Grace O’Malley

Grace O’Malley

Grace O’Malley, the legendary pirate Queen of Connacht , celebrated in popular tradition as a nationalist heroine and now a feminist icon. Her base…Augnanure Castle….is worth a look on any Ireland tours……a real hidden gem.

She married first Donal O’Flaherty , and later Richard ‘Iron Dick’ Bourke , but was a power-broker in her own right due to the unique naval powers of the O’Malleys. They were infamous pirates of Galway Bay !

Despite clashes with the crown , which imprisoned her in 1577-9 , she urged her husbands and sons to seek accommodations with the encroaching state.

So take a wee look on your tours of Ireland and why not stay at the nearby Ballynahich Castle.

While in London in 1593 with other Connacht notables complaining about Bingham’s Government , she petitioned the Queen for a grant of lands , because under Gaelic law she was not entitled , as a widow , to any part of her husband’s estate.