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[Read January 26, 1904.]

Ti7~hen lately investigating the antiquarian remains in the Queen's County Barony of Portnahinch, and comparing their situation on the 6-inch Ordnance Survey Maps, I noticed that on Sheet 9 the words "Pass of the Plumes" were printed in Gothic letters at the crossroads where the village of Ballybrittas (New) now stands. Locating the scene of the fighting from which the Pass of the Plumes takes its name here, nine statute miles to the north-east of Maryborough, is quite wrong, as the real locality of the fight is in the present townland of Pass, which lies between Ballyknockan and Ballyroan, in the Queen's County, and about five English miles south of Maryborough. (See Map, p. 209.)

The date of the fighting at " the Pass of the Plumes" (or the Pass of Cashel, as it was called at that time) was the 17th of May, 1599. Though not mentioned by name, the fighting that took place here is alluded to in the "Annals of the Four Masters" under that year, wherein

T u c A T ( Vol. XIV.. Fifth Series. I „ Jour. R.S.A.I. j Vo, xxxiv Consec. Ser. ) Q

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it is stated that the O'Mores, the Eavanaghs, the O'Connors-Faly, and the O'BjTnes " made fierce and desperate assaults, and furious, irresistible onsets, on the Earl of Essex and his troops, in intricate ways and narrow passes, in which both parties came in collision with each other, so that great numbers of the Earl's people were cut off by them; the Earl, however, in spite of all the difficulties which he met, at last arrived in the country of the Butlers."

In a note to the above extract O'Donovan adds :—

"The English writers make no mention of this attack by O'lfore, but O'Sullivan-Beare, in his 'Hist. Cathol. Iber. Compend.,' says that five hundred of Essex's army were killed by Owny O'More in a defile called 'Bearna-na-gCleti,' i.e. the Gap of the Feathers. This name is now obsolete, nor has any evidence yet been discovered to prove the exact situation of the place"

Since O'Donovan wrote that last sentence two volumes of Calendars of Irish State Papers have been published, which contain documents referring to Essex's campaign in Leinster, by means of which the Pass of the Plumes can be definitely located at the place mentioned above.

The years 1597 and 1598 were disastrous ones for the English arms in Ulster, where Hugh Roe O'Donnell and Hugh O'Neill were having it all their own way; and when, on the 14th of August, 1598, the English suffered a crushing defeat in the battle of Bellanaboy, or the Yellow Ford, near Armagh, Queen Elizabeth became so exasperated, that she wrote letters roundly censuring the Council in Dublin for mismanaging her affairs in Ireland, and appointed an experienced and so far successful soldier—Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex—as Lord Lieutenant and Governor-General of Ireland, in succession to Thomas, Lord Borough, recently slain in action.

On the 13th of April, 1599, Essex landed in Dublin. An army of 16,000 foot and 1,300 horse was placed at his disposal, and his instructions were, first and foremost, to bring Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, to subjection. Owing to some unforeseen difficulties, Essex decided to postpone the Ulster campaign, and instead to leave garrisons in Newry, Dundalk, Drogheda, "Wicklow, and Naas, while he marched through Leinster to Munster in order to punish the Geraldines of Desmond, then in rebellion.

The successes of the Irish forces in Ulster had encouraged the Leinster chiefs to take up arms; so that when Essex left Dublin for the South, he found Leinster in a blaze of revolt. Among the few native chiefs who remained loyal to the Government were Sir Terence O'Dempsey, chief of Clanmaliere, and Fineen mac Brian Mac Gilla Patrick, chief of Upper Ossory.1

1 It was often the practice for the head of the sept to remain outwardly loyal while the junior branches ro6e in revolt.

According to the Annals and State Papers, the leaders of the Leinster revolt at this particular time were :—

Of the Kavanaghs :—

Donnell ' Spaniagh' Kavanagh, of Clonmullen, County Wexford, son of Donough, son of Cahir ' carrach ' (the scabbed). He was called Spaniagh "because, when a boy, he had attended on Stuckley in Spain."

Morgan mac Brian Kavanagh, of Polmonty, County "Wexford.

Brian mac Donough Kavanagh, of Ballyloughan, County Carlow.

Of the Mac Coghlans:—

The Mac Coghlan, i.e. Shane oge, son of Shane, son of Art, son of
Cormac, chief of Delvin Eathra, in the King's County.

Of the Mac Donnells :—

Edmund mac Maelmurry Mac Donnell, of Rahin-Derry, Queen's

Walter mac Edmund ballagh (the freckled) Mac Donnell, of Bally-
boy, alias Baltiboys, County Wicklow; he was known as "the
Galloglass of the Mountain."

Callogh mac Walter, "brother's son to Hugh boy (the yellowhaired) mac Callogh" Mac Donnell, of Tinnakill, Queen's County; he is described as "the most stirring and bloody rebel in Leinster," and, as a leader, only second to Owny mac Rory O'More.

