1798 commemorative event in Ballyboughal
The 220th anniversary of 1798 rebellion has been commemorated in Ballyboughal with a poignant wreath-laying exercise.
A ceremony was held at the Commemorative Cross located at the junction of Drishogue Lane and Oldtown Road.
The location marks the last stand of the Wexford men and their Fingal allies following their defeat at the battle of Tara.
The men and women who had fought at Tara under the banner of revolution had retreated following their defeat across the Boyne through Slane towards Ashbourne cutting across Fingal pursued by mounted Dragons.
When the repeals reached the lands west of Ballyboughal, in or about the location of the Memorial Cross tired and exhausted they made their heroic last stand.
Their pursuers came upon them and defeated them killing the majority. A few survivors made good their escape.
Many of these settled in the area. Following the departure of the Dragons, The dead were collected by locals and buried in a communal grave in the local cemetery.
A few outlaying graves exist in the area surrounding Ballyboughal.
Peadar Bates of Donabate recalled these events which he so well recorded in his published work on the period.
The event organiser Sean MacPhilibín welcomed all telling them of the background to the Cross which was erected in 1948 by the Wexford men's Association and Fingal locals.
Sean recalled some of the locals who had taken part marching to Tara. Amongst whom was Mollie Weston who with her brothers took up arms, fought and died in Ireland's interest.
The Fingal Old IRA Commemorative Society Volunteers attended and provided an Honour Guard.
Chairman Cathal Boland laid a wreath and spoke then of the locations and families which featured in both the 1798 and War of Independence, which followed the Easter Rising of 1916.
He particularly singled out Mollie and spoke of the other women in Fingal who through the ages provided leadership and courage at moments of greatest peril. He stated on behalf of the Society their commitment and ongoing support for the commemoration.
The Society took the opportunity to make a presentation to David O'Connor the retiring Fingal Councillor.
Their Secretary Paul O'Brien said that David had given great assistance to the Society over the years was always there to provided advice and support.
He thanked David for his contribution to date wished him well in his new position of President Elect of Cricket Ireland and looked forward to working with him in the years ahead.