- Historical event:
- 28 August 1798
- The French sent their troops led by General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert to Ireland in 1798. They landed on the northwest coast of Ireland (County Mayo). The Irish rebels, supported by the French, proclaimed something akin to a republic, striving to gain independence from the British.
On this day in 1798, an unusual republic was proclaimed in Ireland. Ireland had been ruled by the British since the 12th century i.e for about 600 years.
This attempt to achieve the independence was prompted by the French Revolution and the American Revolutionary War.
The republic, which was proclaimed in Ireland, is sometimes called the Republic of Connaught due to the Irish province of Connaught (also spelled Connacht), where the rebels took power.
The antagonism between the ruling Protestants (the Anglicans) and the Catholics was one of the key characteristics of Ireland.
Namely, not only Catholics wanted to gain independence, but also the Irish Presbyterians (the Protestant denomination which was also discriminated against by the ruling Anglicans).
They accepted republicanism as something akin to an ideological basis (characteristic of the United States and revolutionary France).
France supported the Irish rebels. At the time, France was ruled by the so-called Directory (in 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte came to power in France).
The French sent their troops led by General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert to Ireland in 1798. They landed on the northwest coast of Ireland (County Mayo). The rebels, supported by the French, defeated the British during the Battle of Castlebar.
But the British viceroy of Ireland, Lord Cornwallis, hired military forces to defeat the rebels (Cornwallis is one of the main characters in the film “The Patriot” with Mel Gibson, and had also served as British military commander during the American War of Independence).
The British defeated the rebels, and continued to rule Ireland for more than 100 years. They even captured General Humbert, who was helping the rebels.