Turlough Luineach O’Neill

Turlough Luineach O’Neill

In 1544, the O’Luinigh of Mhuintir Luinigh in Tyrone adopted Turlough O’Neill, the orphaned 14-year-son of Niall Connallach O’Neill (the Tanist of Tyrone, who died before he could succeed to the kingship of Tyrone). Turlough had been living with the O’Luinigh as a foster child for several years. As a young adult, Turlough took the name ‘Luineach’ meaning “of the O’Luinigh” to honour his adopted family. Turlough Luineach became The O’Neill Mor (The Great O’Neill) of Tyrone and the paramount Irish king of Ulster in 1567 and reigned until 1593.

Turlough Luineach O’Neill was described as “Chief of Kings, the King of Ulster…” by the Irish poet John Buidhe O’Daly in 1584. He is mistakenly described as a “collaborator with English authorities” in some modern Irish histories, but was actually described during his lifetime (by his cousin, Hugh O’Neill, to Queen Elizabeth I) as an “enemy of the Crown” and by Queen Elizabeth’s Lord Deputy of Ireland as “treacherous” and “a traitor”.

Turlough was brother-in-law to his powerful Scottish ally, the Earl of Argyll, and was a cousin and father-in-law to his arch-enemy, ‘Red Hugh’ O’Donnell, The O’Donnell of Donegal.

For over a quarter of a century, he reigned from his castle near Strabane (in the western portion of the Mhuintir Luinigh), and frustrated the efforts of the English to tame and colonize Ulster, and also frustrated the ambition of his cousin Hugh O’Neill to become the ruler of Ireland. During Turlough’s long reign, Ulster remained a relatively peaceful bastion of Gaelic power and customs.

Heraldic arms of The O’Neill
(image courtesy of Araltas the Internet Heraldry Store -

When Turlough Luineach married the widowed Lady Agnes Campbell MacDonnell, the sister of the powerful Earl of Argyll, in 1569, he gained not only a large dowry of ‘redshank’ mercenaries provided by Argyll, but also became father-in-law to his cousin The O’Donnell of Tir Connell. When she married Turlough Luineach, Lady Agnes brought 10,000 troops with her. Their marriage was celebrated with fourteen days of feasting, story-tellers, jugglers and jesters.

During the twenty-six years of his reign as The O’Neill Mor, Turlough was reviled by the English as being a treacherous villain and the greatest threat to English authority in Ireland. Despite their repeated political and military efforts to remove him from power, the English were faced with a military stalemate, and finally settled for a treaty in 1578, negotiated by Lady Agnes, which confirmed Turlough’s vast land holdings in Ulster, granted him the British titles of Earl of Clanconnell and Baron of Clogher, for life, and allowed him to retain his personal army of Scottish mercenaries. In spite of this treaty, Turlough continued to intrigue against the English through covert alliances with Spain and Scotland. Turlough Luineach maintained virtual control of Ulster until 1593, when he was finally forced by failing health and military setbacks to cede power to his ambitious cousin, Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone.

The Association of O’Neill Clans is pleased to announce the International Gathering of the O’Neill Clans in Ireland from the 5th to 9th September 2012. The full program of historical and cultural events includes tours to Armagh, Cookstown, Dungannon and Dublin.

This unique event is taking place in the heart of O’Neill country in County Armagh and County Tyrone, as well as in Dublin. The program of activities combines visits to ancient historical sites and lectures by historians along with entertainment, receptions, visits to pubs, singing and dancing. The international gathering provides a rare occasion for people bearing the O’Neill name or variations of it or whose ancestors were O’Neills to meet and to share together a truly enriching moment.

In Armagh leading O’Neill historians will give lectures and in the evening there will be singing and dancing in a Benburb Village pub. Benburb was the scene of an important military victory in 1646 by the armies of Owen Roe O’Neill. In Cookstown there will be a viewing of the O’Neill Exhibition and a visit to Tullahogue Fort, dynastic centre and inauguration place of the O’Neills from the 11th century. Then on to Dungannon for a reception hosted by the Dungannon Council and the official opening of the new Castle Hill Visitor Centre. Castle Hill was a major stronghold of the Gaelic ‘Kings of Ireland’ between the 14th and 17th century and has recently been restored. Finally, the clan gathering closes with a Panoramic Dublin City tour, dinner and the dynamic, energizing Irish Cabaret Show “Ragus” with live traditional Irish music, song and dance.

