Sir Niall Garv O'Donnell

O'Donnell, Sir Niall Garv, grandson of Calvagh O'Donnell, an ally of the English in the O'Neill wars. After the defeat of the Irish and their Spanish allies at Kinsale, and Hugh Roe O'Donnell's departure for Spain in 1602, complaints of Sir Niall's insolence and insatiable ambition reached the Government; and Rury (afterwards Earl of Tirconnell) offered to prove that he had been a secret ally of O'Neill and the Spaniards. Thereupon he went into rebellion, but after a while submitted, and proceeded to London with Rury, whose claims were preferred to his. Sir Henry Docwra, the English commander in Ireland, considered this to be hard treatment of one who had been a staunch ally in the late wars. Sir Niall was left in possession of considerable estates. (Sir Bernard Burke says he refused the title of Baron of Lifford.)

In 1608 he became involved in Sir Cahir O'Dogherty's rebellion, and was arrested for high treason on the accusation of Ineenduv, mother of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, who received a grant of lands for the service. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London for eighteen years, with his son Nachtan, and died in 1626, aged 57. O'Sullivan Beare calls him "a man of great and daring spirit, endowed with a knowledge of military affairs."


53. Burke, Sir Bernard: Landed Gentry. 2 vols. London, 1871.

134. Four Masters, Annals of Ireland by the: Translated and Edited by John O'Donovan. 7 vols. Dublin, 1856.