Ar an lá seo 27 Bealtaine

Ar an lá seo 27 Bealtaine, 1798, tharla Cath Chnoc an Abhalloirt:

"A rebel’s account of the Battle of Oulart Hill"

The following is an account of the Battle of Oulart Hill, from a rebel point of view. Brother Luke Cullen, a Carmelite based at Clondalkin in Dublin, collected the reminiscences of old rebels in Wexford and Wicklow in the early nineteenth century. The manuscript he wrote based on the stories he heard is housed in the National Library and a printed version appeared in 1959. The name of the narrator of the passage below is not known. Source. Myles V. Ronan, Personal Recollections of Wexford and Wicklow Insurgents of 1798, as collected by Rev. Bro. Luke Cullen, O.D.C. (Enniscorthy 1959) pp 18-19; National Library of Ireland, MS 9760 Cullen Manuscript.

They advanced to within about twenty-one yards of us. We had not lost one drop of blood at the time. The line of the enemy was somewhat extended to our left at this time. And that portion of it made a charge to pass over the ditch in our rear, when they saw our pikemen concealed. We dashed over the ditch. One of the first of the Yeomen killed was a man by the name of Prendergast. He was killed by the thrust of a dung fork in the face by a man named Maloney.

A man from that part of the country named the Macamores was beside me. He had a stone in each hand. He had no other arms. And a man with a brass-barreled blunderbuss was at the other side of me. They were now no more than fifteen yards from us. The man armed with the stones fired one of his bullets and instantly sent the other after it. The first told with such effect on the arms of one of our assailants, that it caused him to drop his musket. I can’t tell if his second round told, for on that instant the man on my other side fired his blunderbuss and I my musket, and Pop! Pop! (as my informant expressed it) went a shot from every gun.

The conflict had now become general. Few of us attempted to reload. We dashed amongst them, and in a summary way, we used both breech and barrel of our guns. Our sundry armed reserve was “up and at them”. It was awfully sudden and the carnage dreadful. The business was soon done. The military were soon beaten down. Mostly stricken and terrified they were crushed without much resistance. And so awful and sudden their discomfiture whilst the soldiers were retreating down the hill they kept firing at random over their shoulders. The Insurgents in hot chase of them, knocking them down with some sundry weapons numbers of them with stones, of which the hill afforded a plentiful supply, and with implements of labour. Others coming on dispatched them with pikes and pitch forks. Many of them calling out for mercy and presenting Catholic Prayer Books.

“We are good Catholics …”