Talk:List of conflicts in Ireland

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Thanks to those who started this page, great idea. What I am concentrating on are 'obscure' or forgotten battles from the years Anno Mundi, the early centuries Anno Domini, and from there up to the medieval/early modern era. Also on battles of the War of Independence and Civil War. I will also include sacks and seiges of various towns, settlements and citys. Wish me luck, because even listing them will take some time! Fergananim.

Medieval Vs. Early Modern[edit]

Good work on all those medieval battles how did you discover them all?. Couple of questions though, why have the Nine Years War and Dsmond rebellion been moved to the medieval section? They took place in the lat 1500s after all. Also, I 'm not sure its a good idea to give links to every tiny skirmish in the war of independence. You can justify including the ambushes at Kilmicheal and Tourmackeady because they were quite a lot of troops involved, but Beal na Blath for example, an incident where a few shots were fired and one person was killed, albeit a very important one, doesn't really qualify as a battle I don't think. Jdorney

Dia duit, J. Good points. First of all, you are right, and I am wrong, on the heading of medieval. I was trying to figure it out in my own mind, when did the medieval era end and early modern begin; I saved that version without resolving the matter. So I'd very much welcome ideas from other folk, yourself included, as to when we should draw the line.

Provisionally, I would place Knockdoe as first under the heading Early Modern. Would you agree with that?

My sources for all the AM era battles were drawn exclusivly from the Four Masters. I am very much aware how open to question some of the historical dates are, but my view is that I am only putting these up as a starting-point; by all means let others come and bash about all aspects of the articles. Via this and consensus, we can arrive at a point where we have world-class articles.

Same rationle applys to the likes of Kilmichael and Beal na Blath. I simply want to put them there, get people interested in them, and then we can collectivly suss out what catagorys they should be placed in.

I see where you are coming from on Beal na Blath, as Collins was the only fatality (though not the only casualty). Again, this is why I put up articles in the first place, to let people see them, argue the pros and cons, because I am uneasy with allowing just one person (myself) deciede matters. I very much welcome opposing views such as yours, because I may very well be hopelessly wrong (I was on many occasions according to an ex-girlfriend!).

Hope that helps. Fergananim

J, I'm going to push back the heading of medieval battles a few centuries. I looked up the origin of the word and its generally termed as started with the end of the Roman Empire in the fifth centuary. This ties in nicely with the begining of the Irish historic period in 431, so, if its okay with you, that's where it will begin. Fergananim.

Standardisation of Names, Places[edit]

Folks, one that that is still holding me off creating some stubs or full articles for some of the battles is trying to fix a standard spelling for the names of the battles, as well as those who fought them. Has anyone any thoughts on this? Fergananim

Yeah fair enough. The early modern period is usually put at about 1500, but like most thematic historical dates, its a pretty random cut off point. Some people will tell you that the medieval era is not about time but about the state of society - eg lords with their own armies, feudal estates, relatively weak monarchs etc. By this reckoning 16th century Ireland was certainly medieval. But I'd stil start with Knockdoe though, just because the 1500s are usually seen to be part of the renaissance or early modern rather than the mdeieval period in European history. As far as the war of independence/civil war is concerned, maybe it would be better to put in an article about guerrilla warfare in Ireland than have one for every skirmish. I see your point about raising awareness of the period though. From a military point of view, only Easter 1916 would really be big enough to call a battle in strict terms. However, I reckon exceptions could be made for the larger actions, like Tourmackeady, where I think the British used over 600 troops and armoured cars and aeroplanes, the taking of the Customs House, the fighting in Dublin during the civil war, which also used a lot of troops and heavy weaponry. There was also some heavy fighting in co Limerick in the Civil war, along what the anti-treaty side called the Munster line. Maybe articles on these would be appropriate. Jdorney

Raising awareness of all these is pretty much the ultimate object from my point of view. I totally agree that some would be better described as skirmishes or not even listed under the overall heading at all. That's why I was to get more opinions than just my own.

