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Sir Cahir O'Dogherty remembered

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Sir Cahir O'Dogherty remembered

Posted: 30 Jul 2008 3:25PM GMT
Classification: Death
Surnames: Dougherty
Sir Cahir O'Dogherty remembered

More than two hundred members of the O'Dochartaig Clan returned from abroad to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Sir Cahir O'Dogherty, the last Gaelic lord to rebel against English occupation of his lands.(I my Girlfriend one Son and Grandson attended this reunion)The visitors were led to Inishowen by rere-Admiral Pascual O'Dogherty, Madrid, representing the leadership of the clan, a direct descendent of Cahir's father Sir John O'Dogherty

Following Cahir's rebellion, April, 1608, and his death a few months later, on July 5, 1608, at Doon Rock, Kilmacrennam, Donegal, the traditional O'Doherty peninsula of Inishowen, Co. Donegal, was taken for himself by the chief English administrator in Ireland, the Lord deputy, Arthur Chichester.

A friend and protege of the English, he was provoked into rebellion when it became obvious that his beloved territory of Inishowen, Co. Donegal was to be included in the plantation plans for Ulster, and that he and his people would be removed from their traditional lands and forced into destitution or emigration, as had begun to happen elsewhere in Ulster since 1601.

A friend and protege of the English, he was provoked into rebellion when it became obvious that his beloved territory of Inishowen, Co. Donegal was to be included in the plantation plans for Ulster, and that he and his people would be removed from their traditional lands and forced into destitution or emigration, as had begun to happen elsewhere in Ulster since 1601.

Cahir was twenty one years of age and had no military experience or training. His rebellion, which commenced in April, 1608, was a desperate, brave but perhaps foolhardy action, imprecise in its objectives and indecisive in its execution and was easlity put down by superior forces under the command of Fieldmarshall Wingfield (whose descendent became Viscount Powerscourt). Cahir was shot dead in battle on July 5, 1608 and his head later was put on public display in Newmarket, Dublin, for some months. His Inishowen peninsula was subsequently "awarded" to the Kings chief minister in Ireland, Arthur Chichester.

The rebellion received some support from minor chiefs in Gaelic Ireland, notably the O'Hanlons, O'Cahans, McSweeneys and McMahons, but most of the major clans had been subjugated or exiled by this time. The poet Thomas D'Arcy Magee referred to this lack of support in his 19th century poem "Cahir O'Doherty's Message", which closes with the lines:

"... If they come not in arms and in rage,
Let them stay, he can battle alone -
For one flag, in this fetter-worn age.
Is still flying in free Inishowen

If the children of Chieftans you see,
Oh, pause and repeat to them then,
That Cahir, who lives by the sea,
Bids then think of him, when they are men;
Bids them watch for new Chiefs to arise,
and be ready to come at their call -
Bids them mourn not for him if he dies,
But like him live to conquer or fall.
"


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