109081: Mac Dhomhnaill Ghlais MacLeod

From Drynoch, mac Dhòmhnaill Ghlais (d 1601) was the son of Donald Glas MacLeod, a kinsman of the clan chief Roderick Mòr. Although his forename is not recorded, it is known that mac Dhòmhnaill Ghlais MacLeod was well respected for his fighting skills. It was at the Battle of Carinish that he was to meet an untimely death. 

In May 1601 he was selected to lead a MacLeod raid on the MacDonald territory of North Uist. A group of 40 to 60 men sailed from Skye together with the clan chief, landing at either Newton Ferry or Locheport, depending on the source. Whilst Roderick Mòr stayed close to the landing place, mac Donald Glas headed inland, successfully gathering cattle and discovering a stash of valuables at Teampall na Trianaid in Carinish. There, the MacLeods stayed the night, feasting on one of the animals for breakfast.

In the morning the MacDonalds attacked, led by the experienced Donald MacDonald, mac Iain ‘ic Sheumais. A fierce and bloody battle ensued. However, not only were the MacDonalds tactically superior; they also had had sturdier bows. With defeat inevitable, mac Dhòmhnaill Ghlais sent two messengers to give the news to Roderick Mòr, whilst he and a handful of others escaped over the sands to Baleshare. They never reached its shores.

It was on a sandbank that now bears mac Dhòmhnaill Ghlais’s name, Oitir Mhic Dhòmhnaill Ghlais, that they turned and offered surrender to the MacDonalds. It was refused and the MacLeods were slain. All were buried close by, except for the young leader, whose remains were taken for burial at Teampall na Trianaid.

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The temple, looking west towards Baleshare

The temple, looking west towards Baleshare