1796 – The French invasion fleet, with Theobald Wolfe Tone, which had hoped to land in Ireland is marooned off Bantry Bay, Co Cork in dreadful weather conditions unable to land.

Thirty-six ships arrive at Bantry Bay but do not attempt a landing and return to France, thus preventing what might have been an Irish/French victory over the English.

Wolfe Tone writes in near despair of efforts to land French invasion forces at Bantry Bay. High winds and storms would mean the planned landing would be aborted some days later.

“We are now, nine o’clock, at the rendezvous appointed; stood in for the coast till twelve, when we were near enough to toss a biscuit ashore; at twelve tacked and stood out again, so now we have begun our cruise of five days in all its forms, and shall, in obedience to the letter of our instructions, ruin the expedition, and destroy the remnant of the French navy, with a precision and punctuality which will be truly edifying.”

Photo: Statue of Wolfe Tone, Bantry, Co Cork

wolfe_tone_sculpture_bantry

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