1796 – Wolfe Tone set sail from France, with a fleet of 43 ships and 14,500 men, to launch an invasion by French Republican forces of British controlled Ireland.

It was part of a daring and dashing plan by Tone, to change the course of Irish History. However, it was a destiny not to be realised, as bad weather forced the Armada to return to France unsuccessful. After other failed attempts to land in Ireland with French forces, Tone finally succeeded when, General Humbert, landed a small force in Killala, County Mayo. After some initial success, it was eventually defeated by British forces. Tone returned in October 1798, with 3000 men, but after a battle at Loch Swilly he was captured, court martialed and sentenced to hang as a traitor to the British Crown. Wolfe Tone pleaded to be shot as a soldier, but to no avail and the hangmans noose awaited him.

The prospect of a dishonourable death, led Tone to take his own life, by cutting his throat in Provost’s Prison Dublin on 19th November 1798 at the age of 35, not far from where he was born.



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