Grace O’Malley – The Pirate Queen

Grace O’Malley – The Pirate Queen

There are still places in the world where time seems to have been somehow put on hold. Places that have been isolated by their geography, their history or simply because they were not well enough known. Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands, is such a place. Lying with its two cousins, Inishmaan and Inis Meáin strewn across the mouth of Galway Bay, Inis Mór has captured the hearts and imaginations of poets, artists and writers for generations. With a population of perhaps 1,000 hardy souls the island is renowned for characters like Grace O’Malley, the woman known as The Pirate Queen of Inis Mór. Grace O’Malley lived in the 16th century and at the height of her career, she controlled the entire west coast of Ireland, trading goods and political intrigue with Spain, Portugal and Scotland, she fought rival clans seeking to control the harbours of the West Coast as well as English forces sent to subdue her. At one stage she held 11 castles and a fleet that included captured Turkish corsairs and numerous hostages held for ransom.

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