The following is a transcript taken from Beatha Aodha Ruaidh Ui Dhomhnaill (The Life of Red Hugh O’Donnell) by Lughaidh O’Clery of the speech that Red Hugh gave to his men at the Battle of Curlew Pass on 15 August 1599, where the native Irish routed an English force near modern-day Boyle, County Roscommon.
We, though a small number, are on the side of right, as it seems to us, and the English, whose number is large, are on the side of robbery, in order to rob you of your native land and your means of living, and it is far easier for you to make a brave, stout, strong fight for your native land and your lives while you are your own masters and your weapons are in your hands than when you are put into prison and in chains after being robbed of your weapons and when your limbs are bound with hard, tough cords of hemp, after being broken and torn, some of you half dead after you are chained and taken in crowds on waggons and carts through the streets of the English towns through contempt and mockery of you. My blessing on you, true men; bear in your minds the firm resolution that you had when such insults and violence were offered to you (as was done to many of your race), that today is the day of battle which you have needed to make a vigorous fight in defence of your liberty by the strength of your arms and the courage of your hearts, while you have your bodies under your control and your weapons in your hands, as it is not a necessity that the English should be your conquerors. Have no dread or fear of the great number of the soldiers of London or of the strangeness of their weapons and arms, but put your hope and confidence in the God of glory. I am certain if you take into your minds what I say to you, that the English will be defeated and that victory will be with you.