Robert Bruce, the King of Scotland was desirous of uniting Scotland under his rule andScotland under the rule of Edward Bruce. After the Battle of Bannock Burn, Edward was dead set on ousting the English from the second frontline – Ireland.
In May 1315, Edward Bruce left Eire with the bravest men forming his squadron. They turned to be very few for such complex affair. The nowadays’ North Irish port of Larne harbored 6,000 Scottish warriors of Edward Bruce in 1315. The 300 boats were habitual transport for the Scots after decades of commercial voyages on them.
The English then occupying Ireland got horrified by such sudden Scottish crusade. The opening battle of that severe offensive took place in Larne. The Irish Englishmen turned out not to be ready to fight.
The Scottish imminent success in Ireland stemmed from the support of the Irish local septs. Edward Bruce’s primary loyal ally in Ireland was Donnell O’Nail, one of the Irish local kings who had sworn to support the Scots. O’Nail was a royal descendant full of decisiveness to take over the throne. However, he failed to build up trust among the Irish population, which appeared to be a challenge for Edward Bruce.
The Scottish will to unite with Ireland was mutual. The Irish national memory was overwhelmed with atrocities and bloodsheds committed by the English on their soil. The indigenous Irish were displaced to high lands as wild animals. The English clergy approved any murder of an Irishman.
In the 14th century, Carrickfergus was the major town of Ulster with supreme military significance. It was vital for Edward Bruce to conquer this stronghold to halt Englishmen from besieging it. Such castles and fortresses in the Irish territory as Carrickfergus had served predominantly to the English-Irish leaders. The takeover of Carrickfergus would involve the control over the entire northern shore stretching to Bristol.
Edward II would lose a lucrative artery with a loss of the northern strait between Ireland and Scotland. So the supply channel to England was to be cut off by the Scots. And the audacious plan was fulfilled – Carrickfergus surrendered.
Carrickfergus was fundamentally crucial for Edward Bruce, since it became the venue where he was proclaimed the supreme King of Ireland.