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Gráinne Ní Mháille - prints
  • Gráinne Ní Mháille - prints
  • Gráinne Ní Mháille - prints
  • Gráinne Ní Mháille - prints
  • Gráinne Ní Mháille - prints

Gráinne Ní Mháille - prints

SKU: A375
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Gráinne Ní Mháille

Often referred to as the Pirate Queen, Granuaile or Grace O’Malley, was actually born in 1530 as Gráinne Ní Mháille as her family were native Irish speakers, The name Granuaile is a Anglicization of her Irish nickname Gráinne Mhaol or Gráinne the bald. According to the story, her father, Eoghan Dubhdara Ó Máille, head of the powerful Ó Máille dynasty, a family that traded and plundered down the west coast of Ireland and beyond, would not let Gráinne on his ships for fear her long hair might entangle in the ropes, so the young teenager cut her hair short, thus becoming Gráinne the bald.
After the death of her father, she took on the mantle of the family business and became a thorn in the side of the British empire as she raided their ships from her headquarters on Clare Island. Married to Donal an chógaidh (Donal of the wars), she was widowed at a young age when he was assassinated but forcefully held on to land that it was assumed she would concede and later, after an alleged affair with a sailor, she took revenge on the MacMahon clan responsible for his killing, thus receiving the nick name, The Dark Lady of Doona. Her marriage to Richard an Iarainn (Iron Richard) Bourke only lasted a year and a day for although from an era long after Christianity had come to this country, she lived by the old Brehon laws which stated a couple could divorce after a year and a day of marriage, if so wished and it appears she initiated this separation.
She was very much a hands-on Pirate with one story saying how she battled on deck hours after giving birth. Many stories surround her including how she kidnapped the son of Howth Castle after being refused hospitality which was totally unacceptable in Gaelic society. She let him go when they promised to forever lay a plate for her at their table, a tradition still carried on to this day. When her son was captured by the British, Gráinne, now in her mid-60s, made the arduous journey to London where she refused to bow down to the foreign monarch, Elizabeth I, meeting her as an equal. It is said that there was a mutual respect between them, perhaps both recognizing that they were strong women in a man’s world.
The end of her life is shrouded in mystery, but it is believed she died in 1603, the same year as Elizabeth I, and is buried somewhere on her beautiful Clare Island. Over the years the mythology surrounding her has grown and she has become to many, the Pirate Queen.

Illustration from an original by Margaret McKenna


Dimension (L x W x H) 305 x 60 x 60 Millimetre
Weight 160 Gram