Irish Slaves taken to Mecca

Irish Taken and Sold as Slaves
On June 20 Algerian pirates from the Barbary Coast
slaughtered and enslaved inhabitants from a village
in Cork, Ireland. Over 100 inhabitants were taken.
To make matters worse, an Irishman from Dungarvan
by the name of Hacket, betrayed the town to the
pirates to save his own skin.

Who were the pirates ?
This bloody band of pirates put the village in flames
and took as many as possible as slaves. The pirates
included Algerians, Turks and Dutch nationals.
A notorious Dutch pirate, was in fact the captain of
these renegades. (Some say the pirates might have
been encouraged by Coppinger, who was envious
of this town, held by O'Driscoll.)

The 'Sack of Baltimore' by T. Davis tells us:
'and o'er each black and bearded face
the white or crimson shawl,
The yell of "Allah!" breaks above the prayer, and
shriek, and roar;
O blessed God! The Algerine is Lord of Baltimore!..."

Finding These Families
To find these families may prove difficult. Some
were sold and became galley slaves, some were
taken to 'Meccas sandy dwells', others served
at the pleasure of the Sultan. To make genealogy
research more difficult, most of these villagers
originally came from England to Ireland, under the
lordship of O'Driscoll.

Hacket Hanged
The traitor Hacket was hanged amid the ruins of the
village two years later. It seems Hackets ship had
been taken earlier by the pirates. He then sold out the
town of Baltimore in exchange for his safety.
Some surviving residents relocated to Skibereen,
Co. Cork. The calamity Skibereen faced two centuries
later in the great famine, is a well known tragedy too.

DNA traces
Should you find legends, or traces of 'strange' DNA in
your ancestors from North Africa, your family could
descend from this notorious raid of June 20, 1631.
Most were never to be heard from again.
It all began with the raid on the village of Baltimore,
County Cork, Ireland on that date.

There is much more to the story which I will include
in a future hedge school blog at

About The Author

Mike O’Laughlin

Mike descends from the O’Loughlins of Kilfenora, County Clare,

and the O’Donahues of Glenflesk, County Kerry. He also bears

Sullivan, Buckley, Kilmartin, Llewellyn and Kelliher roots.

A one of a kind resource, he is the most published author

his field, including books; newsletters; podcasts; and videos.

His books, publications, and podcasts are found at:


Learn More About his Irish Hedge School online at:


Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:

Already have an account ?

For Newsletter Subscribers – Draw for 1 Prize on December 31st.

Prize: Your Piece of Ireland – a Square of Land in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, Ireland

More details here (or you can buy a little piece of Ireland directly):

Terms & Conditions

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.

Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: