A French fleet of more than forty ships and fourteen thousand troops set forth for Ireland with Wolfe Tone on board. Wolfe Tone had secured the support of the French with a promise of an Irish rebellion. The founder of the United Irishmen had an abiding hatred of England declaring his objective was “to subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country—these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter—these were my means.”
“To unite Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter under the common name of Irishmen in order break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, that was my aim”.
“If the men of property will not support us, they must fall. Our strength shall come from that great and respectable class, the men of no property”.
Primarily due to appalling weather which prevented the French fleet disembarking troops, the mission was eventually abandoned.
Photo: Wolfe Tone’s grave, Bodenstown, Co Kildare