An Irish priest has become a hero for his bravery during the Battle of Culloden, the battle between the Irish forces and the Scottish forces during the 17th century.
The man who has been named a hero by the Department of Defence, Major General Brian O’Connor, was one of the top officers on the field of battle.
“He was one the best commanders in the field,” said Major General Pat McGovern, the commander of the Irish Brigade, a unit that played a major role in the battle.
He was also the chief of staff for his battalion, which was one half of a battalion that was sent to Cullodens front.
“The battalion was not doing a great job.
They had no artillery or anything that could be used in a frontal assault,” Major General McGovern said.”
So they had to send in a small group of the infantry, about 200 of them, and about 200 to 300 men.”
Major General McDonagh said the men of the battalion were given the order to get into position and they did exactly that.
“You’ve got a young lad who is about 19 years old, a lad who can be of any age, he’s got a gun in his hand and he has a bayonet and he’s looking for trouble,” he said.
He said the Irish men had no problem with what was happening, because the situation was dire.
“They were just waiting for the moment to make a decision,” Major Colonel McDonaugh said.
But it was not until later in the conflict that the young man realised he was being used as a human shield.
“As soon as the Scots got into position, they saw that he was actually a woman, so they were quite startled by it,” Major McDonagan said.
Major General O’Donnell said that while he was not sure what he did next, he did know that he had to do something about it.
“I had to call the sergeant major, he was the commanding officer in charge of the squad, and said, ‘This is what you’re getting into, this is what we’re getting out of you’,” he said, adding that the squad leader gave the young sergeant an order to put on the helmet and come to his aid.
“When he came back he told me, ‘I don’t know what to do, I can’t do anything about it’.”
Major General Patrick McDonough said that he went on to become a well-known figure in Irish politics, and had been a minister for 20 years.
“It’s something that’s not really in the news at the moment but it’s something I can look back on and say, ‘Yes, I made some bad decisions in my career’,” he added.
“That’s why I’m still standing up for this badge that we wear on our uniform.”
Major Major McDONACON has been awarded a posthumous Legion of Honour.
“There’s no doubt that it’s the right thing to do,” Major Major Mcdonagh said.