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Origin of the surname Gallogly
Posted by: Conor Gallogly (ID *****3214) Date: July 11, 2003 at 07:53:13
  of 56

The following extract is from the Oxford Companion to Irish History (Oxford University Press) and explains the origin of the word gallowglass from which the surname Gallogly is derived -

gallowglass (Ir. gallóglach,'foreign warrior' or warrior from the Innse Gall, the Hebrides'. In the 11th and 12th centuries Irish sources indicate that some provincial kings already used mercenaries from the Hebrides, chiefly as bodyguards, but from the mid-13th century larger troops, under the name of gallóglaigh, or gallowglass, were imported from Argyle and the Western Isles of Scotland by the chiefs of Ulster and north Connacht, where they played a significant role in stiffening Irish resistance to the extension of English settlements. They were armoured foot soldiers, wielding long - and short-handed battleaxes, spears and two-handed swords, and their value lay in their ability to beat off a cavalry charge, forming a wall of defence across the battlefield from behind which the light Irish horsemen could make short charges before retreating and regrouping. They were lead by their own chieftains, MacDonalds, McSweeneys, MacCabes, MacSheehys, and MacLeods, who received grants of land in various parts of Ireland from the lords who employed them, and became part of the hereditary nobility of Ireland. By the 15th and 16th centuries Irish and Anglo-Irish lords in Munster and Leinster also employed them, often as bodyguards or for policing duties. (Entry by Dr.Katherine Simms, University of Dublin, Trinity College)


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