The fourteenth century saw a new rise in Gaelic power beyond the pale and the re-emergence of native rulers such as the O’Connors and the seafaring O’Flaherties and O’Malley’s of Galway and Mayo.

From the early fourteenth century onwards, increasing Gaelic resistance coupled with the impact of the Black Death, led to the decline of the Anglo-Norman colony across much of Ireland. Many of the Anglo-Norman Castles, towns and villages in the north and west were abandoned while many of the surviving Anglo-Norman families outside the coastal towns became progressively Gaelicised; adopting native Irish laws in their dealings with their neighbours and increasingly patronising Irish poets in spite of official disapproval. Many of the still visible moted sites of Mayo, Sligo and North Roscommon were abandoned at this time including the heavily fortified walled settlement of Rindoon on Lough Ree and in Connemara, the O’Flaherties, driven from their old lands to the east by the Anglo-Normans, established themselves as the notable local sea-power, rivals to the O’Malleys of Mayo.