Northern Ireland news

Gaelic lord Shane O'Neill to be remembered in Tyrone

A seminar on the life of Gaelic lord Seán O'Neill Mór will be held in Tyrone this weekend
Connla Young

A Gaelic lord who ruled in Ulster nearly 500 years ago will be the focus of discussion in Co Tyrone this weekend.

Organised by the O’Neill Country Historical Society, the seminar will examine the life of Seán Ó Néill Mór (Shane O'Neill) who was born around 1530 and is remembered by many as an important Gaelic leader.

The event, titled 'Seán Ó Néill Mór Prince of Ulster circa 1530-1567 - A Reassessment of the Historical Figure’, will include contributions from authorities on O’Neill, who was assassinated on June 2 1567.

Known as ‘The O’Neill’, he was also called ‘Shane the Proud’ and although a once prominent figure in Irish history, his legacy has largely been overshadowed.

James Kane, vice-chair of the O’Neill Country Historical Society, said he played “a key role in resisting the Tudor conquest of Ireland in the mid-16th century and yet he has suffered a peculiar fate”.

“Memorialised in drama, poetry and fiction, he has been remarkably neglected by modern historians who have been content, or resigned, to accept the largely anecdotal accounts of his character and his actions broadcast by his enemies and promoted initially by English historians like Camden, Hooker and Froude.

“Was this organised fake reporting encouraged by the secret service departments of the crown?”

The seminar will be held on Saturday at New Library in Benburb, Co Tyrone.

The event will include a question and answer session and a visit to the site of O'Neill's ‘Chief House’ at Benburb.

For more information contact James Kane on 07876 385282 or

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