Perhaps the pluckiest fight put up against Cromwell was by Hugh O'Neill (nephew of Owen Roe O'Neill) at Clonmel.
With his little garrison of 1500 men he resisted magnificently. He quickly turned to splendid advantage a treacherous trick by which Cromwell was to be given entrance to the city - and quietly turning the tables, entrapped, fought and killed, five hundred of Cromwell's men. So finely did O'Neill defend the place that Cromwell had at length to turn the siege into blockade.
Then O'Neill being out of provisions, worked a second clever bit of strategy. With the garrison, he secretly slipped away in the night to Waterford, after having arranged that when he and his forces had got twelve miles' start, the Mayor of the town should obtain good terms from the impatient and unwitting Cromwell.
And, as anticipated, Cromwell was taken in, and eagerly gave fine terms to a town that, without his knowing it was completely at his mercy.
Cromwell in the end of May sailed from Youghal for England, after having in eight months, subdued almost all of Ireland, destroyed the effective irish forces, and left the country prostrate at the feet of the Parliament.
Waterford, Limerick, and Galway still held out. Scattered bands of fighters here and there, and a army of the North, about five thousand foot and a thousand horse, under Heber MacMahon, Bishop of Clogher, kept Ulster resistance still alive.