Grace O'Malley: The Pirate Queen
A Wild Irish Princess
They say that the apple does not fall far from the tree and so, "Black Oak's" wild daughter came by her fiercely independent nature honestly. Reportedly she was born on Clare Island in Clew Bay, but spent her childhood at Belclare Castle.
Owen O'Malley instinctively knew his daughter was special. As a young girl, Grace O'Malley would sit and listen to her father tell tales of his adventures on the high seas and the many different ports and towns he visited.
She often accompanied him down to the bay and to go onboard a ship with him. Grace enjoyed standing on the ship's bridge, letting the wind from the sea toss about her flowing, thick hair. She would pretend to be a sea captain...shouting out commands to her men as the craft charged through billowing waters.
Grace O'Malley knew she was born to sail the sea. Its beckoning call captured her soul and swirled in her blood. It was too difficult to ignore, but it was not yet her time.
Sailing on O'Malley ships was a most unsuitable activity for an Irish princess. Her mother strongly discouraged it, but eventually she got her way and her father, who saw so much of himself in his daughter, let her come with him on his voyages to Spain.
And, so that her long hair wouldn't get caught up in the lines, she cut it short, put away the long flowing dresses and wore boy's clothing instead, ignoring the insults of her peers.