Clare County Library
Clare History
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Search this Website | Copyright Notice

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

Part III. History of the County of Clare
Chapter 14. History of the County of Clare from 1580 to 1641

Revolt of Mahone O’Brien of Clondoovan; A gaol established at Ennis, and seventy persons hanged at the assizes there; Extracts from the Annals of the Four Masters of contemporary events

All the efforts of the Lord Deputy were unavailing to secure the peace of the newly-defined county. In the very next year after the execution of the instrument above abstracted, one of the parties to it, namely, Mahone O’Brien, [2] was in arms against the English. He retreated to his castle of Cloondovan, and there he was besieged by Sir Richard Bingham Governor of Connaught. At the end of three weeks, Mahone being on the battlements of his stronghold, in the act of pouring down rocks upon the besiegers, he received a bullet through the head, a disaster which induced his retainers to surrender the place. They received no quarter, and the west side of the castle was razed to the ground, it being deemed at the time, an almost impregnable fortress. [3] Other disturbances appear to have preceded the revolt of Mahone, because we read that an assizes had been previously held at Ennis, at which no less than seventy persons, men and women, were put to death. The English established a jail at Ennis, and appointed one Patrick Morgan jailer (1591). Thus did they signalise their advent into the county.

Some minor occurrences took place about this time, and we proceed to extract these from the Annals of the Four Masters:
“A.D. 1586. Donald, son of Murtagh Garv O’Brien, was hanged at Ennis in January by Sir Richard Bingham.
A.D. 1588. Teige, son of Donald Reagh MacNamara, of Garruragh, was hanged at Galway.
A.D. 1589. Una, widow of Conor, third Earl of Thomond, and daughter of Turlogh (Mac Ibrian Ara), died at Clare-More.
A.D. 1589. Turlogh, son of Teige, son of Conor, son of Turlogh, son of Teige O’Brien of Beal-atha-an-Chomraic (Ballycorick), died.
A.D. 1589. Teige-an-Duna, the son of Donogh, son of Murtagh, son of Donogh, son of Murtagh, son of Ballach, the senior of the MacMahons, of Tuath-na-Farna and of Sliocth-an-Bhallaigh, died. He was a most brave man. [4]
A.D. 1589. Dermot Oge, the son of Dermot, son of Donogh, son of Dermot, son of Conor bishop of Limerick, son of Murrogh-an-Dana O’Dea, died, and was buried in his own town of Dysert Tola, in the cantred Cineal Fearmaic in the upper part of Dal Cais.” [5]