James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker Samuel Beckett Sam Hanna Bell William Carleton John Hewitt Rosamond Praegar Bernard (Barney) Hughes

(Red) Hugh O'Donnell (c.1572 - 1602):
Irish chieftain


Red Hugh O'Donnell was the son of Sir Hugh O'Donnell. He undertook his first military action at twelve years of age. At the age of sixteen he was taken hostage and after four years as a prisoner in Dublin Castle, managed to escape to his father's castle in Ballyshannon, County Donegal. The frostbite sufferred during the winter journey necessitated the amputation of his two big toes. He married Finula, daughter of Hugh O'Neill, which consolidated his power. He was inaugurated as chief of the O'Donnells in 1592 and took Sligo and Connaught. Together with Hugh O'Neill he achieved a crushing victory over the English army at the Yellow Ford in 1598. In 1600 the Spaniards sent help, but nonetheless the Irish lost to Mountjoy at the Battle of Kinsale. O'Donnell went to the court of the Spanish king, Philip III, to ask for further assistance, but he fell ill and died there, possibly as a result of poisoning by an ally of Mountjoy. He is buried at the Franciscan monastery at Valladolid. [Biography by Lughaidh O Cleirigh, published 1948-57]

Born: c.1572
Died: 30 August 1602
Kate Newmann