The Last Chieftain of Gno Beg

Ruaidhrí Ó Flaitheartaigh (1629-1718)

Treasa Bairéad Mhic-Mathúna

Map of Iar Connaught. Irish Archaeological Society (Lorg Journal)
Irish Archaeological Society
Ruins of Old Church, Moycullen (Sean Relig) mentioned in h-Iar Connaught. The adjoining graveyard contains O'Flaherty grave slab with family crest inscribed.
Book cover of later edition of West or H-Iar Connaught

Clann Mhurchadha- From Muigh Seola to Iar- Chonnacht.

For centuries, the O’Flahertys (Clann Mhurchada) had occupied the ancient  territory of Muigh Seola, east of Lough Corrib. Their power was absolute until in 1185, when Donal Mór O’Brien, King of Thormond, led a party of English into the western parts of the province where they pillaged, wrecked and destroyed the countryside. After some time Cathal Crobh Dearg O’Connor, King of Connacht, led more English into the province and Cathal delivered Roderic O’Flaherty, Chief of the tribe, over to the English and he was put to death. The die was cast for the two warring tribes of the O’Connors and O’Flahertys whose permanent whose permanent hostilities allowed ease of entry to a superior force. But the end of the road was in sight for Muinntir Murchada, when Henry 111 commanded William, earl Marshall, Lord Justice of Ireland ”to seize on the whole country of Connaught and deliver it to Richard de Burgo”. O’Flaherty property was then handed over to the O’Connors. The O’Flahertys and their troops barricaded themselves in the fort at Bun na Gaillimhe where eventually Richard de Burgo took over the fort and the O’Flahertys were expelled from their ancient territory of Muigh Seola. They then crossed the Corrib dispossessed and humiliated bearing grudges that would haunt them though the generations to come.

Rulers of Iar Chonnacht and Conmaichne-Mara

From the middle of the 13th century they ruled the vast rugged terrain of Iar Chonnacht and Conmaichne-Mara, displacing others as they spread out through the divided territory  but even then there were intertribal disputes over boundaries and possessions. Moycullen Castle was in the territory of Gnobeg and Aughnanure in Gnomore, The Gnomore Fahertys made several forays into Gnobeg which resulted in serious damage to life and property. Other castles were at Ross, Fouagh, Ballynahinch and Bunowen, Renvyle or Currath and Doon.

”Surrender and Re-grant”.

In 1558 when Elizabeth 1 assumed the English throne, she continued with Henry V111’s policy of ”Surrender and Re-grant”. By The Indenture of Composition for Iar Connaught entered into with Quenn Elizabeth in AD 1583 Ruaidhrí  Mór O’Flaherty (grandfather to Ruaidhrí Óg) was one of the principal contracting parties. It ”provided for his better maintenance of livinge, and in respect of his good and civil bringinge up in England he should have letters pattentes of the castle and house of Moycullen and all his lands in Gnobegge”. This agreement provided temporary stability of possession to the castle and lands which would eventually pass to the famous scholar and chronologist Ruaidhrí Ó Flaitheartaigh also known as Roderic(k) and sometimes Rory O’Flaherty.

Early life of Ruaidhrí Óg- Darcy Connections.

Ruaidhrí Óg Ó Flaitheartaigh, son of Aodh MacRuaidhrí Uí Fhlaitheartaigh and grandson of Ruaidhrí Mór was born in the castle at Moycullen in 1629. His mother, Elizabeth Darcy, was the daughter of a wealthy Galway merchant and Alderman, Martin Darcy (Martin Mac Shéumuis Riabhaigh). Patrick Darcy(1598-1668), the celebrated lawyer and politician, was a brother of step brother of Martin Darcy. The Darcys were one of the fourteen merchant tribes who ruled Galway as an English enclave. Duald Mac Firbis(Dubhaltach MacFhirbhisigh) refers to them as descendants of the Gaelic family of Ó Dorchaidhe from Partry in Co.Mayo.

Two deaths in the family.

