Desmond Rebellions

The first Desmond rebellion (1569–73) had been an armed protest against English intrusion into the Desmond territories. The Second Desmond rebellion (1579–1583) was the more widespread and bloody. In Munster, it was launched by the FitzGerald dynasty of Desmond in 1579, and ended with the 1583 death of Gerald FitzGerald, 15th Earl of Desmond and the defeat of the rebels. In Leinster, Fiach McHugh O'Byrne assembled a coalition of local lords and clan leaders, including the Kavanaghs, the O'Tooles and the O'Moores. Lord Deputy Arthur Grey was sent from England with 6000 troops to put down the Leinster rebellion. He was roundly defeated at Glenmalure by O'Byrne, who was unable to take strategic advantage of his victory. Renewed well armed reinforcements from England forced the rebels into increasingly bitter guerrilla fighting. The rebellion established religious conflict in Ireland as a precursor to the Protestant Plantation of Ulster.