Tyrone's Success

Justin McCarthy
Chapter V | Start of Chapter

Perhaps when O'Neil returned to his own country he was recalled to national sentiments by the sight of oppression there, and it is certain that he was roused to indignation by the arbitrary imprisonment of one of his kinsmen known as Red Hugh. When Red Hugh succeeded in escaping from prison he inspired Tyrone with a keen sense of his wrongs, and brought him into the temper of insurrection. O'Neil threw himself completely into the new movement for independence. A confederation of Irish Chieftains was organized, and O'Neil took the command. He proved himself possessed of the most genuine military talents, and he could play the part of the statesman as well as of the soldier. The confederation of Irish Chieftains soon became an embattled army, and the brothers-in-law met in arms as hostile commanders on the shores of the northern Blackwater. As one historian has well remarked, there was something positively Homeric about this struggle, in which the two men connected by marriage encountered each other as commanders of opposing armies. Events had been moving on since the marriage between Tyrone and Bagnal's sister. O'Neil's young wife had found her early grave before this last engagement between her husband and her brother. The army of Bagnal was completely defeated, and Bagnal himself was killed upon the field.