Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916
The Signatories of the Proclamation

Search This Blog

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rory O'Connor - Son of Turlough

A Stone Carving of Rory O'Connor

Ruaidrí was one of over twenty sons of King Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (1088–1156) and his third wife, Cailech Dé Ní hEidin of Aidhne. He and his sister, Mór, were the only children of the union.

On Turlough Mor's death he was succeeded by his son Rory, as King of Connacht. It was not until the year 1166 that Rory, as the most powerful provincial King was recognised as High King of Ireland. However events were moving against Rory. Almost 100 years after the Normans had successfully invaded Britain in 1066, they were now turning their attention to Ireland. The treacherous King of Leinster, who had been expelled from his kingdom by Rory's father, Turlough Mor, persuaded the Normans to help restore him to the throne of Leinster.

On May 1st, 1169 a small force of 30 knights, 60 men in half armour and 300 archers and foot soldiers landed at Bannow Bay in Wexford, in the heart of the kingdom of Leinster. This was the first day of a new chapter in Ireland's history that was to last 800 years. In the months ahead the Normans reinforced their bridgehead but while Rory O'Conor had a number of chances of easily defeating the Normans he prevaricated and eventually was unable to resist the invaders.

Rory, dejected by his failure to expell the Normans, abdicated in favour of his son Conor Moinmoy and retired to the Abbey at Cong, which he had previously founded. There Rory lived out the rest of his life as a monk. So it was that the last High King of Ireland died as a monk in the year 1198 and was buried at the Abbey.

With Rory's death the Irish monarchical system ended. The monarchical system had governed Ireland for almost a millennium. Thirty years after his death, Rory's body was reburied beside his father's at Clomacnoise.

No comments:

Post a Comment