Ireland 1587. Hugh O'Donnell inherits the title of The O'Donnell, the prince of Donegal, and tries to unite Ireland to make war on England. But then Hugh is kidnapped and imprisoned by the Viceroy of Ireland and held ransom for the Clans' good behavior. Hugh must escape prison and the Viceroy's villainous henchman, Captain Leeds, before he can fight. Written by
Did You Know?
"Red Hugh" O'Donnell (in Irish, Aodh Rua Ó Domhnaill) was born in 1572, a son of Hugh Roe (Aodh mac Maghnusa Ó Domhnaill), king of Tir Connaill. The movie, though heavily fictionalized, contains many elements from his life: He was imprisoned in Dublin Castle, but at age 15, not as an adult. He did escape twice, in 1591 and January '92, with the assistance of his friends the O'Neills - in fact, he and two O'Neill brothers are the only men to escape (during which Hugh lost two toes to frostbite). At 20, he became The O'Donnell, Lord of Tyrconnel [now Donegal, hence the movie title], but on his father's abdication, not his death. In 1593, he declared war against the English, joined in 1596 by the O'Neills, though Donegal Castle was never taken by the English. After winning an impressive string of battles, Spain entered the conflict as Ireland's allies in 1601, but the combined force was defeated in 1602 and Hugh fled to Spain hoping Philip III would provide more aid. Unfortunately, the Prince of Donegal died that year at Simancas Castle. See more
The song "O'Donnell Aboo," which is sung at the film's conclusion was not written until the 1840s and refers to events in the Nine Year's War, which took place from 1593 to 1602. The film begins in 1587, prior to the conflict. See more
My father taught me that victory goes to him that takes the greatest risk.
Music by Michael Joseph McCann (c. 1843)
Arranged by Eric Rogers
Heard instrumentally throughout the film on the soundtrack
Also sung by Andrew Keir
and cast at conclusion See more