For more information on the program and to register please visit www.bracktours.com, or call + 353 87 2597421 or write: Bracktours ONeill Registration, 11 Tamarisk Lawn, Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24, Ireland.

The Association of O’Neill Clans www.oneillclans.com
Sean O’Neill: smhd.oneill@gmail.com
Kathleen O’Neill Benshila: oneillbenshila@gmail.com


‘Alba an Aigh’, in Gaelic, is a Scottish patriotic song, and is one of several songs considered to be an unofficial ‘national anthem’ of Scot-Land.

In 2006, ‘Scotland the Brave’ was adopted as the regimental quick-march of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

In the 1982, 1986, and again in 1990, the Scottish national soccer team used ‘Scotland the Brave’ as its anthem during the FIFA World Cup matches.

Scotland the Brave’ is also the authorised pipe-band march of The British Columbia Dragoons of the Canadian military forces. And in the USA, it is played during the Pass-in-Review during Friday parades at both The Citadel and the Virginia Military Institute.

The Regimental Commander gives commands to the Corps of Cadets
during a parade at the Virginia Military Institute.

The tune first appeared around the beginning of the 20th century, and was only sometimes known as ‘Scotland the Brave’. Probably the first set of lyrics set to the tune was a British Union of Fascists song called ‘Up, Fascists’. However, the lyrics commonly sung today were written in around 1950 by the Scottish journalist Cliff Handley.

In June 2006, the song came in second in an online poll with more than 10,000 votes to determine Scotland’s favourite unofficial anthem, losing only to ‘Flower of Scotland’. ‘Scotland the Brave’ was used to represent Scotland at the British Commonwealth Games until it was replaced in 2010, at the Games being held in India, by ‘Flower of Scotland’.

Hark when the night is falling,
Hear! hear the pipes are calling,
Loudly and proudly calling,
Down thro' the glen.
There where the hills are sleeping,
Now feel the blood a-leaping,
High as the spirits of the old Highland men.


Towering in gallant fame,
Scotland my mountain home,
High may your proud standards gloriously wave,
Land of my high endeavour,
Land of the shining river,
Land of my heart for ever,
Scotland the brave.
High in the misty Highlands
Out by the purple islands,
Brave are the hearts that beat
Beneath Scottish skies.
Wild are the winds to meet you,
Staunch are the friends that greet you,
Kind as the love that shines from fair maidens' eyes.


Far off in sunlit places
Sad are the Scottish faces,
Yearning to feel the kiss
Of sweet Scottish rain.
Where the tropics are beaming
Love sets the heart a-dreaming,
Longing and dreaming for the homeland again.



The Castles and Fortified Houses of West Cork

Author: M. Carroll
ISBN: 0951941585

During the Norman conquest of West Cork, over 150 castles were built, both by the Norman and local clan chieftains. Fire, pillage, inter-clan strife, civil unrest, conquest and vandalism have all played their part in wiping out these monuments and structures, with their inestimable historical value to present and future generations. Many have been obliterated from the landscape, and their exact position, can prove difficult to locate.

A scarcity of documentation means that writing a history of the castles of West Cork is an almost impossible task. Existing publications might offer up only a sentence or a date in relation to a particular building. This volume is the result of considerable research, and information has been gleaned from every available source, including those of local and oral tradition.

This is not a definitive work. With some castles having for or five names, and others not being mentioned at all in various records, confusion can occur. Its aim is to link together historical, social and legendary material for the interest of all classes of reader.

For those interested in the history of West Cork during the period 1150 to 1700 this is an indispensable reference book, giving many details of the history and legends surrounding the castles. Also included is an abbreviated history of West Cork during this period, with particular reference to the major clans and septs.

Great Endeavour: Ireland's Antarctic Explorers

Author: Michael Smith
ISBN: 9781848890237 / 1848890230

Ireland stands at the heart of the gripping story of Antarctic exploration. Almost every episode of triumph and tragedy and awe-inspiring endurance and unimaginable hardship in the world’s most dangerous territory involves great Irish figures who have left an indelible mark on history through their courage and indomitable will to survive.

This book is the first single volume to salute Ireland’s unique link with Antarctic discovery, spanning 200 years of daring exploits in the frozen wastes. It includes many previously unknown stories and photographs of early explorers and discloses why so many Irish heroes, caught up Ireland’s fight for independence, were soon forgotten.

