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Local Studies Department

The 1798 Rebellion in County Kildare

Town/Village Index of the Rebellion of 1798 - Ballitore

Sometime after 8 am, the morning of the 24th May, the Suffolk Fencibles marched out of the town leaving nine of their men to secure the baggage. Lt. Eadie and 23 of the Tyrone Militia marched with their baggage to join their company at Calverstown. An attempted ambush was thwarted and a party of rebels routed in the wood near Narraghmore.

Around 3 pm rebels appeared on the bridge but were turned back by Dr. Johnson. A little later some 300 rebels, led by Malachi Delaney on a white horse, occupied the town. Some of the Suffolks left to protect the baggage were killed. Richard Yeates, a young yeomanry lieutenant, was captured and killed as the rebels fortified Ballitore.

The Quaker community was unharmed. The rebels began to consider their position and Abraham Shackleton mediated with Colonel Campbell in Athy, to allow them to surrender in return for written protections. Campbell lost patience as the rebels delayed and marched his troops out of Athy around mid-night on Saturday 26th May.

Around 3 am, Sunday 27th May, intelligence reached the town that the troops were approaching and the rebels fled. The retribution of the soldiers was severe. Suspects were shot and hanged, even Dr. Johnson. Having made an example of the town, the troops returned to Athy.

Published by Kildare County Council

Written by Mario Corrigan .