Niamh O’Malley

Niamh O’Malley, crewmember of Dream ChaserNiamh (pronounced Neeve) O’Malley is a 29-year-old woman from Killadoon in the west of Ireland. She was a pirate long before reaching the Caribbean and joining Dream Chaser’s crew, having served aboard her unsuccessful uncle’s ketch for a year or more. When her uncle’s vessel was captured by a British warship, O’Malley saved herself at great risk by diving into the sea and swimming ashore. On learning that her uncle and his crew had been hanged and that the magistrate was looking to her, she fled Ireland on a ship sailing from Cork, which was heading for Jamaica.

O’Malley is a hot-tempered, plain-speaking person with high principles. What this plucky Irish woman lacks in height she more than makes up for in courage and tenacity. Although a woman in a man’s world, she has little trouble convincing the crew of her usefulness – both as a sailor and as a fighter. Brave to the point of recklessness, she has earned the respect of all on board with few who would dare to cross her.

This scruffy pirate is generally popular among her shipmates, although there are those few who do resent and even fear her. A romantic at heart, she harbours a deep affection for Captain Ironside, but would never dream of coming between him and his wife.

“No, John. I was a pirate even then. We used to sail off t’e west coast of Ireland in a ketch belonging to me uncle, but the pickings were lean in that area. Me uncle never dared stray too far from home and it was only a matter of time before the British Navy caught up with us,” O’Malley cheerfully explained.

“So did the Royal Navy finally catch up with you, then?” asked Ironside.

Yes, they feckin’ well did. One night, after successfully taking a small merchant vessel, we found ourselves trapped in a cove by a British frigate and me uncle struck sails without hesitating – we’d have not stood a chance with our four pounders – would’ve been like pissin’ into the wind. But I wasn’t about to let meself be taken so easily, was I? So before the Sassenachs had pulled alongside to board our vessel, I strips off all me clothes and springs into the sea.”

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