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Kinsale

Kinsale, Battle of (1601) the decisive battle of the Nine Years War, 1594-1603. Having previously inflicted a series of heavy defeats on English forces, Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone, finally succeeded in securing the assistance of Spanish forces. Unfortunately for the Irish leader, the Spaniards landed in Kinsale, Co. Cork. Tyrone’s failure to negotiate a liaison with the Spaniards who were besieged at Kinsale proved to be decisive in determining the outcome of the war. Having succeeded in marching his army hundreds of miles from Ulster in the depths of winter, exhaustion may well have played a part in the events which unfolded. A poorly co-ordinated attempt to combine a Spanish break-out with an Irish assault on the English lines resulted in Tyrone’s forces being isolated and subjected to a cavalry charge. A rout ensued in which Tyrone’s army offered uncharacteristically poor resistance. Tyrone’s army suffered large-scale casualties with the English suffering minimal losses.

 

 
 
Contemporary depiction of Kinsale

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