Shane O’Neill’s taking of Newry and Dundrum was just the start of a widespread campaign he waged in Ireland and soon the entire northern half was in his undisputed possession.
In October Nicholas Bagenal was restored to the position of Marshall – a fairly nominal appointment brought about by the intervention of his friends in high places for he was still apparently landless since Newry remained in the possession of the Irish for quite some considerable time.
On 12th November the Queen instructed Sidney to bring Shane to a conference where he might account for his deeds but the proud and victorious O’Neill was not interested.
In a letter written by Bagenal from Dublin in February 1566, to his friend the Earl of Leicester Nicholas expressed his feelings bitterly.He states that he never knew the country so out of order – robbery, stealing and killing throughout the English Pale.
Shane was in possession of all the countries from Sligo to Carrickfergus, from there to Carlingford and south to Drogheda.
All this was despite the Queen’s Deputy’s efforts to quell him.
And he had forged a sure bond with Scotland (which, we remember was in the sixteenth century still an independent country and usually – as then – hostile to England and her interests).