De Courcy's defeat in Antrim

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XVIII

Meanwhile De Courcy was plundering the northern provinces. His wife, Affreca, was a daughter of Godfrey, King of Man, so that he could secure assistance by sea as well as by land. But the tide of fortune was not always in his favour. After he had plundered in Louth, he was attacked, in the vale of Newry [9] river, by O'Carroll of Oriel and Dunlevy of Ulidia. On this occasion he lost four hundred men, many of whom were drowned. Soon after he suffered another defeat in Antrim, from O'Flynn. The Four Masters say he fled to Dublin; Dr. O'Donovan thinks that we should read Downpatrick. The latter part of the name cannot be correctly ascertained, as the paper is worn away.

The Irish were, as usual, engaged in domestic dissensions, and the English acted as allies on whichever side promised to be most advantageous to themselves. The Annals record a great "windstorm" during this year, which prostrated oaks, especially at Derry-Columcille, which was famous for its forest. They also record the drying up of the river Galliv (Galway), "for a period of a natural day. All the articles that had been lost in it from the remotest times, as well as its fish, were collected by the inhabitants of the fortress, and by the people of the country in general."[1]


[9] Newry.—See an interesting note to the Annals (Four Masters), vol. iii. p. 40, which identifies the valley of Glenree with the vale of Newry. In an ancient map, the Newry river is called Owen Glenree fluvius.

[1] General.—This is mentioned also by O'Flaherty, who quotes from some other annals. See his account of Iar-Connaught, printed for the Archaeological Society.