A Bloody Day: The Irish at Waterloo Ireland VIEW SOURCE

Major-General George O’Malley of Newcastle served at the battle of Waterloo (where he was twice wounded) and subsequently commanded the Connaught Rangers.


He is a descendant of Gráinne Mhaol [Granuaile] aka Grace O'Malley (c.1530 – c.1603) and Owen O'Malley of Burrishoole (c1650-1738). His family is remembered in the roofless side chapel at Murrisk Abbey. 


O'Malley died age 63 and was interred in the family burial place at Murrisk Abbey, Westport (see also Marino Lodge).  


OBITUARY   Major-Gen. O'Malley, C.B.


[Transcribed from - The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, for the Year MDCCCXLIII, Volume 174. Pages 320 – 322].


May 16, 1843.   Major Gen. George O'Malley, C.B. for many years commanding the 88th Regiment, or Connaught Rangers.

Previous to entering the regular army, this officer served in the Rebellion of Ireland in the yeomanry and militia services of that country. 

He joined in 1798, as a volunteer, the yeomanry cavalry corps of Castlebar, the day previous to that town being attacked and taken by the French force under Gen. Humbert; and in consequence of there being no other officer present with the corps, he was called to command it by the non-commissioned officers and private men, in which command he continued and moved with the army under the command of Marquess Cornwallis, until it was ascertained the French army had quitted Castlebar when his lordship's army took a different route to what was intended, and Mr O'Malley received orders to repair with the corps under his command to that town, and endeavour to restore order and tranquillity there. In the course of a fortnight after his return to Castlebar, the town was attacked by a formidable rebel force, amounting to near 3000 men. Aided by some French officers, at which time there was no force to meet them but about fifty yeomanry, and one company of about fifty men of the Frazier Fencibles, with about sixty of the inhabitants, who it was thought could be relied on, and who volunteered their services on the occasion. After several very determined attacks on the town, the rebel army was routed with great loss. This officer contributed very materially to this result by the dispositions which he made, in conjunction with the Captain who commanded the Fraziers, for defending the several passes leading to the town. 

He was immediately after this confirmed by the Lord Lieutenant as a Lieutenant in the Castlebar yeomanry cavalry, and soon afterwards joined the North Mayo reg. of Militia, with the view to volunteering therefrom into the line, which he did on the first opportunity, and joined the 13th regiment of foot as Ensign, the 23rd Feb. 1800, in which year he embarked served with that corps in the expedition to Ferrol, as well as in the expedition to Egypt in 1801. 

He served in Egypt for nearly twelve months, and was present in several of the actions, and was severely wounded in that of the 13th March 1801. He afterwards did duty in the garrison of Malta and Gibraltar until Sept. 1883, when he returned home, and, after being successfully employed on the recruiting service in Ireland, was promoted to a Company in the 89th, in April 1805, the 2nd battalion of which corps he joined and served within England till a letter of service was granted to the present Viscount Dillon for raising the 101st regiment, to which this officer was appointed Major, and by his exertions and personal influence contributed most materially in recruiting and establishing that corps.

He was constantly present with the 101st upwards of seven years in Ireland, Jersey, North America, and the West Indies. He was detached with 300 men of that regiment in the year 1808, to St. John's, New Brunswick, the garrison of which place he commanded at a time when a war was expected with America, and when, from the dispositions made by the Americans in assembling a large force in the neighbourhood, &c. it was imagined that a sudden attack would have been made on the garrison of St. John's, in order to seize the ordnance stores, &c. which were there. In the summer, prior to his taking command of that garrison, and at all times, more or less, since the first American war, desertions from it were very prevalent to the states of America. He was, however, fortunate enough by the arrangements which e made, and by defeating a few individual attempts at desertion, to conquer that spirit altogether, and during about eleven months that he commanded at St. John's, a garrison composed of Irish soldiers, no individual whatever was lost to the service by desertion : in consideration of which, and of the he made for the defence of St John's, when it was imagined it would have been attacked by the Americans, together with the exemplary good conduct of the troops during his command of the garrison, the freedom of the city of London was voted at a common council, held on the 19th July 1809.

He then received orders to proceed to Jamaica, where he remained nearly four years at a time when he was most anxious to have returned home, in order to have joined the army in the Peninsula; but being in command of the 101st, no leave of absence was granted him till relieved therefrom, in July 1813, when he quitted Jamaica, and arrived in Sept. of the same year in England. He immediately applied for leave to be employed with the army in Spain, but his application was not successful, as well as another he made on the Revolution occurring in Holland.

On Bonaparte's return to France from Elba, he again solicited permission to join the army of the Duke of Wellington, and in consequence was removed to the 44th regiment, the 2nd battalion of which corps he joined at Brussels the 12th June 1815, and served with it in the 9th (Sir D. Pack's) brigade of Sir T. Picton's , the 5th division, the entire of that campaign, and was from the 16th June, the day on which the army was first engaged, second in command of the brigade, and in the entire command of the 2nd battalion of the 44th regiment; which corps suffered very severely in the several actions at Waterloo, being at one time reduced to between 100 and 200 men, and only five officers. He was twice wounded in the action of the 18th June at Waterloo and did not quit the field or the command of the 44th reg. and had two horses shot under him. He continued in France with the 2nd battalion of the 44th regiment until Jan. 1816, when he returned to England, and at the reduction of that corps, was placed on half-pay. For his conduct at the battle of Waterloo, Lieut.-Col. O'Malley was appointed a Companion of the Bath. The 12th Aug. 1819, he was appointed to the majority of the 38th Foot.

He was appointed Lieut.-Colonel Of the 88th, 1823, brevet Colonel 1830, and Major-General 184-. 


A statue was erected by the Friendly Brothers of St. Patrick and was originally sited in the Parade Ground of Castlebar Barracks. This statue now stands in the grounds of Christchurch, Castlebar Church of Ireland, Co. Mayo, Ireland. 

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Jan 1780
Date of Death 16th May 1843
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Elizabeth Clarke
Father (First Name/s and Surname) George O’Malley, Castlebar (d.1798) a wealthy tanner
Townland born
Names of Siblings Elizabeth m. John Irwin of Camlin House, Ballinameen. | James O'Malley (also served at Waterloo, as Surgeon of the 11th Regiment of Light Dragoons).
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