As for the war of independece/civil war, I think your suggestion is excellent. That way, we can still make lists of actual battles - there were actually quite a few similar to Tourmackeady - but have somewhere to include skirmishes, if only as stubs.

Just shows you how much actual work goes into this stuff!

If you take a look at the new edit, I have added a few more post-1923 battles, almost all of which occoured in Northern Ireland. Some were genuine battles (The Bogside, Short Strand), others certainly involved a great deal of gunfire and loss of life (Derrada, Loughgall) yet calling them a battle might be a bit much. I'm unsure about Ardoyne, and 90% against including Bloody Sunday because it was not a battle but an attack against unarmed civillians. Its all a matter of classification again.

Keeping in mind what you say, I will try in future to restrain my lists to truely significant battles, even if obscure. Moin Dar Lotha is one of great significance that I want to write up.


As anyone can see from my latest edit, this entire section is becoming far too large. How about creating sub-sections? Fergananim

Yeah, I think you shaould have a different section for all the pre-historic battles that may or may not have actually happened. I t doesn't make sense that hthey dwarf the rest of the article Jdorney

Would you mind doing those sub-sections, J? I'm afraid I'll make a balls-up if I try! But if you would prefer me to get all the blame, I'll bash away at it! Fergananim

Definition of a Battle[edit]

Here's my suggestion: An armed confrontation, with either significant loss of life and/or significant cultural and/or political repersussions. Any takers? Fergananim

Well, I would suggest that in purely military terms, a battle is a large engagement, with at least over 1000 combatants on either side and significant casualties. So most incidents from the 20th centry just don't qualify. Eg the Battle of the Bogside was a battle only in a rhetorical sense. It was really an extended period of civil unrest. Maybe there could be a single link to all the ambushes and skirmishes of the war of independence, civil war and troubles respectively. Taking Loughall as an example, there were eight IRA men involved, all of whom were killed and maybe 20 or so British RUC personell, none of whom were hit. If we were to list all the incidents like this from the major wars in Ireland, like the ones in the 16th and 17th centuries, this would be the longest article in wikipedia. in a similar way, the listing of all the battles mentioned in the four masters, many of which werre probably mythological, seems completely disproportionate to their importance. I'm going to make an edit and tell me what you think. Jdorney

VAST improvment! Fair play to ye! Also, I think your defintion of a battle - especially from a numerical point of view - is spot-on, so I'll try to further refine any further battles I list with all this in mind.

As reguard the pre-historic battles, I see where you are coming from. However, I still feel we should include ones that fall under our guidelines because our ancestors percieved them as important. And 'mythological' or not, at the very least they tell us something of what our ancestors considered Irish history. Fergananim

Certainly, and I think the pre-historic batles page should link to the irish mythology pages eg the leabhar gabhalla (sp?) etc. Incidentally, archeologists are now starting to think the Gaelic foundation myths like the Milesian invasion from Spain hae a lot more truth to them than previously thought, making the mythological record veery important. And also, as you rightly say Irish people believed them to be literally ture, right up to the 17th or 18th centuries. Jdorney

Only up to the 18th centuary? Longer than that, if you read the likes of O'Donovan (d.1861), MacNeill (d.1945)! Just goes to show we should listen to our elders ... And what you say is true; the results of mt and Y DNA testing over the past six years has being astounding. Hey, I feel an idea for a new article stirring! Anyways, if you have'nt already read it, check out "The Atlantean Irish: Ireland's Oriental and maritime Heritage" by Bob Quinn. I've being tramatising people for years by loudly proclaiming that we Irish are NOT Celts, so its great to hear such heresy making its way into common knowledge. Especially over a few beers. Fergananim

Not Celts! Yeah a real hornet's nest there. I'm more of an early modern man myself, but i believe the archeologists are stillsplit about the celts thing Jdorney


Can we simply list them as Dysart O'Dea, Benburb, Kinsale, Vinegar Hill, instead of calling them 'battle of ...'? We could also refer to certain of them as First, Second, Third Battles of. There is precedent for this. Also, use more terms such as sack, seige, as this will save us from Fourth, Fifths and Sixths! Fergananim

