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Royal Galloglas Guard

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Royal Galloglas Guard Insignia

What was it & Why?

The Royal Eóghanacht Galloglas Guard was the bizarre 'private army' of self-styled Irish chieftain, James Shortt, The Baron of Castleshort. The organisation claimed tenuous links to the Scottish mercenaries of The Dark Ages, though quite how has never been explained.

Despite Shortt's claims that the Guard "is one of the oldest existing bodyguard formations in the world" it did not actually predate 1995. In a nutshell, it appeared to be nothing more than a (six-strong) drinking club with a kilt fixation - similar to the Legion of Frontiersmen, but with a distinct Irish flavour: Riverdance meets Braveheart.

Members of this organisation had the curious (and amusing) propensity to translate their names in to faux Irish: American officer David Riley Stabler becoming the pretentious An Ceannfort de díorma An Ridire Coirnéad Dáibhi Raighilleigh MacStablanach after one serious vowel movement. Their website is also littered with other unpronounceable pseudo-Gaelic gibberish. It goes without saying that this was potentially a great way of fleecing cash off gullible, naive Irish-Americans, not that such goings on were actually taking place you understand?

According to their own website: “The Galloglach are drawn exclusively from Irish Gentlemen who are graduates of the International Bodyguard Association or qualified gentlemen of Irish descent. Membership is by invitation only.” This was apparently open to interpretation since the “Guard” had in the past included the German director of IBA Deutschland and Thomas Bermudez ( “part Hispanic (Mexican), part Native American (Indian), part Irish and part something else.”) Other members included an SS re-enactor and Shortt’s two sons.

The RGG reached a high point in March 1999 when no less than nine members participated in the New York St Patrick’s Day parade. From then on membership continued to dwindle and today the entire Royal Galloglas Guard consists only of Shortt himself.


It's worth noting that its members were mostly all IBA-trained operators, which made them considerably more nails than the LoF clowns. So just you be careful before taking the piss! Siōchnãgishģuggnãigh! As they say at the dentists.

Ranks

NB: Nine ranks among nine personnel!

Officers

  • Ardcheannasaí - Colonel-Commandant [No such word: although Cheannasa means 'Controller' it is not a military rank]
  • Coirnéal - Colonel of the Watch [Just Colonel actually]
  • Ceannfort - Commandant
  • Captaen - Captain
  • Coirnéad - Cornet
  • Dalta - Cadet

Companions

  • Aidiúnach - Adjutant [not a rank, "Aidiúnach" refers more to an officer's appointment ]
  • Corparáil - Corporal [Actually the correct Gaelic is Ceannaire]
  • Garda an Rí - Guard [ This actually means "King's Guard ]

Clearly this sort of outfit (pun unintended) is going to attract all kinds of attention - in particular the Irish Genealogical Office, who questioned... well... all of it. Time for a 'proclamation'!

Proclamation

AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE ROYAL EOGHANACHT GALLOGLAS GUARD

BORRMOUNT MANOR

BORRMOUNT BREE

ENNISCORTHY, CO. WEXFORD

REP. of IRELAND

As the duly sworn bodyguard of Terence Francis MacCarthy, The MacCarthy Mór, Prince of Desmond, The Royal Eóghanacht Galloglas Guard rejects in total the pronouncement made by the Genealogical Office of the National Library of the Irish Republic regarding the validity of The MacCarthy Mór's claim to that title.

We question the motives and integrity of the Irish Genealogical Office, and of those individuals involved with this matter. We especially question the bone fides and motives of one Sean (John) Murphy, the self-proclaimed genealogist (he has been excluded from the group of genealogists associated with the the I.G.O.) in preparing the distorted material which has formed the background to this matter.

We further question the motives of The Sunday Times (Irish edition) in their failure to allow the publication of a letter of response from The MacCarthy Mór regarding their defamatory article of 20 July 1999 entitled 'IRISH CLAN CHIEF'S REIGN MAY BE OVER'.

To those interested parties who wish to see this letter, as well as copies of further letters listed herebelow, they may be viewed here:

  • Open Letter to the Sunday Times, July 4th, 1999
  • Open Letter from John G. O’Donnell, Solicitor to The MacCarthy Mór, July 10th, 1999
  • Open Response to Sean Murphy by The MacCarthy Mór, July 10th, 1999

The Royal Eóghanacht Galloglas Guard will use all resources at its disposal to investigate both the backgrounds and motives of the Office and individuals involved in this matter, as is our sworn oath to protect and serve the true MacCarthy Mór, Prince of Desmond and Lord of Kerslawny. The G2 Branch of the Headquarters have commenced a primary investigation in to the matter and a report will be submitted and published in due course.

Respectfully,

Colonel James Shortt, The Baron of Castleshort, NN
Colonel Commandant, Royal Eóghanacht Galloglas Guard
Captain David Robert Wooten of Ballywoodane, SCSG, NN, OMNN
Commanding Officer, Saint Breándan Detachment, Royal Eóghanacht Galloglas Guard

Clearly totally and utterly bats! Quite how a group of less than ten could have had a 'G2' branch is open to question.

Incidentally, when contacted in regard to this, Mr David Wooten replied: "I am long-resigned from that bogus organization of a bogus individual."

Saint Breándan Detachment

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Knowing how our 'colonial cousins' love the old country, it goes without saying that there's rich pickings to be had, though. It would seem. however, that was never really exploited to its full potential: 'North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean, fall under the operational area of 'The Saint Breandán Detachment.' Quite a tasking for six obese Americans.

But you have to love an organisation with 1 soldier, 3 officers under training (note - not even the 'official' Galloglas rank of 'Cadet'), and still led by a "Coirnéal Brigadier General". When you then realise that the name of the aforesaid 1-star was "Oliver Lumsden Peacock", the laughter begins to hurt.

Note from the lone surviving detachment member: No real fleecing occured, fortunately, though there was a chance of it -- instead, insignia and uniforms were sourced in the same way American Civil War officers had done so years before: by having members buy their own. Thus, it was never really profitable for the RGG home office to venture into the Americas, but it was a serious money drain for those wanting to dress up. I never got around to buying the last bits of the fancy dress uniform, and that is a real pity as it would have been nice for the occasional costume party.

Conclusion

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! (Repeat as necessary)

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