Grace O'Malley (c. 1530 – c. 1603; also Gráinne O'Malley.
Irish: Gráinne Ní Mháille) was chieftain of the Ó Máille clan in the west of
Ireland, following in the footsteps of her father Eoghan Dubhdara Ó Máille.
Commonly known as Gráinne Mhaol (anglicised as Granuaile) in Irish folklore,
she is a well-known historical figure in 16th-century Irish history, and is
sometimes known as “The Sea Queen of Connacht”. She was well-educated
and regarded by contemporaries as being exceptionally formidable and competent.
Upon her father’s death she inherited his large shipping and trading business
(a trade sometimes referred to as mere piracy).
Around the time of her first husband’s death came the
initial complaints to the English Council in Dublin from Galway’s city leaders
that O'Flaherty and O'Malley ships were behaving like pirates. Because Galway
imposed taxes on the ships that traded their goods there, the O'Flahertys, led
by O'Malley, decided to extract a similar tax from ships traveling in waters
off their lands. O'Malley’s ships would stop and board the traders and demand
either cash or a portion of the cargo in exchange for safe passage. Resistance was met with violence and even murder. Once they
obtained their toll, the ships would disappear into one of the many bays
in the area.
She recruited fighting men from both Ireland and Scotland,
transporting the gallowglass mercenaries between their Scottish homes and Irish
employers and plundering Scotland’s outlying islands on her return trips.
She attacked ships as far away as Waterford on the south
central coast of Ireland and fortresses on the shoreline, including Curradh
Castle at Renvyle, the O'Loughlin castle in the Burren and the O'Boyle and
MacSweeney clans in their holdings in Burtonport, Killybegs and Lough Swilly.
Honestly, I mostly just want to write Arlen’s Garlond Ironworks adventures with all his dotty coworkers and ridiculous contraptions.
“Look at us, Jessie.”
“I try not to.”
“As one does. But the Chief’s not so fortunate. He doesn’t have a choice. Unless someone gave him fair warning, he’s got no choice but to behold both our ruddy heads when he walks through that door. And when he does, he’s going to have, uh, one of those… Uhm. Whotsit called when a vein goes catty-wompered ‘round the grey matter and starts to resemble an eel what’s swallowed a pineapple?”
“What, an aneurysm?”
“Oh no, did he…? Will he be alright? I say–”
“–oi, don’t worry about the Chief. If that was gonna happen at all, it would’ve happened yonks ago. Anyone who can survive Wedge bringing a ratel into the office because he thought it was a Gridanian lap-spaniel, I say they’re probably immortal.”
This 16ft tall stone ringfort is thought to have been built in the 6th Century as the royal seat of the northern O'Neill dynasty. Situated on a hill between Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle, on a clear day it offers panoramic views of County Donegal.
Before this swell made landfall at Kirra’s big groyne, the surf world had all but forgotten how good Kirra could get. But with the perfect combination of sand and swell, Kirra quickly shook off the cobwebs and delivered days of peeling green perfection. Damien Hobgood, getting what he can before the famed sandbar falls dormant again.