Web Analytics


Ireland, a land steeped in ancient tales of valour and martial prowess, has a rich history of producing warriors whose exploits echo through the ages. From the songs of the bards to the days of St. Patrick’s message of peace, the Irish spirit has been indomitable. While the annals of Ireland are filled with stories of brave sons defending their motherland. This article turns its gaze to those who, far from home, carried the flame of Irish courage to foreign lands, leaving an indelible mark on the battlefields of the world.

Long before the ink was dry on the compact signed at Limerick, Irish soldiers were already serving with distinction in the armies of Europe. Owen Roe O’Neill, having gained military knowledge in the service of Spain, delivered a resounding blow to Cromwell’s forces at the Battle of Benburb. However, it was after the capitulation of Limerick that the exodus of Irish soldiers truly commenced, and the tales of Irish valour began to resonate across foreign lands.

The illustrious Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Irish soldiers. His gallant service in France, alongside other nations’ flags, showcased the prowess of the Irish on foreign soil. The Irish Brigade, forged in the crucible of conflict, became a force to be reckoned with. From Fontenoy to the Seven Years’ War, these exiled sons of Ireland fought with unmatched bravery, turning the tide of battles and earning the admiration even of their adversaries.

Colonel John O’Sullivan, a distinguished figure in the French service, accompanied Prince Charles in the ill-fated Rebellion of ’45. His coolness, energy, and tact played a pivotal role in the monarch’s escape, emphasizing the strategic acumen of Irish commanders on the global stage.

The saga continued with James O’Moran, a brilliant officer of the Irish Brigade who rose to the rank of major-general in the French service. His unwavering dedication to the Bourbon cause ultimately led to his tragic demise during the Revolution in Paris.

Daniel O’Connell, another stalwart member of the Irish Brigade, participated in the Seven Years’ War and ascended to the rank of major-general in the French infantry. His familial ties later produced a figure of historical significance – none other than the renowned Irish Liberator.

Count Patrick Darcy, a distinguished officer, breathed his last in Paris, leaving behind a legacy that echoed through France’s tumultuous history. The Irish Brigade’s indomitable spirit found expression in the gallantry of figures like Francis Meagher Donnell and Count Theobald Dillon, whose sacrifices on the battlefield testified to the enduring bond between Ireland and foreign lands.

The Russian service saw the emergence of Count George Brown, born in Ireland, who navigated danger and adventure, rising to the rank of field marshal. The Clare family, through its sons like Daniel and Charles, left an indelible mark on European battlefields, their bravery extending from Pignerol to Ramillies.

The echoes of Limerick’s surrender reverberated far beyond its walls, reaching the corners of the globe where Irish soldiers etched their names into history. Their stories are intertwined with the fabric of foreign nations, their sacrifices celebrated and memorialized. Whether charging at Fontenoy or standing firm at the Battle of Benburb, these warriors carried the indomitable spirit of Limerick to the farthest reaches of the world.

As we reflect on the diaspora of Irish soldiers, it becomes evident that Limerick’s legacy is not confined to the pages of history. It lives on in the valour and heroism of those who bore its name across oceans and continents. The Irish soldier, the epitome of courage and dedication, stands as a testament to a nation’s indomitable spirit that transcends borders and resonates through time.

Irish Emerald – Saturday 06 July 1912

From an original article By CHARLES S. O’NEILL
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments