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 On this day 25 May in Irish History

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PostSubject: On this day 25 May in Irish History   Sun May 25, 2008 12:59 pm

25 May 1798: The Rising spread to southern parts of Kildare and Wicklow and northern districts of Carlow on this day. Over 400 United Irishmen were killed in an unsuccessful attempt to seize Carlow town that miscarried due to a well planned ambush by the Crown Forces. Upwards of 200 more were executed and hunted down in the area around Carlow in the days following.
Twenty-four United Irish prisoners were shot in the handball alley at Carnew, Co Wicklow.

25 May 1881: Some of Dublin's streets were lighted on this day for the first time with electricity.

25 May 1896: In London Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labour for homosexual offences. He served his time in Reading Gaol.

25 May 1921: The destruction of the Custom House, Dublin. The Dublin Brigade IRA raided this bastion of the British Administration and set it alight. They thus destroyed tens of thousands of documents that were vital to maintain the British Civil Service in Ireland. In the ensuing fighting however five Volunteers were killed in action and many wounded and captured.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day 25 May in Irish History   Sun May 25, 2008 1:55 pm

The 1998 anniversary of 1798 was an extraordinary time in the South East. Pikes were made an hundreds of men and women drilled across Wexford and some in neighbouring counties for months. They descended on O'Connell street for a mass gathering that was I think barely reported by RTE.

I didn't make O'Connell Street; the event I attended was in a tiny hamlet up the mountains in North Kilkenny, where I had been involved in building a memorial garden to 1798. The local oral history in this area was that the men had passed through the parish and been given one horse and a coat, and had taken another horse. It was the only time that any non agricultural event had happened in the area so had never been forgotten.

Seeing the Wexford pikemen and women march down the hill into the village with the whole parish waiting for them was far more emotional than I had expected.

I remember reading that most of those involved in the rising were English speaking, and an Irish speaking Cork militia was involved in putting them down. Things are complex.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day 25 May in Irish History   Sun May 25, 2008 6:14 pm

The North Cork Militia probably.

I'd say a lot of the real history of those times was suppressed as it wasn't until about 50 years after that it became a safe subject for debate for those who opposed the Crown to write about it.

An important point to bear in mind though is that there had been widespread violence across Ireland for a number of years previously as the British attempted to quell dissent - 1798 was the final explosion.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day 25 May in Irish History   Sun May 25, 2008 8:08 pm

What was so special about Carlow? Is that anything to do with the 'Follow me up to Carlow' song about Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne or was that earlier?
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