Thursday 17 October 2019

New 1798 book to be launched

Brendan Keane

A new book will be launched in Enniscorthy library this week that will be of interest to anyone fascinated by Wexford and Irish history.

A spokesperson for the library said the book, 'Brothers Divided', which details the life of a leading 1798 figure, Edward Hay, is likely to become a classic biography.

It will be launched in the library at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11.

Edward Hay, along with his brother Philip - a member of the British army whose story is also dealt with in the book - were from a prominent long established family who held extensive property and lands at Ballinkeele.

Another brother, John Hay, was a prominent rebel leader who was executed on Wexford Bridge.

The author of the book, William Sweetman, whose last Co Wexford book, 'Trials of 1798', spent many years trawling through archives and as the library spokesperson said: 'He is in complete command of his sources and the vast historiography.'

Mr Sweetman's last book received much critical acclaim and the new work is expected to receive an equally positive reaction.

As part of his research Mr Sweetman obtained access to previously unpublished family material and his book is a definitive biography of a significant historical family who, up to now, have been largely neglected - in particular Edward Hay, whose entire public career from 1792 to 1822 was one of service to the Irish nation.

As the library spokesperson commented of his life; 'It was a life filled with so much political triumph and family tragedy.'

Enniscorthy Guardian