Age of the Gallowglass c.1250-1600
Gallowglass warriors (gallóglaigh) from the time of their initial introduction to Ireland from the Hebrides and Western Isles of Scotland in the mid thirteenth century. Descended from a mixed lineage of Scots-Gaelic and Viking bloodlines these armoured professional foot-soldiers fought with the long-hafted sparth axe and found employment with Irish chieftains and sub-kings who had a deficit in terms of warriors fulfilling the heavy infantry role. Their role in Gaelic-Irish armies was one major contributory factor in the stemming of the tide of the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland. The main focus for Claíomh's interpretations is on the latter 15thC and 16thC gallowglasses in particular and the major actions in which they were involved such as the Battles of Knockdoe (1504), The Red Sagums (1561) and Farsetmore (1567). The growing impact over the course of the sixteenth century from the Western Isles and Highlands of the seasonal mercenary 'Redshanks', or 'New Scots', is also of considerable interest to the group.