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The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost


Part II. History of Thomond
Chapter 12. History of Thomond before it was formed into an English county: From the earliest times, to the death of De Clare, and expulsion of the English in 1318.

Thomas de Clare; Brian Roe’s succession contested by his nephew Turlogh; He appeals for succour to Thomas de Clare son of the Earl of Gloucester

Brian Roe O’Brien was inaugurated King at Magh Adhar, in succession to his father, and MacNamara, as the principal man amongst the chiefs, made proclamation of their choice. Brian was not the eldest son of the deceased monarch; Teige Cael-uisge was the senior. He was dead, leaving a son, Turlogh, who was too young to assume the reins of power after the death of Conor. For nine years, therefore, Brian Roe was permitted to reign unmolested, but then his nephew, assisted by the MacNamaras, who were his maternal kinsmen, and by his foster-brothers, the O’Deas, contested his right to reign. (A.D. 1276). They attacked Clonroad, and being unable to defend it, he fled with his dependants to take refuge amongst the people of Ui Bloid. These received him warmly, and they advised him to go, accompanied by his son Donogh, to solicit aid from Thomas de Clare, son of the Earl of Gloucester, who was then at Cork, and who had received from Edward I. a grant of all the lands he could conquer in Munster. An agreement was concluded between them, to the effect that de Clare should have all the land lying between Limerick and Athsolas, on condition of rendering assistance to Brian in his endeavour to retain the chieftaincy. A summons was issued by de Clare, calling upon the Geraldines, Butlers, and all others, whether English or Irish, whom he could influence, to meet him at Limerick on a certain day. Nor was Brian Roe idle. He promised to bring to the confederacy the aid of the people of Coonagh, Ui Bloid, and Uaithne (Owney); but these latter refused to contest the right of Turlogh, whom they regarded as their lawful ruler. With their combined forces, Brian Roe and de Clare marched to the attack of Clonraod, the stronghold of Turlogh. Its owner was absent, having gone to Corcabaskin to obtain aid from Teige Buidhe MacMahon, from Rory MacMahon, and from the O’Gradys, and O’Hehirs. Thus reinforced, he attacked and wasted Ui Cualachta and Ui Fearmaic, the patrimony of the O’Quins, O’Hehirs, and O’Deas. Thence he invaded Ui Caisin, but the MacNamaras, to escape from him, temporarily removed their cattle to Sliave Echtghe. About that time (1277), De Clare built the Castle of Bunratty, [37] and after conquering the old families of Tradraighe, he bestowed that district upon his own followers. As a further defence of his new territories, he built a wall from “the stream to the sea,” supposed to be from Athsolas to Sixmilebridge; no trace of it exists in our time.

 

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