No, I think the wiki way is have "battle of" there for a battle article to distinguish it from an article about the place. Sacks, Sieges etc are all welcome. Incidentally I really think there should be an article about the Bruce Wars and the battle of Faughart. Likewise on 1798, where thus far there are no military articles at all. Jdorney

Irish Battles Abroad[edit]

How shall we include battles fought by, and of great significance to, Irish people which occoured outside Ireland? Examples such as Stoke in 1487, Bolounge in 1541, Fontenoy in 1745, the First and Second Battle of Bull Run (1861/62), and so on? I am not suggesting we list them exclusively under our current article, but surely we can agrument what we have to include them in some suitable manner? Fergananim

Interesting point here. Most countries, eg England, would have the majority of their battles fought overseas. The difference in our case is that Irish troops overseas were always fighting in other people's armies. If we were going to have section like this, I'd put in battles of the Scottish Civil War, which were mainly fought by an Irish Confederate expeditionary force, Fontenoy and other battles fought by the continental Irish Brigades serving with France and Spain, the Napoleonic battles that Irish soldiers in the British army fought in. Likewise the Boer war and WWI. And possibly the American Civil War battles as well. The only problem here is that while Irish troops fought in all these battles, were they IRISH battles? For example, because Gurka troops took Monte Casino in the Second World War, does this make it a "Nepalese" battle? I don't know.Jdorney 10:08, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

I fully understand. For myself, I would be happy if we could create a headline, short and sweet, that would nevertheless allow us to expand on battles where the Irish presence was large, crucial to the outcome of the battle, or both. Something like "Irish Forces in Foreign Wars" or something. By the way, check out my recent additions to the battles of the 14th century; do you think they are too long? Fergananim. P.S. Perhaps we should make a list of Irish battles important enough to list on the main battle site, and for the time being concentrate our collective energys on them? There are nearly fifty as it is, and if we could fill in the gaps for some periods it should be fairly representative.

Do you mean another article?

Don't really understand what you mean by the last point there.

Re the 14c battles, ar you sure all of these actually happened?? There seem to be an awful lot of them! Whats your source? I'd be ahppier if we eliminated the red links, some of them anyway, on this page before adding hosts of new stuff. Eg there's still no article on the siege of Galway (ahem). On the plus side though, it seems that someone is working on the 1798 battles. Jdorney 17:37, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorry about that! Just recovering from a long bout of ill-health; I think I did warn you that my health was neither consistant nor good. I am working my way into it! And yes those battles did occour - though I might delete some of the less-important ones. Read the Annals of the Four Masters, Annals of Connacht, etc, and you'll find mention of them. And I agree about red links. Fergananim

Sorry to hear you're not well, nothing serious I hope?

btw, expanded the battle of Aughrim page, noticed your "Galwaymen" article has gone missing however...Jdorney

Serious enough to keep me away from writing up articles for wiki! Hope to achieve more in the coming months.

I'm not sorry to see that someone has written up Aughrim properly. Not too worried about the dissapearance of my article either as it was just hanging there and needed work. So much to do ... Fergananim

1760 French capture of Carrickfergus[edit]

I have never heard of the above. Is this for real or is someone full of BS?. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Inchiquin (talkcontribs) 13:52, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

OK I just saw a ref to the above in a history book on Ulster. The event sounds unusual and would be worth a wiki article. Inchiquin (talk) 13:38, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Irish Conflicts- Viewing Statistics[edit]

If you look at the August viewing stastics of the articles on major Irish conflicts there is an interesting pattern:

The Troubles- c.30,000 views in August 08; Irish War of Independence- 13,000 views; 1798 rebellion- 6,000; Williamite & Confederate wars- Both 2,000; Nine Years War- 1,000 views;

Each older war generates roughly half as much interest as the one after it. Inchiquin (talk) 14:10, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Irish in other countries battles[edit]

