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This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (May 2008) Phelim Caoch O'Neill (Irish: Féilim Caoch Ó Néill) was a Prince of the Cenél nEógain from 1517 to 1542. The first son of King Conn Bacach O'Neill. Conn came from a long line of Ulster kings and was known throughout all the O'Neill provinces as "The O'Neill" or the most supreme among all the O'Neill Lords. Phelim's mother was Lady Alice Fitzgerald, the daughter of Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare. His father and maternal grandfather were probably the two most powerful men in Ireland in the 1540s. Contents 1 Early life 2 Later life 3 Events Surrounding his Death 4 Sources Early life Phelim Caoch (the blind) was the eldest son of Conn O'Neill, 1st Earl of Tyrone, then King of Tir Eoghan. Phelim was raised in the Gaelic fashion at the family castle in Dungannon in County Tyrone, and was groomed to one day be the King of Tir Eoghan himself. At the time of his birth, his uncle was King, but at his death in 1519, his father assumed the throne of Tir Eoghan, and the over-chiefship of all three O'Neill houses: Tir Eoghan, the Fews, and Clanaboy. He was the supreme ruler of all of Ulster. Phelim grew up learning the diplomacy and art of rule and war in northern Ireland. He took part in activities of his father's kingdom, including a stint as a hostage to the English just before his death. A part of Irish culture of that period was the custom of raiding. Raids against neighboring lords for cattle was a primary past time for young noblemen. Especially in Ulster, cattle was main element of wealth. Thus raiding punished or promoted a junior Lord in the O'Neill world. The O'Neills had a continuous series of battles with the Antrim Scots, led by the MacDonells. Later life Phelim was married to Honora O'Neill, daughter of Sir Phelim O'Neill, lord Edenduffcarrick and the Clanaboy O'Neills. They had a son named Tirlough Brassileagh O'Neill. He gained this patrinomy based on being fostered by the Clan Brassill in southern Ulster, after the death of his father. Events Surrounding his Death It was a raid against the neighboring Scottish clan, the MacDonalds of Antrim that cost him his life. In early 1542 he was "cut down by a single thrust from a MacDonell gallowglass" according to his obituary in the Annals of the Four Masters of Ireland. Phelim Caoch died prior to his father's submission to King Henry VIII. One is left to wonder what might have happened had Phelim lived. After Phelim died, Conn Bacach was left with Shane, a boy of only 6 or 7 years old, and an illegitimate teenage son named Mathew Kelly. Had Phelim lived perhaps the warfare of the 1550-1560s might not have taken place.[citation needed] Sources Annals of the Four Masters, a.d. 1542 O'Neill, the Ancient and Royal Family