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by Dr William Roulston
"In studies of the impact of the seventeenth-century plantations in Ulster, Monaghan is in many ways the forgotten county. It will be known by most that Monaghan was not one of the counties in Ulster affected by the official scheme of Plantation from 1610 onwards. A settlement of 1591 which divided the county among native freeholders was confirmed in 1606 and for the first few decades of the seventeenth century most of Monaghan remained in Irish ownership.
However, the fact that Monaghan was almost entirely surrounded by counties that formed part of the official scheme of plantation meant that it would have been virtually impossible for it not to have been affected by the massive changes that were being experienced in the rest of Ulster. The appearance of Englishmen and Scots did not begin in 1600.
For instance, Donald Schlegel has shown that the origins of an ancestor of his, Eoin Mac Shane Ruadh McDonald of Killycoonagh in Killeevan parish, who was pardoned along with Brian McMahon and his followers in 1603, lay in Antrim and Kintyre. However, the settlement of families from Britain that has contributed to the shaping of Monaghan’s history really begins in the early seventeenth century."
This article examines the impact of the plantations in Ulster on County Monaghan.