O'Donnell, Hugh Roe

O'Donnell, Hugh Roe, 1571?–1602, Irish chieftain and ruler of Tyrconnel (modern Donegal), known as Red Hugh. His father tended to favor the English, who left him free to continue the traditional O'Donnell struggle with the O'Neills, until Hugh was taken hostage by the English for his father's loyalty and imprisoned (1587–92). On his escape his father resigned the clan leadership to him, and Hugh participated in a rising against the English, which turned into a major war (1594–1601). Successful at first, and aided by Spain, he enlarged his own territories but gradually lost control over the other nobles who resented his personal ambition. He was defeated, with Hugh O'Neill, 2d earl of Tyrone, at Kinsale (1601) and fled to Spain, where he died.

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