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Thursday 18 September 2014

Book explores a bloody battle near Castlmagner

MARIA HERLIHY

Published 04/10/2012 | 17:45

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THE BATTLE of Knocknanuss was one of the most decisive battles of the Confederate War which was fought in 1647 and one which left an estimated 4,500 dead out of 10,000.

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The battle is regarded as one of the deadliest battles of the English civil war and it took place in the parish of Castlemagner. On November 13, 1647 the Cromwellian forces under Lord Inchiquin marched from Mallow, while the confederates marched from Kanturk.

It was at Knocknanuss which is in the parish of Kilbrin that blood flew and where the Confederates suffered a crushing defeat.

The epic tale of the Battle of Knocknanuss, which means 'Hill of the sighs' has now been brought to life by the author, Seamus O'Suilleabhain.

The book is called 'Alisdair MacColla McDonnell and the Battle of Knocknanuss,' and it will be launched at the Trades Union Hall in Kanturk on Friday.

Dr Ruan O'Donnell, lecturer in UL will launch the book and it is hosted and organised by Tim Browne of Feile Duhallow.

Mr O'Suilleabhain who is from Broadford, County Limerick but who worked for years at the sugar factory in Mallow told The Corkman that he is very passionate about history.

Alisdair MacColla McDonnell led an army the Red Shanks into battle and where it is believed that 10,000 men fought the most vicious and bloody fight.

McDonnell, a Scotsman was said to possess a magical sword which took five men to lift.. He was given a nickname 'Colkitto' as he was left handed.

It is understood that McDonnell survived the battle of Knocknanuss and as his horse was drinking water from the river Awbeg, Major Purden came up behind him and he was treacherously killed at the stream.

He was buried where he was killed, but three days later, his body was exhumed by the local chief, Donagh O'Callaghan and his body was instead buried in the O'Callaghan family vault at Clonmeen, Banteer.

After the ferocious battle at Knocknanuss, there were hundreds of body parts and bones buried in the Abbey in Buttevant. There is a memorial in Castlemagner which marks the ferocious battle.

"Alisdair MacColla McDonnell was held in very high esteem and that is why the O'Callaghan chief had him buried in the family vault," said Mr O'Suilleabhain.

The book launch will take place at 8.30pm.

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