Roderick O'Connor

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XIV. concluded

In 1166 the Irish Monarch, O'Loughlin, committed a fearful outrage on Dunlevy, Prince of Dalriada. A peace had been ratified between them, but, from some unknown cause, O'Loughlin suddenly became again the aggressor, and attacked the northern chief, when he was unprepared, put out his eyes, and killed three of his leading officers. This cruel treachery so provoked the princes who had guaranteed the treaty, that they mustered an army at once and proceeded northwards. The result was a sanguinary engagement, in which the Cinel-Eoghan were defeated, and the Monarch, O'Loughlin, was slain. Roderick O'Connor immediately assumed the reins of government, and was inaugurated in Dublin with more pomp than had ever been manifested on such an occasion. It was the last glittering flicker of the expiring lamp. Submission was made to him on every side; and had he only possessed the ability or the patriotism to unite the forces under his command, he might well have set all his enemies at defiance. An assembly of the clergy and chieftains of Ireland was convened in 1167, which is said to have emulated, if it did not rival, the triennial Fes of ancient Tara. It was but the last gleam of sunlight, which indicates the coming of darkness and gloom. The traitor already had his plans prepared, and was flying from a country which scorned his meanness, to another country where that meanness was made the tool of political purposes, while the unhappy traitor was probably quite as heartily despised.