From an early age Ruaidhrí Óg’s life was dogged by adversity. At the age of two his father, Aodh (Hugh) died leaving him as sole heir and future chieftain of Moycullen Castle and the territory of Gnobeg. He had four sisters, two unmarried and two, Jane and Mary (Bridgid) married respectively to Oliver and Cormac O’Hara of Sligo. In 1632 his mother remarried. Her husband, John Bermingham, was heir to Lord Athenry and they had three daughters, step-sisters to Ruaidhrí Óg. When Elizabeth died in 1636 Ruaidhrí Óg was orphaned. Even in these tougher and harsher times, abandonment of a three year old child at such a tender age questions the possibility that Elizabeth Darcy may have brought her young son to her new home; that is if the laws and customs did not dictate his remaining in his ancestral O’Flaherty home. What interest was shown by his stepfather, John Bermingham, in his future is also a matter of speculation. However, it is very likely that his influential Darcy uncles and relatives would have taken special interest in their nephew’s future. The ultimate responsibility would, of course, rest with the O’Flaherty of Gnobeg. Ruaidhrí O’Flaherty’s early childhood would seem, by today’s standards, to have been a traumatic one.

Ward of the Crown.

Following his father’s death Ruaidhrí Óg was made a Ward of the Crown, a fact of which he was extremely proud. It was customary since the reign of Elizabeth 1 to persuade Irish Chieftains and other  Ward of the crownimportant personages to go to England for their education as was the case with Ruaidhrí Óg’s grandfather, Ruaidhrí Mór. James 1 continued with Elizabeth’s policy of an English education, but as this did not always succeed he inserted a clause in all grants of wardenship ”that the wards should be maintained and educated in the English habits and religion in Trinity College Dublin”. As to what arrangements were made for Ruaidhrí Óg, there is nothing written but we do have a record of his gratitude and appreciation in the dedication of his Ogygia to the Duke of York in 1684. ” I was born in the reign of your father, the blessings of peace of which I enjoyed at my coming into the world in my infancy and in my youth were favours I most gratefully acknowledge to have received from his bountiful protection. I had not attained my second year when after the death of my own, whose gracious tutelage amply supplied the wants of my nonage”. What was meant by ”Amply supplied”, whether monetary or otherwise is open to interpretation, but what does seem certain is the fact that Ruaidhrí Óg’s basic education was more than adequate; his mastery of Classical Latin, English and History are proof of this. Of his knowledge of Irish, the great Irish scholar, Charles O’Connor of Belangare, Co. Roscommon wrote ”Under the celebrated scholar Duald MacFirbis he studied his maternal language in its classical purity and naturally turned his thoughts from the misery of his country in his own day to its prosperity in better”.Unlike the walled city of Galway which was referred to then as an ”ancient colonie of English”, the wild and mountainous’ people outside the walls continued the Gaelic tradition in all its facets, unfortunately we do not have any examples of O’Flaherty’s use of the Irish language in his writing except for some explanatory notes and the use of Irish words.

Macfirbis’ possible role in Rory Oge’s  education.

As it was accepted practice in those days to appoint tutors to important personages, it is possible that such a person would have been appointed in O’Flaherty’s case until he was of age to attend school in Galway. In the light of Charles O’Connor’s reference to O’Flaherty’s knowledge of Irish and indeed to the apparent friendship of the two men in later years, it is not outside the grounds of possibility that no less a person than MacFirbis might have fulfilled the role of tutor to O’Flaherty.

Galway’s Free School founded by Dominick Lynch.

There are many references to O’Flaherty’s attendance at the famous ”free school” in Galway founded by Dominick Lynch, the then Mayor of Galway in !580, at Ceann an Bhalla near Spanish Arch. The report of the Royal Commissioners  visited Galway in 1615 to enquire into the state of religion in each diocese for James 1 is well known.  One of the commissioners, Thomas Jones, Protestant Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor reported ”We found in 1615 a public schooles-master named Lynch placed there by the citizens who had great number of schollers, not only out of that province but also out of the Pale, and other parts resorting to him. We had daily proof during our continuance in that city how well his schollers profited under him. We had daily verses and orations which they presented to us. We sent for the schoole-master before us and seriously advised him to conform to the Religion established, and not prevailing with our advices we enjoined him to forbear teaching etc.”. In spite of such warnings and a fine of ”400li sterling of his Majesty’s use”, the  school continued to flourish for some years, as a decree from Galway Corporation confirms this.

”divers sturdie beggars and young fellowes pretending themselves to be schollers”.

Alarmed at the influx of ” divers sturdie beggars and young fellowes pretending themselves to be schollers” ordered that, ”everie schoole-master shall once everie quarter of a yeare deliver a noateto the Maior of the time being of all their schollers and of what places they name themselves”. This  demonstrates that there were a number of schools in Galway including the Jesuit College and Colaiste San Nicól which MacFirbis mentions in his writing. It is therefore not possible to say with any certainty when, where and for what length of time O’Flaherty studied in Galway, but it is generally accepted that two of his teachers were Duald Mac Firbis (Dubhaltach MacFhirbhisigh) and Dr, John Lynch.

