Oneill, Owen Roe
O’neill, Owen Roe
Born circa 1590; died Nov. 6, 1649. One of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1641–52 against English domination. A nephew of Hugh O’Neill.
O’Neill served in the Spanish military for 30 years, and upon his return to Ireland in 1642 he assumed command of the insurgent troops of Ulster. He was the leader of the most radical faction of the rebels—those who wanted the independence of Ireland and the return to the native population of lands confiscated by English colonialists. O’Neill opposed the Irish Confederation of Catholics, a group that was formed in October 1642 to pursue a policy of compromise. He refused to recognize the peace that this group concluded with the English. On June 5, 1646, O’Neill defeated Scottish troops allied with the English at Benburb.