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Siege of Clonmel


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Source: RustyTheDog

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The Siege of Clonmel took place in April – May 1650 during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland when the town of Clonmel in County Tipperary was besieged by Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army. Cromwell's 8,000 men eventually took the town from its 2,000 Irish defenders, but not before they suffered losses of around 2,000 soldiers. Most were killed after being caught in a trap by Hugh Dubh O'Neill on 17 May 1650.
The garrison at Clonmel changed as the arrival of the Puritan army through Kilkenny became imminent. In November 1649, the town's Mayor John Bennet White wrote to the Duke of Ormond seeking military assistance. Colonel Oliver Stephenson and part of the old Confederate army, mostly from County Clare, took up quarters. The southern Confederates were not fully trusted by the townspeople, particularly after the fall of Carrick on Suir due to treachery. Ormond arrived in person at the end of the month and the Clare men were replaced by experienced soldiers from Ulster under Hugh Dubh O'Neill, a veteran of siege warfare in the Thirty Years' War. Under his command were 1,500 soldiers from the Irish Ulster army, mostly from the modern counties of Tyrone and Cavan. These two regiments had served under Owen Roe O'Neill and were now led by his nephew. They were accompanied by two troops of cavalry under Colonel Edmond Fennell of Ballygriffin, Co. Cork. O'Neill sent reinforcements to some outlying fortifications at Ballydine, Kilcash and 'Castle Caonagh' . Even before the siege commenced, provisioning the new influx was causing difficulties, Ormond proving unable to adequately supply them. As other walled towns in the vicinity capitulated with little resistance, tension in the town rose as evidenced by correspondence between O'Neill and Ormond.


Copyright: Creative Commons 3.0

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