Duald MacFirbis.

Duald Mac Firbis was the son of a Chieftain and one of a line of historians and scholars. They were referred to in the Irish Annals as ”historians and law-givers” of Lower Connacht, and were chieftains of the castle and lands of Lecan in East Sligo. One of his ancestors, Giolla Iosa Mór, was the compiler of the ”Book of Lecan”. Duald MacFirbis studied law, history and languages at the school of the MacEgans of Ballymacegan in County Tipperary and continued on with his studies of law, in particular the Brehon Laws, at the school of the O’Davorens at Cahermachnaughten in the Burren in County Clare. MacFirbis was also deprived of his heritage when his land and property was confiscated. His greatest work was his Leabhar Ginealach or Book of Genealogies. He spent much of his life transcribing, translating and preserving the ancient manuscripts which would otherwise be a lost part of our cultural heritage. He was secretary to Sir James Ware, an English lawyer and Auditor General who recognised the importance of knowledged accuracy in the recording of Irish History. MacFirbis was murdered in his eightieth year by one Thomas Crofton of Sligo when it is said he had tried to intervene in an alehouse brawl.

Dr. John Lynch.

Dr. John Lynch was a member of the ‘‘Tribe” family of that name in Galway. Born in 1599, tradition tells us that he was a son of Alexander Lynch, Warden of the city school, but there are no records to verify that fact. He studied in Dieppe and was later ordained in France. He returned to Galway where priests carried out their duties in ”in secret places and private houses”. He did, however manage to pursue his interest in historical research and teaching as well. He translated Keating’s Forus Feasa into Latin hoping possibly that it would be published abroad. John Lynch was appointed Archdeacon of Tuam when harassment of the clergy eased. Like O’Flaherty he was loyal to the Stuart Kings and took no part in the Confederation of Kilkenny, but at the same time his most famous work refuted the slanderous accusations against the Irish by the Welsh ecclesiastic and self-appointed historian Giraldus  Cambrensis. Cambrensis Eversus is his best known work and his Alithinolgia in which he refutes the claims by a friar named Farrell that the Anglo Irish should be expelled from Ireland. He returned to France never to return after Cromwell’s arrival in 1652. He continued his friendship and correspondence with O’Flaherty.

Galway’s glorious years.

O’Flaherty and his contemporaries, teachers and students alike in 1640’s were to witness the last decade of Galway’s glorious years. Galway was at the time a place of importance, wealth and sophistication, that ranked second to Dublin. It had many links with the continent through its trading. It received ecclesiastical status of Wardenship from Pope Innocent V111 in 1485 and a Royal Charter from Richard 111 in 1484. Unlike the Cathair Gaelach we know today, Galway prided itself on its Englishness and French was widely spoken. The wealthy merchants who ruled Galway wanted first class educational establishments for their children. Not only had they the choice of schools or colleges but the students had the advantage of meeting fellow students from other parts of the country who had come to Galway to further their education. this exchange of information and ideas in what was formerly a sealed or walled town must have greatly enhanced the intellectual atmosphere. O’Flaherty obviously took full advantage of his student years in Galway, as his time there was very limited.

A series of unfortunate incidents and then a marriage.

The presence of the Papal Nuncio, Rinuccini in Galway in 1648 caused riots and armed confrontations. Charles 1 was beheaded in London in January 1649 and bubonic plague from a Spanish ship hit Galway in the summer of 1649. The Corporation records tell us that ” during which tyme thousands of souls dyed of said sickness”. All who could got out of  Galway and by that time O’Flaherty would most probably have returned to Moycullen for the few remaining years that Gnobeg would be his rightful inheritance. But worse was to follow as Coote, the Lord President of Connaught, arrived in Galway in July 1651. A siege of nine months resulted which was to last until April 1652 when the town surrendered. The golden era was well and truely finished as Cromwell’s troops set out to destroy the people, the place and the culture of Galway. As all this was happening Ruaidhrí O’Flaherty married his cousin, a daughter of Colonel  Murchadha na Dtua of Aughnanure Castle in 1652.

O’Flaherty’s first known work in 1665, ‘a Letter on the Chronology of Irish history’.

