May 22, 1798

The Irish Rebellion of 1798, led by the United Irishmen began in May and lasted until June 21 when General Lake took Vinegar Hill and pushed on through into the town of Wexford. The leaders of the rebellion, including Father John Murphy were executed by British soldiers after first being tortured. Murphy was stripped, flogged, and hanged. His decapitated head was placed on a pike as a warning to other rebels and his body was burned in a barrel of tar. Fr. Murphy, who was initially against the rebellion, was the parish priest of a small village called Boolavogue and he is remembered in the ballad “Boolavogue” which was written for the 100th anniversary of the rebellion.

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