Col Ciotach Macdonald
(1570 – 1647) was a Scottish-Irish adventurer of Clan Donald
, who became Laird of Colonsay
in 1623, by treachery. His name, which means left-handed
, was anglicised as Colkitto
), and he became a figure of legend.
He met his end in old age at Dunyvaig Castle.
He is often confused with his son Alasdair MacColla, who was prominent in the fighting in Western Scotland in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, on the Royalist side. Col Ciotach, an Irish Catholic by birth, was able to recruit troops for that war in Ireland; his birthplace is given as Loughlynch, which is in the parish of Billy, County Antrim, mother's name as a local O'Quinn or O'Cahan (O'Kane).
He married a MacDonald of Sanda Island; those MacDonalds were also caught up in related fighting from the 1630s onwards, and lost their position as a result of the Dunaverty Massacre.
His father's name was Gillespick, a nephew of Sorley Boy MacDonnell.
This family is alluded to in a sonnet of John Milton (Sonnet XI) which has a line referring to three generations:
- [...]Colkitto or Macdonnel or Galasp.
Galasp stands in for Gillespie (anglicised name). Properly Col Ciotach can be called Coll Mac Gillespick MacDonald, Coll Keitache MacGillespick M'Donald.
- Kevin Byrne (1997), Colkitto! A Celebration of Clan Donald of Colonsay 1570-1647 ISBN 1899863192