The life of Conn O’Neill, who once owned land stretching from the Ards Peninsula to modern-day Lisburn, is told in a new book by local author Roy Greer.
‘Con O’Neill, Last Gaelic Lord of Upper Clannaboy’ was launched at a special evening event at the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum last month and was published with assistance from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.
The author, primary school principal Roy Greer, describes the publication as his ‘ten-year journey with an Irish chief’.
Conn O’Neill resided at Castlereagh, the old ‘Grey Castle’ that now lies in ruins in the Castlereagh Hills. He was imprisoned in Carrickfergus Castle in the early 17th-century after a failed rebellion. Hugh Montgomery, laird of Braidstone in Scotland, helped him escape on condition that he signed over some of his lands. Until his early death in 1619, much of Conn’s lands, covering much of the modern Lisburn & Castlereagh City area, were sold off to private planters. At the launch Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee congratulated the author on: “a fantastic new book, richly illustrated and full of interesting details.”
He added: “The Council was very pleased to support the publication. It is an important addition to our knowledge of Conn O’Neill, Castlereagh and the history of the wider Council area.”