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Comments on MacColla
Comments regarding MacColla

This year (1997) is the 350 anniversary of the death of Alaister Mac Colla.

In the month of August he figured in the Battle of Dungans Cnoc and shared in the Royalist [Confederate]defeat.

November this year sees the anniversary of the battle of Knocknanoss [Cnoc na Dos] in which Mac Colla died.

It is very sad that there is nothing in Ireland to celebrate this warrior, nor Manus O'Cahan, no marker, no plaque, indeed he is but a passing figure in Irish History. Yet he is recorded in Song {Clannad/Capercaille} his march [Chieftains/Ulster Orchestra/Kinniard] are very popular Irish tunes. Ironic that he should entertain the present generation yet no one knows who the hell he is.

Lastly he is buried in the Tomb of the O'Callaghans in Clonmeen County Cork[2 miles from the battle site] & in Buttevant Friory are the bones of the battle dead in the crypt of which many are Scots. Both are in a very poor state and I fear they will both pass into dust and an opportunity will be missed to mark/record this man.
From Austin Rock

In regard to MacColla I could never quite understand how he found himself fighting for the Confederates under Preston and Taffe[the Old English Catholic lords who passionately hated the Gaelic Irish, the only bond was there religion]. His natural place was with the Gaelic army of Ulster under O'Neill.

However one important issue I picked up on from the Gaelic annalists of the period was that MacColla was not welcome anymore.

a.) O'Neill and the Earl of Antrim[MacColla's patron] where at war
with the Old English Confederate Party over religious matters.

b.) I feel the feeling for this unease with MacColla was that the
O'Cahan's in Ireland felt Manus O'Cahan was abandoned by MacColla in
Scotland and left to his fate.

The O'Cahan's were strongly tied by kinship to the O'Neills and indeed Manus O'Cahan fought with O'Neill both on the continent and in Ireland. I do know that O'Neills diarist does state that MacColla had abandoned O'Cahan and was run out of Ulster by O'Neill.

I just thought that that was an interesting point that I picked up on from the actual Gaelic writers of the period and I have not picked up this from any English writers. It would account for him fighting with a bunch of military nutters[Preston and Taffe].

The defeat at Knocknanoss was put down to a prior monetary arrangement between Taffe and Inchiquin. It is interesting to note that not two weeks after the Victory Inchiquin was accepted to the Royalist cause. There is not truth incidentally that MacColla was offered quarter and then killed.

MacCollas opponent was a Gaelic Chieftain Murragh O'Brien, his clan was Protestant, fighting for the parlimenent, his levies were exclusively Irish, yet they butchered more innocent people than Cromwell himself. Yet the Irish School History books hide him as the following "Lord Inchiquin the English Parliamentary commander of Munster" yet the Gaelic annalists of the period refer to him as "Murragh na t-oithenna" or "Murragh the Burner".

Austin Rock



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