Hugh O’Neill, Irish Patriot I

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, Irish Patriot 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, Irish Patriot 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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