Lt General Owen Roe O’Neill’s Regiment of Foot

Later, Colonel Phelim mac Tuathail O'Neill’s Regiment of Foot

Active1642 to 1650
ConflictsIrish Confederate War
ColonelOwen Roe O’Neill
Phelim mac Tuathail O'Neill
Area RaisedUlster
Coat Colour
Flag Colour
Flag DesignArms of Papacy?
Field ArmiesOwen Roe O’Neill 1643
Castlehaven 1644
Owen Roe O’Neill 1646

Irish Confederate foot of the Ulster army victorious at Benburb in 1646

Service History


  • July: O'Neill returns to Ireland from Dunkirk, landing at Castledoe, County Donegal
  • Regiment raised in Ulster, including many Irish veterans of Tercio Irlandes de O'Neill returning from Flanders
  • August: O'Neill takes command of the Ulster Army


  • May: Battle of Loughgall or Annasamery
  • June: Battle of Clones
  • August: Battle of Portlester


  • Serving under Castlehaven
  • August to September: Standoff at Charlemont



  • June: Skirmish at Ballaghkillgevill?
  • June: Battle of Benburb
  • June: Raid from Tanderagee into County Down


  • Detachment sent to storm Nenagh
  • Detachment of 450 men sent to relieve Athy


  • November: With the Death of Lt. Gen. Eoghain Ruadh on November 6th, Phelim mac Tuathail O'Neill became colonel of Eoghain Ruadh O'Neill's regiment


  • June: Battle of Scarrifhollis (Phelim mac Tuathail O'Neill executed)


Phelim mac Tuathail O'Neill kept a journal during the conflict, shown in Gilbert's 'A contemporary history of affairs in Ireland'.

The O'Neill battlecry was Lamh-derg aboo meaning 'the Red hand to victory'.

Coats, Flags & Equipment

The foot of O'Neil's army in 1646 were equipped with one musket for every pike1).

After Benburb O'Neill is said to have had the arms of the papacy emblazoned on his colours, though there appears to be no contemporary evidence for this.

Notable Officers

Owen Roe O’Neill

Owen Roe O'Neill, or Eoghain Ruadh O Neill

Phelim mac Tuathail O'Neill

(Sometimes shown as Phelim MacToole) Lieutenant Colonel to Eoghain Ruadh O Neil since 1645, he took over the regiment after Owen Roe's death in November 1649. He was taken prisoner at Scarriffhollis. After that engagement he was, according to his grandson, executed by being “knocked on the head with tent poles”. By order of Sir Charles Coote, the head of Colonel O'Neill, together with that of Henry Roe O'Neill, was impaled at Derry.

Officer List

  • Col. Owen Roe O'Neill
  • Lt Col. Phelim MacToole O'Neill
  • Maj. Mac MacHugh Boy O'Neill2)


  • Said to have been 15 companies in 1646

See Also

1) , 2) The Battle of Benburb 1646. Clive Hollick, Mercier Press, 2011. ISBN 978 1 85635 670 1.