Byrne of Wicklow

The O’Byrnes are descended from a king of UI Faelin, Broen (Bran) Mac  Maolmordha, who died in 1052. They probably retreated to Rossahane and spread  southeast into Shillelagh and County Carlow, northeast to Rathdrum and the coast  of Arkiow and on up to Glendalough. According to a letter from the Archbishop to the Pope, written in 1216, St Kevin’s Church in the mountains had for 40 years  been waste and desolate and a den of robbers and thieves (propaganda ?), who  were doubtless displaced refugees from Kildare who had no title to the lands  they lived upon. The reputation had not been helped by the events of “Black Monday” in 1209 when the citizens of Dublin were massacred at Cullenswood (near  Ranelagh) during a festival celebration.The English, Norman and Gaelic  settlements coexisted in the 13th century mainly through lack of power to undertake anything other than cattle raids.

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