The Ros Tapestry Lovers

Michelle Obama Views  Ros Tapestry Panel at Farmleigh May 2011

Battles in the Kingdom of Ossory

The Kings of Ossory, MacGiolla Padraig, who presided over part of a region now known as Kilkenny, was a mortal enemy of Dermot MacMurrough.

This King had Enna, Dermot’s promising young son and heir, blinded, and had been instrumental in driving Dermot from his capital at Ferns. Now that help had come Dermot had revenge on his mind. His army, numerically smaller than that of the enemy, made their way to Freshford in Ossory in the summer of 1169.

The panel shows Dermot in the thick of battle. Aged sixty four, he is clad in his saffron trews and is carrying an oblong Celtic Shield. His mount is a small active type of dun horse favoured by the Irish. He is flanked by a Norman, bearing a Fitzgerald kite shaped shield. Behind them flies the pennant of the Prendergasts and above, showing that he had recovered from his adventures in Wexford, floats the banner of Robert de Barry. Underfoot, one of the reluctant Norse conscripts lies dead. The loss of life is frightful but Dermot is avenged.

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