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Flight of the Earls

Flight of the Earls, 1607. Tyrone and Rory O'Donnell, who had been in open rebellion against Elizabeth, submitted in 1602. O'Donnell was created 1st earl of Tyrconnel. But increasingly dissatisfied with their position, they fled on 4 September 1607 from Rathmullan on Lough Swilly with some 90 family and retainers and took refuge at Rome. Neither saw Ireland again. Tyrconnel died in 1608, Tyrone in 1616. The result was to deprive the native Irish of a focus for resistance, and colonization from England and Scotland proceeded rapidly until the great rising of 1641. Over the next three centuries, tens of thousands of Irish left their native land.

J. A. Cannon

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Swilly, Lough

Lough Swilly (lŏkh swĬl´ē), inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, c.25 mi (40 km) long, Co. Donegal, NW Republic of Ireland. It is narrow and irregular in shape, with numerous islands. There is a lighthouse at Fanad Point. The resort town of Buncrana is on the eastern shore. On the lough, Wolfe Tone, an Irish revolutionary, was captured (1798) in an ill-fated insurrection against English rule.

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