Oliver Cromwell and Drogheda III

Lead: Ireland was in the middle of one of its periodic rebellions against the English.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

The year was 1649, King Charles I of England had been beheaded and a Republic ruled in London. Forces loyal to the Stuart monarchy and its young King, Charles II, had taken over the Ireland and Oliver Cromwell was there to root them out.

The key to Cromwell's campaign was the small strategic town of Drogheda not far north of Dublin on the Boyne River. After a day of shelling the wall of the city were broken and Cromwell's 8000 foot soldiers surged through the opening.  

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Oliver Cromwell and Drogheda II

Lead: The bitterness between England and Ireland was deepened during an invasion by General Oliver Cromwell in 1649.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Relations were not that good anyway but the rebellion by forces opposed to the new English Republic and loyal to the young King Charles II set the stage for an orgy of blood-letting that is remembered even today by the Irish as an example of English cruelty.  

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Oliver Cromwell and Drogheda I

Lead: In the fall of 1649, Ireland was in full rebellion against England.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Though King Charles I had been beheaded in January of that year, sympathy for his cause and that of his son, Charles II, was very strong in Ireland. A force under the Earl of Ormonde had raised the Stuart flag and, except for pockets of resistance in and around Dublin, Ireland was under the control of the royalists. Already Scotland had declared the young Charles its king, but it was in Ireland that the greatest menace to the new English Republic, seemed to come. 

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Hugh O’Neill

Lead: For nearly one thousand years beginning in the the medieval period, England’s campaign to extend its control over Ireland, brought conflict, suffering and division to that island.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: During the middle ages, ambitious English Kings attempted to extend royal power over Ireland. It was not an easy task. The Irish did not anxiously surrender their homeland to the interloper. They considered their civilization to be older, richer, more pious and more learned than that of the upstart Anglo-Norman invaders, but English arms were stronger and could prevail in most circumstances.

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Hugh O’Neill II

Lead: Hugh O’Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, balanced his commitments to friendship, ambition, clan and Ireland as England intensified its power over the Emerald Isle during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Among the numerous Gaelic clans of 16th century Ireland, the O’Donnells, O’Reillys, McGuires, Magennises, O’Brians, O’Kellys, MacCarthys and so on, none could claim more esteem and prominence than the O’Neills. The Great O’Neill, the allied families’ huge land holding covered a vast portion of modern Ulster’s former County Tyrone. Beginning in 1534, the English crown began a systematic extension of royal authority out from Pale, the area immediately adjacent to Dublin, across the entire island. This, the so-called Tudor conquest, ramped up the passion of centuries-old English imperial designs on the Emerald Isle and began decades of ever increasing conflict.

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Hugh O’Neill III

Lead: Raised in English homes after the death of his father in the 1550s, Hugh O’Neill, one of the claimants to the huge O’Neill estates in Northern Ireland, balanced affection, ambition and loyalty during the Tudor conquest.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: His grandfather, Conn O’Neill, was the last undisputed Great O’Neill, the ancient title carrying with it clan leadership and vast estates in Ulster. He achieved his position with the connivance of English crown authorities, but then mistakenly conferred his inheritance on an adopted son, Matthew Kelly, stirring up a harsh inner-clan dispute with Conn’s eldest son Shane O’Neill. As a result, Conn ended his life in bitter exile. Matthew’s orphan, Hugh O’Neill, was raised in English homes in the Pale and London, the most important of which was that of Sir Henry Sydney, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The English obviously saw in Hugh O’Neill a native Irishman who could advance their cause in Ireland. After 1587, with English sponsorship, he became the 2nd Earl of Tyrone and gradually defeated his clan rivals, particularly Turlough Luineach (lin ek) O’Neill.

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