Welcome to the Galloglass Project

'The Galloglass, as is well known, were a class of professional mercenary soldiers with a distinctive weapon - the spar or galloglass axe - and a distinctive way of fighting, who played a prominent role in the affairs of fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth century Ireland. The term, galloglass (gallóglach), which means literally foreign warrior, first appears in the second half of the thirteenth century to denote Scottish mercenaries...'
(Kenneth Nicholls, Gaelic and Gaelicized Ireland (Dublin 2003), pp. 99-100.)

The Galloglass Project establishes a provisional database record of galloglass individuals and kindreds in Ireland from the time of their first recruitment in their Hebridean and West Highland homelands in the thirteenth century to the dawn of the modern age.

The location of the galloglass at the intersection of Scottish and Irish politics, warfare and culture in the late Middle Ages is frequently alluded to and has long been recognized.

This Project has been supported as part of a cluster of research projects funded by the Higher Education Authority under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). The database is accessible online to interested researchers.


Editorial Note

It is a challenge to arrive at a standardized form of orthography for names that will please all or perhaps even most researchers. The primary objective must be consistency. Personal names are generally rendered in Classical Early Modern Irish form; e.g. Aodh rather than Áed, Domhnall rather than Domnall, Maolmhuire rather than Máel Muire, Toirdhealbhach rather than Toirdelbach, etc.

It should be noted that Scottish Gaelic forms are generally avoided before the seventeenth century. While this database facilitates further research, it is not an exhaustive resource. Amendments and additions relevant to the contents of the Galloglass database webpages are welcome.

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