Join Una Walsh and Seamus Murphy to learn how Ulster’s fate was decided.
From the O’Neills seizing control in the 15th century, to the battle for the Gap of the North in the 16th century when Lord Mountjoy was defeated by Red Hugh O’Neill.
The Moyry Pass is the valley known as the ‘Gap of the North’. It has always been the main direct north-south route in eastern Ireland. In the days of the Fianna legends the men of Ulster sallied forth through this valley to harry the tribes of Leinster.
The Battle of Moyry Pass was fought during September and October 1600 in counties Armagh and Louth, in the north of Ireland, during the Nine Years’ War. It was the first significant engagement of forces following the cessation of arms agreed in the previous year between the Irish leader Hugh O’Neill and the English Crown commander, the Earl of Essex.
The battle was fought by the armies of O’Neill and Lord Mountjoy, a follower of the late Earl of Essex. Mountjoy was determined to pierce O’Neill’s heartland in central and western Ulster by the Moyry Pass. In the course of a two-week assault the English troops established a garrison near Armagh, taking heavy casualties, and Mountjoy retired with difficulty to Dundalk.