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Digging begins in Spain to find the remains of Irish hero, Red Hugh O'Donnell

Skeleton of legendary figure should be easy to identify, claims historian

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Excavation for the remains of Red Hugh O'Donnell in a Valladollid street - these bones were found but they're not  those of Red Hugh. Photo: Cultura y Turismo Valladolid

Excavation for the remains of Red Hugh O'Donnell in a Valladollid street - these bones were found but they're not those of Red Hugh. Photo: Cultura y Turismo Valladolid

Excavation for the remains of Red Hugh O'Donnell in a Valladollid street - these bones were found but they're not those of Red Hugh. Photo: Cultura y Turismo Valladolid

Archaeologists searching for the remains of Red Hugh O'Donnell, one of Ireland's most loved historical heroes, have begun digging up the streets of Valladolid in Spain.

Historian Hiram Morgan, a UCC academic, said O'Donnell's skeleton should be easily identifiable - as he had no big toes.

O'Donnell, who masterminded the Nine Years War from 1593 to 1603, suffered frostbite while hiding in the Wicklow mountains following a daring escape from Dublin Castle.