Local history project by pupils of St. Patrick's B.N.S, Castlebar

                       The Story of the 1798 Rebellion

In 1789-1795 the French revolution had a huge influence on Europe including Ireland. In 1793 the French promised to help any country who sought independence. Theobald Wolfe Tone went to France seeking assistance for the Irish cause. The French sent a fleet of 15 000 men to Bantry bay under the command of General Hoche but they were scattered by storm. Tone again went to the French for help and they agreed to send three ships with 1,100 men. They arrived in Killala on the 22nd of August 1798.

The Fleet arrived flying the English flag. Edwin and Arthur Stock, sons of the Protestant bishop of Killala, sailed out to greet them but they were captured and the English Flag was taken down and the French raised.

 

Bishop Stock heard the news and he notified the English. When the French captured Killala they planted a tree as they did in every town they captured. General Humbert sent two groups to capture Ballina. That night there was a fight between General Sarazin’s men and the English at Roserk. The English eventually retreated in confusion. The next morning the French/Irish captured Ballina. The English retreated to Foxford where the would wait for the next French advance. General Humbert met with Sarazin in Ballina. Under the advice of Fr.Conroy they headed west towards Castlebar through Laherdane and Barnageehy.

They arrived at 7 o’clock the first battle took place on Sion Hill. They worked their way through the town and by half four they were at the Mall where the Battle ended. Then the English retreated to Tuam to prepare to fight another day.

By Alan