Open main menu

O'SULLIVAN or O'SULLIVAN BEARE, DONALL (1560–1618), chief of the sept of his name in the district of Beare, co. Cork, engaged actively in the hostile movements in Ireland against the government of England in the last years of Queen Elizabeth. O'Sullivan in 1601 avowed his devotion to Philip III of Spain, and received a Spanish garrison in his castle at Dunboy. Siege operations against this stronghold, the custody of which was resumed from the Spaniards by O'Sullivan, were carried on with overwhelming force by Sir George Carew, resident of Munster,in June 1602. Carew's historiographer observed that 'so obstinate and resolute a defence had not been seen within this kingdom.' Details of the siege and capture of Dunboy Castle are given in the publication styled 'Pacata Hibernia,' and in the Latin history of Ireland by O'Sullivan's nephew, Philip O'Sullivan [q. v.], now being translated by the author of the present notice. After the demolition of Dunboy in June 1602 O'Sullivan, with his followers and soldiers, made a stand for a time in Glengariff. Thence he proceeded over the river Shannon to Ulster, where, after numerous conflicts, he arrived with only thirty-five survivors of the thousand persons with whom he had set out.

Failing to obtain a government pardon on the accession of James I, O'Sullivan went with his wife and children to Spain. There he was well received by Philip III, who conferred on him the knighthood of the order of St. Iago, a pension, and the title of Earl of Bearehaven. O'Sullivan, described as tall and handsome in person, was killed in 1618, at Madrid, by John Bathe, an Anglo-Irish refugee. A letter addressed by O'Sullivan in February 1601-2 to the governor of Galicia has been reproduced in 'Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland,' pt. iv. 2, plate xxxiii.

[State Papers, Ireland; Carew Calendar; Annals of the Four Masters; Historiæ Catholicæ Iberniæ Compendium, 1621; Stafford's Pacata Hibernia, London, 1633.]

J. T. G.