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Manus O'Donnell

(c. 1517—1563) chieftain


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(d. 1563), lord of Tirconnell, a Gaelic chief with pretensions to statesmanship and scholarship. In 1538 O'Donnell married Eleanor MacCarthy, protectress of Gerald FitzGerald, the Kildare heir, made overtures to Scotland, and formed the Geraldine League with Conn O'Neill. After defeat at Bellahoe, he packed Gerald off to France and opened negotiations with Dublin. However, his hopes of becoming earl of Sligo to substantiate his claims to overlordship in north Connacht were not realized. Manus not only composed poetry but also commissioned and probably edited Betha Colaim Chille, a Life of Colum Cille, the patron saint of the O'Donnells, in 1532. This project, because of its commitment to sources and interest in religious reform, has been claimed as an example of Renaissance humanist influence. Manus was deposed by his son Calvach O'Donnell in 1555.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.


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