By C.L. Adams
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Additional resources for Castles of Ireland; Some Fortress Histories And Legends
His possession until Sir It seems to have remained Henry Sidney came north in 566 and had it delivered to him, as well as the castles All of Donegal, Beleek, Bundrowes, and Castle Sligo. 1 these fortresses he placed in the hands of O'Donnell and his allies, who were at this time in high favour with England. The next year Shane O'Neill liberated Con O'Donnell and his brother, who were at the time his prisoners, and the castles of Ballyshannon and Beleek were delivered to Con. About this time the Government began to look with alarm on the growing power and popularity of the O'Donnells, and the State Papers of the period contain notes regarding the advisability of garrisoning fortresses of Tirconnell.
The castle passed to Sir William Taaffe. It was surrendered to Sir Charles Coote upon articles in 1652, which are still preserved. The chief conditions were that the garrison was to march away with bag and baggage, and twenty days were to be allowed for the removal of goods, during which time Major-General Taaffe and his family might remain After this he was to have a free pass to the at the castle. CASTLES OF IRELAND 30 Continent, and Lady Taaffe was to be allowed to live at Ballymote, on condition she did not use it against the and that the Parliamentary forces might garrison it at any time.
O'Donnell having to cross the river all the fords guarded, they were obliged about half a mile west of Belleek. Here was shot through his armour, while was standing in the deep water below the ford, where he was encouraging the soldiers and saving them the Baron of Inchiquin his horse from drowning. The ordnance was landed by water and planted against the castle. The siege lasted three days, but when the little garrison were thinking of surrendering, help arrived from Tyrone, and the English were driven off with great loss.