1602 – “Red” Hugh O’Donnell dies in Simancas, Spain; evidence suggests he was poisoned by an English spy.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Red Hugh O’Donnell (Aodh Ruaidh Uí Dhomhnaill) is one of the most famous heroes of Ireland. He was viewed as the fulfilment of an old prophecy, and was imprisoned as a boy by the English who saw him as a threat. He escaped from Dublin Castle in 1591, in company with the sons of the O’Neill. Word of the escape shot through the land. Hugh formed an alliance with the O’Neills and by the end of May 1591 had been officially proclaimed the O’Donnell, the leader of the O’Donnell Clan. When he called his clan to join the O’Neill and fight for Ireland instead of the more traditional raiding of O’Neill territory, Red Hugh came closer than any other hero to freeing Ireland from the English. By 1594, Hugh O’Donnell was leading his clan alongside the O’Neill against England in what became the Nine Years War.

O’Donnell and O’Neill scored…

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