O'Connors of Offaly
The 1305 Massacre
In the eastern side of the modern County Offaly, the O'Connors and the de Berminghams were the two powerful families. On Trinity Sunday, 1305, Sir Piers de Bermingham invited 26 of the leading members of the O'Connors to a celebration feast at his castle at Carrick, outside the modern town of Edenderry.
At the conclusion of the feast, and at a given signal, de Bermingham's soldiers appeared, and commenced to attack the guests who had earlier laid aside their weapons. Pier's wife directed operations from the battlements, directing soldiers to where some of the guests had escaped.
They were all murdered, including Pier's own god-son, who was thrown from the battlements. Pier received 100 marks for the 26 skulls from the English Dublin authorities, and their congratulations and thanks.
The Irish chieftains were outraged, and sought the criminal prosecution of Piers by the King of England. Nothing happened, and the Irish chieftains then appealed to the pope, who took no action....
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