Burke (de Burgh), Uilleag (‘Uilleag Fionn’) (d. 1509), 6th lord of Clanricard, was eldest surviving son of Uilleag Ruadh (qv), 5th lord of Clanricard, and his wife Sláine, daughter of Tadhg O'Brien (qv). He is chiefly remembered in Irish history as having been defeated by 8th the earl of Kildare at the battle of Knockdoe, but this greatly oversimplifies his life. In 1485, after succeeding to his father's lordship, he invaded Munster and burned a large part of Roche's country. As Munster was usually outside the Clanricard Burke sphere of activity, he was probably acting to support his O'Brien kinsmen. Eventually Gerald FitzGerald (qv), 8th earl of Kildare, had to intervene and made peace between Burke and the earl of Desmond (qv). Burke served as the nominal sheriff of Connacht, as his father had before him, and was brought into Kildare's family when he married the earl's daughter Eustacia. From 1485 to 1495 Burke was occupied with asserting his supremacy in Connacht and containing the O'Donnell expansion into northern Connacht. In 1489 he joined with Aodh Óg O'Connor Don (qv) against Feidhlimidh Fionn O'Connor Roe (qv), which resulted in the destruction of O'Connor Roe's seat. In 1495 he answered the request of Cathal, son of Domhnall O'Connor Sligo, to march north and remove the O'Donnell presence from Sligo castle, which he accomplished only after a long campaign that devastated the region. In the same year he provided a place of refuge for Perkin Warbeck (qv) as he travelled to Scotland. Burke appears not to have supported Warbeck for any dynastic reasons but only because he felt he could further his ambitions in the locality. It was those ambitions that led him into conflict with Kildare and culminated in August 1504 in the battle of Knockdoe, in east Co. Galway. The immediate cause of the battle was an attack by Burke against the O'Kellys. The longer-term cause was the growing strength of the Burke–O'Brien alliance in Connacht and northern Munster, which rose to challenge the control of Kildare and his affinity over the Shannon and the adjacent territories. Uilleag Fionn was defeated by Kildare's forces and forced to give four of his children to Kildare as hostages after the battle. The eastward expansion of his lordship was halted by Knockdoe, but it remained the dominant force in Connacht even after his death in 1509.
AU; Ann. Conn.; H. T. Knox, A history of the county of Mayo . . . (1908); Bryan, Great earl of Kildare; Ellis, Tudor Ireland; Stephen G. Ellis, Reform and revival: English government in Ireland, 1470–1534 (1986); Colm Lennon, Sixteenth-century Ireland (1995)