Fiagh Mac Hugh O'Byrne

O'Byrne, Fiagh Mac Hugh, chief of that sept of the O'Byrnes called Gaval-Rannall. His father, Hugh, who died in 1579, was far more powerful than The O'Byrne, and possessed a large tract of territory in the County of Wicklow. Upon the death of The O'Byrne, in 1580, Fiagh, who resided at Ballinacor, in Glenmalure, became the leader of his clan, and one of the most formidable of the Irish chieftains. In 1580 he joined his forces to those of Lord Baltinglass, and defeated Lord Grey in Glenmalure [see GREY, SIR ARTHUR].

After holding out in the rocky fastnesses of his principality for several years, he was, in 1595, driven up Glenmalure, and Ballinacor was occupied by an Anglo-Irish garrison. He then made terms, but seized the first opportunity of driving out the garrison and razing the fort. He was killed in a skirmish with the forces of the Lord-Deputy, in May 1597, and his head was impaled on Dublin Castle. The family estates were confirmed to his son, Felim, by patent of Queen Elizabeth, but he was ultimately deprived of them by the perjury and juggling of adventurers under James I., and although, in 1628, acquitted of all the charges brought against him, he was turned out upon the world a beggar. The genealogy of the different branches of the O'Byrnes, and the fate of Felim's descendants, will be found stated in the notes to Dr. Donovan's Four Masters, under the years 1578, 1580, and 1597.


135. Four Masters, Annals of the: Translated by Owen Connellan. Dublin, 1846.

196. Irishmen, Lives of Illustrious and Distinguished, Rev. James Wills, D.D. 6 vols. or 12 parts. Dublin, 1840-'7.

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.