Alaster MacColl MacDonnell

MacDonnell, Alaster MacColl, Major-General, created knight of the field by Montrose after the battle of Kilsyth in 1645, a Scottish chieftain, collaterally related to preceding. In the summer of 1639, having refused to accept the Covenant, he, with 300 other persons, took refuge in Ulster. There he was hospitably received by his kinsfolk, and his Highlanders became an effective aid to the northern Irish in the War of 1641-'52. Early in the war he overthrew an Anglo-Irish force of about 900 men near Ballymoney.

Afterwards, in June 1642, he was, with Sir Felim O'Neill, defeated at Glenmaquin, in Raphoe. Next year he was appointed by the Earl of Antrim to command the force sent into Scotland to assist Montrose, and took a prominent part in the war in that country. Burton, however, makes little of the aid afforded by him and his Irish troops. In 1647 he returned to Ireland, and was, by the Supreme Council of the Confederates appointed Lieutenant-General of Munster, under Lord Taaffe. He was killed in an engagement with Lord Inchiquin, at Knocknanuss, between Mallow and Kanturk, 13th November 1647, and was buried in the tomb of the Callaghans, in Clonmeen churchyard, Kanturk. He is described as of gigantic stature and powerful frame. Milton, in one of his sonnets, writes of "Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp." The appellation of "Colkitto," Coll Ciotog, or "Left-handed Coll," often applied to this chieftain, properly belongs to his father. See Hill's MacDonnells, p. 83.

Note from Addenda:

MacDonnell, Alaster MacColl — For further particulars of the battle of Knocknanuss, see Sir Theobald Taaffe.[233]


224. MacDonnells of Antrim, Historical Account: Rev. George Hill. Belfast, 1873.

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.