Best Irish FactsFacts on Ireland and the Irish

Rebellion of 1798


Battle of Vinegar HillThe 1798 Rebellion was the first attempt to establish an independent Irish Republic.

The origins of the Rebellion can be traced to the founding of The Society of United Irishmen in 1891.

The United Irishmen drew their inspiration from the French Revolution of 1789.

In 1793, war broke out between The United Kingdom and France.

The French attempted to land 14,000 troops in December, 1796.

The landing was disrupted by a storm off the south coast and the invasion fleet returned to France.

The ship Indomptable was part of this fleet.

Theobald Wolfe Tone was on board the Indomptable.

The commander of the French force was General Louis Lazare Hoche.

A rebellion was planned for 23 May, 1798.

The causes of the rebellion were the radical philosophy of the United Irishmen and agrarian and sectarian grievances.

The start of the rebellion was signalled by the seizure of the mail coaches leaving Dublin.

The rebellion in the city of Dublin never materialised.

Rebel Forces only mobilised in three regions outside of Dublin.

The rebellion was in fact made up of a series of seperate inserructions.

There were four main outbreaks.

Rebels in the counties of Meath, Kildare, and Dublin rose on 23 May.

British troops crushed the rebellion at Carlow on 25 May, at Tara on 26 May, and at the Curragh on 29 May.

Rebels in Co. Wexford overcame Yeomanry at Oulart on 27 May.

They captured Enniscorthy and Wexford town.

The rebels were badly led and were crushed at New Ross on 5 June.

The rebellion in Wexford ended with the rebel defeat at Vinegar Hill on 21 June.

The rebels in Antrim and Down rose in June.

They captured Ballymena.

They were defeated at Antrim on 7 June and at Ballynahinch on 13 June.

In the fourth and final part of the rebellion a French Force landed at Killala Bay, Co. Mayo in August, 1798.

They were two months late.

The French Commander was General Jean Humbert.

He defeated an English Force at Castlebar.

The English force was routed in what became known as “The Races of Castlebar”.

He marched on Dublin but was defeated at the Battle of Ballinamuck, Co. Longford.

The second part of the French invasion fleet intended to land in the north of Ireland.

Theobald Wolfe Tone was captured on board a French ship in Lough Swilly on 8 September, 1798.

He cut his own throat in prison in Dublin and died on 19 November, 1798.

The main consequence of the 1798 Rebellion was the Act of Union.

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