Owen Roe ONeill
?1584-1649 [Eoghan Rua Ó Néill]; b. Co. Armagh, nephew of Hugh ONeill; engaged in the Spanish Service for forty years; known as Don Eugenio ONeill; served in Flanders; held rank of Colonel; returned to Ireland in 1642, sailing from Dunkirk with sons Henry, Bryan and Con, as well as OCahan, OByrne, ODogherty, Gerald Fitzgerald, and others, June 1642; reached Castledoe, Co. Donegal, and escorted by Sir Felim ONeill with 1,500 men to Charlemont, where he was invested the Ulster command; became commander of native Irish forces in the Confederation of Kilkenny; defeated Robert Munros Scottish army at Benburb, 6 June 1646, the victory being celebrated by Pope Innocent X with a Te Deum Mass in Rome; combined with parliamentarians against royalist Presbyterians, Derry 1649; close ally of papal nuncio Rinuccini; died on his way to join forces with the Duke of Ormond; widespread belief that he had been assassinated by poison. ODNB DIB OCIL
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John F. Taylor, Owen Roe ONeill [Irish Library] (Dublin: James Duffy & Co. 1896), pp. vi. 249; J. I. Casway, Owen Roe ONeill and the Struggle for Catholic Ireland (Philadelphia UP 1984), xiv, 353pp.; Edmund Leahy, Owen Roe ONeill [Epochs of Irish History ser.] (Dublin: Irish Messenger 1919), 24pp.; Eoin ONeill, Owen Roe ONeill [Famous Irish Lives Ser.] (Dublin: Talbot 1936).
See also Micheál Ó Siochrú, Gods Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland (London: Faber & Faber 2008).
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Thomas Davis, ‘Did they dare, did they dare, to slay Eoghna Ruadh ONeill? / Yest, they slew with poison him they feared to meet with steel. / May God wither up their hearts! May their blood cease to flow! / May they walk in living death who poisoned Eoghan / Ruadh! / / Though it breaks my heart to hear, say against the bitter words. / From Derry, against Cromwell, he marched to measure swords: / But the weapon of the Sacsanach met him on his way. / And he died at Cloch Uachtar, upon St Leonards Day. (Citedin Oliver McDonagh, States of Mind, 1983, p.77, with comments).
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Booksellers: Hyland Books (Oct. 1995) lists ONeill, Owen Roe ONeill (1st edn. 1937). De Burca Books (Cat. 44; 1997), lists Jerrold I. Casway, Owen Roe ONeill and the Struggle for Catholic Ireland (Philadelphia UP 1984), xiv, 353pp., [Micheline Walshs copy. Fine in dj.; £65.00].
Library of Herbert Bell, Belfast holds Edmund Leahy, Owen Roe ONeill [Epochs of Irish History ser.] [4nd edn.; 25th thousand] (Dublin: Irish Messenger 1919), 24pp., ends with stanzas from Mangans trans. of The Lament of ODaly for Owen Roe; Jerrold I. Casaway, Owen Roe O Neill and the Struggle for Catholic Ireland (Philadelphia 1984).
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To the letter of General Leslie expressing sorry that a person of his reputation and experience should come to Ireland for such a bad cause he replied: He had more reason to come to relieve the deplorable state of his country, than Leslie had to march at the head of an army to England against his own King (from Casway; cited in De Burca Catalogue, 44; 1997.)
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