1601 – The Battle of Kinsale: Hugh O’Neill and Red Hugh O’Donnell are heavily defeated by Mountjoy.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

If any one single battle of Ireland’s Nine Years War was pivotal in nature, it is the Battle of Kinsale. Kinsale is a sleepy little port town in the southeastern portion of the country. Through tactical blunder, it became the focus of a battle that would permanently destroy Ireland’s hopes for independence during this time period.

The Spanish forces arrived in Kinsale, Co Cork in September 1601. However, their army was much smaller than the Irish leaders had hoped for. In spite of this, the Irish were in a good position at the onset of the battle. Red Hugh O’Donnell persuaded a more cautious Hugh O’Neill to attack the assembled English forces, led by Lords Mountjoy and Carew.

The battle was a disaster for the Irish; O’Neill’s forces failed to surprise the English, and were forced to retreat to higher ground, thus losing the advantage. They were mowed down by…

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