on 23 June 2012
The Wexford rebellion of 1798 is generally recognised throughout Ireland but other then that unless you happen to live in the locality people in general know very little about the actual events and people involved.
Father Murphy becomes the unwilling leader and catalyst for the rebellion and the book chronologically describes his participation in the unsuccessful rebellion, a chapter in the overall events of 1798.
We don't get to know much about his emotions but do get to know the man by his actions and one feels if other leaders of the rebellion had acted with the same sense of courage and intelligence the outcome may have been different.
I was interested in his escape and events after Vinegar Hill his failed attempts to continue the rebellion. The book provokes the need for further reading as there are so many intriguing subplots including the Castlecomer miners, the capture of a ship in Wexford, Myles Byrne, the risings in the West, North and Midlands.
An informative read and good account of one of the important yet little known figures of this period.
on 28 March 2005
This story, written by a recognised local historian, Nicholas Furlong, is a very good introduction to the United Irishmen Rebellion of 1798, particularly in the Wexford area of Ireland, focussing in particular on the role of Fr. John Murphy in the fateful four weeks of action that summer. Very little is known about Fr Murphy's early life (his entire life up until the last 4 months are covered in 40 pages), and what is known is faithfully presented. This is a story of a man who followed, in obedience, the strictures of his local bishop until he could stand the inhumanity dealt out to his neighbours and friends no longer. It is well written, easy to digest, and a very worthwhile read.