Brian Roe O'Brien

O'Brien, Brian Roe, King of Munster, Conor's second son, succeeded on the death of his father in 1267. Violent contentions immediately ensued between him and his nephew Turlough, in the course of which Brian called to his assistance Thomas de Clare, a young knight, to whom Edward I. had granted Thomond. When in 1277, De Clare, armed with Edward's grant, arrived at Cork from England with a numerous band of followers, Brian met him on landing and conveyed to him as the price of his assistance the district comprised in the present barony of Lower Bunratty.

According to a note in the Four Masters, they swore "to each other all the oaths in Munster, as bells, relics of saints, and croziers, to be true to each other for ever, and not endamage each other; also, after they became sworne gossips, and for confirmation of this their indissoluble bond of perpetuall friendship, they drew part of the blood of each of them, which they put in a vessall and mingled it together." De Clare immediately erected Bunratty Castle. The same year O'Brien and De Clare were defeated by the De Burghs of Connaught and the Irish of Burren in a bloody engagement at Maghgresain, and fled to Bunratty. There, in vexation at his defeat and at the instigation of his wife, De Clare caused O'Brien, in the words of the chronicler, to be "bound to sterne steedes and tortured to death" [1277].


263. O'Briens, Historical Memoir of the: John O'Donoghue. Dublin, 1860.