Background and causes

Irish Parliament controlled by Protestant Ascendancy (C of I only 15% and most of the land)
Penal laws left Catholics poor and uneducated.

Tithes still had to be paid.

The influence of the American and French revolutions

The Society of United Irishmen

Wolfe Tone (Dublin, Anglican Trinity barrister admired French Rev)

1791 Tone and Belfast Presbyterians formed the UI

Aim: Catholic and Protestant together would end British interference in Ireland

1793 War with France. British Gov afraid of Ireland. The UI was banned. Now a rebellion and a republic was the only way.

Tone escaped to America and then to France to get help.

1796 General Hoche and Bantry Bay storms.

The Rising

General Lake’s repression in Ulster and Leinster.

House burning flogging, pitch capping and half hanging

Spies and informers led to the arrest of the leaders, including Lord Edward Fitzgerald

The Rising in Dublin and the surrounding counties was easily put down

Wexford: Actions of Yeomen (part-time) and Militia (full-time) provoked rising.

Father Murphy won at Oulart Hill, Enniscorthy and freed Bagenal Harvey in Wexford

Important defeat at New Ross

Atrocity at Scullabogue

Final defeat at Vinegar Hill.

Ulster: Henry Joy McCracken defeated in Antrim and Henry Munro defeated in Down.

The End: Tone arrived in Lough Swilly. Sentenced to hang and committed suicide.


30000 dead

Bitterness against British

Bitterness between Catholics and Protestant.

Further Rebellions

The Act of Union