FIELD MARSHAL JOHN COUNT O’DONNELL (1712-1784) – military commander in the Austrian Imperial army.

One of the main branches of the O’Donnells, Earls of Tyrconnell, settled in Larkfield, Manorhamilton, in the early 1700s.  The first of this line was Hugh O’Donnell (1691-1754) who was considered head of the O’Donnell clan and adopted the title ‘Earl’.  Hugh had two sons – John and Connell – by his wife Flora Hamilton.  Flora’s brother, General John Count   Hamilton, who occupied an influential position at the Habsburg imperial court in Vienna, invited his two young nephews to join him when they came of age.  John, the elder, entered Austrian imperial service in 1736.  He fought in a number of wars and was promoted colonel in 1757, after having distinguished himself at the Battle of Kollin (in the present-day Czech Republic) during the Seven Years War (1756-1763).  He displayed great bravery and outstanding skill in the handling of his troops at the Battle of Leuthen (Poland) some months later.  In 1759 he became a major-general and his dragoons inflicted a crushing defeat on the enemy Hussars at the Battle of Maxen (Germany).  The following year he attained the rank of Lieutenant Field Marshal.  He was decorated with the Small Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa at the end of the Seven Years War.  Count John married Anne Corr of Kilkenny, by whom he had one son and a daughter.  He died in Vienna on 12th March 1784.  His portrait hangs in the Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt near Vienna.