He served with the English against Desmond in Munster in 1580, and assisted Sir John Perrot against the Scots of Ulster in 1584.
If 'the earl had known how to profit by this victory, he might now have successfully withstood the English power in Ireland; for in every part of Ireland - and especially in the south, where James Fitzthomas Fitzgerald with O'Neill's support was asserting his claim to the earldom of Desmond at the head of a formidable army of Geraldine clansmen - discontent broke into flame.
The Dominican Abbey, of the 13th century, has Early English remains of great beauty and a tomb to Edmund, the last of the White Knights, a branch of the family of Desmond intimately connected with Kilmallock, who received their title from Edward III.
Grattan had married in 1782 Henrietta Fitzgerald, a lady descended from the ancient family of Desmond, by whom he had two sons and two daughters.
The college was founded by an earl of Desmond in 1464.