Cathal Crovderg

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XVIII

Cathal Crovderg now obtained the assistance of the Lord Justice, who plundered Clonmacnois. He also purchased the services of FitzAldelm, and thus deprived his adversary of his best support. The English, like the mercenary troops of Switzerland and the Netherlands, appear to have changed sides with equal alacrity, when it suited their convenience; and so as they were well paid, it mattered little to them against whom they turned their arms. In 1201 Cathal Crovderg marched from Limerick to Roscommon, with his new ally and the sons of Donnell O'Brien and Florence MacCarthy. They took up their quarters at Boyle, and occupied themselves in wantonly desecrating the abbey.

Meanwhile Cathal Carragh, King of Connaught, had assembled his forces, and came to give them battle. Some skirmishes ensued, in which he was slain, and thus the affair was ended. FitzAldelm, or De Burgo, as he is more generally called now, assisted by O'Flaherty of West Connaught, turned against Cathal when they arrived at Cong to spend the Easter. It would appear that the English were billeted on the Irish throughout the country; and when De Burgo demanded wages for them, the Connacians rushed upon them, and slew six hundred men. For once his rapacity was foiled, and he marched off to Munster with such of his soldiers as had escaped the massacre. Three years after he revenged himself by plundering the whole of Connaught, lay and ecclesiastical.