Chapter 5: Enniskillen and the battling rector of Kilskeery
I have to say immediately that the resistance to James II that centred in Enniskillen was by no means mounted by Enniskillen men only.
The Inniskilleners (the old name for Enniskillen) were made up of Protestant men from the counties Sligo, Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, West Tyrone and Fermanagh. The Protestant community combined into a disciplined and regimented force which not merely withstood the best of James’ military leaders but repeatedly defeated them most decidedly.
The actions of the “Inniskilleners” were sparked off, as was all Protestant resistance, by the actions of Lying Dick Talbot, the Earl of Tyrconnel, James II’s Viceroy in Ireland. Tyrconnel had turned 6,200 Protestants out of the army and had thrust Roman Catholics into positions of public trust, most of whom were totally unfitted for the positions they occupied.
The French Ambassador, Avaux, said of Tyrconnel’s actions in Ireland, “…the man who served the King of France as Tyrconnel served James II … would have lost his head…”. Tyrconnel’s bigoted actions raised the ire of the Protestant people and ultimately cost James II his throne.