The world of the galloglass

Kings, warlords and warriors in Ireland and Scotland, 1200–1600


Seán Duffy, editor

Paperback €22.45
Catalogue Price: €24.95
ISBN: 978-1-84682-624-5
July 2016. 236pp; illustrations.

‘These warriors offer an exciting opportunity to study the ties that bound medieval and early modern Scotland and Ireland … [this book] provides a detailed historical analysis ... as a collection, The world of the Galloglass provides an exciting starting point from which it is to be hoped much additional research will follow’, Iain MacInnes, Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies (2013). 


‘This collection of essays considers both the galloglass and the wider context of their operations, providing a fascinating glimpse of the military and political cultures that continued to link the Western Isles of Scotland, the Isle of Man, and the Scandinavian kingdoms well into the late medieval period. Though the title might indicate a collection focused primarily on military culture, the essays range over a far wider selection of topics. Several aspects of galloglass experience are discussed [and] there are several very useful articles on warrior and mercenary kindreds … this interdisciplinary collection will be of interest to military historians and to anyone working on the Irish Sea and North Sea world, or more broadly on the British and Irish Isles, from the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries’, Clodagh Tait, Sixteenth Century Journal (2009).


‘The galloglass warriors from Scotland had a huge impact on Irish warfare from the late Middle Ages on. They were a crucial factor in Irish resistance to English incursions and enabled Irish armies to face the English on equal terms. Yet little work has been done on their role, organization, impact and so on. This book rectifies that in bringing together ten experts from Ireland and Scotland to discuss the galloglass in detail’, Books Ireland (2007).


‘Taken as a whole this book gives us a greater understanding of the galloglass and their influence in Ireland and beyond. The big picture is complemented by case studies presenting an insight into how the galloglass actually operated in war and interacted with their employers. This book is a worthwhile examination of one of the most significant aspects of the Gaelic world’, Tony Canavan, Books Ireland (2007).


‘Galloglass from the Irish ‘Gallóglach’, or foreign soldier, was the term applied to the Scottish mercenaries employed by Irish chieftains right up to the collapse of Gaelic Ireland in the early 17th century. This collection of essays, edited by Seán Duffy, is certainly a gem for student of Irish history, but also for the genealogist. The book is particularly interesting for those with Ulster Gaelic ancestry as it chronicles the turbulent events surrounding the struggle of the these clans to maintain their independence. Far from being an entirely localised episode in Irish history, their wars had a wider European context and involved monarchs of England, Scotland and Spain’, Michael Merrigan, Ireland's Genealogical Gazette (2007).