Wexford Gears Up for 225th Anniversary with ʽRebellion Dayʼ & the ʽLongest Dayʼ Commemoration and Historical March

Historic, cultural and civic celebrations and commemorations are taking place all across Wexford during the month of June with ‘Rebellion Day’ on June 18th and ‘The Longest Day’ Commemoration and a ‘Historical March’ set to be highlights for all the family.

The events are to honour the 225th anniversary of the 1798 Rebellion the historic insurrection launched by the United Irishmen aimed at overthrowing the Kingdom of Ireland, severing the connection with Great Britain and establishing an Irish Republic based on the principles of the French Revolution.

On June 9th at 6pm, the Allabair Trio will discuss and perform music of the 18th Century in France and Ireland in Enniscorthy’s Presentation Arts Centre. This will be followed by a conversation with the Ambassador of France to Ireland, His Excellency, Vincent Guerénd, Dr. Liam Chambers and Dr. Elaine Callinan to discuss ‘The Ideals of Revolution: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité – how the French Revolution influenced Irish Rebellion’.

In New Ross on June 11th ‘The Three Bullet Gate’ commemoration takes place from 1.30pm and marks what was a key part of the Battle of New Ross, one of the bloodiest days of the Rebellion. Following the shooting dead by Crown forces of Matthew Furlong who bore a flag of truce, his comrades, led by the famous John Kelly of Killane, rose up and attacked the town of New Ross through Three Bullet Gate. Such is its significance, the gate is even mentioned in the Irish National Anthem Amhran na Bhfiann, as the Bearna Bhaoil (gap of danger). Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been asked to attend the Three Bullet Gate commemoration which is expected to include fitting music and historical talks. Mr Ahern officially opened the Three Bullet Gate memorial park 25 years ago in 1998.

On Sunday, June 18th ‘Rebellion Day’ will take place on the grounds of the National 1798 Centre in Enniscorthy from noon to 4.00 pm. An immersive Rebel Camp will be on-site for visitors to meet with re-enactors and experience battle first-hand. There will be blacksmith demonstrations showing the making of a forged iron pike like the ones used by the rebels in 1798. Tour guides from the 1798 Centre will have demonstrations during the day during which showcase the types of weapons used by both sides of the conflict during the battle of Vinegar Hill. There will be music, food and traditional craft stalls and more. At 4pm the Rebels and Redcoats will engage in a Historical march through Enniscorthy town to Market Square and across Barker’s Bridge with commentary (and skirmishes) along the way.

Ray Murphy of the Enniscorthy Re-enactment Society says, “Watch out – there may even be a few shots fired!”

On Wednesday,June 21st the ‘Longest Day Commemoration’ will take place at 6 pm, on Vinegar Hill. This will be an evening of readings, poetry, song and music, followed by a laying of wreaths.

On June 25th at Killanne a commemoration for John Kelly, the Boy from Killanne will take place. There will be a Pike march to the graveyard in Killanne with speakers, Seán Óg Doyle, Gloria Binions, Michael Fortune of folklore.ie and historian, Rory O’Connor. Refreshments, Music and dance will be on offer afterwards in Rackard’s pub, Killanne.

Taking the summer of 225th anniversary events to a close on the 11th to the 13th August in Rathangan, Co. Wexford. A Storytelling house, historical talks, living history demonstrations, book fair, wreath laying ceremony will take place with Clear Rath Heritage.

Rebellion 225 is being hosted by Wexford County Council working closely with the 1798 National Rebellion Centre and local communities across Wexford, with funding support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. To plan your visit to a Rebellion 225 event see http://www.visitwexford.ie/rebellion

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