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Sunday, 3 March 2013



3‭ ‬March‭ ‬1577:‭ ‬The town of Naas,‭ ‬Co Kildare was torched by Rory Og O’More and Cormac MacCormac O’Connor on this day.‭ ‬These two Gaelic Chieftains with a select force of‭ ‬140‭ ‬men and boys ran through Naas like the‭ ‬‘haggs and furies of hell,‭ ‬with flakes of fire fastened on poles‭’‬,‭ ‬and burned between‭ ‬700‭ & ‬800‭ ‬of the thatched houses belonging to the local townsfolk‭ ‬-‭ ‬who were still recovering from celebrating St David’s Day‭ [‬1‭ ‬March‭]‬.‭ ‬The English Lord Deputy Sydney was furious that Irish‭ ‘‬rebels‭’ ‬from the bogs of Laois were able to make such a surprise attack upon one of the chief towns of the Pale,‭ ‬cause such destruction in such a short space of time and then get clean away.‭ ‬He wrote that:

They had not one horseman,‭ ‬nor one shot with theim‭; ‬they ran through the town,‭ ‬beinge open,‭ ‬like haggs and furies of hell,‭ ‬with flakes of fier fastened on pooles ends,‭ ‬and so fiered the low thatched howsies‭; ‬and being a great windie night,‭ ‬one howse took fiere of another in a moment‭; ‬they tarried not half an houre in the town,‭ ‬neither stoode they upon killinge or spoylinge of any.

There was above fyve hundred mennes boddies in the towne manlyke enough in appearance,‭ ‬but neither manfull,‭ ‬nor wakeful as it seamed‭; ‬for they confesse they were all aslepe in their bedde,‭ ‬after they had filled themselves and surfeyted upon their patrone day‭; ‬which day is celebrated,‭ ‬for the most part,‭ ‬of the people of this country birthe,‭ ‬with gluttonye and idollatrye as farre as they dare.

But Sydney was a cold and ruthless man.‭ ‬An insult to his authority like this could not be passed over.‭ ‬He was determined to bring in Rory O’More dead or alive.‭ ‬All that year and well into the next he harried his elusive opponent.‭ ‬He killed any of O’More’s soldiers he could engage in battle and also members of the O’More family‭ ‬-‭ ‬including Rory’s wife Margaret‭ (‬O’Byrne‭)‬.‭ ‬Finally in June‭ ‬1578‭ ‬O’More was killed in a skirmish,‭ ‬his head cut off and brought to the Lord Deputy who had it stuck on a pole on the walls of Dublin Castle.‭ 

Rury Oge,‭ ‬the son of Rury Caech,‭ ‬son of Connell O'More,‭ ‬fell by the hand of Brian Oge,‭ ‬son of Brian Mac Gillapatrick.‭ ‬This Rury was the head of the plunderers and insurgents of the men of Ireland in his time‭; ‬and for a long time after his death no one was desirous to discharge one shot against the soldiers of the Crown.

Annals of the Four Masters