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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