). Donnell Cam O Sullivan and his remaining followers decided to push on from there towards their main objective, which was Co. Leitrim in Northern Connacht, and they crossed over the Curlieu Mountains and came to rest near French Park, which was previously the territory taken over by the Anglo - Norman de Freynes. (Later on in the 20th Century AD Douglas Hyde the non - Catholic elected 1st President of Ireland, who had also previously founded the Gaelic League, would be buried under a Celtic cross in the Episcopalian Church of England / Ireland here.) Donnell Cam O Sullivan was by now down to only 60 fighting men and they once again came under attack by the Mac Davitt / Burkes, but they were still able to drive them off. They then moved on towards Ballaghaderreen / Bealach an Doirin (The Road of the Little Oak Grove) situated on the River Lung in Co. Roscommon, that flows into Loch Gara. where a town would be developed there in the future, by Charles Strickland who would then be the English agent living at Loch Glynn, for the Absentee - Land Lord the English Viscount Dillon), (During the Great Famine era there were to be 65 pubs there). (He would also build Charlestown / Baile Chathail in Co. Mayo in the mid - west of Connacht to try and outdo the Scottish Knoxs who were by then to also own the town there of Bellaghy).
The remaining party of Donnell Cam O Sullivan's followers now moved on into the safety of the forests at Coolavin were they were able to rest once again, as this territory was now held by the Mac Dermots from the Dal Cuinn Ui Briuin Ai who previously had their territory in the Curlieu Mountains from where they had also been driven out of by the English Military forces in 1601 AD after submitting to Mountjoy and had eventually settled here. (Outside of Coolavin is the Holy Well of St. Attracta who had her church in Boyle, who had been visited there by St. Patrick when he used to pass through there going to Croagh Patrick,) Ahead was also Monasteraden (St Auden's ancient monastery is submerged there beneath the present graveyard, where it is enclosed in a fort / rath.) Once again the Irish Septs who were now situated nearby brought them food, and also warned them that the English commander, Sir Oliver Lambert, with further English Military forces, was also waiting for them and blocking the road. Ahead of them also was the Moygara Castle with the Keshcorran Mountain behind it in the territory of the Heberian Cianachta O Garas who were the Kings of Moygara and Coolavin, situated in their territory near the Mac Dermots, with Boyle itself another 10 miles further on, as the remaining O Sullivan followers crossed over the remaining Curlieu (Rough Mountains) to Ballinfad, where the Bricklieve Range was also off to their left.
Although the remaining O Sullivan party was now expecting the worst, all of a sudden out of the dark appeared a stranger, who was dressed in a white robe and walking barefoot in the snow who also had a white wreath on his head, and in his hands was a long wand and he told them that he had come to guide them to the territory of the O Rourkes from the Dal Cuinn Ui Briuin Breifne. This was still another 15 mile further on, and as they were now totally worn out, really desperate and lost, they accepted his offer and rewarded him with a Spanish gold coin, which he accepted gracefully. He continued to lead them on over the Mountains to a small settlement, were they were able to purchase some food, but by now their original number of 1,000 had been reduced to less then 50 and all of their original 14 horses were now gone, so 4 of the men agreed to carry, The O Connor Kerry on their shoulders, as he could not walk any further, until eventually they came across an old stray horse to put him on. At dawn their mysterious white clad guide pointed out Brian Oge - the Younger O Rourke's castle in the distance, and bade them farewell, and they thanked him and proceeded on to Loch Arrow, with the Bricklieve Mountains now behind them in the distance. (Here there were many Megalithic Graves at the Bronze Age cemetery of Carrowkeel, where the Cairns are on a plateau of the hills). (Of the 200 Passage Graves known throughout Ireland, there are 13 together at Carrowkeel, which are now also submerged beneath the bog lands there, and also on Kesh there are 17 caves full of Stalactites, including the School Cave and the Robber's Hole, and near the main cave was were the Celtic Lughnasa Festival was held at the beginning of the harvest time on the last Sunday in July). (The bare remains of 20 different types of animals would be discovered in these particular caves also, including Reindeer, Wolves, Bears and Arctic Lemmings, but the only living thing ever to be found in there was a great ferocious spider.)
Beal an Atha Fada
(The Mouth of the Long Ford) in
Co. Sligo was at the foot of the
Curlieu Mountains, on the edge
at the turn off on the way into the town, and near the lagoon in
there are the ruins also of an ancient monastery, while
further along the road around
is a large
Bronze Age Cairn
Heapstown). (This was also the country of
Balor of the Evil Eye,
the Fomorian Chief, and also of the
Ui Briuin Ai
who were to be interred in
along the water's edge, and of
Inishmore Island also
with it's monastery ruins there.)
his fellow survivors now passed on through
Loch Key that are
only a small parcel of land about a mile wide.
(In Loch Key there is a ruined castle on
Castle Island, while
there also on
headless body was previously buried after his
O Donnell, and
this was also where the
Annals of Boyle
were to be compiled).
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