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Seventeen Ninety Eight Memorial

There are six bronze plaques along the wall of the Memorial and one on each side of the cross.

The first one on the left represents Theobald Wolfe Tone.  He was born in Dublin in 1763.  He helped to found the Society of United Irishmen in Belfast in  1791.  He persuaded the French Directory to send a military expedition to Ireland in 1796.  However, a gale prevented them from landing.  He accompanied another expedition in September 1798.  The English  fleet defeated it before it could land its men.  Tone was taken prisoner, tried by court-martial and sentenced to be hanged.  He died by his own hand before the sentence could be carried out.  He is  buried in Bodenstown, Co Kildare.  There is an annual pilgrimage to his grave.

The next person is Lord Edward Fitzgerald. .He was born in 1763.  He had fought and been wounded in America.  The United Irishmen made him Commander-in-Chief of their Supreme Council.  His  idea was to wait for another French invasion fleet but the English, helped by informers, raided a house and captured all the other members of the Supreme Council.  He moved from house to house and set 23 May as the date for  the Rising.  Five days before that date the house in which he was staying was raided.  He resisted arrest and died a few days later of his injuries.  His capture is depicted in an oblong plaque which is placed  between his plaque and Tone's.

Dr MacCarthy inscribed the name of the subject on each plaque.  The names may be seen on the left hand side of the above photos.  The one plaque without a name is that of Robert Emmet.

Capture of Lord Edward Fitzgerald

On the left of the cross facing the ocean is a plaque depicting Henry Joy McCracken.  He  was born in 1767 .  When the other leaders in Ulster were arrested he was appointed Commander-in-Chief.  He nearly succeeded in taking Antrim Town but was defeated by a superior force.  He  was wounded in the battle. He was later captured and court-martialed in Dublin.  He was hanged in Belfast on the 17th of July.  His sister accompanied him to the gallows as is recalled in a song which was  written about him.  He kissed his sister and went aloft.  He bade his last goodbye. /  My God, he died and I turned and I cried / 'They have murdered Henry Joy.' 

On the other side of the cross is depicted Father John   Murphy.  He was loud against the Rising until his people who had handed in their arms at his urging were attacked by the militia.  He took his people to the top of Oulart Hill  where they inflicted an utter defeat on the North Cork militia.   He showed great military skill and was made Commander-in-Chief for a while.  When retreating from the Vinegar Hill defeat he became separated from his  men and was captured.  They discovered he was a priest but not his identity.  He was flogged and hanged. His head was cut off and put on a pike.  His body was burnt in a barrel of pitch.

In the centre of the three plaques on the right of the rear wall is depicted the Battle of Oulart.

 

The Battle of Oulart Hill

The plaque on its left on the wall is Michael Dwyer. It may be compared with the portrait that was made of him when he was in Kilmainham Gaol, which is considered to be a true likeness.

 

The last plaque in the right corner depicts Robert  Emmet.  He was born in 1778 and took no part in the Rising.  He planned for another one and discussed it with Napoleon.  He used money he got in a legacy from his father to store munitions  and arms in different houses in Dublin.  When the day for the rising came his message to Michael Dwyer did not get through.  His men had been drinking all day while waiting and were but a  rabble when he called on them.  They killed a judge so he called off the Rising.  In his speech from the dock he said "When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and  not till then let my epitaph be written".  His name is not on the plaque and has not been inscribed on the rear wall.  A space has been left in inverted commas for it.  "                  ".  See picture on 'walls'.

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