Specifically the 7th Cavalry whose famous song The Gary Owen consisted of noncommissioned officers and enlisted personnel heavily populated by Irish immigrants. This unit of Western Frontier fame with its famous leader Gen. George Armstrong Custer fought battles on the Western frontier until its last at the Little Bighorn. More significant was the loss by a modern army to aborigines. Much of the personnel of the Army of the West in the US consisted of Irish expatriots. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:51, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

References needed[edit]

Most of the battles listed here, particularly those of the Middle Ages, are not linked to any article. This is fine however I think a reference should be cited; as far as anyone can tell most of these battles could have been just made up.

I don't doubt that most (if not all) the battles cited here are genuine, but a reference should be included as a matter of course.

I'll see if I can add some refs of my own in the meantime.Inchiquin (talk) 06:10, 7 June 2009 (UTC)


Looking over this list, I notice that the range of engagements range from those involving tens of thousands of soldiers (e.g some battles of the Williamite Wars) to those invloving only a few dozen fighters in all (particularly those conflicts of the Independence war).

The crucial question is, how do you define a battle?. Obviously there will be countless opinions on this, but I feel that a battle is a military engagement invlving hundreds of troops, at the very minimum. I would settle on a figure of 500 + combatants, although I would be pretty flexible here. Secondly, I think a battle has to last a significant length of time, a firefight lasting a few minutes can not really be called a battle.

In my view, some of the engagements of the Irish War of Independence should not really be included in the list of battles; most of them involve only a few dozen fighters overall. I am not saying these engagements were not important, but I think it is pushing things to call these battles.

The problem is, if we include these sort of small engagements, this list could blow out to include hundreds more fights from other periods: think of how many raids and fights took place just in the Nine Years War, or in the Confederates War, for example.

As a result, I think these smaller engagements need to be cut back; obviously these can be include in an article covering the war in more detail but they probably should not be listed here as 'battle' Inchiquin (talk) 03:23, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree, as I wrotea few years ago. See the 'definition of a battle' section above. Jdorney (talk) 21:42, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. To avoid disputes I prefer to announce my intentions before I make a major change of this kind. But as there do not seem to be any objections I'll promptly cut the list down to size.Inchiquin (talk) 10:17, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I have deleted several engagemets from the Irish War of Independence for the reasons mentioned above. I am also tempted to delete the battle of At Tiri & Carrickfergus (1760) but I'll leave them for now.Inchiquin (talk) 11:46, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Irish Defense Forces and a proposed standard for inclusion.[edit]

Recently, Leanseahy removed the section on conflicts involving the Irish Defense Forces. The edit was summarized as 'Added content.' I had thought to replace the situation, but another user (since retired) had previously moved the article from 'list of Irish battles' to 'list of conflicts in Ireland'. I do not believe that title is best for this list. If it is, the lead must be changed. At present it reads: "This is a list of major military engagements throughout Irish history". The lead is more ambitious and inclusive than the title, and previous discussions on the talk page seem to support that. I propose that we:

  1. Rename the article to List of Irish conflicts
  2. Return the section on Defense Forces
  3. Improve the lead so that it isn't an incomplete sentence ending with a colon, but a clear explanation of the nature of the list
  4. Set a standard for Irish conflicts abroad including:
    1. Irish troops in the Defense Forces
    2. Poltical or social involvement such as early alliances or sending troops to honor a leader (say, to support a Scottish clan)
    3. Forces largely defined by being Irish such as St. Patrick's Battalion, various Wild Geese forces, Kerns, and Irish Gallowglasses.
    4. But not distributed Irish forces, as in say, the US Civil War.
  5. Organize the talk page for readability (Indent replies to comments, consider uniting entries that fall under the the themes of 'what is a battle?' and 'how to treat conflicts abroad')
  6. Start presenting centuries and larger conflicts in tables like those at List of battles involving the Kingdom of Scotland.

~ Fiachaire (talk) 14:45, 28 September 2016 (UTC)