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O'Donnell, Hugh Roe

Hugh Roe O'Donnell, 1571?–1602, Irish chieftain and ruler of Tyrconnel (modern Donegal), known as Red Hugh. His father tended to favor the English, who left him free to continue the traditional O'Donnell struggle with the O'Neills, until Hugh was taken hostage by the English for his father's loyalty and imprisoned (1587–92). On his escape his father resigned the clan leadership to him, and Hugh participated in a rising against the English, which turned into a major war (1594–1601). Successful at first, and aided by Spain, he enlarged his own territories but gradually lost control over the other nobles who resented his personal ambition. He was defeated, with Hugh O'Neill, 2d earl of Tyrone, at Kinsale (1601) and fled to Spain, where he died.

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O'Donnell, Hugh Roe

O'Donnell, Hugh Roe (c.1571–1602). O'Donnell was married to a daughter of Tyrone. From 1587 to 1591 he was held in captivity in Dublin but escaped and built up a powerful position in Connacht. He drifted into open rebellion against Elizabeth, sharing Tyrone's victory at Yellow Ford in 1598. On hearing of the Spanish expedition to Kinsale in 1601, he moved south to join forces with Tyrone. They were routed by Mountjoy and O'Donnell left at once for Spain, where he died eight months later. His younger brother Rory O'Donnell took over the chieftainship.

J. A. Cannon

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O'Donnell, Hugh Roe

O'DONNELL, HUGH ROE

Ruler of the autonomous Irish state of Tír Chonaill and principal ally of Hugh o'neill in the Catholic Confederates' War (15941603); b. Ballyshannon?, Donegal, Oct. 29, 1572; d. Simancas, Spain, Sept. 10, 1602. He was kidnapped in an English stratagem in October of 1587, but he escaped from Dublin Castle Jan. 5, 1592 and was inaugurated as "Ó Domhnaill" on April 23, 1592. He ejected the English from the Franciscan Abbey of Donegal and maintained almost continual warfare against Elizabeth I. O'Neill joined him openly in 1595. His expeditions into Connacht in 1596 and 1597 opened communications with Western chiefs for conjunction with the Ulster insurgents and facilitated their joint victory of the Yellow Ford on Aug. 14, 1598; this victory encouraged the Southern chiefs to join the Confederation. His victory of the Curlews on Aug. 15, 1599 contributed to the frustration of Lord Deputy Essex's campaign. He preceded O'Neill in marching (November 1601) to support the Spaniards besieged in Kinsale. After the Irish defeat there (December 1601), he sailed to Spain to petition Philip III for reinforcements. Disappointed, he sickened and died at Simancas. His death hastened the end of Irish military resistance; his brother Ruaidhrí submitted in December of 1602, O'Neill, on March 23, 1603. However, the lengthy war deferred general persecution of Irish Catholics and allowed time for reinforcements to their clergy from their new continental seminaries.

Bibliography: l. Ó clÉrigh, The Life of Aodh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill, transcribed by p. walsh, 2 v. (Irish Texts Society 42, 45; Dublin 194857).

[j. hurley]

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