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The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost

Part II. History of Thomond
Chapter 12. History of Thomond before it was formed into an English county: From the earliest times, to the death of De Clare, and expulsion of the English in 1318.

Donald More O’Brien, in the strife with his neighbours, calls in the aid of the English; Afterwards turns upon them and drives them out of Limerick

Almost the first act of Donald More, after his accession to power, was to deprive of sight his brother, Brian na Sleibhe, who had been inaugurated King of Ormond. This inhuman procedure of blinding their enemies was commonly practiced by the O’Briens about this time. Several instances of it are recorded, but we refrain from further dwelling on the revolting fact. Donald More lost no time in imitating the aggressive practices of his ancestors. He fought several engagements with Rory O’Connor, King of Connaught, who had came to Munster in 1169 to inflict punishment upon the Dal Cais for the murder of his half-brother Murtagh-na-dun-na Sgeath in the previous year. O’Connor was accompanied by O’Ruarc. They met O’Brien at Aine-Cliach (Knockany), and exacted from him as an eric, for the death of the murdered man, seven hundred and twenty cows. [28] The strife between the people of Munster and the Connaughtmen continued almost without interruption for four years, with varied results; ultimately O’Brien bethought him of calling in the aid of the English. With that object in view he swore homage and allegiance to Henry II., and obtained in return the support of FitzStephens and his party of mercenary adventurers. That was the first occasion in which the English gained a footing in Munster. [29] O’Brien was not long faithful to his new allies; in 1174, joined by several others of the Irish chieftains, he gave battle to the English at Thurles and routed them with the loss of seventeen hundred of their best men killed. At Limerick likewise he attacked and drove out of the city many others of the invaders. [30] Again in 1185, he routed the English under John. He invaded Galway, and saw his own territory invaded in turn by Cathal O’Connor, and his town and palace at Killaloe burned. After living for some years longer a life of strife and contention he died in 1194, and Murtagh Dall, his eldest son, assumed his place.