O’Flaherty’s first known work in 1665, ‘a Letter on the Chronology of Irish history’ was dedicated to his teacher Dr. John Lynch. He addressed him as ”Clarissime Lyncaee” and completes the letter in the following words: ” I have, in compliance with your wishes,, reconciled the Chronology of Ireland which admitted of such various opinions and adopted in to the eras of the world and of Christ, conformably to the classical writers. I have also opened an avenue for others to form a more complete chronological system if possible. And if the pains I have taken in the prosecution and completion of the undertaking meet any applause, let it be ascribed to you, who animated and encouraged me in this performance and supplied me with the means of perfecting it”. This letter is dated, Galway September 1665 when O’Flaherty was 36 years of age.

West or h-Iar Connacht.

In 1684 he wrote his Chronographical description of West or h-Iar Connacht. This work, written in English, was prepared for the Dublin Philosophical Society but was not published until 1846, more than a century and a half after its completion. The notes are written by Hardiman in a very different form of English. This work was probably  difficult for O’Flaherty as he normally wrote in classical Latin. It is for most people the best known of his work and provides an accurate, colourful and most interesting topographical description of the territory from Galway to Slyne Head, and from Lough Corrib to the west coast. In this work he outlines the history, and describes the terrain, the agriculture, types of fish and birds and even minerals. It is used as a reference book to this day.

O’Flaherty’s  Magnum Opus and his meeting with William Molyneux.

His magnum opus the Ogygia Seu Rerum Hibernicarum Chronologia was published in London in 1685 when O’Flaherty was 56 years old. In 1793, a translation by James Hely of Trinity College was published. O’Flaherty explained the title of this work  in the following terms: “For I have entitled my book Ogygia for the following reason” given by Camden “ Ireland is justly called Ogygia i.e. very antient, according to Plutarch, for the Irish date their history from the first aeras  of the world, for in comparison with them the antiquity of all other countries is modern and almost in his infancy”. Further on he writes, “Like-wise it appears that Egypt was called  Ogygia for this reason: for the Egyptians are said to be the most antient people in the world; and they have discovered and invented many useful arts and sciences which the Greeks borrowed and introduced into their own country; wherefore Egypt has been stiled the parent of the universe, and the mistress of arts and sciences”. His Ogygia earned him a reputation at European level. Among his admirers were Sir Thomas and William Molyneux. William was born in Dublin in 1656. He was the author of many well known works, but he is best known for ‘The Case of Ireland being bound by Acts of Parliament in England Stated’. He was working on a ‘Description of Ireland’ intended for ‘Moses Pitt’s Atlas’ but this was never published. It was while he was working on this latter work that Molyneux met O’Flaherty. Later he visited him in Parke near Spiddal and found him in very poor circumstances. O’Flaherty frequently corresponded with William Molyneux.

Ogygia Vindicated against the objections of Sir George McKenzie.

Edward Lhuyd, the Welsh antiquary and manuscript collector, was another of his admirers. He also visited O’Flaherty at his home in Parke in1700. However, the critics we’re not unanimous in their praise of Ogygia, Scottish writers disputed his references, in particular Sir George McKenzie. O’ Flaherty came to the defence of his own work when he wrote ‘Ogygia Vindicated against the objections of Sir George McKenzie’. Unfortunately, this work was not published until long after both men were dead. It was edited and published in 1775 by the Irish scholar Charles O’Connor. Charles O’Connor also reported that O’ Flaherty was working on a second major work,  ‘Ogygia Christiani’, but no trace of this has ever been found. He did display in his writings a detailed knowledge and interest in Ecclesiastical history but that fact will always remain a mystery.

An indefatigable letter writer.

O’Flaherty was an indefatigable letter writer. Sometimes the letters were short but others could best be described as essays like his observations on Doctor Borlace’s reduction of Ireland which he wrote to a Mr Downing in January 1681/2.

Another letter to his friend William Molyneux written in December 1696 contained a ‘Confutation of Chinese Chronology’ which demonstrates his near obsession with chronology and his last known letter written also to William Molyneux on the subject of early ecclesiastical history and entitled ‘Animadversions on Doctor Chamberlain’s Subjection on the Bishops of Ireland to the Archbishop of Canterbury’ illustrates the depth of his knowledge of church history and affairs. One of O’Flaherty’s shorter letters to William Molyneux and written in January 1697 gives us a rare insight into the harsh reality of his existence:-


In answer to yrs of ye 23rd Instant; the steep round towers yu write of are certainly known by ye name imposed on ‘em what they were designed for; which is claictheach .i. house, or belfry for calling the people to ye service of ye adjacent church by ringing of bell: other contingent uses were of it; as for watchmen to look about ym on ye top, &, to give alarm: & for goods to be there kept  upon Incursions of Enemies. Ye steeples within churches & abbeys are in like manner called cloctheaghais .i. belcase as yu say staire case.

