Part II. History of Thomond
Chapter 13. History of Thomond before it was formed into an English county:
From the Death of De Clare in 1318 to the Formation of Thomond into an
English County in 1580
Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy, visits Thomond;
Sir William Drury, Lord President of Munster, holds an assizes at Ennis;
Death of Conor O’Brien
Quarrel of the O’Briens.
In 1573, for some reason not known to us, a war broke out between the
O’Briens themselves. It is needless to say that the quarrel was
taken up by their partizans on all sides, and that a general plunder of
the country was the consequence. What the dispute was about is of very
little importance, but in their description of the fighting, the Four
Masters give the names of several places in the county, according
to their original spelling, which we here reproduce as illustrative of
its topography. One of the belligerent parties assembled at Ard-na-cabóg,
near Clare Castle. Thence they marched through Dromcliff, Kilnamona, and
Dysert, and “over the stone road of Coradh-Finné (Corofin),
by the gate of the Castle of Inchiquin, and by Bothar-na-mac Riogh”
(the road from Corofin to Killinaboy, called the road of the king’s
sons, for some reason with which we are unacquainted). They despoiled
the church of Cill-inghine-Baoith (Killinaboy), and proceeded in a north-westerly
direction, by the confines of Corcomroe and Burren; spreading themselves
about, they plundered the country in all directions. Their opponents mustered
their forces at Carn-mic-Tail, now Carn-Connachtach, but they had to retire
from that place early the next morning, their invaders approaching by
keeping Bel-atha-an Ghobhain (Smithstown), on their left. Both armies—one
in pursuit of the other, then marched by Cill Mainchin to Bél-an-chip.
a skirmish took place, and one party retreating before their antagonists,
by way of Beann Formaile, 
both arrived at Caherush (Cathair Ruis).
Another Assizes at Ennis.
Having in view the final subjugation of the Irish of Munster, the Lord
Deputy, Sir Henry Sidney, made a progress through that province in 1576.
He abolished the ancient customs of “Coigny, Kernetty, and Bonaght,”
and ordered that the rules of English law should be substituted for them.
He made Donald O’Brien of Ennistymon, Governor of the County of
Clare, and the new ruler signalised his accession to the office by hanging
refractory rebels and malefactors. In this year, Thomond was separated
from Connaught and joined to Munster, at the solicitation of the Earl
of Thomond. In the following year, Sir William Drury, who had been recently
appointed President of Munster, and who had, at Limerick, hanged several
of the gentlemen and common people of the O’Briens, held an assizes
at Ennis which lasted for eight days. He left the county, after he had
appointed a marshal to compel the inhabitants to pay a tribute of ten
pounds for each barony to the Queen, an impost wholly unknown to the Dal
Cais up to that time. The lands of the Earl of Thomond were not exempted
from payment, although he had proceeded to England to obtain that favour,
as well as to complain of the injury and injustice done to him by his
kinsmen. His journey, however, was not quite unproductive of advantage.
He obtained from Elizabeth a renewed grant of all his lands, pardon for
his people, and a patent conveying to him most of the Church lands and
livings of the county. 
He did not long survive his return home, for his death occurred in 1580,
his age being forty-five years, during twenty-two of which he enjoyed
the chieftainship of his race. He was buried in the abbey of Ennis, and
his eldest son Donogh succeeded, as fourth Earl of Thomond.