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May 03 2018

1798 - and why it still matters

Paddy Cullivan to examine the United Irishmen rebellion in new show

IN 1798 something remarkable happened in Ireland. Irish Catholics and Presbyterians put aside religious differences to unite in common cause over their grievances against British rule and its discriminations against them. Between May and October that year, they fought to establish an Irish Republic.

The rebellion was driven by the society of the United Irishmen, mostly Dublin and Ulster Protestants, inspired by the radical ideas of unleashed by the American and French revolutions - freedom, egalitarianism, and rule by the people, not monarchs. Their leader was the Dublin born Theobald Wolfe Tone, the father of Irish Republicanism, whose guiding vision was: “To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country - these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter - these were my means.”

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