Battle of Macroom

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Battle of Macroom
Part of the Irish Confederate Wars
Date May 10, 1650
Location near Macroom, County Cork, Ireland
Result English Parliamentarian Victory
Belligerents
Irish Confederate Catholics English Parliamentarains
Commanders and leaders
David Roche Lord Broghill
Strength
2,000 800
Casualties and losses
c.5-600 killed low

The Battle of Macroom was fought in 1650, near Macroom, County Cork, in southern Ireland, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. An English Parliamentarian force under Roger Boyle, (Lord Broghill), defeated an Irish Confederate force under David Roche.

Boyle had taken Cork city for the English Parliamentarians by inducing its English Royalist garrison to defect to the Parliamentary side, which they had served up until 1648. This was a major help to Oliver Cromwell's campaign in Ireland, as it secured for him most of Munster and its port towns. The Irish and Royalist troops in the province retreated to western County Kerry, which is a natural stronghold due to its remote and mountainous terrain.

David Roche, an Irish officer, organised an offensive, out of Kerry with 2000 men in May 1650, in an effort to relieve the siege of Clonmel. Cromwell sent Boyle to intercept Roche's force with 1,200 infantry and 800 cavalrymen. When Roche realised that he was being pursued, he turned back. Rather than let the Irish force escape, Boyle followed them with his cavalry alone. He caught them at Macroom on the 10th of May. The English surprised the Irish with a cavalry charge before they could form up for battle and routed them. Between 5-600 Irish soldiers were killed, including the prisoners Boyle had taken. The Parliamentarian's losses were light. Roche's force broke up in disorder and fell back towards the mountains of Kerry.

The following day, Boyle besieged and took Carrigadrohid castle. His men had taken Boetius MacEgan, the Catholic Bishop of Ross prisoner and warned the garrison that they would kill him unless they surrendered. MacEgan told the garrison not to surrender and was then hanged in view of the castle walls. The garrison surrendered shortly afterwards but were allowed to march away unmolested.

Sources[edit]

  • James Scot Wheeler, Cromwell in Ireland
  • Michael O Siochru, Confederate Ireland

See also[edit]