Of ye vast kind of Deeres I know nothing as yet, but will enquire. There are large horns of a deere kept for a monument in my Lord of Clanrickard’s house of Portomny found in a bog hard by: & ye more they are looked upon for admiration that they are of the kind of fallow Deeres . Had I known more, you may not doubt my willingness to content you.  

I thought to meete one going thither this term, yt wd bring yu what I writ if ye work for my Ld Bp; & since I did not, I send here inclosed .2. sheets, & so I intend to send .2. or more by everie post hereafter, as soon as I have yur orders com to me, of what to doe therein. ffor I write in an open place, & common roome for all comers & goers; & must put up my papers severall times a day: a sheet a day is ye most I write; so yt I wd be glade to have ‘em out of my hands with yu as many sheets, as I write.

I desire yu prevail with som body at leisure to enquire in S. Aug: De Civitate Dei (I cannot have ye book here) in ye first book about ye middle (that with Ludov: Vives his exposition upon, was ye book I had) a passage of ye Magicians of Egypt their predictions of ye light of ye Gospell, & their own ruin;it  is short enough to be transcribed and transmitted to me: for which I left a blank in ye work being as agreable with ye like of our druids upon ye coming of Saint Patrick as can be .

My humble service to my Ld Bp ever pnted; I am

Yr own faithful servt


Galway goal 29. Ja: 1696/7

O’Flaherty’s journey from Parke to Galway, a distance of six or seven miles and in the month of January, was not an easy prospect for a sixty eight year old man. There were no roads, few inhabitants and many dangers. Sir Thomas Molyneux once remarked that it took him three hours to make that same journey from Galway to Parke. The “work” he referred to for William Molyneux and “My Lord Bishop” was in all probability his main source of income. When he refers to the discomfort in the gaol common room, it is not in the form of the complaint , but as a statement of fact. Nor did he lose his sense of humour as demonstrated in the last line of the above letter (being as agreeable with ye like of our druids upon ye coming of Saint Patrick). On another occasion, he completed his ‘Observations on Borlase’s History’ with the following words somebody will perhaps hit him with it after his and my death”.  

Appeal to Commissioners of Delinquency and results of a later Dublin commission.

Since the arrival of Cromwell in 1652 and the subsequent confiscation of his estate, O’Flaherty’s life was haunted by poverty. As stated earlier, he married his cousin in that same year. In 1653, on the grounds of his, “innocency”, that is, of being a minor when the lands were confiscated , he appealed to the Commissioners of Delinquency who sat in Athlone. There he was decreed entitled to a considerable portion of his estate. Unfortunately, this decree meant a worsening of his financial position as contributions or taxes were levied by the state and his position only deteriorated.  

Like many of his class who believed in the Stuart Kings, O’Flaherty hoped that the restoration of Charles 11 would change his fortunes but that was not to be. Later a commission was held in Dublin to hear and determine the claims of “transplanted persons in Connaught and Clare”. O’Flaherty was decreed entitled to only 500 acres of poor land because of his previous debts . His home for the remainder of his life was at Parke between Forbagh an Spiddal on part of the lands he had regained.

O’Flaherty showed remarkable fortitude and acceptance.

All through his life O’Flaherty showed remarkable fortitude and acceptance. He referred many times in his writing to the loss of his estates with great sadness but never bitterness. These sentiments are expressed in the following extract from his ‘Ogygia’.

“This is my natal soil and patrimony through a long series of ancestors. It was a Manor, exempted by patent from royal tribute, endowed with the privilege of holding a market and fairs, and honoured with the liberty of a seneschal court to settle litigation; but having lost my father before I was two years of age, I came under the tutelary protection of the king by the laws of the country regulating minors, and paid, as was the custom, money for my wardship. But before it was lawful for me by age to enter upon the enjoyment of my patrimonial inheritance, I lost the patronage of my guardian by the regicidal execution of my king in the nineteenth year of my age; and the royal heir, the prince, half a year younger than I, was forced to seek refuge in a foreign clime.

