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In the Wake of the Great RebellionRepublicanism, Agrarianism and Banditry in Ireland After 1798$
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James G. Patterson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719076930

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719076930.001.0001

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Galway and Mayo

Galway and Mayo

(p.110) 6 Galway and Mayo
In the Wake of the Great Rebellion

James G. Patterson

Manchester University Press

This chapter closely examines the massive wave of agrarian agitation which manifested itself in Galway and Mayo during the winter of 1798–1799. On 22 August 1798, prophesies of a French invasion were apparently fulfilled with the appearance of a small squadron in Killala Bay. Unfortunately, the great rebellion of 1798 had been suppressed several weeks earlier. Nonetheless, the tiny French army was joined by thousands of Irish volunteers. In the succeeding 200 years, historians have failed to explain satisfactorily what drove as many as 10,000 supposedly complacent Irish peasants to partake in such an apparently ill-conceived endeavour. The existence of an underground Catholic gentry with long-term connections to the continent and the interrelated presence of a pervasive smuggling culture, coupled with traditional agrarian discontent, had produced a deeply rooted, albeit unfocused, anti-state mentalité into which the radical organizations tapped.

Keywords:   Galway, Mayo, agrarian agitation, French invasion, Irish volunteers, French army

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