The history of Ulster and indeed of Ireland may have been very different had not Shane O’Neill considered it imperative to quash his Irish rivals and the Scots of Antrim – in addition to his battles with the English – and thus over-stretch himself.
In Shane O’Neill’s time (1550s-60s) there was acrimony and conflict within the O’Neill clan between the English appointed Barons (or Earls) of Ulster and the clan-elected leadership. For example on 12th April 1562, between Newry and Carlingford Brian, the young Baron (eldest son of Matthew O’Neill) was slain, along with twenty of his retainers […]
We know that in the late twelfth century the English first landed and began their conquest. In 1178 John de Courcey advanced into Machaire Conaille (the plain of Louth) to plunder it and exact a prey of a large number of cattle.