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The Battle of Liscarroll
The battle of Liscarroll was fought in July 1641. It was part of the
confederate wars(1641-1653). The war was fought between the native Irish Catholics and the Protestant
British settlers supported by England and Scotland.The confederate Catholics formed their headquarters in the city of Kilkenny
essentially making confederate Ireland an independent state.
In 1641 the confederate army in west Munster seized Liscarroll castle effectively laying siege
to the English held city of Cork. This army was 6000 strong and was commanded by Garrett Barry,a
professional soldier. The army consisted of militias created by local lords. The Burgats of Fantstown
castle led one such militia. The Fitzgerald family led by the Knight of Glin formed the majority of the
confederate force. An English army made up of English settlers and a contingent of soldiers from
England left Cork to retake the castle.This army was commanded be a Protestant Irishman,
Murrough O Brien, Baron of Inchiquin.
The confederate cavalry were led by a man named Oliver Stephenson, a descendent of English settlers.
He joined the Irish rebellion because he was Catholic. His 500 horsemen charged Inchiquin's force
putting them into disorder and capturing Inchiquin himself. However Stephenson was shot by Inchiquin's
brother through an eyepiece in his helmet killing him instantly. This caused chaos in the confederates
who lost their formation and had to retreat. As a result the battle was lost. Over 700 confederates
were killed including a high proportion of officers. The local Catholic gentry were dessimated by the battle.
The Burgats lost two uncles and a nephew while the Fitzgerald family of the house of Desmond lost
18 members. Inchiquin executed 50 officers whom he'd taken prisoner, hanging them the next morning.
The battle meant Cork would be a British Protestant stronghold for the rest of the war.
After the battle most of the lands in north Munster were granted to English settlers in return for cash
which was used by the parliamentarian army to fund their activities in the English civil war. Most of the
land was returned to the original owners after the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England during
the 1660's. A stone plaque in the main aisle of Kilmallock abbey commemorates the exploits of the Burgats that day.
It is their final resting place.
Click on the link below to see photos of the re-enactment of the battle of Liscarroll.
The photos are quite large (to maintain picture quality) so they may take a little time to download.