Note by Padraig Rooney
In March 1906, Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O’Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, passed through Switzerland en route to Rome. Their departure from Ireland marks the end of the old Gaelic order and is known as The Flight of the Earls. From Basel they journeyed along the Rhine, through St. Alban-Tal, to Liestal. ‘The road was even and beautiful, advancing beside the river in a long valley,’ notes their scribe, Tadgh Ó Cianáin. On St. Patrick’s Day they proceeded across the Gothard Pass where one of O’Neill’s horses, carrying about £120, fell into a gorge below the Devil’s Bridge. The Horse was recovered but the money was not.