Irish characters graced Antarctic exploration from the earliest days, starting 200 years ago with the enigmatic EDWARD BRANSFIELD from Cork who made the earliest sighting of the continent and FRANCIS CROZIER from Down who first mapped the icy wilderness. The charismatic ERNEST SHACKLETON of Kildare ventured on four epic voyages and TOM CREAN, the unsung hero from Kerry, outlived most of his comrades and retired to open a pub. New light can also be shed on the overlooked Corkmen, PATRICK KEOHANE, ROBERT FORDE and the colourful brothers, MORTIMER AND TIMOTHY McCARTHY. This book also contains the first comprehensive account of hardy 21st century Irish adventurers who trekked in the footsteps of the pioneers, including MIKE BARRY from Kerry, the first Irishman to walk overland to the South Pole. Other thrilling stories include CLARE O’LEARY, the first Irishwoman to march to the Pole and the courageous MARK POLLOCK, who overcame blindness to make the trek.

Brought together for the first time, these historic episodes in the Antarctic are a powerful and compelling celebration of 200 years of great endeavour by great Irish explorers.

Rob Roy’s Country

Author: Mary McGrigor
ISBN: 1840170484 9781840170481

An illustrated guide to the dramatic landscape inhabited by one of Scotland's most illustrious heroes

With magnificent colour photographs by renowned photographer Malcolm MacGregor (Chief of Clan Gregor)

The story of Rob Roy is colourful, heroic, steeped in legend and lore – much like the landscape he inhabited.

This book takes you along the paths, over the hills and into the glens of Rob Roy’s world. Recapturing the very essence of life then, it provides a real glimpse into the mind of this man of legend. Along lonely Scottish lochs and below rugged, snow-capped peaks, Mary McGrigor has unearthed tales of derring-do and acts of clan greed and aggression.  

These are the heroic legends of the ‘Children of the Mist’, recounted with imagination and an eye for detail.

Perfectly complementing the highly readable narrative are the stunning and imaginative colour photographs by Malcolm MacGregor (Chief of Clan Gregor).

With a new perspective, he captures the wild magnificence of Rob Roy’s Country and his images lift this book out of the ordinary.

Rob Roy’s Country is perfect for anyone interested in the history and beauty of Scotland.


The Wide Blue Road

Author: Marion Campbell
ISBN: 1899827846

An illustrated viking adventure story for children.Set in Argyll during the great Norse attack on Ireland



Battle of Benburb

Author: Clive Hollick
ISBN: 1856356701

A fresh perspective on the famous battle in which the victors threatened the very existence of the Ulster plantation but, ironically, brought about the fall of their own Assembly of the Catholic Supreme Council. On Friday 5th June, 1646, near the village of Benburb, Owen Roe O'Neill, leader of the Confederate native Irish Ulster army, brought about his greatest military triumph in Ireland by putting to rout the combined Scottish/British force of Robert Monro. This was no ordinary battle as the combatants came from Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland with the mixed interests of the imprisoned King Charles I, his rebellious English parliament, the Scottish covenanters, the 'old English', the Vatican, the Ulster plantation and the native Irish. In this fresh new perspective the battle itself has been re-examined and broken down into tactical phases to understand the experiences the men had to endure and the reasons why the battle turned out the way it did. The rival forces themselves are investigated with full orders of battle, the troops of horse and regiments of foot that participated in the campaign and the different types of soldiers that made up these units.

The Rollicking Adventures of Tam O'Hare

An entertaining, adventurous story that lends itself to historical, educational, and spiritual lessons (without being pretentious or "religious"). The story expresses the author's belief that Honor is the only true gift one can give oneself. The book was initially written for elementary school children, but it has garnered a following with high school and college-aged students … and, dare I say it, older gentlemen !!!

Product Details
     Pub. Date: December 2007
     Publisher: Morgan James Pub
     Format: Hardcover, 220pp
     Age Range: 9 to 12
     ISBN-13: 9781600372971
     ISBN: 160037297X

Tam O'Hare, Irish Lord and swashbuckling adventurer, along with his young squire, Horatio MacNutt, set out to find a young girl who's been stolen by the faeries -- the "Good People" of Irish and Scottish lore. Filled with swashbuckling action, pirates, and high seas battles, this fanciful tale is set against the historic backdrop of 16th-century Ireland, Scotland, and England, where the English are foxes, wolves, and hawks, and the Irish and Scots are rabbits, squirrels, badgers, and bears