Hugh Balldearg O'Donnell

(c. 1650—1704) army officer

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(d. 1704), soldier in the Spanish army. O'Donnell returned to Ireland in 1690 to participate in the Williamite War. Popular excitement at his arrival, arising out of a prophecy that an O'Donnell with a red mark (‘Ball dearg’ means red spot) would save Ireland, allowed him to raise a private army in Ulster. He later defected to the Williamites, accepting a pension for his services, and returned to the Spanish army in 1697.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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