The rest of the earl's life was mainly occupied by endeavours to maintain his influence, and by an undying feud with his son Shane (John), arising out of his transaction with Henry VIII.
For not only did the nomination of O'Neill's reputed son Matthew as his heir with the title of baron of Dungannon by the English king conflict with the Irish custom of tanistry which regulated the chieftainship of the Irish clans, but Matthew, if indeed he was O'Neill's son at all, was illegitimate; while Shane, Conn's eldest legitimate son, was not the man to submit tamely to any invasion of his rights.
The fierce family feud only terminated when Matthew was murdered by agents of Shane in 1J58; Conn dying about a year later.
Conn was twice married, Shane being the son of his first wife, a daughter of Hugh Boy O'Neill of Clanaboy.
Shane O'Neill (C. 1530-1567) was a chieftain whose support was worth gaining by the English even during his father's lifetime; but rejecting overtures from the earl of Sussex, the lord deputy, Shane refused to help the English against the Scottish settlers on the coast of Antrim, allying himself instead with the MacDonnells, the most powerful of these immigrants.
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