WHILE this campaign between O'Neill and Norris was in progress in that part of Ulster which adjoins Meath and faces England there was no lack of activity between O'Donnell and Richard Bingham in that other part of Ulster which adjoins Connaught and in Connaught itself.
In Connaught George Bingham Oge held Sligo Castle with 200 foot, of whom some were Irish. Leaving this in charge of Ulick Burke, son of Raymond, an Irish chief, with some of the soldiers, Bingham himself with the rest sailed round to Ulster in two ships and raided Rathmullan, the chief town of MacSweeny Fanad who was then absent; dismantled the Carmelite Convent and forced the monks to fly to the castle. Laden with booty, he returned to Sligo. Ulick thought that the Irish soldiers were defrauded in the division of the booty and took council with them as to how they should be revenged on Bingham and the English. He arranged to wrest the castle from them on a certain day, and when it came round the Irish attacked the English. Bingham was poniarded by Ulick and the others were either killed or seeking safety in flight, paid the penalty of their sacrilege in raiding the home of the holy Carmelites. The castle was surrendered to O'Donnell, who appointed Ulick commander of it. About this time Tomaltagh and Cathal MacDonough took Ballymote castle from George Bingham the Elder.
In the following autumn, about the time of Norris's defeat by O'Neill, Richard Bingham made an incursion to recover Sligo and take vengeance on Ulick for the slaughter of his kinsmen. He besieged Ulick locked up in Sligo castle. Ulick sallying out every day with the defenders fought before the walls. O'Donnell hastened with 1,600 troops to raise the siege. He pitched his tent at Duraran within view of the enemy. On the first two
p.89days the cavalry of both sides riding up to the river which flowed between them, skirmished with javelins. On the third day Roderic, brother of O'Donnell, with Felim MacDevit and another gentleman, having crossed the river, reconnoitred the camp. Against him came Martin, an Englishman, who was accounted the best horseman in Bingham's army, accompanied by his troop. Roderic giving reign to his horse fled to his own people. Martin followed and was the first of his troop to rush the ford when Felim turning round pierced him with a spear and knocked him dead from his horse, into the stream, while Roderic and Felim and their comrade got off safely. On the following day, the fourth of the siege, Bingham raising the blockade, returned home, O'Donnell following and harassing him with missiles.