1603 AD - 2
January 7th: During the night the remaining followers of Donnell Cam O Sullivan the Heberian Eghanacht Chaisil Chief attempted the first crossing of the River Shannon with 30 of his people crammed into the original large boat, who were to lead the remaining horses behind them, while the small boat also constructed by the Gaelic Milesian Irian O Malley's containing only 10 people overturned and all on board were drowned, but despite this terrifying result at their first attempt at crossing, by daybreak, they were to have most of their fighting men across to the western side of the River Shannon, 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 and just as well as the Mac Egans from the Dal Cuinn Colla Da Crioch Ui Maine Sept then attacked those who were still left behind on the Munster side of the River Shannon, and the women among them with no other alternative, terrified and frightened, fled into the River for safety and they too were drowned. Eventually Thomas Burke and his men were able to drive the Mac Egans off, killing 15 of them, including Donogh Mac Egan, the son of Cairbre mac Egan and Thomas Burke then launched his boat, which was overloaded, and it too sank near the bank with some of the occupants able to make it back to the shore, while others amog them who could actually swim, made it across the river, and the rest of them just fled in terror in constant fear of losing their lives. Thomas Bourke then relaunched his boat, but the O Maddens also from the Dal Cuinn Colla Da Crioch 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 and 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 and 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 had 80 of his fighting men out in front of the group and another 200 more at the rear, with the surviving women and civilians contained in the middle, and they proceeded on towards Aughrim in Co. Galway in Southern Connacht, having by now 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) to Clonfert where St. Brendan had originally 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. They now moved on towards Killimor Bridge and Aughrim, passing by Lismanny House, (which is now also a ruin), and also the Clontuskert Abbey.
January 9th:On this day, Donnell Cam O Sullivan and his remaining followers now had only 280 of their fighting men left to protect them and they decided to set up camp at Killimor, which was 12 miles out of Aughrim.
English Military force led by
already waiting to attack them at
Each Druim (The Ridge
of the Horse),
men who were now out in front, seeing them waiting ahead, panicked and retreated back to the main group, and
O Sullivan told them that they would now all have to fight for their lives,
and he then led them off into the safety of the nearby woods, where they were
hoping to gain further cover from the English forces who were about attack them
and as they fled, the
English Military forces bore
down on them, killing a further
immediately with their gunfire. During the conflict
of the English
were also killed by
had managed to fight their way forward to the front but unfortunately
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
as a combined force
they decided to go after the leaders of the English forces
and were able to kill their main man,
Henry Malby and with their leaders gone and
100 of their
English Military forces also killed by now, the
remaining English Militia retreated back to their
Donnell Cam O Sullivan and his surviving 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 Colla Da Crioch Ui Maine who had by now also gone over to the English side while to survive, who had their Castle Kelly there now under the command of Mac William Burke / de Burgho the English appointed Earl of Clann Rickarde in the Connacht Province. (Situated still there at Ballnakill is the ruined church and effigy of William de Burgo Garbh - the Rough.) They then continued on to Ballymoe were the River Suck flows southwards towards Ballygar and then went onto Ballinsloe to reach the upper reaches of the River Shannon again, where the River Island, a tributary of the River Suck enters the main flow, (76.Queen Maeve the historical Heremonian Queen of Connacht had built a fort here, and itis recorded that 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 while 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 were able to warn 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 in reality 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 somehow 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 and Ballymote Abbey that was 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 tha Aedh Ruadh / Red Hugh Roe O Donnell had set out to go down to the Battle of Kinsale). Donnell Cam O Sullivan and his remaining followers now decided that tey would continue to push on from there towards their main objective, which was Brian O Rourkes kingdom of West Breifne in 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 and continued to move 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).
What was left 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 while 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, while Boyle was 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 surviving members of Donnell Cam O Sullivan group 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 kingdom of West Breifne, which 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 then 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 were to come 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 nowwell 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 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
who were a Sept 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
/ Red Hugh
O Donnell, and
this was also where the
Annals of Boyle
were to be compiled).
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