What Is O'Mordha?
The name of the faction was chosen based on my ancient surname and its long history of honor, fierceness, and accomplishment in battle.
Clan O'More was a very powerful Irish clan, a clan the English hated.
The ancient Irish family of the name descends from O'Mordha (meaning majestic). The ancestor from whence they sprung was Conal Cearnach one of the Red Branch knights of Irish history.
The O'Mores were the leading tribe of the "7 Septs of Leix". They fought hard to keep Ireland free from invaders and many died. The eponymous ancestor Mordha was twenty-first in descent from Conal Cearnach, the most distinguished of the heroes of the Red Branch. The O'Mores were the leading sept of the Seven Septs of Leix, the other six being tributary to them. According to Keating the O'Mores have St. Fintan as their protector. Judged by the test of resistance to English aggression the O'Mores may be described as one of the foremost Irish septs. In this connexion particular mention may be made of Rory O'More (d. 1557) and his son Rory Og O'More (d.1578), both of whom were distinguished Irish leaders in the wars against the tudor sovereigns, and another Rory O'More, a member of the Leix sept, the head of the 1641 Rising and a staunch ally of Owen roe O'Neill in the subsequent war.
- Sifu Tom Moore
The Massacre at Mullaghmast
New Years Day 1577
All went in and none came out
Our monuments are far more than just a collection of archaeological features, they are important in our history, mythology, folklore our culture. They are part of our Irish heritage and must be treasured and maintained for future generations to learn from and enjoy.
The following story is the one I was told growing up in South Kildare by my father and uncles. The Massacre at Mullaghmast was such a disgraceful act of cowardice, murder, deceit and treachery so foul, it is still remembered here today. Despite some lickspittle revisionist sources trying to play down what happened, the massacre did indeed take place, oral tradition and some written accounts place the numbers killed at four to six hundred, men, women and children.
One of the foulest deeds that was enacted during British misrule in Eire, occurred at the great Rath of Mullaghmast, about seven miles from Kilcullen, near Ballitore in the Co. Kildare in the year 1577. Sir Sydney the Lord Deputy of Ireland agreed to a truce or parley with the Irish Clans of Laois and Offaly, amongst them, the O'Moores, O’Lawlor’s, O’Doran’s, O’Dowling’s, Devoy’s, McEvoy’s and members of the Offaly O’ Connor branch. The O’Dempsey clan had sided with the English settlers whose ranks included Cosby, Piggot and Harpole. It is even believed that Lord Deputy Henry Sidney was on hand to oversee the slaughter, among others.
Sydney, with the aid of his henchman, Cosby, had sent out invitation to the Irish clans, to attend a feast or banquet at the great Rath of Mullaghmast. The O'Moores and their companions accepted the invitations, and came unarmed, in their hundreds to attend the great feast.
During the time that all the guests were being entertained in merriment and when cup and song abounded, the double Guard that was set around the fort, suddenly came on the unfortunate merry makers, and butchered every man, woman and child. It is estimated that up to six hundred people were killed in cold blood, the O'Moore's being the chief sufferers.
One youth who came with his father to attend the feast was advised by his father not to go in. As they viewed the entrance to the Rath from a distance off the father remarked that of all the multitude he saw going in he saw no one coming out. So by this sign he knew that there was something wrong. As they approached the Rath they were set upon by armed soldiers, but the young man managed to get away. His horse galloped through the murdering horde and carried the boy down the hill and across the river Barrow valley and headed for the hills of Laois. I remember my father telling me that the great horse saved the youth, but his heart burst with the effort, and sadly the brave steed dropped dead at a place between Athy and Stradbally. The area where the horse fell dead, is still called The Bleeding Horse to this day.
After the massacre, the English launched attacks on native strongholds in the county. With many of their leaders and greatest warriors slain, the Gaelic people were easy prey, and it is said Cosby led a campaign of slaughter, including hanging the wife of O’Lawlor from their castle wall, and had her only child, an infant, hung from her long hair.
Cosby was rewarded well by the Crown for his slaughter and cruelty, granted great tracts of land in Laois, where his descendants remain still, in Cosby Hall, probably best known as the venue for the Electric Picnic music festival.
However, the Gaels fought back, Rory Og O’Moore arose as a leader of his people, an Irish Robin Hood type character if you like, and launched many attacks on the English settlers, they even invaded the English strongholds of the pale and went after Harpole in his Carlow Castle, and burned the town of Naas to the ground.
All was not peaceful for Cosby either, and a few years later, in 1580, he rode with a huge English army, across the plains of Kildare into the Wicklow Mountains to put manners on the native upstarts. The Battle of Glenmalure is remembered as one of the greatest Irish victories, where 800 of the well armed, and well trained English force were put to the sword by the Irish. There on the downward slopes of Lugnaquilla, they had their comeuppance from Fiach Machugh O’Byrne and the boys.
During the fighting Cosby was dragged from his horse and away into the woods, never to be seen again. The story passed down through the generations goes, that revenge for Mullaghmast was carried out against him that day, or as some might say, Cosby got his just deserts at the Battle of Glenmalure.
Glen Doyle, Irish Stick Fighting, Shillelagh Studies, Faction Fighting, Ireland, Irish Martial Art, Antrim Bata, Combat Shillelagh, Bataireacht, Whiskey Stick, Rince an Bata Uisce Bheatha, Dance of the Whiskey Stick, Greg Doyle, Caed Bua, Noble Crow Martial Arts, Synergistic Martial Arts, Irish Shillelagh Fighting, John Borter, Bernard Leddy, Fighting Hares, O'Mordha, Moore, Tom Moore, Sifu Tom Moore, Faction, Gangs of New York, The Quiet Man, Irish Gangs, The Dead Rabbits, Backsword, Broadsword, Irish fencing, fencing, Irish History, Irish Culture, St. Patrick's Day, Donnybrook, Donnybrook Fair, Newfoundland, Doyle Irish Stick Fighting, Doyle Bataireacht