Irish rebels continue to have success against English troops. At the Battle of Tuberneering, Co Wexford, under the command of Fr John Murphy, rebels ambush in a narrow defile troops of the 4th Royal Dragoon Guards, militia and yeomanry auxiliaries, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Walpole. Walpole and 100 men were killed, the rest, throwing away their weapons and uniforms, fled. The regular dragoons made an attempt to fight back but they were in a bad place for cavalry so they withdrew. This defeat allowed three cannon to be captured which were subsequently used against British troops at the battle of Arklow.
Fr. Murphy is one of the renowned leaders of the 1798 Rebellion and many Irish martyrs who died for the cause of Irish freedom. Murphy was born at Tincurry, Co Wexford, studied at Seville, took orders, and returned to Ireland in 1785, and became parish priest of Boolavogue. Fr John proved an unlikely competent military mind as shown on numerous occasions, such as at Oulart, where he ordered his men to place their hats upon their pikes and raise them above cover to draw British gun fire, then attacked the government forces while they reloaded. When besieging towns he also developed the cattle stampede in which the rebels harassed and drove herds of cattle into the town, creating cover and confusion during which the rebels poured in from behind. He is commemorated in the ballad “Boolavogue”, which was written in 1898 to commemorate the rebellion. Fr Murphy’s charred remains are buried in the old Catholic graveyard with Fr. Ned Redmond in Ferns, Co Wexford.
Photo: Statue of Fr Murphy in Tallow, Co Carlow