He served with the English against Desmond in Munster in 1580, and assisted Sir John Perrot against the Scots of Ulster in 1584.
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.
The town was plundered by the earl of Desmond in 1579.