THE FORTS ON THE BLACKWATER RIVER “THE COCKPIT OF THE NORTH” Tuesday 8th May in O’Neills GFC Community Sports Complex An Port Mór/Blackwatertown at 8.00pm


The ONeill Country Historical Society commences its summer lecture series with a talk on ‘The Forts on the Blackwater River’ delivered by Dr James O’Neill.

The Nine Years War (1593-1603), also known as Tyrone’s Rebellion represented the climactic clash between the forces of the native Irish and the Tudor state. We often hear of the political dynamics between figures in Ireland, Spain and England and of the dramatic event of the battles of Clontibret (1595), the Yellow Ford (1598) and Kinsale (1601), but for nine years the focus of these turbulent events kept returning to the same stretch of water along the Tyrone-Armagh border: the River Blackwater, with its key military installation, the fort at Blackwatertown ( Port Mór ) which has been described as the “Cock Pit of the North”

Dr James O’Neill worked in archaeology in Northern Ireland for 16 years, specialising in battlefield archaeology and twentieth century defence heritage. In 2008 he moved to the history fraternity at Queens University Belfast. His doctoral research focused on the military aspects of the Nine Years War, also known as Tyrone’s Rebellion. This has been recently published as a monograph by Four Courts Press titled “The Nine Years War 1593-1603: O’Neill, Mountjoy and the Military Revolution” He has published extensively on the Nine Years war but is also known and respected for his work on battlefield and defence heritage archaeology.

Tuesday 8th May at 8.00pm

O’Neills GFC Community Sports Complex An Port Mór/Blackwatertown

32a Avonmore, Blackwatertown BT71 7HW

Refreshments Served & All are Welcome