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United Irishmen Rebellion (1798)
MAXWELL(1845) p184 Defeat at Vinegar Hill.jpg
Defeat of the Rebels at Vinegar Hill, by George Cruikshank
Date 24 May – 12 October 1798
Location Ireland
Result Rebellion defeated · Act of Union (1800)
Participants
Green harp flag of Ireland 17th century.svg United Irishmen
Green harp flag of Ireland 17th century.svg Defenders
 France
 Great Britain
Commanders and leaders
Green harp flag of Ireland 17th century.svg Wolfe Tone
Green harp flag of Ireland 17th century.svg Henry Joy McCracken
Green harp flag of Ireland 17th century.svg Lord Edward FitzGerald
Green harp flag of Ireland 17th century.svg John Murphy
French First Republic General Jean Humbert

French First Republic Jean-Baptiste-François Bompart
Kingdom of Great Britain General George Warde
Kingdom of Great Britain MGO The 1st Marquess Cornwallis
Kingdom of Great Britain Lt. Gen. Gerard Lake
Kingdom of Ireland Viscount Castlereagh

Kingdom of Great Britain Commodore John Warren
Strength
50,000 United Irishmen
4,100 French regulars
10 French Navy ships
40,000 militia
30,000 British regulars
~25,000 yeomanry
~1,000 Hessians
Casualties and losses
10,000–50,000 estimated combatant and civilian deaths
3,500 French captured
7 French ships captured
c.500–2,000 military deaths
c.1,000 loyalist civilian deaths

The Irish Rebellion of 1798 (Irish: Éirí Amach 1798), also known as the United Irishmen Rebellion (Irish: Éirí Amach na nÉireannach Aontaithe), was an uprising against British rule in Ireland lasting from May to September 1798. The United Irishmen, a republican revolutionary group influenced by the ideas of the American and French revolutions, were the main organising force behind the rebellion.

Background

Since 1691 and the end of the Williamite war, Ireland had been controlled by a Protestant Ascendancy on behalf of the British Crown, governing the majority Catholic population via a form of institutionalised sectarianism known as the Penal Laws. As the century progressed, progressive elements among the ruling class were inspired by the example of the American Revolution and sought to form common cause with the Catholic populace to achieve reform and greater autonomy from Britain.

Plan

The initial plan was to take Dublin, the counties bordering Dublin to then rise to prevent its reinforcement and then the remainder of the country to rise. However, last minute intelligence from informers provided details of rebel assembly points at Smithfield and Haymarket which were occupied by the military barely one hour before rebels were to assemble. The nucleus of the rebellion had imploded but the counties surrounding Dublin rose as planned and the long threatened rising began, of which estimates of the death toll range from almost 10,000 to well over 30,000 in little more than three months.

The signal for the rest of the country to rise was to be the interception of the mail coaches from Dublin. The Munster bound coach was stopped near Naas and the passengers killed. Surrounding districts of Dublin were first to rise and rebels began to gather in Wicklow, Meath and Kildare with the first clashes of the rebellion taking place just after dawn on May 24th, quickly spreading with widespread fighting throughout county Kildare.

Despite the Government successfully beating off almost every rebel attack, all military forces in Kildare were ordered to withdraw to Naas for fear of their isolation and destruction as at Prosperous, but heavy defeats at Carlow , and hill of Tara, Co Meath effectively ended the rebellion in those counties. News of the rising spread panic and fear among loyalists with the military massacring suspected rebels at Dunlavin Green, and Carnew.

Aftermath

Pockets of rebel resistance remained in Wexford with the last rebel group under James Corocoran not being defeated until February 1804. Wicklow experienced a form of fugitive warfare in the years after 1798 but the failure of Robert Emmet's rebellion in 1803 finally convinced the last organised rebel forces under Michael Dwyer to a negotiated surrender in 1804.

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