The Lord hath wonderfully recalled the royal heir to his Kingdom with the applause of all good men and without any strife or bloodshed; but he hath not found me worthy to be restored to the Kingdom of my cottage.  ‘Tibi soli pecavi. Domine. Sit noen Domini benedictum in aeternum’”.

O’Flaherty was shamefully neglected by his countrymen.

There are some references to O’Flaherty’s journey to Sligo after the confiscation of his estates and of his friendship with McDonagh of Crevagh. Many authorities say that this was unlikely due to the difficulties of travel and access but 75 years after O’Flaherty’s death, James Hely, translator of his ‘Ogygia’ in 1793, states that: “O’Flaherty was shamefully neglected by his countrymen: And Counsellor Terence McDonough of Crevagh in the county of Sligo was his best patron and best friend  If he did make that journey to Athlone for the hearing of the Commissioners in 1653, there is a possibility that he may have travelled from there. He did have family in Sligo as two of his sisters were married there and Duald Mac Firbis may have been living there at that time. The Sligo poet Séan Ó ÓGadhra referred to O’Flaherty as “Ruaidhrí Ó Flaithbheartaigh sgafaire an leighinn” in his     “ Tuireadh na Gaelige agus Teastas na hEireann” a poem written early in the 18th century lamenting the passing of the scholars of Connacht.

O’Flaherty’s issue and his fatherly interest.

We know that O’Flaherty had one son, Michael, who inherited what was left of his father’s estate at Parke. James Hely (1793) tells us that “he had issue one son and some daughters. His son died an officer in the Austrian service”. Is on record that Michael married “Annabele Martin a neere relation” and the widow of Edmond Fitzpatrick of Aran. They had no family and his estate passed on to his stepson, Rickard Fitzpatrick. The Fitzpatricks were reputedly a very wealthy family.

Unfortunately, there is very little information concerning O’Flaherty’s daughter or daughters. There is, however, one very interesting letter which illustrates the fatherly interest and concern that O’Flaherty expressed in his daughter’s welfare. Some ten years after the death of his friend, William Molyneux, William’s son Samuel (1689-1728) corresponded with O’Flaherty. In one letter he pleaded with Molyneux to use his influence to secure a position for “Mr Edward Tyrell, a protestant who is married to a daughter of mine and get him a place as a boatman in Her Majesty’s boat in Galway, for which purpose I desire your earnest solicitation…”  He even refers to a drowning accident in Sligo where one surveyor and four “waiters” lost their  lives coming “in a boat from shipboard”, he suggests that there might be a vacancy there for his son-in-law.

There is anecdotal evidence that another daughter married Quigly, a defrocked priest and a priest hunter who was later executed for bigamy.

A poem in the Archives of the French Foreign Office in Paris and his Ogygia manuscript in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

Deprived of his manuscripts and source material, O’Flaherty continued his work in isolation remaining loyal to his God and King, even writing a poem to celebrate the birth of James 111 in Latin which it is said is now in the Archives of the French Foreign Office in Paris. His Ogygia was considered a milestone in Irish historical work, the MSS of which is now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. It has been said that the poet Robert Graves, who held the Chair of Poetry at Oxford, probably found the manuscript and use O’Flaherty’s interpretation of the Tree Alphabet for his great work on the European mythology “The White Goddess”.

A plaque and one ivy-covered wall.

Despite his achievements and international fame, the place of Ruaidhrí O’Flaherty’s death, in 1718, remained unmarked until April 1998 when Galway Archaeological Society erected a plaque at Páirc Lár (Parke)  in his own honour.

One ivy-covered wall, now barely visible, is all that remains of the Castle of Moycullen, a lone monument to its last Chieftain whose words reflect his tragic life: “I live a banished man within the bounds of my native soil; a spectator of others enriched by my birthright; an object of condoling to my relations and friends, and a consoler of their miseries”.

By Treasa Bairéad- MhicMathúna

(Lorg: Irisleabhar Staire Mhaigh Cuilinn ‘97-’98, Journal of Moycullen History Society Vol. 2)

O’Flaherty, R.       West or Iar-Connaught ed. J.Hardiman: 1846.
O’Flaherty, R.       Ogygia: 1685
Ó Muráile, N.       The Celebrated Antiquary, Dubhaltach MacFhirbhisigh:1996
Townley, C.           A Scholar in Isolation. Journal of the Galway Family History Society Vol. 111
Dúigeannain, M.  A letter from Roderic O’Flaherty to William Molyneux 29 Jan. 1697.
Galway Archaeological & Historical Society


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