Calvagh O'Donnell

O'Donnell, Calvagh, eldest son of preceding, by Johanna O'Neill, was one of the most distinguished members of the family in the 16th century. In 1555 he obtained troops and a piece of artillery from Scotland, and deposed his father, whom he imprisoned for three years at his stronghold of Rossreagh, in the County of Donegal. But though he held him a prisoner, Calvagh took his father's advice as to the best means of defeating Shane O'Neill, who invaded his territory in 1557 with a large army. Calvagh set upon the enemy's camp on a dark and rainy night, and obtained a complete victory, O'Neill escaping only by swimming the Finn and Derg on horseback. In 1559, however, matters were reversed, and Calvagh and his family were taken prisoners by O'Neill at Killodonnell. They were released in 1561, and Calvagh was reinstated in some of his possessions. He died suddenly on 26th October 1566. He had one son, Con, and a daughter, Mary, wife of Shane O'Neill, who died of grief at her father's imprisonment by her husband.


145. Gandon, James, Life: Thomas J. Mulvany. Dublin, 1846.