Of the Mac Gilla Patricks (Fitz Patricks) :—

Teige mac Fineen, son of the Baron of Upper Ossory.
Dermot Mac Gilla Patrick.

Of the 0'Byrnes:—

The sons of Feagh mac Hugh 0'Byrne, of Ballinacor, in Glenmalure, County Wicklow, viz. Felim (the wolf of the mountain), Redmond, and Turlough O'Byrne.

Of the O'Carrolls :—

The O'Carroll, i.e. Calvagh, son of William 'odhar' {i.e. the pale),

son of Ferganainm, son of Maelrony, chief of Ely-O'Carroll, in

the King's County. Teige oge mac Teige O'Carroll, of Cooladowen, King's County. Oghny mac William O'Carroll, of Clomaghill, King's County.

■Of the O'Connors-Faly :—

The sons of Brian mac Cahir, chief of Offaly, in the King's

County, viz.: Rory, Calvagh, and Cormac O'Connor.

Terence mac Teige mac Cahill O'Connor, of Ballyrain, King's

Of the O'Dempseys:—

Lisugh mac Dermot O'Dempsey, of Cloneyhiirke, King's County,

brother of Sir Terence, afterwards created Viscount Clanmaliere

(a sub-district of Offaly).
Glasny (? mac Teige mac Owny) O'Dempsey, of Ballyricard, alias

Kichardstown, in the King's County.
Felim mac Garrett O'Dempsey, of Cooltedery (where Portarlington

now stands). Queen's County.

Of the O'Dunnes: —

Cormac 0'Dunne (?of Lisnarode, Queen's County).

Of the O'Molloys :—

The O'Molloy, i.e. Calvagh, son of Connell, son of Cahir, chief of

Fircall, in the King's County.
Rory oge mac Rory O'Molloy, of Pallas, King's County.
Turlough mac Brian O'Molloy, of Ballintolchan, King's County.

Of tie O'Mores :—

The O'More, i.e. Owny, son of Rory oge (the younger), son of
Rory caech (the one-eyed), son of Connall, son of Melaghlin,
chief of Leix.

Lisagh mac Murtagh O'More, of Cremorgan, Queen's County.
Shane mac Kedagh O'More, of Dunaree, Queen's County.
Donnell mac Neill O'More.

Of the O'Tooles :—

Felim mac Feagh O'Toole, of Castlekevin, in Vartry, County

Among the Anglo-Irish who took part in this rebellion, and were active commamlers in Leinster, are mentioned :—

Of the Butlers :—

Pierce and James, sons of .Sir Edmund Butler, Knt., of Clog

rennan, in the County Carlow.
The fourth Baron of Cahir, i.e. Thomas, son of Theobald, son of

Pierce, son of Edmund Butler; and his brother James.
The second Viscount Mountgarrett, i.e. Edmund, son of Richard,

son of Pierce Earl of Ormonde; and his nephews Kichard,

James, and Edward.

Of the Burkes :—

Redmond Burke, son of John of tho Shamrocks, son of James, son of Richard 'Suxonagh' (the Englishman), son of Click 'na ceann' (of the heads, who was created Earl of Clanricard in 1543).

Of the Eustaces :—

James fitz John Eustace, of Newland, County Kildare.

Of the Fitz Geralds :—

Gerald fitz Garrett oge Fitz Gerald, of Castletown Moylagh,
County Meath.

Sir James fitz Pierce Fitz Gerald, Knt., of Ballyshannon, County

Kildare, Sheriff of the County.
Gerald Fitz Gerald, of Morett, in the Queen's County, and his

brother Edward, illegitimate sons of the eleventh Earl of


Thomas Fitz Gerald, another bastard son.

Of the Keatings :—

Redmond fitz John Keating, of Ballymoyleran, Queen's County.
Pierce fitz Edmund Keating, of Coolnarian, Queen's County.

Of the Lees :—

Captain Thomas Lee, of Castlemartin, County Kildare; ut one time an officer under the Government, and later on "a great favourer of the Earl of Tyrone." He was executed in 1601.

Of the Nettervilles :—

Richard Netterville (? of Corballis, County Meath; second son of
Luke Netterville, of Dowth, County Meath).

Of the Nugents :—

William Nugent, of Ross, County Meath, brother of Sir

Christopher, fourteenth Baron of Delvin.
Richard Nugent, second son of Sir Thomas, of Carlanstown,

County "Westmeath.
Captain Nugent, "one of Tyrone's best Captains," hanged at the

Fort of Maryborough in May, 1599.

Of the Tyrrells :—

Captain Tyrrell, i.e. Richard, son of Thomas oge, son of Richard,

of Fertullagh, County "Westmeath {viv. 1624). Captain "William Tyrrell.

Several of the above-named leaders were slain in this rebellion; others became outlaws; and some, having made their submission, received pardons on the payment of heavy fines.

From a " Journal of the Lord Lieutenant's journey into Leinster," 1 we will now trace the march which led to the fighting at the Pass of

1 Atkinson's " Calendar of State Papers," Ireland, 1599-1600.

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