Grace O’Malley, Pirate Queen
While in the midst of researching and writing the books of pirate stories, I discovered a famous woman pirate named Grace O’Malley. She was a seafarer, trader and chieftain in Ireland in
the 1500’s. And she was a pirate, a quite successful one, at that. She was born in 1530 in County Mayo, Ireland.Grace loved the sea and accompanied her father on many of his trading trips
aboard ship. Of course, her mother did not approve. A ship at sea was no place
for a young woman, but Grace was fiercely independent. Finally her mother had
to accept her wishes and stood aside. Her father resisted her wishes as well.
Determined to have her way, she cut her hair short and dressed in boy’s clothes
to prove to her parents that she could handle such a life, and her persistence
Grace’s exploits are legendary andthe stuff of Irish folklore. Although she commanded ships for trade, she also
led her crew in battle. She was a fierce fighter and always victorious.
I think of Grace O’Malley now, thispirate, leader of men, and Irish chieftain, succeeding in such a difficult time
for women. She was fearless, and she earned respect and loyalty from the men
who followed her.
Her spirit inspires all of us whofollow in her footsteps, standing firm and fighting for our rights.