Battle of Aura
The Battle of Slieve-na-Aura, also known as the Battle of Aura, was fought in the middle of the
sixteenth centurybetween the MacDonnells, led by Sorley Boy MacDonnell, against the MacQuillans, in which the MacQuillans were defeated."A Guide to the Giants Causeway...", p.67-69] Translated, Slieve-an-Aura means "Hill of Battle".
During the night the MacDonnells cut and spread rushes over the boggy terrain, to make a path across the swampy land. In the morning a party was sent to the camp of the O'Neills. The O'Neill chief then ordered his cavalry to pursue the MacDonnells who fled towards there own camp by way of their path. The pursueing cavalry were soon bogged down in the wet terrain and attempted a retreat, but were cut off by Hugh MacIlveal and his men. The O'Neill chief is said to have offered MacIlveal "all the young horses, and all the fair damselss of Claneboy," as his ransom, in which MacIlveal replied, "If all the horses in Ireland were Sorley Boys, I would rather go on foot," before killing O'Neill.
After the battle the MacDonnells withrew to the mountain of
Trostan, which overlooks Cushendale, and Sorley Boy MacDonnell was entertained by MacAuley, Lord of the Glens. A cairn was then erected to commemorate the place of festivities. Near the summit of the 1530 foot Slieve-na-Aura two cairns were said to have marked the burying place of O'Neill and his men.
*Wright, Rev. G N. "A Guide to the Giants Causeway, And the North-East Coast of the County of Antrim".
History of Ireland Sorley Boy MacDonnell
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